Friday, September 18, 2009
It can take 18 months or more before an artist gets any money after a deal is signed unless the artist is lucky to get an advance toward royalties. The reason is because of the many steps envolved during the entire process (contract negotiations, art revisions, manufacturing of product, placement on retail shelves) before receiving the first quarterly royalty check. How long it takes depends upon the industry but paper products made in the U.S. usually takes a shorter time than ones that need the creation of molds and are manufactured and shipped from China. Valerie Adams of Mosaic Art Licensing Agency has shared the following life cycle of licensed artwork when an artist has an agent. This is only an example and the time and number of steps can vary from contract to contract but it illustrates why it takes so long for an artist to get paid for the use of her/his art.
Life Cycle of Licensed Artwork . . .
by Valerie Adams, Mosaic Art Licensing Agency
June: Artist sends artwork to agent.
July: Agent reviews artwork to determine if artwork is appropriate for market.
August: Agent submits artwork to company/manufacturer for consideration.
September: Agent negotiates and secures signed licensing agreement with company/manufacturer. Agent sends artwork to company/manufacturer.
October: Company/manufacturer contacts agent to request revisions to artwork. Agent communicates request changes to artist.
November: Artist returns completed revised artwork to agent. Agent sends artwork to the company/manufacturer so they can start their product design process.
December: Company/manufacturer internal product design review process starts. Product design approved and/or additional revisions to be made are identified.
January: Company/manufacturer makes final revisions to their product design.
February: Final artwork/files sent to be manufactured.
March-May: Manufacturing of product(s).
June: Product ships from Asia.
July - August: Product ships to retailer.
September - December: Product on retailer shelves.
April: First quarterly royalty check sent out.