The AIGA Design Leaders Confidence Index for the third quarter of 2009 continued a dramatic rebound from its low point of just a year ago. According to Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA, “We’ve been listening closely to many designers working out of studios, and they appear to be very busy. Margins are tight and clients are very demanding in terms of scope and budget, but there has been business through what economists suggest was the trough of the recession.
AIGA anticipates that the real measure of the state of the design economy is likely to come in the first quarter of 2010, as designers experience the effects of corporate budgets that were determined during a weakened economy.
Joan Beiringer's blog on art licensing is an important resource to know about if you want to learn more about selling your art to companies for royalties. This could be to greeting card companies, or any company that buys art to use for designing products (shower curtains, napkins, pictures, frames, table settings, paper plates, magnets, coaters, etc...)
Joan has a wealth of information she has acquired over the years from her own research and by doing trade shows and talking to people in the industry. This information is hard to find, especially if you are starting out. Joan has taken the time and effort to put it all together which is a great help to artists.
Here are some resources on her blog that you should check out: 1. Licensing Agents This is a list of agents who represent artists and go to manufacturers to show your work. They normally take a percentage of your royalties, but they also know a lot of art buyers in the industry. Some artists work with agents and others represent themselves.
2. How to do Mockups Today it is important to show your work on an actual product, when approaching a company. Joan explains several ways and shows examples of how to do mockups so your art will look professional.
3. How to Find Companies Don't know what company would want your art? Research them and see what kind of art they already buy. It's a matter of doing your homework. Joan has a list of places to start.
4. Art Licensing Trade Shows Ready for the big time? Want to go to a professional show and display your work? Here's some shows that feature artists that do licensing.
5. Forums These are art licensing communities on the web where artists help each other learn the nuts and bolts of doing licensing.
6. Teachers & Consultants In the beginning, it is critical to take a class or at least meet with a consultant who can look at your art and give you an overview of what direction they think you might explore. It will save you a lot of time later on, and prevent you from spending hours working on something that just isn't the kind of thing manufacturers are looking for.
I am a designer who lives in Berkeley California who has worked in the greeting card and gift industry for over 20 years. I like to create things that make people laugh. For more information on licensing my art, visit my website.