Tara Reed ~ Art Licensing for the Masses

Tara Reed Head Shot

Tara Reed, Art Licensing Specialist

Imagine household products sporting your artistic inspirations. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could walk into a department store and see your designs on clothing, towels, table cloths, glasses, dishes and garden flags? Tara Reed, art licensing specialist and Amused Now featured artist, knows just how cool it is! Her licensed artwork can be found on many common household items. You may even have some of her designs in your home.

How does she do it? Well, lucky for Amused Now, Tara is willing to share her insights into the art licensing business.

Tara explains that art licensing is creating art for commercial purposes that you license through a contract, so manufacturers can put your art on products. To put it simply, “it’s art for stuff that you buy in stores.”

If you’re interested in starting a career in art licensing, she suggests you first learn about the business. You should not only look at people who are successful in the industry, like Mary Engelbreit and Thomas Kinkade, but also learn about the day-to-day job. You must be able to work quickly, design collections and wait up to 2 years to get paid. Tara explains about this and more on her website TaraReedDesigns.com and her blog ArtLicensingBlog.com.

You should also get a feel for the type of art that works well with licensing. “Art that works for licensing is art that appeals to the masses.” Gallery artists only need to find one person to buy each piece, but licensed art has to be purchased by hundreds and thousands of people. That’s why you see very common themes, like wine art, coffee art, flowers, snowmen, snow flakes and Santa. The art must make people feel good, so they want to buy it.

About half the artists in the industry use agents to help them with contacting manufacturers and with other aspects of the business. Agent percentage in this industry is a 50/50 split, because they help you throughout the negotiation process and keep you updated about what’s new in the industry after the contract is signed, so you can get new business.

Even though agents help with contract negotiation, you should still have your contracts reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in the industry. As Tara explains, if you mess up your contract with an agent, you can mess up your career for a few years, because the contract can block you from earning a living. Her philosophy, “the bigger the deal and the bigger the effect it could have on your business, the more you should have an attorney review your contract.”

Tara uses social media to connect with and interact with other artists and those interested in learning about licensing. So, if you’re interested in learning more from Tara directly, you can find her on Twitter as @ArtistTaraReed. She’s also on Facebook and Google+.

To view the complete video interview, check out the Amused Now YouTube Channel:

Some of Tara Reed’s licensed products:

Tara Reed Wine Gifts

Tara Reed Wine Gifts

Tara Reed Dog Products

Tara Reed Dog Products











Cynthia Kahn
Twitter: @Amused_Now
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YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/amusednow