Art Licensing or Print on Demand? Pros, Cons and Strategies for Artists | Ronnie Walter | Skillshare

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Art Licensing or Print on Demand? Pros, Cons and Strategies for Artists

teacher avatar Ronnie Walter, Artist, Writer, Artist's Life Coach

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      ALvsPOD IntroVideo


    • 2.

      Lesson One-What is Art Licensing


    • 3.

      Lesson Two- What is Print on Demand


    • 4.

      Lesson Three-Which Method is Best?


    • 5.

      Lesson Four-Can I do Both?


    • 6.

      Lesson Five-Maximize Your Success


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About This Class

Art Licensing or Print on Demand?

Hey, wait…aren’t they the same thing?


In this class I will explain the differences, the similarities and how each (or both) can help you in your quest to monetize your art. I will walk you through the best strategies to enhance your message and grow your audience—and how to employ them to build your income.

The resource guide will contain links to popular POD companies, additional classes to take, and a short quiz on how to determine which method might be right for you.

I’ve licensed my art on hundreds of products over the years and used Print on Demand to enhance those efforts. If fact, my self-published (POD) coloring books led me to a thriving relationship with a traditional publisher. I’m also the author of License to Draw—How to Monetize Your Art through Licensing…and more!, and I coach artists to help them discover the right path for their creative goals.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ronnie Walter

Artist, Writer, Artist's Life Coach


Hi! I'm Ronnie Walter. I'm an artist, author and coach for creatives. I license my work on all kinds of cool products like greeting cards, fabric, giftware, books, plus 17 (and counting) coloring books for adults.

I am frequently caffeinated.

I love what I do and I particularly love teaching and coaching artists to help them move further on their journey no matter where they are! My goal is to help you calm the overwhelm feelings that are bound to come up when you are building your business, discover your unique gifts, and make a game plan where you can actually see progress! I can't wait to add more classes so you can do just that!

And I have a simple guide to Art Licensing you may find helpful as an addition to the information in some of my classes. You can learn ... See full profile

