Maria Brophy

HELPING ARTISTS MASTER THE BUSINESS OF ART, ONE STRATEGY AT A TIME


  • and make good money doing it!

    READY TO INCREASE YOUR INCOME? Get my FREE
    ‘Strategies for a Successful Art Business!’
art licensing / Deal Making / Pricing

What to Charge for Art Licensing – Royalties Advances and Flat Fees

If you like this article, please share it!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Slay those Dragons, Fear No More!

(Artwork provided by the wonderful, fun and talented Sara Jane Franklin.  Check out her blog here!)

When you need to have your sink unclogged, there’s little difference in price from plumber to plumber.  I think that at one time in the past, the wise plumbers got together and said “let’s all charge the same high price so we all get paid well!

If only artists could do the same, then pricing would be so much easier!

In the art business, while one creative can garner $10,000 for a painting, another can only get $500 for the same size and medium.

Many artists have a hard time financially because they just don’t know what to charge.

Often, artists will turn down a good opportunity because they are paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake and charging too little.

And when it comes to licensing your art, there are many different ways to be compensated.

(Licensing Art means – you retain all copyrights © to an image, and license, or “rent”, the art to someone for either a one-time use, such as in a magazine or advertising campaign, or for a longer term use to print on products, such as a t-shirt line or pottery, greeting cards, etc.)

FEAR THE LICENSE DEAL NO MORE – I promise you that once you begin to understand how these things work, you’ll feel more confident with deal-making.

With confidence comes more deals, and no more lost opportunities.  So please, read on!

The most common methods of pay for art licensing are:

1 – ROYALTY:  This is where the manufacturer pays the artist a royalty percentage of their gross sales.

2 – ROYALTY WITH ADVANCE UP FRONT – Sometimes there will be an advance payable up front, which is later deducted from future royalties.

3 – FLAT FEE – A one-time fee is paid instead of royalties.

Okay, but how much moola do you ask for?!  Below are a few guidelines:

ROYALTY PERCENTAGE PAYMENT:

Before we get to the topic of how much to ask for, let’s make sure you understand how royalties work.

Royalty payments are calculated based on the total (gross) revenues generated by the licensee (manufacturer) for your products.

Red Flag Warning:  Never agree to get paid your percentage based on the Licensee’s revenues minus their expenses.  This is an impossible number to quantify.

ROYALTY RATE EXAMPLE:  Let’s say that you have agreed to license your art to Perry Pickle Manufacturing for t-shirts.  They plan to sell the t-shirts to a chain of stores called Racey’s.  You have agreed to a royalty rate of 6% with a $3,000 Advance up front.

This means that Perry Pickle Mfg is going to pay you 6% of their total gross revenues generated.  Since they agreed to pay a $3,000 Advance up front, they paid you the advance at the time that the contract was signed.

In their first quarter, Perry Pickle Mfg received $100,000 in revenues for t-shirt sales of your line to Racey’s.

That means that you would receive a royalty payment of $6,000.00 ($100,000 x 6% = $6,000.00), MINUS the advance of $3,000.00 up front.

The advance is “recoupable against future royalties” so your first royalty payment would be the $6,000 minus the advance amount of $3,000, and you would have been paid $3,000.00.

Okay, now let’s talk about how you arrived at the 6% royalty rate:

ROYALTY RATES DEPEND ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT FACTORS, THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT:

  • The TYPE of product being produced
  • The QUANTITIES expected to be sold
  • The POPULARITY (STRENGTH) of the artist or brand

THE FIRST FACTOR IN DETERMINING ROYALTY RATES is the type of product being produced.  The average royalty rate varies from product to product.

For example, the average rate for art lithographs ranges between 5% – 15%, compared to 3 – 6.5% for wristbands.  The average royalty rate is a good starting point for determining what the rate should be.

There are a few resources that will help you learn what the average royalty rates are, such as artists groups and reference books.

To find out what others are being paid, connect with artists who are experienced in licensing through online forums and groups such as Linked In.  Ask the members what the average royalty rates are, in their experience, for a particular product.  These groups can be very helpful.

THE SECOND FACTOR IN DETERMINING ROYALTY RATES is the expected (or projected) sales volume.

