Thrive As An Artist: How To Confidently License Your Work | Aga Kobylinska | Skillshare

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Thrive As An Artist: How To Confidently License Your Work

teacher avatar Aga Kobylinska, Surface pattern designer

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

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.

      About the class (demo)


    • 2.

      Why licencing is so cool?


    • 3.

      Class Schedule & Class Project


    • 4.

      Presenting and curating your work


    • 5.

      Understanding licence categories + some pricing ideas


    • 6.

      Offer out of the box -> into the baskets


    • 7.

      Payment options explained


    • 8.

      Closing the deal


    • 9.

      Staying organized


    • 10.

      Wrapping up


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About This Class

You probably heard licencing is a great opportunity for artists to make a living out of their work. However it may seem complicated at first glance. The terms such as areas of exploitation, geographical coverage, exclusivities sound like a legal jargon provoking confusions that you want to avoid.

But it doesn’t have to be like this!

Actually, licencing is a super useful tool - once you master it, you can communicate your offer & rates with ease, better serve your client & thrive!

The goal of this class is to help you to understand the licencing world and empower you to understand the value you bring to your client with your artwork.

I will guide you through the whole licencing process, discussing the elements to consider from start to finish so you have time, space and a roadmap to get ready and confident with your offer and process once a new client appears. With the help of worksheets & inspiration from the online businesses you will brainstorm and prepare your pricing fork and "licencing baskets" customised to your clients needs.

No matter if you have already licenced your work or are a beginning designer, if you don’t feel confident with licencing for any reason, this class is for you. Having strong base is crucial when working with clients, both big fishes and beginning startups. The only thing you need to start  is a bunch of ready artworks that you would like to sell for commercial use & some time to calmy think about particular elements. Let’s do this together!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Aga Kobylinska

Surface pattern designer


Hi! My name is Aga (this is abbreviation from my full name which is Agnieszka, but I suppose it would be hard to pronounce for most of you!). I am a surface pattern designer based in Warsaw, Poland.

My adventure with the pattern design has started a few years ago with Make It in Design courses. I loved designing patterns so much, that I have left my job in advertising to fully concentrate on this new career. Since then, I've been constantly learning new skills, painting and designing patterns for fabrics and other goods. I've beed working with fabric manufacturers and brands owners to bring new, beautiful designs into the world. Nothing feels better than seeing your work serving others everyday! 