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1. ALvsPOD IntroVideo: Hi, I'm Randi Walter. Welcome to art, licensing or print on demand, the pros, the cons and the strategies for artists. This class is going to explain how art, licensing and print on demand methods of monetizing your art are the same. How they're different and how you might employ this hybrid approach to really increase your creative business. Let me go through what we're going to cover in this class. Okay? First of all, I'm going to give you an explanation of what art licensing is and an explanation of what print on demand is. I'm going to explain how you would choose each of those methods, why it might be right for you, why it might not be right for you or why it might be right for you in the future. It can also explain how sometimes it's a combo platter, where you're going to employ both methods in order to increase your creative business. We're also going to dive into the pros and cons, get you really understanding the differences and how you can use them. And I'm gonna help you develop a strategic and thoughtful approach to using these methods to increase your business. So you may be wondering, why am I qualified to teach you this? Well, here's why. I've been a licensed artist forever. And I also wrote a book called License to Draw, which is How to make money with Aren't licensing. Basically, I'm also an art business coach, and I work with artists who are looking for ways to monetize their work, to find the right place for them in the market place. And I just help them strategize all of that material to get the right career for themselves . And I've developed my own hybrid approach to my career. Over the years, I've combined the best of art license saying and used print on demand to really supplement my income and to maximize my impact and my message out in the world. I'm very excited to teach this class. I want you to come away with it feeling like you understand it. But you know which way you want Tokyo, Or if you want to go both ways, that's awesome, too. You'll know that by the end of this class, and I wish you all the best on your creative journey, you have any questions? Please put them in the comments below. I will answer them if I can. We will noodle them together if we must. And I will certainly find the right person for you to talk to. If we can't figure that out again. Welcome. I can't wait to get started. And please let me know what you think of the class. And I can't wait to see you thrive. Thank you. 2. Lesson One-What is Art Licensing: Okay, let's get started. Okay. First, I'm going to explain what are licensing is and how it works. We're gonna get started here, and then we'll go into the same kind of explanation on print on demand so you can see the differences and the similarities and how they can work together. But first of all, let me explain exactly what art licensing is. So here's the definition of art. Licensing, as we use this term, currently, aren't licensing means that you, as an artist, grant permission to another party, usually a manufacturer to use your content in other words, your artwork on a specific product in a specific territory for a specific period of time for a specific amount of money, usually in the form of royalties. Okay, that's a lot of words, but I'm going to go through this step by step so you can understand what that means. Here's a quick example. First, you grant permission. You are Jane the Illustrator. You are granted permission to another party. In this case, we're going to call it the funny bunny gift company. Your content, which is either a collection or a single design called summer bugs. And you're granting them permission to use it on these specific products. Let's call them many garden flags and candleholders. That's all they're allowed to make with your summer bugs artwork. You designate a specific territory. In this case, it's North America. It could be worldwide. It could be only the United States, the country that you are in. You understand a specific territory for a specific period of time. In this case, it's three years that they can use this artwork and make products that could make garden flags and candleholders for three years. Distribute them in North America. Those are the confines off your contract, and they are going to pay you a specific amount of money. Sometimes it's a flat fee, and sometimes it's a royalty. In this case, in our example, we're going to say it is 5% of royalty on their wholesale sales Now. As I explained earlier, this is a really brief overview of art licensing, and there are many more details if you're planning to go this route that you need to understand. But there are classes and there are books, and there's me to tell you how to do this. But let's move on. So here's how you make money in art licensing. You're granting the licence to manufacture, to use your art on their product. If you agree to a flat fee after the artwork has been turned over to them and you have all signed a contract, you'll receive a check or a bank transfer from the manufacturer. You're going to get your money. Or if you have agreed to a royalty stream, then the manufacturer will make the products. You both agreed Teoh and sell it either through wholesale or retail channels and then pay you your royalty based on those sales. And they will pay you those royalties based on the timetable in your contract. Sometimes you are paid monthly. Sometimes you're paid quarterly, and sometimes you're a paid every six months. It just depends on their timetable and what you have signed in your contract. But all of those things are within the parameters of how people get paid through royalties . So here's the basic business practice of positioning yourself toe. License your artwork onto products. You're going to develop a portfolio of designs or illustrations suitable for licensing on products. Typically, you're art should be suitable for giftware designs may be stationary, which includes greeting cards, gift wrap and gift bags, home decor, accessories, fabric and also apparel. Some kinds of apparel are typical product categories that used licensed art. So you wanna have your heart in your portfolio to really be positioned for these kinds of products. The second step is you will find a way, and there are methods to do this to present your portfolio to those decision makers at the companies who licensed designs for their products. So you build a portfolio, you get it in front of these manufacturers, and you make a deal to have your art put onto those products. That's the really super simple version of how this works, but we're gonna continue and how you accomplished getting your work in front of these decision makers. There's a variety of ways to do this, and you might be doing all of them. You might do some of them at various times in your career, but these air all methods that have been proved in the past to work in some degree many manufacturers that license artwork for their products to have submission guidelines on their