Do You Need A Licensing Agent? and 7 Agent Interview Tactics

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Do You Need A Licensing Agent? and 7 Agent Interview Tactics

 This morning I'm looking around my living room thinking about the possibilities - the possibilities of what my art can be on.  And in truth, the possibilities are endless.

And the same is true for your art.

All I have to do is find an agent...right?

Not necessarily!

In this post, I'll share with you what an agent does and what I do when interviewing a potential agent.

So here is a simplified version of what an agent does:

  • An agent has contacts that they negotiate a price for your art/patterns to be placed on vendor's products
  • An agent has 10 or more artists they represent
  • An agent takes a percentage of the sales from the negotiated contracts
  • An agent saves you time so you can create more.

Sounds great right!  I mean it really does! 

But there is so much more to it. 

When I first started doing research into finding an agent: I read articles like this one on how to find an agent and then I went to the Licensing Expo. I interviewed several agents who I was considering representing me and my art.  

I have to say, that this process can be daunting and exciting, and super tempting to jump into bed with them on the first date - don't just jump into bed with them without doing research and following your intuition, if you do, you'll likely just get screwedKeep a calm head and remember this is your business!

3 Challenges To Getting An Agent 

Finding an agent is much like finding a gallery.  When you do the research for an agent and/gallery you are looking to build a contractual relationship - and this process should not be taken lightly.  Here are 3 challenges to overcome when finding an agent/gallery:

  1. Each agency is looking for a particular style and becomes known for that style. So, like a gallery search, you have to find the right agency that you want to be associated with and matches your style.  

  2. Each agency worked with different brands that I may or may not want to be associated with.  I am an animal-friendly company and I support companies who do the same and silently boycott others by withholding my money and support.  

  3.  Often, we think of them interviewing us (and while that is true), we are also interviewing them.  Once you get your foot in the door, you then have a face-to-face or zoom call to see if this is a match. 

7 'Tells' In An Agent Interview 

As someone who conducted interviews for a Fortune 500 company, I can tell you there is specific training and preparation I've gone through to prepare to bring people onto my team. 

Looking for an agent is bringing someone onto your team and will be representing you to others.  So this is not something to take lightly.

Here are tells I'd look for during the interview: 

  1. Do they lean in (interested)
  2. Do they ask to see more samples of your work (and specify they are good with low resolution - integrity and interest)
  3. Do they tell me what they are looking for (this shows they are organized, have reviewed your work, and value your time and/or their time)
  4. Do they shift a lot (they aren't comfortable for some reason - generally means they aren't interested or lying)
  5.  Do they look at their other screen or do eyes shift a lot (not interested and have something else coming up - very disrespectful of your time)
  6.  Written communication - is their grammar accurate and is it professional to the industry (after all they will be representing you, are they professional?)
  7. Do they do what they say they are going to do?  If they say they are going to email you the contract today, and you don't hear from them for 2 days or you have to follow up with them when they said they'd take action - that's a red flag.  (I'll let it pass 1 time in case stuff goes to spam or there is a family emergency.  But multiple violations of their word indicate a work ethic problem.) 

As you can see, this is quite a bit of research and time just to find the right agent. 

And you know what?!

If I'm doing all this work, why not just talk with the vendors directly and get more money for the effort?

So here is the thing, you don't NEED a licensing agent, you can do it! 

Join us on 12/16/2021 with Guest Speaker,  Artist, and Surface Pattern Designer Juliet Meeks!

You'll have the opportunity to learn from a Licensed Artist who works with brands like Anthropologie, Uncommon Goods, ban.do, and more Artist and Surface Pattern Designer

How to be Your Own Licensing Agent.

So here is the thing, you don't NEED a licensing agent, you can do it! 

Join us on 12/16/2021 with Guest Speaker,  Artist, and Surface Pattern Designer Juliet Meeks!

You'll have the opportunity to learn from a Licensed Artist who works with brands like Anthropologie, Uncommon Goods, ban.do, and more Artist and Surface Pattern Designer

Juliet Meeks will discuss:

✅ Dymestifying art licensing

✅ Pitching your artwork

✅ Juliet's experience in being her own agent

Click here to Register Now!

You can also read more about Juliet here:

- Main website: https://julietmeeks.com/

- Instagram: https://instagram.com/julietmeeksdesign

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