Ask Agent Kimberly Montgomery about art licensing free call replay

Art Licensing

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Where to go for help with art licensing contracts

Contracts – the back bone of an art licensing business.  If you understand the implications of how the contracts are written and are able to negotiate a win-win deal, you can do well.  If you don’t and just sign whatever is put in front of you, you could create a bad situation for yourself.

So where do you go to learn the basics and where do you go for help with specific situations?  Here are some resources to get your started:

eBook:  How to Understand Art Licensing Contracts by Maria Brophy and Tara Reed

This eBook is a great guide to understanding how the contracts work, what each section means and why you may or may not care.  It’s like a mini-course in contracts – specific to art licensing.  In my opinion it’s an invaluable resource for any artist serious about art licensing.

Here is what others say about it…

“I’ve signed hundreds of licensing agreements over the last 10 years and was astonished at some very important clauses that aren’t included in my contract or didn’t take notice of in theirs that were covered in How to Understand Art Licensing Contracts.”

 Barb Tourtillotte, Artist, Designer, Licensor, Barb Tourtillotte Illustration

“I purchased your eBook ‘How to Understand Art Licensing Contracts’ and I wanted to say how incredibly helpful it’s been!!! I am a new-to-the-scene surface designer and I was putting off learning about the ins-and-outs of licensing and then the moment I’ve been waiting for happened, and I was offered my first art licensing contract!

I had attended one of Tara’s seminars on licensing at Surtex this past May and knew she knew her stuff so I bough the e-book, grabbed a cup of coffee and settled in to face my contract fears.

And thankfully the book was so well done and thorough that within a few hours I had all the information I needed and felt fully confident about the process. I took your advice, sent my revisions through to the licensee and they worked in my additions without protest!

I don’t know that I would have had the confidence to negotiate if I hadn’t read the book. The book was a life-saver! Thank you so much — it was worth every penny. 

Elizabeth Olwen, Surface Designer,

“Tara and Maria’s e-book, How To Understand Art Licensing Contracts, is a must read for any artist involved in Art Licensing, whether they are just beginning or have been in the game for awhile. Written from the point of view of two seasoned art licensing veterans who learned the ropes by doing the work themselves. It’ s clear concise style, incredible organization, and well thought out format, make it impossible not to find needed factual information. If you’re working with art licensing contracts and don’t have this on your desktop, you’re just making things harder for yourself than they need to be.” 

Marty Qatani, Artist

Learn more about the eBook and get your copy today at

Contract Templates: Short License Agreement for Artists Template Pack by Maria Brophy

Maria has put together a template that you can edit and adapt for your own licensing agreements.  It explains when it would be enough and when you would need a more comprehensive contract.  This is a great companion to the eBook!

Learn more about the Templates and get yours today at

Contract Reviews and Support

While I do negotiate my own contracts and co-authored the eBook, I don’t do contract reviews.  I can do the work but don’t love the work… Maria Brophy?  She lives and breathes this stuff!  She LOVES it!  And she has a lot more experience from helping artists with a wide variety of contracts.  Maria isn’t an attorney but I have hired her myself and was really happy with the help and advice she gave me.  (Because she isn’t an attorney her fees are a bit less as well)

Learn more about Maria Brophy’s contract consulting services at

But maybe you have a situation where you want or need an actual attorney. There is a tab on this blog that has a list of attorneys who work in the art licensing industry and have requested to be included on the list. This doesn’t mean I have worked with and endorse them or that the list should be used as an “approved attorney” list as it is by no means complete.  It means these attorneys have experience in our industry and they have provided information so you have a good place to start your search.

It is really important that whoever you use have experience IN ART LICENSING.  You will be wasting your time and money hiring the guy down the street who is a divorce or real estate attorney – he won’t have the insights, expertise and knowledge you need.  Find an attorney you like, that has good references (ask for and check them!) and that has experience in our industry.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Relationships trump talent

After meeting with manufacturers in person at a few trade shows over the past few months this simple truth has become CRYSTAL CLEAR to me…

Relationships trump Talent.