website. It's all research and trial and error and making sure that you are doing your research to figure this out. There is no big book of art directors, unfortunately, so there might be submission guidelines. And if there are yea, you need to follow those and you can get your work in front of decision makers. Typically are directors, creative directors, product development people. Just here's a tip. If they have submission guidelines on their website, it means they are actively looking for artwork and they will actually look at your artwork . So I don't think that that's like I'm just sending it into a black hole. They look at those things. Another option is to exhibit at a trade show. There are several trade shows that are positioned specifically for this market, and you pay a fee. You go, you have a booth or a table and you meet with people there that are decision makers in this market. It's a very expensive option. It's certainly doable eventually, but again, there's way more information about how to do a trade show in other classes and in my book, and I hate to keep sounding like I'm promoting my book, but that's where all the stuff it lets resume. You can also reach out directly to decision makers. You may meet them. You may meet them at industry events at trade shows by researching their email and sending them an email saying, Hey, I really love you to look at my work. You can also place your work on portfolio websites. There are several of them that are positioned for people that are directors. Go on and go. Oh, I'm looking for an artist and here's a bunch of artists. You can also work with an agent who specializes in our licensing, just Google art licensing agents. And you can learn a whole lot about how to work with an agent as well as what they are looking for in an artist. Sometimes they're soliciting artists on their websites who you want to check that out if you think having an agent is a good option for you. But it's certainly worth looking at their websites because you can learn so much about the market, and you also accomplish this through promoting yourself, just like every other business. We all need to be promoting ourselves through our websites, social media channels and every chance we have to promote ourselves. Okay, so as I mentioned, there's all kinds of options for you to learn way in way more detail. But I would suggest that these air my three core classes about art licensing. I have a class on how to make money with art licensing. If you only take one other class, I would suggest this one because it really goes over all the base. Take that one. How to develop your best portfolio for out licensing goes into obviously way more detail about how toe build your portfolio and then finally, how to work with an art licensing agent. So by using these methods, you can really get a good understanding of our licensing. But I want to do in this class as we look at the differences and the similarities between art licensing as we know it and print on demand and how those work together and how you can be successful in either of them or both. 3. Lesson Two- What is Print on Demand: Now that we've gone over the basics of art licensing, let's talk about print on demand. So here is the basic definition of print on demand. Will use the term p o. D. Occasionally, but it means print on demand and print on demand. It is exactly what it sounds like. Someone buy something. They print it, they send it on demand. Okay, but here's the long first print on demand refers to an online business model where the manufacturer, Onley, produces the products when ordered by a customer. Artists upload their designs to the P O. D website, and they earn royalties on each item sold. Okay, really basic. And each one of the print on demand websites may have hundreds of different products that you can put your artwork and designs onto. It is kind of endless. Here's a quick example of how the print on demand model works for you as an artist. First, you sign up to open a store on the P. O. D. Company of your choice and in the resource section off this class, I will have a list of some of the more popular P O. D companies. So you open a store, you begin to upload your designs based on their requirements. They may have different requirements. Different sizes of files. You'll have to just go into each one and figure out what that is to upload your designs based on their requirements, you fill out all the information they require, like a product description, pricing all of the things that they require. And then you offer your designs on their website. You may choose to brand your store and link it to your own website, or you may just keep it all on their website, and then you market and promote your products to your customers. Once an item is sold, once one of your customers or one of their customers comes on and order something off of your P o D store, the P o d company will pay you for that item. Now they probably pay monthly, or everybody has different ways of how they pay you. But that's going to be in each one of the P. O. D. Company's rules and regulations and how that you work together. So you open a store, you upload your designs, you fill out all the paperwork you may or may not brand your store, you market and promote your products. And then once an item is sold, you get money. That's basically how that works. And here's how you make money doing this. In essence, because you're gonna read the fine print, you're going to read all the terms that this P O. D manufacturer is requiring of you. And you are basically granting a licence to this P o. D. Manufacturer to use your art on their product, which is where people get confused by P. O. D versus Art Licensing in Pudu are still granting them a license to use your artwork on their products. That's the only place where these two methods of monetizing your art intersect. Yes, you are granting a licence to the P o. D. Manufacturer. And, yes, you are granting a license to manufacturers. But everything else is different, as I will explain in the next lesson. So you're granting them a license by agreeing to their terms of service. Read those carefully, really, really carefully. So you know what kind of rights you're granting them. Each time an item sells, you are paid a percentage of the items retail price so If you are choosing to put your work on the print on demand sites, these are your basic business practices. You're going to develop design suitable for placement on products. Really think about that. We're going to go into more detail about that. Your designs must be suitable for these kinds of products. Not every design ISS You are going to research and identify the P O. D Cos you would like to work with again. Sometimes you're going to read their terms of service and you're not gonna like who they are, or they don't have the kind of products that you think resonate with your customers. Just know that you'll have to spend some time on that research. Third, you're going to decide what products make the most sense