I'm truly obsessed with learning. It may sound crazy but I graduate... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. About the class (demo): Hi guys. This is Aga Kobylinska,a surface pattern designer from Poland. I would like to invite you to my new class focused on licencing. I've been licencing my works since the beginning of my design career but I also had quite a lot to do with it in my previous job in advertising where I was buying licences, for illustrations photographs and even music pieces - from stocks and directly from the artists. So for me licensing has no mysteries. I think it's the best tool for artists to live from their work. It helps to set right prices, to understand and show the value you bring to your clients. However it may seem complicated at first glance. There are many factors to consider, the legal jargon can be discouraging and the whole process may seem confusing. But it's not as bad as you think and my class will help you to enter the licensing world and happily close the deal. I decomposed the licencing process into the prime factors to help you benefit from it the most. Step by step, I will show you the elements to consider when starting or developing your licensing journey You will learn the most important & practical aspects of the licensing agreement and things to consider when setting prices. You'll get some tips on how to present your work to the client, setting offer and staying organized. Are you ready to start your licensing adventure? See you in class! 2. Why licencing is so cool?: Hi. Welcome to my class. I created this curse to make you feel more confident with your value offer and pricing at the beginning of my knees and carrier. And when my music started to the noticed and appreciated by the clients, The biggest question and the biggest concern waas to how to sell my art words and how much to charge. You know this speeding when clients is approaching. Que asking for pricing, asking for you offer You are really happy for the 1st 15 minutes, but then for the next few hours you're just stressing out what the charge. And once you send your offer for your super stress, If it was good, if it was wrong if they were not rejected because of price. So yeah, I've been there and I created this class to make everything's easier ship for you. However, it is bad news and good news. The bad news is that there is no response. The money matters. Each Artis is different. Each client is different. Pricing strategy is an element of positioning, and with the Internet and international contracts, it's hard to find a reference point. So you need Teoh invent the pricing system for your own. But there's also good news that you can take advantage of licensing, and it makes a lot of things so much easier. You probably be heard that license things is a very good thing for artists. But why so So, First of all, you keep rights to your work. When licensing your artwork, you only landed their client for a specific use and time. All the rights remain yours. So after the licensing period expires, you can do if your work whatever you want. Then you can get money from one I artwork several times. I mean, depending on the licensing agreement, you might sell the license to another client after the actual period is over, or even drink its validity. Creative freedom you are. You can serve clients with different budgets and still be profitable. Sometimes your clients is a small start up and only needs your work for a specific product . Soft locally in low volume, they don't have budget to pay you a lot, but you love the idea, and you want your artwork to be with them. You can charge them adequately to their needs and capabilities, but still have rights to sell. These designed the other clients so that the work put into creating it pays off from the buyer's perspective at the different licensing options enable them to see the value of what they get. They know that they don't over pay for a product that they don't need, but they understand The higher price if there needs concerning the artwork are high, for example, is quite obvious that the price for exclusive licence will be different from the one for non explosive slices. And it's understandable for a client why. The difference is there. Yeah, and licensing give you also a lot of flexibility as part US settlement rules are concerned because depending on the client industry and their needs, you can agree on different times of settlement on. It's also quite good for a different working styles, because no matter if you want to sell your existent quirk or your designed on request, at least a part off your agreement and fee can be granted on the license spaces and what can be licensed. Actually, any kind of original creation can be needed for commercial purposes. Illustration. Pattern design, character designed photograph, music piece, movie shot or even a product idea. The licensing is industry is very democratic, but you need to be professional east and make the art that sells your client's product or service. In practice, it means that you need to find any share where your work. It's best. When you start paying attention, you will realize that artisan everything on physical and electronic products, on household appliances and TV shows in trouble agency catalogs, cookbooks, covers and mitral. Waigel's I will focus on surface pattern design as the reference that it's my area affects protest, but there are no limits here dust. 3. Class Schedule & Class Project: before we start here is the quick introduction, how this class is organized. I wanted to show you all the elements of licensing process so you know what to consider when starting your own adventure of this. So we will discuss how to present your work to the client, and what are the options to consider? Then we will discuss the most important licensing categories and other factors influencing the licensed rice. Then we will think about how to present elation, sensing cultures in a friendly way and how to pack them into sort of plants, just like the Giants software players. Due to help with that, prepared the worksheet that you can use for your brainstorming. It's ready to downtown in a class project section. Then I will debut a few words about payment options so we could happily close the deal. I will give you some tips concerning contract invoicing and sending files. Finally, I will give you some personal advice about how to stay organized when working with license fines. As a guest project, I want you to choose one of your decided that we would like to lie, says and publish it in the class project section. If you want, you can share with us where you would see your design in particular. On. Also, I would like to encourage you all to commend under the other students project with the suggestions off where you would see their decides. We live in different corners of the world, have various views, various perspectives and experiences, and let's take advantage of this treasury and inspire one another. Indeed, the licensing possibilities that unless but it's sometimes difficult to see them as so brainstormed. The idea struck down the possibilities that other didn't suggest. You absurdity products in the shopping mall or around in your town spoke, deporting thes things outside the box. You can keep a folder of a document with all the product categories ideas, so you can use it like their own. Why don't you peach the companies in those markets in the nearest future through this exercise is a starting point and the source of inspiration for future. Yes, so please probably share the same now and be ready for the next lesson. 