Time after time my clients talk about an artist they started to work with and how their art was good but working with them was a nightmare.  One at least one occasion, they said they were going to drop the art and look for someone easier to work with – and “do you have anything that might fit the bill?”

Yes.  You need great art that is on target for what manufacturers need for their products.

But you know what?  There is never only one choice that will work.  That is where the relationships and communication come in.

If you don’t learn to communicate well, have realistic expectations and work with your clients instead of pulling a diva attitude, you probably won’t get much repeat business.

I truly feel bad for these artists.  Their art IS a great fit for licensing… but it seems their personalities aren’t.

I’ve always been intrigued by people – I love to know their stories and try to understand what makes them tick.  What makes one person react one way to a situation and another react the opposite?  In fact I’ve often thought I would have enjoyed a career in psychology, therapy or as a life coach…  This desire to understand the other person’s point of view and connect with them serves me well in business.  It serves me well in personal relationships as well.  (Well – there is an exception – people who don’t want to be understood aren’t usually huge fans of mine because I often see things they are trying to hide.)

Art Licensing Agent relationshipSo the question on my mind today is this:  how can artists manage all the things they need to be successful in art licensing?  You need the art, you need to make connections and then you need to foster those connections into relationships that work.

The relationship building is the part no one is talking about… I’m trying to figure out how to change that.

I don’t have the answers today – just the food for thought.  Stay tuned for more as I roll it around in my mind…

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Sometimes you are Luke, and sometimes you are Yoda…

Warning:  Star Wars analogy to follow.  :)

In life, most people are Yoda to some and a Jedi to others.  You teach and you learn… but are you truly aware of the role you are playing in different relationships?

I have been trying to be more aware and conscious of who helps me and how I help others lately.  I can get lost in all the things I still want to do that I forget to stop and acknowledge what has been done.

In art licensing, Paul Brent is one of my Yoda’s and I’m his willing Jedi… but to new artists wanting to figure it out I may be the Yoda in the equation…

Today I invite you to acknowledge yourself for the help and inspiration you give others and to reach out and thank those that help you.

I also invite you to take Yoda’s most quoted advice:

Do. or Do Not. There is no Try.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S. If you are looking to learn how to DO the business of art licensing, I’ve got tons of resources for you!

  • Head to and take a look around.
  • Wander through the many resources on this blog – you have looked at the tab options too and not just the posts, right?
  • Go to and see what is coming up, grab some of the free replays and more.

Got the end of the summer blues? Spend August upping your game with the Art Licensing Info Staycation!

Art Licensing Info Staycation

Are you stuck at home for the rest of the summer? Worried you are also stuck in a creative rut? Never fear – the art licensing “Staycation” is here!

Use the last weeks of summer to jumpstart your understanding of art licensing and start taking ACTION!

This FREE, four week audio program by Tara Reed is available for a limited time so sign up today. The series is delivered each Monday morning of August – something GOOD to look forward to on a Monday!

During the four weeks you will learn:

  1. The basics of art licensing
  2. How to “package” your art to appeal to licensees (the manufacturers and retailers who license art)
  3. How your beliefs and mindsets can support or sabotage your success
  4. Tips to let the right people know that you have art for licensing

You will be brimming with new ideas, insights and most importantly – ACTIONS – that will help you step it up a notch!

Week 1: What does art licensing really mean anyway?
Week 2: How do I make my art as irresistible as flowers to a bee?
Week 3: What’s my mind got to do with all of this?
Week 4: How to get your art in front of the right people – likes on Facebook does not a business make -
you need deals and money!

You saw that it’s FREE right? But only for August so if you snooze, you lose!  Sign up below to get your first installment on Monday, August 4th!

What’s your heart (no ART) rate?

As many of you may know, I’ve been on a “get back in shape” kick this year.  As I toil away at the gym, I’ve been thinking of the connection between elevating your heart rate and getting healthy… it’s a lot like elevating your art rate – or how much art you produce – and your chances of success in art licensing.

No matter how long you’ve been licensing your art, if you don’t keep creating new art, your business will decline.  The more art you create and get in front of the right people, the more deals you have a chance of landing.  The more deals you land, the more money you stand to make.