for your design style and customer base. Again, more details to come on that Number four. You're going to fill out the forms needed, and you're going to upload your designs onto their product templates. You will decide on your retail price, and finally you will promote your products to your customers. It's just like having your own little store Now again. That was a total gloss over what print on demand is for way more detail about the ins and outs of the print on demand business. I highly recommend these skills shirt classes from artist and teacher next squirrel. I have taken both of these classes. They're fantastic. They're short, They get to the point, and you will learn a lot more on the ins and outs of all of this. Take her print on demand for artists. That's a great class and print on demand for artists earn while you sleep. So take Knicks classes for sure. Okay, in our next lesson, we're gonna talk about the pros and cons of each of these methods and how you might decide which one is best for you. 4. Lesson Three-Which Method is Best?: So now that you know a little bit about how art licensing works and a little bit on how print on demand works, how do you know which method is best for you? Well, we're going to go through a side by side comparison on what are the advantages? What are the pros and cons? Some of them, maybe more important to you and less important to other people. But let's go through these point by point. So what I've done here on these next couple of slides is side by side compared the differences between our licensing and print on demand. Let's just go through this list, and I will explain a little more deeply what each of these meat. So in our licensing, your heart is curated by a manufacturer, meaning someone else is going to decide what artwork they want to publish, how they want to publish it on what products they want to publish it on. Obviously, this is a conversation that you have. It's not dictated to you, but basically the artist curated. It is chosen on print on demand. You decide what you want to put onto product. You decide whatever you're going to upload onto there sites within the standards of that P O. D site. They have standards. They may not take nudity or anything that they would deem pornographic, violent, whatever that's again, that's going to be in their terms of service. It's artist controlled on that side. On the art licensing side, it's going to be a conversation between you and the manufacturer. So it's more of a team idea on the art licensing side. Now I want to take a moment here to say one of the downsides of print on demand. It's very hard to keep track of bootleg and copyright infringed designs on the P. O. D sites because there's such a volume of sites going up. So they don't really care what you put on there, even if it's not yours until someone pointed out. So in some ways you are exposing yourself to other people. Seeing your work that you don't necessarily want to see your work this morning is not meant to scare you, but to just point out the fact that whenever you put an image online, you are exposing yourself to that kind of activity. It may not happen. It probably won't happen. But keep that in mind that the more images you put out there, the more opportunity people have to do that. That's happened to a few people. They've chased it down. Usually the P o. D company will respond and take the infringer down. You do have to be vigilant about that activity. It doesn't have to be crazy making. And that concludes my public service announcement for this lesson. Let's continue on the art licensing side. Ah, manufacturer cares a lot that they have unique offerings that do not infringe on anyone else, their businesses based on that unique viewpoint, which is why they are curating this artwork. They want to make sure it is the perfect artwork for their clients, their customers there, retailers. So that is why it's such a It's a big deal to get an art licensing deal because they are very concerned that they have a unique UN infringed upon look for their customers. That was a lot on just one little point. Not all of these are going to take that long. Okay, so in our licensing, like we said, you will be paid when the product is ordered by a retailer based on the timetable of when you're going to get paid, there may be quite a period of time between when a manufacturer says they want a license, something from you. When you sign the contract, when the product actually goes to market and then by the time you are paid based on your timetable on your contract, I'm telling you now it could be anywhere from six months. It might be short of in six months, but it's usually six months to a year and 1/2 until you'd actually see positive royalties coming to you. You might get an advance on your royalties, but it's it's a longer time to be paid off, but on the other hand you get it in a bigger lump sum than the ones he Tuesday's. You might be getting in print on demand again. It's really hard to keep this subject contained. You get paid when the product is ordered by a retailer, which may be many months from the time that deal has been made. Okay, on the print on demand side, the artist is paid immediately when that item is purchased by the website customer, so you might get paid for three coffee mugs and won T shirt. It may come to you faster and more consistently, but the amounts theoretically would be smaller unless you have a huge hit. And then, yea, you two different deals at all insect being money in your bank account, which I am a big fan of. Okay, let's take a look at marketing for a moment, everybody's favorite word on the art licensing side. The manufacturers do all the heavy lifting on the marketing of their products. They're going to market to their retailers in catalogs. The other websites at trade shows with direct sales, and so they are really, really incentivized to market those products. You will do some. Once the product is out on the market, you'll be putting it on social media. You'll be telling all your friends, but the heavy lifting is really done by the manufacturer on the print on demand side. Of course, that's all on you. It's going to be your responsibility to market your own products directly through either their customer base or your own customer base through social media, art and craft shows. It is going to be your job to get as many people as you can on those P o D websites to start buying things. The marketing is on you. Yeah, they might do some, and they might feature some designs. You need to be in a position to market your work if you want to be successful on the print on demand side. One of the great things about art licensing that I've discovered in my own career is how great it is to work with really good art. Directors and designers have worked with some fantastic people. You bringing our work. You bring the ideas, but sometimes, well, often not. Sometimes often when you work with people inside those manufacturing companies, they really know their stuff. They know