The higher the volume, the lower the royalty:  If the products will be sold in mass market retailers and in mass quantity, the royalty rate will be less because mass market retailers (like Wal-Mart, Costco) demand better prices, which means tighter profit margins for the manufacturer.

Usually, an artist will earn more money from a lower royalty rate when products are being sold in mass market, than they would with a higher royalty rate for products being sold in small mom and pop shops.

The lower the volume, the higher the royalty:  If the products will be sold in specialty stores and in smaller quantities, the royalty rate should be higher.

For example:  A t-shirt manufacturer that sells in mass market stores (Wal-Mart, Target, chain stores) might pay 4-6% royalties.  A t-shirt manufacturer that sells in smaller channels such as core skateboard shops might pay 6-10% royalties.

If the artist is well known and their art is a proven seller, the royalty rates would be on the high end of the scale.  If the artist is unknown and new to licensing, the royalty rate might be on the lower end of the scale.

In some cases, a licensee that works with artists on a regular basis will have a standard royalty to offer to you.  At that time, you can decide if you want to accept their offer, or negotiate for more

FLAT FEE PAYMENT:  A flat fee is a lump sum that is paid up front at the time the contract is signed.  There are no royalties that will be paid later.

Flat fees may be calculated by image (i.e. $500 per image x 10 images = $5,000); or they may be paid in one specified sum (i.e. $2,500 total).

The flat fee method is best when the licensee is either a small company that does low volume, or is a start-up company that does not have a track record of sales.

The disadvantage to a flat fee royalty is that if the product sells above expectations, you may be missing out on sharing a piece of those revenues.

The best way to protect against the possibility of missing out on a piece of a great selling product is to have a short term, such as a one year or eighteen month contract.

With a shorter contract, if sales are very good, the licensee will want to renew, at which time you will be paid again, or you can negotiate for a better deal.

How much of a flat fee should you ask for?  Like all deals, the range is wide.  I know of some artists who charge as little as $100 per image for a flat fee license.  In the greeting card industry, an artist might be paid a flat fee of $275 – $500 for a card design.  I’ve had deals in the action sports market where I charged a flat fee of $1,500 per image, with a price break if they license multiple images.

The flat fee amount that you get will depend upon: 1- the strength of your brand, 2 – the competition in the industry and 3- what the licensee is willing to pay.

The most important thing is that you get paid what you feel that your art is worth and that you are happy with the end result.

ADVANCES:  An advance is a dollar amount that an artist is paid up front, due at the time of signing the contract.  The advance is usually non-refundable, and is deducted from future royalty payments.

What I love about advances is the most obvious:  you receive a payment up front.

Often in licensing deals, you won’t see royalties for a year or more because it takes that long to develop a line, sell it and get it shipped to stores.  The advance is money NOW, which is when most of us need it.

I use the advance as an insurance policy should something go wrong.  It hedges against the possibility that there will never be royalties paid in the future, because if a company is willing to pay an advance, than that means they are committed fully to the product sales.  Without commitment, sales often won’t happen.    Sometimes the products never make it to the marketplace or are dropped from the line.

And that means No sales which means No royalties.

The main reason we almost always require an Advance for Drew’s work is that it helps me to weed out the serious people from the not-so-serious.

If a company is willing to pay us an advance, I’m more convinced of their commitment to the success of the product sales.

Red Flag Warning:  If the deal you are about to enter into is going to require an excessive amount of work on your end, it’s crucial to require an advance or a design fee to cover your time.  That way, you don’t have to wait the 12 months or so that it takes for royalties to generate before you get paid.

Since there is no guarantee that a license will generate any royalties at all, an advance is insurance that you’ll be paid something in the event anything goes wrong.

What could go wrong, you ask?!  The client is so excited and they plan to put a lot of effort into the line.

One personal example is when we did a deal with one of the largest toy companies in the U.S.  They went bankrupt one month after we gave them the artwork for a kid’s skateboard line.  Drew had spent weeks working on it.  Thank God we were paid a generous advance so that Drew’s time was covered.

Another time we signed on with a kid’s clothing company.  They had their Drew Brophy line ready to go, after weeks of work on our end.  Then a new partner came in and changed everything.  The line never made it to retail and no royalties were generated.  We had been paid an advance up front, so we didn’t lose a month’s worth of work for nothing.

