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This is the first time I have posted here, so please excuse any mistakes I may make!

I have worked as a freelancer for some years now, with many recurring clients/commissioners. Besides my private furry commissions I have designed tattoos and drawn portraits, but have never really worked on a large, professional scale.

Today I was approached by the Australian company, TragicBeautiful, asking if I would consider selling the rights of one of my original pieces to be made into clothing and home-ware products.

I was obviously ecstatic, since the closest thing to this I've ever felt to this is being surprised by people messaging me to tell me they got my art tattooed on them.

I honestly know -nothing- about this. Or what I should do.
I have been researching licensing, but I don't know if that's a good idea, seeing that I am not very well known and the image in question does not seem to be easily mass marketable in my opinion.

But then again, I truly do not know what I am doing.

I come to you, asking what you would do in this situation and how I should go about this?

Will they supply a contract, and what kind of questions should I ask?
I am so shell shocked and I just don't want to make a mistake!

I would like my name and or website to be required on the sales page of the items with my designs. 

Any advice would mean EVERYTHING to me!
Thank you!

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
They should have a lawyer draw up a contract. Do not do anything without a contract, no matter what sum of money they offer.
Dec. 21st, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
Some of the information you should definitely get before you quote them any price is exactly what they plan on using it for and how long (yes, they want to use it for t-shirts but that's vague. What is the audience? Do they want to be able to use your image forever? Etc). These two items are critical in pricing your licensing. Your image is worth more if it reaches a larger audience and if they plan on using it for a long time. The beauty of licensing work is that you can keep making money off your art depending on how you sell it and what kind of rights someone buys.

Whether or not you are well known should never effect the price of your licensing. In fact, licensing is one of the more expensive aspects of your artwork because it dictates how YOU can use it as much as how other people can. If your art is marketable to one person there are others out there is it useful to as well, never sell yourself short mentally!

For exact pricing? I'm not entirely sure since that's up to you. How many man hours went into the image? I would start with a base price and then work on percentages from there. For example: if an image took me 5 hours at $20 an hour the base price for the image would be $100 regardless if someone commissioned it directly or not. This is what I would sell for at a base price (I keep all my copyright, client only has some basic rights to the image like posting it on their site for non profit). If someone wanted to obtain the full rights for that image, lets say; for a front cover on a well known magazine, that price can up itself to a few thousand easily. It's all about the amount of people it's going to go out to and how much revenue the person buying it may make from it. Would you sell the image to a family run business for as much as you would charge National Geographic? No. It's all about who you're selling the license to!

I can't really give you completely solid advice on the topic since every freelancer is different. I also don't know how big this company is or what they're doing beyond 'shirts'. I guess I'm more pressing not to sell yourself short. Make an educated estimate!

As for contract, I'm always most comfortable making my own up for the work I license especially if I want credit to be given to me. I would definitely do some research on that! Having things in writing is incredibly important.
Dec. 21st, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much for this advice!

It means alot to me that you took the time to write such a detailed answer. Every single piece of information I receive helps me make a better decision in the long run!

From what I can see, this is a pretty well established business. I wanted to refrain from using the name just incase something ever fell out? I'm paranoid I guess, but I don't think it could hurt!

This is the store: http://www.tragicbeautiful.com/

My piece of art we are currently discussing fits the aesthetic of the store very well, so I have a good feeling about it.

I am going to definitely learn as much as I can about licensing!

Thank you, again! <3
Dec. 21st, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
Oh good! Having a link to the company helps. They definitely look well established to me, so I probably wouldn't give them my 'mom and pop' price.

There are some really nice tips on licensing and selling things in places like the Graphic Artist's Handbook https://www.graphicartistsguild.org/ and https://www.graphicartistsguild.org/handbook/. I personally don't use the book because it doesn't pertain to what I sell but I hear good things from those who have. It's worth a look if you want to keep doing things like this. They can probably go into far more detail for you than I can! My advice is sadly just kind of the generic push-in-right-direction since there aren't really any set percentages. It really comes down to what you feel is a fair price for yourself and the person buying.

For example, a story I really enjoy: The image of the northern lights sold to Apple (a large company where the image is seen by thousands of people) fetched a pretty 30K in licensing alone, though I'm pretty sure that was also buy out. This store you're thinking of selling to isn't Apple, obviously, but I hope that gives you an idea of how extreme these situations can get!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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