materials, they know how to develop a product, and your artwork becomes that much better because you're working with some really cool people. So it could be a really wonderful, collaborative effort to make the work better, which means it usually sells better. That's a thing working with other people can. Really. You can learn so much about design and product development and sales by working with cool people on the art licensing side. On the print on demand side, you're going to be doing all your own designing and concept ing of what is a good product. That's not a bad thing because you get to make all the decisions, which is great. On the other hand, it can be a little lonely. You have to be careful. You're not second guessing yourself all the time because you don't necessarily have someone to bounce ideas off of unless you have a really wonderful posse of people around you, which I highly recommend. But in essence, it's really going to be on you to bring those products to market. Now back to our licensing. When you are working with multiple manufacturers, you haven't amazing opportunity to build your brand across several platforms, so you might work with someone in the publishing side and have a coloring book or a gift book that you wrote that comes out to market. You might be working with someone else that takes that same material and makes it into a gift line so you can really build your brand around who you are, your viewpoint, your artwork and so our licensing is a great way to build your brand. It's a long haul, but it's one that you can really do some brand building if that is part of your strategy, which I highly suggest on the print on demand side, just like everything is within your control and in your power on the print on demand side. But it is all of you. Your brand building is going to come from your efforts to reach out to those customers to keep bringing product that's relevant to them and to continue to build your brand on the our licensing side. It is basically a B two B relationship, which means a business to business relationship. You are not working with the eventual customer. You are working with a manufacturer who is the middle person between you and the retailer. Your relationship is different. You are working on the business side, not on the consumer side. On the print on demand side, it's absolutely a B two C relationship, which means business to consumer. You are selling to someone who wants a coffee mug, not a retailer that wants to put it in there stores a big corporate kind of thing. You're talking to somebody that really wants a coffee mug for their sister, so it's a different kind of relationship. Okay, let me tell you a little story. As I mentioned in my intro, I have licensed my work for many years on lots and lots of products. And one of the things that I realized over the years is I have very little connection to the person that actually bought my products. I was working with companies that made greeting cards and stationery and all kinds of different home decor items. I was working with the manufacturer that was my customer. So I had very little connection to the person that actually came into a store and picked up a coffee mug. I still do that. I still license my work on all kinds of products for almost four years ago. Now I started self publishing coloring books, and it became clear to me quickly that I was actually not in a B two B relationship anymore . I was in a B two C relationship. I was in touch with the actual person who was buying my coloring book. Now, to most of you, this is pretty obvious. But I had worked so much behind the scenes for so long. That was really surprising to me that someone which would reach out about my coloring book either to tell me how much they loved it yea, or to tell me how much they hated it. So it was a whole different relationship, and I had to learn to sort of manage that. You will now be working completely with your end user, which, if you've come from a different place, if you have been in the craft world, you are totally in touch with that. I was not. And so you have to remember those air two different kinds of relationships in your B two B you might be working with. A lot of people were in suits in the B two c. You're talking to a lady who may have just lost her dog, and she wants your print of dioxin, and she's going to cry when she tells you about it. Those are two different kinds of ways of working, and I love that lady who was crying over her docks in because you're connected so completely with that person. So just keep in mind that there's a little more to it than when you're gonna be to be relationship okay on the our licensing side. The incentive to sell products is very high. The manufacturers you're going to work with are going to have a very large financial investment in making sure that those products that they have licensed from you, those designs they have license for you become successful products. They have manufacturing costs. They have trade shows that they're paying. There's a lot of up front expense as far as producing a product, so their incentive to sell is very high. That's a really good thing on the print on demand side, since it's all on you, you may find over time that your enthusiasm might get a little wobbly because it's kind of hard to sustain enthusiasm when you're only selling something once or twice. And now I sold one mug or three months went by, and I didn't sell anything. It's really hard to sustain that enthusiasm, to stay in the game and to stay marketing in that sort of Hey, let's just do somewhere marketing here. So you have to remember that that is a thing. You know, when you're working with manufacturers, man, they want to sell those products and your enthusiasm has to continue over time. You just have to keep doing that now, on the downside of our licensing, eventually everything goes away. The manufacturer will discontinue to your designs. That's just the nature of the beast. They come out with a line with all of your adorable artwork on it. They might do it for a season or two seasons, and they're going to move on to the next thing for a couple of different reasons. One is everybody wants everything new. You know how it is. You buy a T shirt, a target. You love it. You go back six months later to buy the same thing. It's nowhere to be found because that's the way retail works. So you just have to know if you get a licensing deal, you might have an ongoing relationship with that manufacturer. But every product goes away eventually. It just does. Even though you hate that part, just know going in that that's how it works on the print on demand side. What's cool about it is you can keep those things up for a so long as that print on demand company is in existence, you can keep your products going. Obviously, you're going to want to refresh, and occasionally you're going to take away products. You're going to discontinue things because usually they didn't sell. So you want to keep your your offering fresh as well, but you could keep everything up there for the next 10 years. But on our licensing, things go away on print, on demand, and they can live forever. 