SO… while you can’t control the economy, the retail environment or even how the weather affects business, YOU CAN CONTROL how much art you create.

Need more business?  Increase your art rate. (But don’t do it to the detriment of the art – quality is as important as quantity.)

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Another great Ask Call and a BONUS CALL coming this Friday!

ALI-AskCalls-KimberlyMontgomery-Free-July2014I have to say that after almost 6 years, none of the guests I have had on the Art Licensing Info Ask Calls has ever disappointed me!  Agent Kimberly Montgomery of Montage Licensing was no exception – she gave thoughtful, practical and real-world advice to artists wanting to better understand the artist – agent relationship and how to go about finding an agent.

One thing that WAS different is it was the call with the most technical difficulties!  Thank you to the 90+ artists who hung in there with us… I’ve edited most of the dead air out of the replay. :)

Here is what we covered on the call:

  • What are the benefits to having an agent?
  • What do you look for when reviewing a portfolio – do you look for a certain sized portfolio?
  • Do you care how artists represent themselves on social media when deciding to represent an artist?
  • When you review new artist portfolios, do you want to see mockups or just art?
  • Why do agencies want artists to be exclusive?
  • Are there good or bad times to contact an agent for possible representation?
  • What is the typical compensation an agent takes when working with an artist and how/when does the artist get paid?
  • I am a new artist to licensing and am seeking an agent. Are there things you think I should definitely DO or NOT do?
  • What’s the best way to find an agent if you can’t make it to a conference or other venue?
  • What genre, style or theme do you feel you can’t find enough of?
  • Do you prefer your artists to fit into one category or could an artist span two different categories like children’s and gift/novelty?

Since this was Kimberly’s first call, the audio replay is available for free!  If you had registered for this or any other call and not opted-out of the Ask Call email list, you will have the link to download it in your inbox.  If you can’t find it or haven’t registered before, just give us your name and email and we will send it to you!

Tiffany Peterson shares success and sales tips with Tara ReedBONUS CALL!  This Friday – July 18, 2014 – with Tiffany Peterson

I’ve decided to share my “secret weapon” with you – my success and sales coach from the past year, Tiffany Peterson.

This is a special call – we won’t be answering questions submitted about art licensing but Tara will be sharing her own business coach with you!  Tiffany Peterson is an amazing speaker, coach, motivator and all around nice person.  Tune in to learn more about beliefs, blocks, sales and marketing.  The replay will be free if you can’t make it!

Michelle McCullough talks time management and social media with Tara ReedNext Ask CALL: Friday, September 17, 2014

Our next Ask Call expert will be an amazing woman I met as a result of working with Tiffany Peterson.  I’ve hired Michelle McCullough to give me a marketing review on my website (always good to have an extra set of eyes and outside feedback!) and learned a lot from a variety of her marketing, time management and social media programs.  She has agreed to get on the line with us and answer your questions about time management and social media in September.

So when you know what you want to know, submit your question for the call at

The Art Licensing Info Ask Call with Agent Kimberly Montgomery is tomorrow …

agent Kimberly Montgomery answers questions about art licensingAre you coming?

Tomorrow night Agent Kimberly Montgomery of Montage Licensing will be joining me on the Ask Call.  We already have the questions

The call will be an hour long and is free if you dial in and listen live.  If you can’t make it live, the replay will be free since this is Kimberly’s first call with us.

If you have registered for an Ask Call before (and you haven’t unsubscribed from the list) – you will get an email today with a reminder about the phone number and access code.  (If you use gmail – it will end up in your PROMOTIONS tab)

If you haven’t registered for a call before, head to to sign up and get the call in details.

We look forward to talking with you tomorrow – hope you can join us!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

About Agent Kimberly Montgomery:

As a longtime licensed artist herself, Montage Licensing owner Kimberly Montgomery has the experience to recognize top-notch art that’s ready for the commercial market, and the business savvy to negotiate profitable agreements between manufacturers and the artists with whom she works.

