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Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Marketing your Art with Tearsheets

Creating tearsheets (also called promo sheets or storyboards) is an excellent way to market your art to potential licensees. There is no right or wrong way to create tearsheets and any art can be placed on them. Some artists put four to six different central images (paintings, llustrations, or images) on a sheet. Others place art and product mockups of one collection on a sheet. Personally I think tearsheets with one collection containing one or more central images and mock-ups makes a statement and showcases the art. A single 8-1/2 by 11 inch sheet is often used but any size is okay. Contact information on each sheet is a must and it also helps if you add a number and name of the collection. When talking to a manufacturer, it is easier to refer to the collection with a name and/or number than to call it that yellow daffodil and violet flower art.

I format my tearsheets in several different ways depending on what manufacturer(s) I'm targeting. If I am doing a mass mailing (either by email or "snail mail") to different industries, I put a central image(s) and numerous mock-ups of products for different industries on the sheet. Illustrated above is my BOU001 collection tearsheet with a central image and mock-ups for tabletop, bedding, and decorative flags. Note: The reason why I usually put central images on tearsheets is because the art in mock-ups may be too small or not clear enough because of the shape of the mock-ups. Better yet, I find it really effective to create tearsheets customized to individual industries. I usually send three to six tearsheets from different collections at a time.

My TEA001 collection tearsheet was created for fabric manufacturers. Notice that I show only swatches of patterns because the swatches are clear enough and the manufacturer doesn't need to see the central image. And before you sharp-eyed artists contact me, I know a couple of patterns on the tearsheet do not repeat. I goofed and they need to be corrected.

My BOU001 collection tearsheet was created for tabletop manufacturers. If I was sending them to party manufacturers, I could replace the cup with a paper cup shaped mock-up. Notice the border across the top of the tearsheet. Some artists like to put a border of art across the top to differentiate art collections on tearsheets. It makes it easier for art directors to find art when they have a slew of printed tearsheets on their desk and need to flip through them.

Copyright@2009 Joan Beiriger

This article was written in 2009.  For more information and an update on what is now more commonly referred to as sell sheets instead of tear sheets, read artist Natalie Timmons "How to Create a Killer Sell Sheet for Artists" and download a pdf file showing more examples of sell sheets.


  1. Joan, you always have THE best info! Thank you!

  2. Being new to the art of licensing, I really appreciate all this info! Thanks so much for the education.

  3. Joan, thank you for all your information!