5. Lesson Four-Can I do Both?: So here's question. You're probably asking by now. Hey, Ronny, can I do both? And even though I'm not the boss of you, here's my answer. Well, sure you can. And here's how you're going to do that if you so choose. Now, as we know, there's only so many hours in a day and you are going to have to make some decisions. If you think the print on demand is this way to go or the way to start launching yourself, go for it. Do you think our licensing is the way to start? Go for it. You can always always combine the two in a really beautiful way. It's all about strategy. Okay, that's my favorite word. So let's go through what a print on demand program can do for you. This is one of my favorites, and this is what I discovered with my coloring books. You can develop a proof of concept for your look and viewpoint. It can become your laboratory. You contest designs. You contest a book. You contest all kinds of things. By developing a proof of concept. With your work, you can develop a very enthusiastic audience. When I chose to do my coloring books as print on demand. For one thing, I wanted to hit a market that was coming really fast, and I ended up developing a very enthusiastic audience for my books and for my look. So you can really develop that conversation. I know someone else who started a P o. D program. She's a very active audience who is just craving for her. Next idea. A Pew D program can really teach you what sells it. If you are working your print on demand business, well, you get very clear feedback on what sells and what doesn't you go? Either I'm reaching the wrong market or this is just not working. Let me just say, just from the licensing side and on the print on demand size, something's air, just dogs. I mean, some things just don't sell, but you don't know they don't sell until you put them out for sale. And so you can start to really massage what your customers are looking for, what they respond to what they are leaving behind. We talked about before. They're going to be times you're going to discontinue something because you just didn't have the sales and here's a little tip for you. If something's not selling, make it go away, because what happens is it drags everything down. If you have sort of an okay idea, it's going to drag down your really fantastic ideas. So do research. Keep an eye on things. If you hear bad feedback, sometimes you just have to make things go away. If it's consistently bad feedback teaching you what sells that's part of the strategy is to pay attention to what people are saying, what they're buying and what they're not buying really key. OK, your P o D program could become a money maker. You know, you might want to do some combo platter of art, licensing and print on demand, but in the meantime, if you have a strategy, you could be making some money along the way. While you position yourself for art licensing thes two things can work hand in hand with each other, so that could be a money maker for you again. Strategy and a strong print on demand program can position yourself toe license ease with stats and feedback from your P O. D program. So here's an example. I hate to keep going back to my coloring books. But, hey, let's go back to my coloring books, Okay? I hit the market well with coloring books. When I started self publishing because I was self publishing, I reached out to a publisher and they were like, Yeah, let's work together. And I ended up doing about 12 books with the publisher based on the fact that I could give them concrete sales and information. And I had built this platform off my coloring books. I could tell them, Hey, I have 5000 people following me on Facebook on the coloring side on my color and cafe page . Okay, publishers pay attention to things like that. Say you designed coffee mugs with clever things on them, and you have some sales records and you go to a manufacturer and say you nicely. 10,000 cups with these designs on there and they say, Oh, really? Well, let's do some wall art and let's do some ceramic triffids and let's do some kitchen towels because you have gone in there with evidence to them that these are popular items, so you can really use this as your laboratory again. If you have the right strategy. If you're really paying attention to your customers, are you really? It's a beautiful thing that you can use your P O. D program to build a licensing program later. Isn't that cool on the flip side and art licensing program can really launch your look and viewpoint to a larger audience based on the reach of that licensee. So you know they have an audience that usually much bigger than your audience. So if you end up with a licensing program with the manufacturer, you immediately flood the market, their market with your look and so you can just go boom. Oh, who's that? Oh, that's a cool look. Let's buy that. So you can really establish yourself quickly with an art licensing deal if it's super popular and people just they're ready to buy that in art licensing, you can earn your income in a more concentrated way. You know that at the end of this quarter, you're gonna get a chunk of money as opposed to it, coming in smaller amounts over a longer period of time. You still don't know how much you're going to make, but when you make it, it's gonna be in a chunk as opposed to drips and drops. Okay, One of the positives of an art licensing program like we talked about is you can work with really cool industry leaders, and that's an opportunity for you to grow. Those relationships are gold to you, not just on a business level, but also on a personal level. You get to work with really cool people. You are able to parlay that in some ways to other products. Once you have a program with one manufacturer, it's a lot easier to go to someone else that does complementary products and say, Hey, I did a really cute line of giftware with this ceramic company Wouldn't kitchen textiles be cool with that? And it's easy to go to the kitchen textile company and say, Hey, these people did this giftware. They wanna have this complementary product and here's what's cool. If you if you are starting to click along with our licensing, you have some products out in the market. You can develop complementary print on demand products that work very nicely with the license products that are out there. For instance, somebody is doing a giftware line, and it's ceramic items. It's coffee mugs say you put out a journal that looks the same as though, so you can really piggyback on some of your licensing with complementary print on demand products. That is a very cool aspect of using print on the man to supplement your art licensing program. And you never know you might do ah, print on the Man journal like a really cute guided journal or something, and a publisher may pick that up. Maybe one of your current licensees will say, Hey, those journals are kind of cool. Why don't we do something like that? You might drop your print on demand program and put it into a licensing program, so it's not an either or situation. You just have to be smart about how you're positioning it and making sure that everybody plays nicely with each other. 