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Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoughts on Doing CattleCalls - Should You?

Many artists won't submit art when a manufacturer sends out a design request to hundreds of artists and agents (cattle-calls). They say that the competition is too stiff, it's too much work on a short notice, and the likely hood that their designs are chosen are nil. That may be true but there are still rewards in doing cattle-calls.

In my opinion they are: 1. You'll find out what art themes the manufacturer are looking for and what time of year they are looking for particular designs. Eventually you'll see a trend in the themes that most manufacturers request. You can then concentrate on designing the popular themes to improve your chances of getting your art licensed. 2. Cattle-calls gives you a chance to design themes that you normally don't do. You just may find a home for the art even if it's not with that manufacturer that initiated the design request. 3. Cattle-calls gives you a deadline to work toward. I know that I am focused and accomplish more when I have a deadline. 4. Cattle-calls are a good way to increase the amount of art in your portfolio. 5. Manufacturers will become aware of your art and may contact you later when they need art for their key account clients. Hint 1: After receiving a request for submission, the first step you should do is get on the internet to find out what style of art the manufacturer is looking for. There is no use submitting art to a manufacturer that is looking for whimsical art styles and you only do fine art. If the manufacturer doesn't have a website or doesn't display licensed art on their site, you may find their products on retail store sites. Hint 2: If you don't have an agent passing cattle-call requests to you, contact manufacturers to see if they periodically send out call for designs. Request to be put on their list if they do.

I've submitted art to cattle-calls for years. And how many of my designs have been licensed? Absolutely none - but I've come really r e a l l y close. At least I have a robust body of work that I attribute to participating in cattle-calls. :)

9-21-10 Update
I finally had two designs licensed by submitting to a cattle-call.  As agent Jim Marcotte of Two Town Studios said in his blog article "So Where Did it Go?," submitting art to cattle-calls is a numbers game.  The more art that you submit the better chance you have in getting deals.


  1. hello joan, we are a new company ,composed of illustrators, designer's,inventors, in search of manufactureds to look at our art, and cartoon characters, is there a web site to fine the cattle call list. if so you call email of at thank you

  2. I'm sorry but as far as I am aware there isn't a list. Art licensing agents and artists have taken years to compile their own lists of manufacturers that license art and of those who send out requests for submissions (make cattle-calls). The only advice that I can give is that when you are calling on manufacturers for contact information you ask them if they periodically put out a call for submissions. And then ask to be put on their list.