4. Presenting and curating your work: before we dive into the technical staff, Let's stop for a moment at the visual matters. Imagine there is in our director approaching QUE because they have heard about you somewhere, have seen your portfolio online making during that right show. They would like to see more of your work as they have a specific product or needs in mind. Many service designers, me included, has a password protected area off their side, available only to potential clients. It's quite comfortable if you have quite a lot of work ready to use. Some clients like to spend more time there and true state favorite design or a few to enrich their product of her. I recommend this solution as it gives a big choice, their client, and say, See plenty of time They're in the situations Where is good to think about some kind of correcting her artwork and showing a choice of designs? This is the case when, for example, there is a client coming with a specific need or idea in mind. They don't have time to scroll. You're teasing base on, but you can help them by trying to respond to their search. On the other hand, if you don't yet have a lot to offer in terms of quantity for any reason, you don't really want to focus your client attention on that. Instead of sending a link to applies with five artworks to lie cells in 10 color ways so it looks more Amendment just sent your beautiful design portfolio and show the potential off working review, letting you know that they only that touch designs are actually available for licensing. When pitching to a specific industry, try to choose the designs the best feet left, clients, product and overall aesthetic. For the best impression you can prepare some visualizations or more cups or your designs on their products when you have the occasion to me through your client directly during a meeting. Corot Rate show. Think about a way to show your but there shall but not to kill them with an enormous Sharps , there will be time for it like their own. Still, we prepared for a situation client wants to see and discuss with you all your available designs here and now and in the best scenario by them immediately in this guy's having an access to your base is super useful these are only some advice is facing with my experience , but you don't need to stick to them. Just remember to always think about your client's needs in everyday challenges, right? Understand them and creatively respond to them. Your client oriented approach. Maybe an ice, obviously in a competitive industry. 5. Understanding licence categories + some pricing ideas: good think about licensing is that you can adjust your offer and pricing a specific use of your design. So here are the main questions you should ask and that will then appear in your licensing contract. Under that, you go terms first, how they are going to use your artwork, how it would be reproduced. Is it going to be printed or used for additional projects? How the ab of materials will be exploited and distributed? Are there going to be sold given away or this to put it in another form? If your artwork abuse for marketing proposes, where will it be published in Internet press on TV? These matters will be listed in your contract under determine areas of exploitation. Then we should ask for a need. Italy Licence period. For how long does the D client wants to license the artwork? One month, one year, two years, five years in perpetuity. The next question is, where do they want to sell or market the item? If your artwork, locally or globally, this is called geographical coverage. Other important question. To discuss concerns. The terms of exclusivity that's your client needs to be the only one to use a design for a specific time or it's not so important. Exclusivity can be defined as a different extent. It may concern a specific area of exploitation, a specific time or specific geographical area. This four elements will always appear in a licensing conference. So this is for Terry now. I would like you to start thinking about it in practice on imagining the possible responses toe. That's just one type of industry, our product that you would mostly like to focus on and imagine your dream client responding to this questions. What they need could be what will influence your licensing terms in price. Repeat. Asking those questions for she different industries. Clients you can imagine different circumstances are actually do are really research and asking potential clients. As you can see, the response may very, but the general rule is super simple. The wider are the license terms, the more you can charge. It's a simple as that other things to consider when you think about pricing are what kind of company is it's Is it a small startup or a huge corporation or something in between? Think about how much they will exploit your designs, how they will profit from it. Think about the scale and impact. Then consider your artwork, for example, was, It's the size of the art or keeper, right? How complex in creative is, is. Maybe you have different things in your offer when they're two different shape. Their purse finally, was strength off your brunt. It's quite obvious truth. If your clients know that your designs I loved stuffed after and in consequence, they will have to sell their products will be ready to pay you more. You're growing with time and experience. But you might ask, How do I set this different prices? Actually, my responses start of the fourth. Try to think about the widest in the smallest scope of license that could be needed by your clients and acceptable for you. Start from the biggest lines and scope what it could be. Let's say it's a license fourth and years for, ah white range of products for sale by a company operating around the globe. How would you charge them at your level of development? Probably the scope of this license could be similar us if you were selling your design outright so as the reference point you can search the industry standards. Ah, and place yourself somewhere around this quota and then think about this most license. You would accept what it could be, for example, your client's needs and nonexclusive license for a design for a package of Candies that will be distributed for free during the promotional events at Plant for this year. How much you could church for that, Keeping in mind that the design was won't be accessible anymore for the clients needing exclusivity as a reference point here, you may use, for example, price off the open license in the stock images. Remember, I'm not encouraging you to take the exact prices you find on the Web. Just read them us, an inspiration that can but don't have to be treated as a starting point for further considerations. Once you have your minimum and maximum defined, you can start to think how toe feel in what's in between 6. Offer out of the box -> into the baskets: If you have seen my other classes, you know that I love too human, smart and attractive solutions to common