The flip side to all of this is that for every deal that isn’t successful, there’s one that is successful.  You have to sign on with many companies because some will be duds and some will be good.

Remember, there are no set-in-stone pricing structures for licensing or for art deals.  You have to be creative and come up with a deal that works for you and for your client!

Maria

PS:  Read Beware of these Red Flags in Contracts for more food for thought.   

Would you like your own licensing agreement template that you can use again and again?  My new  LICENSING AGREEMENT/CONTRACT TEMPLATE PACKAGE is now available.  This package makes it easy for you!  Complete with a template that you can change as needed, and instructions, this is the perfect short, simple agreement for artists not yet ready to hire an attorney.  More details here:  Licensing Agreement Contract/Template

OR:  If you need help with a deal that you are currently negotiating, I can help!  Check out my consulting services!

 

If you like this article, please share it!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

223 Comments What to Charge for Art Licensing – Royalties Advances and Flat Fees

  1. Scott

    Hi Maria,

    I’m curious to know how royalty enforcement is handled. I have read a few articles and through a handful of contract and none of which mention enforcement.

    Specifically, how can a person find out how many units were sold… It seems the licensee could make up any number… I.e. They say they have sold 50 units but in reality they sell 2000.

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Scott, excellent question! And I have a great answer: A good licensing agreement will include a statement that allows the Licensor (artist/you) to audit the Licensees books at any given time, with notice. A Licensor can send in an Auditor to do this for them.

      A great licensing agreement will also include language that states that if the audit reveals that the Licensee was underpaid by 5% or more, the expense of the Audit is payable by the Licensee.

      Reply
  2. Jan

    Offered a flat fee short term to client they thought it was fair but are unsure how many they will sell so they wanted to know a per piece price to use the image, any thoughts on this

    Reply
  3. saimamacfee

    Thanks, helpful article make me happy to read this. I am photographer and well selling royalty stock to get extra coin. I love my work and happy with that.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Art Licensing Info Ask Call replay is now available | Art Licensing Info

  5. Rikki

    I’m an illustrator who is re-branding a large business. They are asking for a non- competition agreement that will prevent me from working for similar businesses for two years. Is this a good idea for me? How do I decide on a compensation amount?

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Rikki,

      I would not agree to anything that would prevent me from working for 2 years, not unless they are paying you enough to take 2 years off.

      Have a conversation with them and find out what their true concern is. Are they worried you will create similar branding for a competitor? If that’s their concern, then the agreement would state that you cannot create similar branding for a competitor.

      A non-compete is typically used for highly paid employees that have insider info in an industry. It protects the company if the employee decides to quit and go work for the competition.

      Rarely is a non-compete signed by a freelancer. This is because it’s meant for employees or highly paid advisers.

      Discuss it with your contact at the company and let them know that agreeing to not provide your services for 2 years would kill your income earning ability. And that goes against your business model! 🙂

      Ask them their true concern, and address that concern as best you can.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  6. Evelyn harper

    Hi, I draw as a hobby and have been contacted by a huge craft company to supply them with drawings for an upcoming adult colouring book. They are proposing a 2 year license and have asked me to name a price per drawing, I have absolutely no idea what to ask for and no friends in the industry that I can ask………. Help !!!!

    Reply
  7. Daniel

    Hi Maria! Your blog is super informative and interesting!! Thank you for sharing. However, I have an issue that I didn’t see addressed anywhere else in this thread… I’m a painter who makes my living by selling my original work only. Surprisingly, it’s worked out great for me thus far, despite being a simple “formula.” But I was just contacted by an art consultant for a luxury hotel. My interest was piqued, so I’m considering. They asked for a quote for 4 originals and limited copy rights for producing prints for 170+ rooms. My work sells for $1500-$10k per painting. It seems to me, the most appropriate way to “bid” this would be to ask for a flat licencing fee for the print rights? Though I have no idea what to charge. A percentage of an original? Any input?

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Hi Daniel,

      Congrats on this great new opportunity! There are definitely different guidelines for dealing with hospitality art print sales.