6. Lesson Five-Maximize Your Success: So let's talk about maximizing your success. One of the biggest ways to maximize your success is using really good design. And when it comes to the p o. D side of things, design is a way more than placing your images on templates. Beware the cookie cutter and I'm going to go into some details about that artist. Have a tendency to take a design and go on to a P. O. D. Site and place it on every single template that they have. That is not strategy that is not designed in the next graphic. I'm going to show you what I'm talking about when I mean good design is essential to develop a good P o. D. Program. When I talk about Beware the cookie cover. Let's look at the images I did on the left. So these It's some typical template type things. I just did them very quickly On the upper left, you have a greeting card. A tote bag. Right below the tote bag is a tea towel and then a coffee mug, so the tendency would be to put your designs up there and go. OK, everybody, time to buy my stuff. Here's the design on all of these formats. Sure, that might work. It might work for some of the formats, but by placing them across everything that is not good design on the right. I've designed the products you have to think about product design. That is how people buy products by good design. So the greeting card becomes a real greeting card. It has a little greeting on it. It's designed well. It's still using the same components as on the left side, but we've made it into a riel card. I've used a new additional little stripe as part of the collection. To help enhance that, your products need to look like you could walk into a store and buy them. So the tote bag again little cuff on the top makes it look a little more designing a little more like something you would actually buy. The coffee mug and the tea towel are designed like you would see in a store. It has a little greeting on it. You wouldn't have to put words on there, but that's the way you start to develop a collection, and then it looks like a collection. That's how we design for art licensing. That is a similar mindset. You want to design a collection, not just slapped designs on top of templates that is not going to serve you well. So putting all your designs on all of the products on a P o. D site. That's not a strategy that's throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks. I would encourage you to go out into the stores and study or go on a website and study how a licensed artist collection is put together. At retail, you can start to see how you use different components and build a true collection and design for that peace, as opposed to just putting the same thing on a template. One of my giant pet piece. I'll just tell you right now between just us. It drives me crazy when I go on a P o. D site and there's a T shirt and all it is is a big square oven illustration on the T shirt . I'm thinking that's not a design that's a big square. It's like putting a painting on on a T shirt. That doesn't make any sense to me, so be very careful. If you're going to be successful with print on demand really consider the design aspect and the building of collections as part of how you're going to be successful with print on demand. It will also serve you on the art licensing side, especially if you're going to try to do it. Cross over that you can say to them, this collection did really well in print. On demand. Someone might want to take that and build it out even further into an art licensing program . Be very aware. The difference between the cookie cutter Beware the cookie cutter and really designing your collection. So now let's get a little deeper into your strategic planning when you are looking at a print on demand or art licensing or a combination of both. There are a couple things you want to look at. Examine which of these methods dovetails better with your design style. Some things are better on an art licensing program than they are in print on demand. Some are gonna work out great for both. Just keep that in mind. Does this make sense on print on demand, think about your customer base if you're gonna go the print on demand route. Can you provide them the kinds of products that they want? And are you able to reach them easily? This is a business, and you are a business person. So you really need to be thinking about that customer. Who is she or he? What did they want? What is their motivation? What air their problems. Can you deliver products to them that makes sense to them, as opposed to Hey, you want a bunch of stuff? Because I got a bunch of stuff. Okay, So if you need to think about that customer and you think about those products and you need to think about what their design aesthetic ISS, you also need to think about what are your business goals? What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to building your business? So when you're thinking about, I don't know should be our lives and saying I should be p O d. Or how is this gonna work in the long term for me? If you like the idea, you don't want to be beholden to anybody. You don't want anybody else's opinion go 100% into P o. D. Because that's all on you go for it. If you want to collaborate with people or build something that has a bigger brand opportunity, concentrate on on our licensing for a while. See if if that can bubble up for something for you that really brings you to, ah, higher presence in the marketplace again, thes things can work in tandem or at some point in your life, you're gonna be all in on the p o. D. A really cool licensing art licensing opportunity comes your way. You're gonna go for that. However, that's going to work for you or things aren't working particularly well for you in our licensing, you're not resonating with what the current retail climate is looking for. But you know these customers and you deliver for these customers that you know in print on demand there they might be a nici your crowd go for it. But keep in mind that you need to be thinking a little bit deeper and a little more long range than just Hey, I can put stuff on stuff. Stuff in stuff is not a strategy. I have a T shirt made called stuff on stuff, So now I've got some random tips for you. A little advice? A little arm around the shoulder. Here's some tips. So here we go. If you're going down the P. O. D. Route, do your research on the companies that you want to work with. Check their terms. Make sure you know what rights you are granting to them. They vary, so make sure you understand that you're grown up. Read the fine print. Really understand what you're doing, and you should really check their quality either by ordering one of their products or by reading reviews, particularly if you plan to go all in on one product