If you’ve been following me for at least the past year, then you know I’ve been talking a whole lot about licensing.
About 2 years ago now, I started working with my licensing agent, Julie Turkel, who has helped me book brand licensing jobs with manufacturers like Blue Sky Planners and Copper Pearl. Julie negotiates the terms, pricing, and deliverables, and I’m able to provide my artwork and designs to manufacturers for reproduction. While nothing is truly passive in this industry, it has been a great way for me to diversify my income and audience through collaborating with brands and manufacturers. Most jobs you receive quarterly royalty checks on the sales of products, and it’s fun to see your work in stores, right?!
Well, since my agent Julie and I have just recently announced early-bird registration for our online course on licensing and brand partnerships: Brand Plus Brand, I’ve been getting lots of questions regarding who can license, or if it’s just for full-color artists, etc. Can calligraphers license their work? How about photographers? Or illustrators that specialize in pointillism?
My answer is yes, yes, YES!
Anyone with a brand can license.
So, for those of you who need some visuals, here’s 5 brand licensing examples:
1. Lilly Pulitzer x Target
Do you specialize in Palm Beach-inspired florals, or colorful, Matisse-like patterns? This collab didn’t just stop at paper goods, but included nail files, cosmetic cases, headscarves and MORE!
2. Max Wanger x Urban Outfitters
When I had my brief stint in wedding photography about 8-10 years ago, I was OBSESSED with Max Wanger. His style caught my eye because of his composition and the colors he used. His style stood out amongst the rest of the wedding industry, and got him a collection of prints in Urban Outfitters! Remember how I said licensing your work isn’t just for artists/illustrators? He’s the perfect example!
3. Dabney Lee x Target
Dabney is another designer represented by my agent, Julie Turkel. Dabney and I met a few years ago, and I’ve always admired her and her business. She’s on products all over the place and is known for her preppy, beach and animal style patterns.
4. Green Inspired Simply Grateful Journal
Are you a calligrapher? Hand letterer? Whether it’s fonts of your work or original commissions, lettering is EVERYWHERE. Literally. Look on egg cartons, packaging for cosmetics, office supplies…you name it! And it’s definitely a trend that’s here to stay! As the industry grows and grows, the goal for manufacturers and retailers is to have products that stand out on the shelves, and your lettering could do just the trick!
5. Mr. Boddington’s Studio for Anthropologie
I met the owner of this brand at NSS, a stationery tradeshow in New York City, and let me tell you…her stuff ROCKS. Not only does she have a collection of crib sheets with Anthropologie, but she’s also collaborated with them on a couple “pen pal kits”…ADORABLE. Her illustration style is perfect for a retailer like Anthropologie.
I hope these examples get your wheels turning with alllll the possibilities there are with brand licensing! Of course, a lot of these retailers mentioned are mainstream, but licensing happens on much smaller scales as well and does really well! If you’re like, “ok, we’ll how do I get start working with agents and manufacturers, etc.?” Take our course, Brand Plus Brand where we walk you through the entire business model, help you set up pitch decks, organize and build your library of work, define your brand, where and how to find agents and manufacturers, how to define terms in contracts and WAY MORE! It’s a massive industry and can be difficult to get into, so this course will be the entire roadmap for you, if you’re wanting to get your work into retailers and recurring revenue streams!