      It’s best to handle all printing on your end, so that you can control quality and quantity. However, some designers insist on printing it themselves. I recommend you buy Liron Sisson’s book “How to get your Art into Corporate Collections” where she shares how all this works: http://bit.ly/OP40Cl – it is very helpful to get insider info and as far as I know, hers is the best resource out there on this topic.

      Selling art to consultants for hospitality industry is different from licensing. The % are much higher. Instead of 10% for paper prints (in normal licensing) you can charge up to 50%.

      If you do the printing yourself (which is recommended) then your profit is much higher.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
      1. Daniel

        Thanks soooo much for your feedback, Maria! I got my proposal squared away, and we’ll see what happens… Regardless, this is a valuable learning experience.

    2. Dana

      I am in a similar situation now. I think I’ll ask 50% of the artists price times the number of prints they’ll make as Maria suggested. Is that what you did? Did that work out? Would love to hear how it went if you have a chance.

      Reply
  8. cait

    Hi Maria,

    I have sort of a loaded question I hope you can help me with: A design company has created an image for the cover art of one of their house books which is being sold world wide. The cover image is very similar to an image I created for a series prior to them publishing the book. My lawyer would like to know what to ask for in compensation if we were to go forward with a copyright lawsuit. I told him that the artist, who is most likely received a flat rate or royalties for this high-end book but that I have no way of knowing what sort of deal the artist would have received as a basis for what I should request. This is a large fashion design house that created the coffee table book with an artist who is represented by the image agency that produced the book.
    Do you have any ideas of what the artist might have received as payment for this project and/or what I might think of suggesting as compensation for the use of my work –both for the past year and any future sales? Thank you!

    Reply
  9. Lala

    Do you have any advice about usage of one image in a book? Also, the piece that is featured is my work, but the photo was taken by someone other than myself. Should there be a usage fee for book print? Should the artist receive the fee or the photographer (if no agreement had been decided beforehand?)?

    Reply
    1. Maria

      The answer depends on who owns the copyrights to the photo. Is the photo a creative photo that includes the artwork? If so, then the artist and photographer share in the royalties.

      If the photo is just of the artwork, then most likely you should get the royalties. (If you hired a photographer to “scan” it for you).

      The price to charge depends on how often the photo is used, if it is a full page or partial, and is it an inside cover or page?

      Each is priced differently. The Graphic Artist’s Guild guidebook of ethical pricing covers the pricing for these things. I recommend every artist have a copy of that book.

      Reply
      1. Lala

        Maria, thanks for such a speedy and helpful reply. I’ve really enjoyed coming across your blog with my question and have been directing my pals to check it out because we are so used to selling ourselves short and your tips are so helpful and encouraging to deal with our everyday issues. I will definitely check out the guidebook!

        It turns out that the image will be used on the cover of the book and 1/4 page inside – million copies, worldwide use, all languages etc. I wouldn’t have asked the right questions had I not found you! Looking forward to your newsletters.

  10. Adrienne

    clicked on:
    LICENSING AGREEMENT/CONTRACT TEMPLATE PACKAGE
    and got an error code. Really? After all the trust you built in the article. Big disappointment and loss of trust. I gave you my name an email address and regret it. I’ll unsubcsribe asap.

    Reply
    1. Maria

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you so much for bringing this broken link to my attention. I just fixed it.

      And I’m sorry that the broken link caused you such distress! And yes, I understand if you unsubscribe, as I occasionally make mistakes and wouldn’t want to cause you harm again. I wish you the best!

      Reply
    2. CJ

      That’s a bit harsh, Adrienne. Mistakes occur and technology fails us sometimes. Alerting the author of a broken link is the kind thing to do, but losing trust, being so disappointed and having regrets about subscribing seems like an over-reaction, IMHO.

      Reply
  11. Abner Bonet

    Hi Maria. I’ve read many articles regarding rhis topic and by far yours is the clearest and most helpful. Hope you can help me on this. I’ve just been contacted by a company who wants an exclusive licensing agreement for a certain quantity of my drawings as a package deal. They intend to 3d copy them and sell on mass market under their buisiness concept idea. Since this is new to me, I am totally lost on what royalty rate is fair for 3d printing based on my art or what to compare it to and for how long my contract should be. They suggested 5 years. Any input from your great expertise would bring light to me and I would truly be grateful.