challengers. This time, I would like to invite you to think about your package pricing system. What I mean by system. It's actually a pricing plan, just like the one you can see on the sides of companies offering all my services, ups and courts. As a consumer, you can see a few baskets to choose from, depending Com units. Here you see some examples of the plants that you probably know and probably you take advantage of. Some of them have you ever fink to consider decides as a source of business inspiration. Why not to think about preparing such licensing packages for your clients? You have braced on different aspects of licensing your clients read and the complexity of your artwork. You have fought through your pricing fork, so now think about parking options until clear baskets. You can start with three or four, and at more for various industries or and our torque types. You can use your worksheet to help you with that when there's a client asking you for the price. Asked them first what they need, then you have two options to give them. The tailored offer, if they are super specific, are give them a visible choice. In the first option, your client will feel better understood in the second option. They can choose what is best for them, and they're slower disk that they resigned because of unmatched price. Choice is yours. You can experiment with prices only longer and ran. Your baskets will be better and better with fine. You can have different packages for different industries and or product types might be sure not to give too much choice at once. And be sure that the client knows exactly what he gets with it. Option so describe and explain of the baskets and on all your plants and offers. One less thing is to consider how you would like to communicate your prices. Recently, I've heard voices that the price should never appear in Your American respondents, but should be attached. Inform off, especially designed offer. It's an additional work to do, and not one that really for sure. But I think it's worth considering because it looks more elegant and it's easier for clients to say 7. Payment options explained: the pressing far can be used when the client asks you for the fix price. But there are different payment options, depending on your client's business model scope in the industry royalty. This is where the manufacturer pace you and royalty percentage of the gross says. In my experience, most companies that buy licenses basing control royalties come with a percent already set. Then you have royalty with advance upfront. Sometimes there will be an advance payable upfront, which is like very deducted from future royalties. If you negotiate the school there, your pricing for can come to help. Try to negotiate an advance. Also, with smaller clients proposing to your royalty settlement. This will show you how they about where they're setting potential. And if this collaboration will be perfect, little boom for you. Finally, flat feet, a one time fee. Despite instead of royalties, you are paid in advance for the whole licensing period. I have clients with whom I'm appointed of person, which, but in most cases, smaller clients I work on, Flat writes, mixing different sorts off Licensing income is good for your financial stability, 8. Closing the deal: Once you sit with your clients or licensing conditions, be sure to write down. Inform off contract so that both parties know their rights and duties. I recommend having your own contract template prepared with the help of a liar specializing incorporates here. She will help you to translate your rules into like legal language and to avoid traps and mistakes. Also, when you get a contract from your client, read it carefully and in case off any doubts, consulted for liar. You always air free to negotiate the points that you know, like make sure the contract contains all the licensing conditions arrested Exploitation Territory, period of time media's but also the definition off the beginning off the licensing period. Also remember to include the Purdue off the license artwork in the attachment and to specify all the payment details. For example, you can reserve the right to send pic file on Lee when the invoice is regulated. I always sent invoice together with the contract and Onley. Then I sent the files. To keep things clear, I put licensing details in brief on the in oyster. Be sure to ask your client what type of fire they need and at the very beginning on deliver exactly that high raised a bag. Open GPS regular brand thief, the building from the file type and size you consider it to be a female with transfer FTP forwards eating person on the Penn Rife asking client which form they prefer or propose your own solution. If your client isn't sure be a house, you can also specify it in your agreements. 9. Staying organized: one more thing to consider before diving into the licensing court is how you organize your artworks. Think about a system that will help you to find a service file on your drive upon the purview file and how to keep track of your licensing terms. Clearly, naming fries and keeping excel and printing contracts can definitely help learn from my mistakes. At the beginning of my career, I haven't fought about any naming system or five organizing system, and believe me, it's now dealing with the older fathers is just a nightmare. I have my source fires in my on my left, up on my hard drive, on the extent least somewhere in the cloud. And you know, when I need toe, send a license from the older design again. I just can't find it. And they would love that. Someone have told me before. Believe in yourself and prepare for the future. Sexist. My idea concerning organizing files east toe have a specific place on your drive where you keep all the Finnish designs. Then, for each design, create a separate folder named according to the key that will enable you to easily find it . They can be grouped into collections or not, It depends how you work inside this file. Keep the following the final open bedroom off the design, for example, ghostwriter or PSD file, so you can always edit it. If needs that the preview image in the lower resolution and optionally the high risk file or even the production file have remember to take advantage of the possibilities resulting from licensing. Keep track of your licensing contracts. Remind clients to extend the license when it comes to the end, and resell your designs to different markets if your actual license and enables you to do so. 10. Wrapping up: as our classes coming to the end. Let's summarize the process and elements you need to consider for your licensing journey. So ways of presenting and creating artwork, understanding different industries, needs and adjusting prices scope to them, pricing adequately toe the license scope, preparing contract template and time and throws. Finding best ways off, sending files and inventing assistant for organizing class and keeping track of them that will help you toe happily. Repeat the whole process for the next clients. So that's all, folks. The focus to publish your artwork in a class Partick section and please comment under other students projects. Look for the inspiration everywhere and take advantage of the opportunities across the thing. PARIS For your future license. Feel good like