category. Say, a coffee mug or leggings or something that you are going to feature as your signature product. Make sure you know the quality. You can do that by reading reviews. You can also do that by ordering a product, particularly if it's an apparel item. You might want to order a few of them to make sure that they are what they say they are that they're, you know, leggings. You know they shouldn't be see through or they should pulled up in the washing machine, so make sure that you really understand the quality and choose, according. And just like any business, you need to make a plan for product introduction. Once you get going on this, your customers are going to have certain expectations. One is that you are going to put out new product fairly often, or on some sort of timetable, like quarterly or seasonally. And you, of course, will be wanting to let them know when there's new products. So make sure that you look at your year head and think about how many products you want to bring out, how often and how you're going to communicate that to your customers. Make a plan. Just don't go high. Just threw some more stuff in my shop. That might work, too, but I like making a plan better. Okay, Another great thing about print on demand is that you can use your print on demand to make products for, say, your craft and art sales. They make excellent add on items that you couldn't necessarily do on your own. Say you are at an art fair and you sell primarily prints. Wouldn't it be cool to have a little journal or coffee mugs or something else? Cosmetic bag, something that aligns itself with your customer and is an extra little added item that they can add onto. Or they'll buy just that and come back and buy your $2000 painting later so it can really generate a lot of hand selling, as we call it that you can make some money off of. I actually have sold at author events. I have sold lots of coloring books because I have them on hand, so use it as your manufacturer to You might not even put him on the website except on your own store. But you're going to use them to make things for you. Particularly. Books are great for that books and journals, that is, one of the greatest parts about P. O. D. Is the fact that you can get actual products in your hands and here a couple of tips on the art licensing side again. Do your research and very big gun research, although I'm also big on not going so far into research that you never get anything else done but really understand the basics of how this business works. As I mentioned earlier, there are classes. They happen to be mine. Actually recommend on how this works. What are the details? What's the contract look like? What of those terms? You should have a basic understanding of how that worked, so that when an opportunity comes along, you are ready for it when you are starting to position yourself for our licensing research manufacturers that align with your style, your point of view in your goals. You know, there are certain manufacturers that you just say, Oh my gosh, this is such a cool company and I've always wanted work with them, Do your research. How do you get in touch with them? What are they looking for? What kind of anaesthetic have they had up to this point? There's lots to look at with manufacturers, or you might see somebody that you're like. You know, I really like those people or I don't like the style that they have. Then don't go there or they're like super super traditional, And you're not like Don't push that rock uphill. That doesn't make any sense. But be aware of those manufacturers. Educate yourself on what's going on out there in that world. You need to make a plan. You need to schedule how you're going to develop new portfolio pieces, how you're going to identify who you want to work with and how you contact them. Decide if you wanna exhibit it shows etcetera, etcetera. You might want to look at your year and say, Okay, I want to have X amount of collections done by January. I need to schedule in every week, reaching out to people. But making a plan really, really helps. And if you're trying to do both of these things, you're going to have to get very clear on your time management blocking Time to make sure that both of these things move forward in a beautiful, symbiotic way and hear some final thoughts on health. You're not saying, well, finally, Ronnie. But here on my final thought, I think it is so awesome that we have these kinds of options, that the idea that you can write a book it could be published in a week. You can have a coffee mug with your mother's face on it in a week. I mean, it's all of these options that are so cool now. Sometimes options can be overwhelming, but isn't it cool that we get to control the kinds of work that we do it to me. It's just the coolest thing. And so you get to control how much energy you put toward either or both directions. That's all on you. You get to decide that. However, ultimately the market will decide whether or not they will buy. You can present it to them. You can do your best design work, you can do your research, and sometimes people just aren't going to buy. And you know, I've had that lesson several times over my licensing career that all of these smart people put together these product lines. We all get it in front of people. The sales people are working hard, the manufacturer beautiful product, and sometimes they don't want it. Once it gets out at retail, it's very disheartening, but it happens, but just know that could be the result of all of your best efforts. Is people go? Yeah, thanks, cute, but not me. So you have to be aware that that is part of this. This is how it works. There's always risk and reward to these kinds of businesses, but you can always tweak your artwork. You can make shifts in your marketing, you can reach out to other partners that can change your path. There's always ways that you can tweak things, particularly if you treat it with attention and strategy and nurturing your baby along the way. So I hope that this class has really helped you understand the differences and the relationship between traditional art, licensing and print on demand, and how those two things can really build a really nice income for you and position yourself as the artists that you want to be. From here, there's other classes to take. There's a resource guide in the resource is of this class. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out in the questions below. You can also go to my website at Ronnie walter dot com. And as I mentioned earlier, I am a coach. I would be happy to work with you. I could be reached the website for the coaching as well. So my goodness, isn't this cool that we have these kinds of options? I just want you to know I wish you all the best on this pathway because it's really exciting. It's all open to us with the right strategy and the attention and the nurturing of your career and, you know, along the way be a little bit kind to yourself. Thank you so much. And I can't wait to hear your results.