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Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
give me credit and link to my blog when using it on your site. Thanks.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What are Art Collections and Why Create Them?

An art collection is a series of pattens, icons, and borders that are created to compliment a painting(s) so that it can be used in a variety of ways on numerous products. Artist / art director Joanne Fink of Lakeside Design may not be the first to create art collections but she sure has been the most vocal in embracing the concept. Joanne has given many talks at art licensing conferences spreading the word to artists about the advantages of creating collections around a painting (central image). Art collections can be created anyway you wish on any size paper. The example above shows a two page (8-1/2 by 11 inches each) spread of one of my own art collections. Read the following article for more information about art (themed) collections by Joanne Fink.

Themed Collections
by Joanne Fink of Lakeside Design

I think in terms of what I call ‘themed collections.' The purpose of a themed collection is to create a body of work that is formatted in enough different ways that manufacturers in different product categories will have all the parts and pieces they need to develop whatever shape and any type of product they want to make. By developing a themed collection in this manner, you can license the same collection to a tabletop manufacturer (who will need circular frames for plates), to a scrapbook manufacturer (who will be interested in backgrounds for scrapbooking papers and icons for stickers), and to a puzzle manufacturer (who will most likely only want a central image).

I define a collection as coordinated group of images containing most (if not all of the following):

1. Central image(s): 1 to 4
2. Frames: rectangular, circular, oval, square (preferably at least one of each; the rectangular and circular are the most important)
3. Borders: at least three (preferably in different widths – i.e. ½ inch, 1 inch, 2 inch)
4. Backgrounds: at least three (preferably created at 12 x 12 so they can be used as scrapbook papers).
5. Supplemental icons: at least 6 - more is always better. You can use the icons to build some of the backgrounds and borders.
6. Text: if appropriate

For detailed verbal information (sorry no visuals) on building themed collections listen to Joanne Fink's seminar that she gave at the 2006 CHA Winter Show. Session # 356 -D501: 2006 "Effective Marketing Strategies for the Art Licensing Business". The cost is $12.50.

To see pictures of themed collections created by Lakeside Design, go to their website. Note: Lakeside Design website was generated in flash so there is no direct link to the example pages. Use the following directions to locate the collection examples. After the website is open, click on services, then click on services for artists, then click on artwork development, and then click on see examples of themed collections click here.


  1. Top rate info--you should write a book!

  2. Great information.... you blog is becoming one of my regulars-to-read!


  3. Wonderful post! I read many licensing blogs and find this post in particular to be very valuable to us newbies. Thank you!

  4. I am learning so much from your blog!
    Thanks Joan!
    Janice Gaynor

  5. Hi Joan, I am an illustrator, and just discovered the concept of collection on your blog. I was wondering if when creating the backgrounds, we should create repeatable patterns, or is it the manufacturer that takes care of it?

    Thanks again for all these informations, whithout your blog, I don't know how I would have done. You are making my dream possible.

  6. In today's market many manufacturers do not have art departments so it is up to individual artists licensing their art to supply backgrounds and other art to enhance the design.

    Make sure that you look at all the articles in my blog on art collections and mockups so that you don't waste your time in creating the wrong elements or too many for each collection. For instance, if you have no immediate plans to license to the scrapbook or fabric industry, only do a minimum of patterns. Normally doing a few washes and textured backgrounds is good enough for licensing to the gift industry.

    Good luck,

  7. Thank you for the tips! In fact I think I already read all of your blog posts !! Your blog is opened 24/7 on my browser :))).
    My main concern is for the gifts wrap. I guess I will have to rework on them.
    Thanks again!!!