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Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Licensing Characters & Cartoons

The title to this article is really misleading because the modern usage of the term cartoon licensing really includes what many call character licensing. Years ago cartoons were thought as comic strips and animated films but the definition has changed over time as pointed out in Wikipedia. Cartoon is now referred to "typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works." Thus, art does not need to be animated or include text to make it a cartoon.

Cartoons can be art as gags, comic strips, graphic characters and illustrations that are for products, animation, advertising, books, etc. Read cartoonist Curtis D. Tucker's article "Careers in Cartooning" for more information on the different types of cartoon art. Note: All kinds of cartoons can produce revenue but not all are licensable such as a customized cartoon logo created for one client who then owns the logo.

While many cartoons have gained brand recognition not all have. It depends on the development of the personality of the character with art and/or words, if the cartoon connects with the consumer, and the amount of exposure via marketing. But just because the cartoon is not recognizable to the general public does not mean that the cartoonist is not successful in selling his/her cartoons. Read cartoonist Curtis D. Tucker article "My Best Cartooning Advice."

Below are some excellent articles about licensing by cartoonists Bill Abbott and Curtis D. Tucker, type of products that use cartoons, classes on building brandable cartoons/characters, and websites of some successful artists that create cartoons.

• Bill Abbott
– "Licensing Cartoons"
– "A Bit More On Licensing For Cartoonists"
– "Licensing Agents for Cartoonists"
– "Submitting Art And Cartoons To Greeting Card Companies"

• Curtis D. Tucker
– "Your Designs Will Get Stolen Online"
– "Making Money With Your Old Cartoons"
– "How a Cartoon Logo is Created - Video #1"
– "Logo Design Prices"
– "Is Writing Harder Than Drawing?"
– "Do You Have A Million Dollar Logo?"

Telephone / Internet Classes by All Art Licensing from J'net Smith
"Building Character: How to Cash in On Your Characters Without Losing Your Soul"
October 15 - 17, 2012 ($125)
speakers Michael Fry (Co-Creator "Over the Hedge" and Creator "Committed") and J'net Smith (Art Licensing/DILBERT Marketer)
three days of classes (1-1/2 to 2 hours in length each day via telephone and internet)

• "Character Licensing" $50
speaker J'net Smith (Art Licensing/DILBERT Marketer) with special guest appearance Tom Wilson (internationally syndicated Ziggy® Cartoonist)
audio download (2 hours) and PDF presentation handout

Cartoonist Websites
Bill Abbott
Curtis D. Tucker
Gary Patterson
Jill Seale
Michael Fry

Your comments are welcome. Please click on the comments section (below) to write your comment.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Art Licensing: Using Retailer Facebook Sites to Learn Consumer Buying Preferences

The ultimate client of an art licensor (artist) is the consumer of products. And one way to discover the products and type of art on products that mass market consumers purchase is to read articles and comments posted on chain-store Facebook sites. Retailers have found that Facebook is a great method to connect with their customers. The retailer's goal is to post news on their site that appeal to their customers so they will constantly return. Thus, retailers may show new product introductions, offer reduced prices on products, do giveaways, have contests, post recipes, write inspiring articles, or how-to-do its.

All this information is useful in learning about consumers and their purchasing interests.The more information that an artist has about consumer spending and lifestyles the better educated the artist is in creating licensable art. It does take time to read posts on Facebook but that is part of the art licensing business. It is not just about creating art.

Below is a list of some chain-store Facebook sites. At the present most retailers are concentrating on back-to-school and end-of-summer products. Pick out several retailer Facebook sites and periodically check back as the seasons change. Read the posts by the retailer and comments by consumers. Ask yourself some questions about the sites. What type of products and articles are the retailers focusing on? Are they just trying to sell product that the consumer is not interested in or are they showing product that is selling? What is the response from consumers? Can you spot any trends for a particular retailer or among retailers? How can you apply what you learned from the sites to creating new licensable art?

Chain-store Facebook sites
Bed Bath & Beyond
Big 5 Sporting Goods
Big Lots
Dollar General
JC Penney
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
Lowe's Home Improvement
Michaels Stores
Pet Smart

Your comments are welcome. Please click on the comments section (below) to write your comment.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 July Atlanta Gift Market: attendance down but sales up

Many people in the gift industry look at the Atlanta Gift Market attendance each January and July as an indicator of the health of the retail industry. The reason is that it is the largest gift show in the US and normally the first show of the new year to introduce new products. The January show had an increase in buyer attendance (2012 January Atlanta Gift Market: surge in buyer traffic gives high hope to economic recovery) that raised hope that the health of the retail industry was improving. However, the reports from Atlanta Gift Market in July showed that it has a way to go although some vendors reported that even though attendance was down sales were up. Note: The attendance at the July show has always been smaller than January's because retailers do not need to restock as much of their merchandise.

The health of the gift industry ultimately affects art licensing and the amount of art that is licensed by manufacturers. Thus, successful gift shows (Atlanta and other regional ones) bodes well for the licensing industry. Below are links to articles and videos of products seen at the Atlanta Gift Market. Reading and viewing them are good ways to find out about recent trends, colors, and art themes used on products.

Blog Articles:
• Andrea Brooks Studio "The Atlanta July Gift Show, Part One"

• Caroline Simas "Atlanta Market Recap"

• Jim Marcotte (Two Town Studio agency) "Tidbits 2012"

• Kelly Rae Roberts "Atlanta Market Showroom Tour"

• Robin Davis "Atlanta Gift Show July 2012"

• Working Girls Design "Summer Fun at the Atlanta Gift Show"

Trend Articles:
• Gifts & Dec "Direct from Market: Atlanta"

• Tiger Trade "Trend Report: Atlanta Gift Home Furnishings Fair"

Vendor Pictures:
• Mud Pie "Atlanta Gift Show July 2012"

Vendor Videos
• Creative Co-Op "Creative Co-Op Atlanta Showroom July 2012"

• Evergreen Enterprises "July 2012 Atlanta Market - Evergreen Enterprises"

• Grasslands Road "Grass Road's Spring 2012 gift collection at Atlanta Gift Show"

Your comments are welcome. Please click on the comments section (below) to write your comment.