We are excited to have Kimberly join our list of experts on the Art Licensing Info Ask Call Series. Her dual background as an artist in the industry and now an agent will give listeners the opportunity to learn from someone who has seen and done it all – for over 25 years!

Learn more about Montage Licensing at and

Read her blog, A Day in the Life of an Art Licensing Agent at

Chatting with the Savvy Painter about art licensing

Recently I spent about 45 minutes talking about art licensing with Antrese Wood of the Savvy Painter.  It was one of those “are you open to explaining how art licensing works” kind of calls where I didn’t know what the specific questions would be ahead of time.  Some people hate that but I find it rather fun… I mean I knew what the basics would be but then we get to move into sometimes uncharted territory through organic conversation.

Listen where we went with this discussion about art licensing over on her site >

A little about Artese Wood, the Savvy Painter:

I’m an artist, just like most of you. About seven years ago, I took a giant leap and quit my job art directing video games for Disney. Not long after, I took another giant leap and moved to Argentina. Crazy, right?

In the first episode of the Savvy Painter podcast, I tell you a little bit about who I am and what you can expect from the show to grow your art career.

By listening to the Savvy Painter podcast, you will:

  • Learn from artists who have been there before.
  • Expose yourself to new ideas that inspire you to push your studio work farther and build your business.
  • Learn to analyze other peoples marketing solutions and adapt them to suit you.

Moving to Argentina made selling my artwork more challenging- at first- until  I came up with a project that took full advantage of my location. I pulled it off and sold close to 200 paintings. In future episodes, we will dig deep into that process, and talk to other artists who have done something similar.

I recommend you go check out all the other interviews she has created – lots of different people talking about ways to earn an income with art!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Great acts…

Quote - Great Acts

Daily actions get you where you want to go.  You can’t lose 100 lbs over night and you can’t go from a dream to a nice art licensing income in a week.  But taking action every day towards what you want will get you where you need to go much faster than the occasional burst of massive action followed by lots of days just sitting around and thinking about how amazing it could be…

What have you done this week towards licensing your art?  Can you think of at least one action you have taken every day?

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Nude portraits and art licensing…

flasherMade you look!  Do I need to say it?

Art images of nudes is not a fit for art licensing.

Sure – someone will find a coffee mug in a museum gift shop with a famous artist’s nude painting on it and tell me I’m crazy, but that is the exception and not the rule.  In general, you won’t have much luck trying to license fine art nudes into mainstream art licensing for products.

So what kind of art DOES work well in art licensing?

art styles that work well for art licensingArt that works well for licensing is art that is pretty mainstream that a wide variety of people would want to have on products. The art’s purpose is to sell product. Extremely abstract art and portrait style art doesn’t usually work well in licensing. Art that is more mainstream will – for example, people always want Santas or Snowmen for Christmas products and look for new options every year.

There are, of course, exceptions to these rules and different things that work better in different product categories.  Here are a few generalized examples:


Fine art works well in the art publishing market – or the market where things are printed on paper, canvas, giclees, etc with the intention of putting the image on the wall.  I have also seen beautiful coasters, trivets and cutting boards with fine art images.


Art that is a design and set up in repeat can work for fabric, home textiles (curtains, rugs, pillows, furniture), kitchen textiles (aprons, towels, potholders), bedding, gift wrap and gift bags, stationery products (journals, note cards) etc.


Seasonal and holiday art lends itself to seasonal products.  Garden flags, dishes, paper partyware, napkins.  Perhaps ornaments for Christmas, serving pieces, etc.


Everyday themed art can be licensed for use on a wide variety of gift products, tabletop items, wall art, stationery and more.

As I said, these are some general thoughts to get you thinking.  The best way to get a feel for what art works best on which types of products – so you can decide who to show your work to – is to go shopping.  Look in all kinds of stores from high end to mass market.  Look at all kinds of products.  Look at images and types / style of images on the products.  As you do this – ask yourself if your art and style could be a fit…

Not all art will be a fit for art licensing.  Not all artists will love the day-to-day job of creating art for licensing.  Learn more about the basics on my newly updated website on the FAQ page.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed


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