by Carolyn Edlund
Interested in licensing your artwork? Art Licensing Show is a new website where artists, clients and agents can connect and do business. Artsy Shark interviews Cherish Flieder, who founded the site.
AS: How does your business model work?
CF: Our main goal with ArtLicensingShow.com (ALSC) is to create a safe and protected place for art licensors to showcase their work online. It’s no secret that art directors, creative directors, and other decision makers sourcing art for manufacturing goods, publishing books and developing apps are extremely pressed for time these days.
Our solution is to develop a centralized location online where they can quickly peruse artwork available for licensing all in one place, with a single password. This will save them time from visiting hundreds of different artist/agent password protected portfolios and having to remember numerous links and logins.
Artists who are in the business of licensing their work for commercial use will find this format very helpful, because not only does it give them an additional place to market themselves online, but a completely secure portfolio that is only seen by the licensees that they feel would be the best fit for their work. (Artists can’t view the portfolios of other artists on the site, but will be able to see each other’s profile pages.) Art can be shared by “collection” (a group up to 32 image files) and individual “pieces,” giving the licensor complete control over which artwork is seen by whom.
When an art director is on the site, it is easy for them to view, favorite, and request to see additional art. The best part about this solution is that all art shared with a decision maker is searchable by keywords, artists, genres, styles, techniques, subject matter and occasions. Each art director will have a completely unique experience based on the art shared with them and their viewing activity is kept 100% private.
Once an art director chooses the art they would like to license, they simply contact the artist or agent and directly negotiate a licensing deal. The website doesn’t get in the middle or take a cut. The site is not an art licensing agent, but simply a meeting place, in essence a “virtual art licensing show.”
AS: Who can participate and what are the costs?
CF: Creative directors, art directors, manufacturers and company owners who need to select art for licensing on their products and services are welcome to join at no cost (please email [email protected] for registration details.)
Artists, agents, illustrators and photographers who have a body of work that is suited for licensing may opt to sign up for a special hosting package. The annual membership fee ranges depending on the number of collections and images being showcased (starting around $20/month, paid annually.) All of the current pricing will be available on RedCarpet.ArtLicensingShow.com. This membership allows licensors to upload and share their collections with art directors through the site as well as personally invite new art directors to come to the site to see their work.
Each portfolio membership includes a robust member profile that will showcase brand information, logo/banner, featured collections, links to websites and social media, and more. Members can also participate in groups, update their activity wall, as well as get listed in and be able to search the “Ultimate Art Licensing Directory.”
AS: How long did it take from concept to getting your website launched?
CF: From the first spark of the idea to our “soft-launch” in January 2015 it has been 6 years in the making. I founded the ArtOfLicensing.com group on LinkedIn in 2008 (which has now grown to over 12,000 members internationally.) Since then, I have been looking for better ways for members to connect and view art for licensing.
However, as you are well aware, there has been upheaval over the years with the major social media outlets claiming royalty-free sub-licensing rights over art that is shared on their platforms. Between that, and the rampant copyright theft that is going on around the world, artists and licensors are feeling torn between wanting to keep their art “safe” and taking the risk of putting it out on the Internet.
Having worked as an artist and designer in several industries over the past decade and also having worked in-house designing products for manufacturing, I knew some of these major concerns first-hand and decided to put my design, technology and marketing skills to the test in building this new platform to meet some of these growing needs.
AS: What are some special features of the site?
CF: There are so many wonderful features of this new site, but I think key among our benefits is the ability to “connect” with other industry professionals. We have many private specialty groups that members can join. Here they can share in common areas of focus such as trends, greeting cards, textiles, home décor, children’s books and products, character design, crafts, food and wine, and this is just the beginning.
We also have a wonderful new blog platform where we showcase members and share special industry and site related news. Lastly, we have a complete internal messaging system so that licensors and licensees can communicate privately on the site without overloading their traditional inboxes.
We have created this special link for Artsy Shark readers to read further information about this project.