    Reply
  12. Margaret

    It can be so difficult finding a reputable Internet Marketing
    freelancer at the moment, just going to do it ourselves I
    think
    Posted this on Twitter, very useful!

    Reply
  13. Julia Veenstra

    Hello! I have been asked to allow a financial consulting company to use a couple of my painting images on their website. I imagine for a while. I have no idea what to charge them. Can you help me? 🙂

    Reply
  14. Gill Tomlinson

    Hello Maria – A company wants to use one of my images in their logo. The small original collage painting is still available for sale at £95 GBP. I have no idea what to quote them for this logo use or how to handle it. Do I sell them the original and ask for an amount on top? Do I sell them a digital hi res copy and keep the original? If so – how much to charge? (Im not a designer so they would need to find their own graphic designer) Its a picture of a Greek fishing boat and they are starting a Greek Seafood company…Thanks So Much for any help you can give me.🙏

    Reply
  15. SL

    Hello Maria,
    I am an artist with a new, successful hand-painted wallpaper business. I have one very unique design that a very high end boutique clothing atelier approached me about liscening for some clothing pieces. I am doing the sample work, and then moving forward, their fabric peeps will do the work. What is an appropriate percentage? They have started the conversation with 3% going down to 1% for higher volume. I’ve not done this relationship before, but I have been a successful commercial artist for many many years and my first thought is this is way too low. What do you think? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. maria Brophy

      Hi SL – 3% is the absolute low end for high volume sales. 5% is closer to the norm. I would ask for an $$$ advance payable up front – if they are not willing to come up on % and pay an advance, there is no incentive for you to do it. Not unless it’s a charity….

      Reply
  16. Emmanuel Tomi

    Hi Maria ,
    if a singer / well known singer in the middle east want to make a commercial on TV for a telephone company , what sort of fees should be asking for ? should we ask for advance up front then monthly payment for the duration of the forecasting of the commercial ??

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Emmanuel, there are standards for licensing music for commercials. The artist should keep rights and ownership to their music and license it to the telephone company. Licensing fees for music for these types of deals typically start at $15,000 (a one-time fee payable to the artist) and often are much more – and that is for a limited use of the music, usually limited to a number of months or number of times the commercial airs.

      Reply
  17. Beth

    Hi Maria,

    This is such a great article! Thank you! I have read a number of resources on this topic and only now do I fully understand it!
    Of course I have a question that is a different scenarios. I have a client that wants me to make them an original commissioned art piece then, they want to make print reproscitions to give to their customers (they lease office space and would give a framed reproduction as a welcome gift.) So they won’t profit off of it, but they will be reproducing my image. Should I charge something for that? A minimal flat fee, maybe?, with an agreement they don’t sell the reproductions for profit without a new agreement? I’d love your thoughts on this! I don’t want to overcharge, but I also want them to respect that they are always buying the license from me and that I own the copyright.

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Hi Beth, thanks!

      The way I would handle any client with a commissioned art piece – I would sell them the original painting and then have it professionally shot and then offer to sell them prints of it. Handle all of the printing yourself.

      You don’t want to hand over your high res images or allow your clients to make prints of it, for many reasons:

      1 – You will be able to control the quality of the prints (important for any fine artist to do)

      2 – You will be able to earn more off the sale – when you have the prints made, you will then bump up the price and earn more per piece

      3 – You will be able to sign each print, which should be important to your client. It’s more valuable with the artist signature (and even if you don’t sign the front, you can sign the back).

      4 – You own the copyrights, so you can make many prints as needed and sell them elsewhere, off your website, etc.

      So, moving forward with this client and any other client that requests a commissioned painting and prints:

      Tell them that yes, you offer art prints of your work. Give them a price per print, and size options, and let them know that you will have the prints made and delivered. Tell them you’ll be happy to sign the prints for them.

      They can order one at a time, as needed, or a bunch at once for a discount (get a discount from your printer for a high volume order, and pass some of that onto the client).

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  18. Lesley Birch

    I’m working for a well known cancer charity producing artwork. They want 3 paintings and they want to make 100 copies of each painting. I really don’t know what to charge here. They are willing to pay for the licensing, but because it’s a charity, I was thinking of a flat fee for this. They will be paying me for each original painting. Any help/advice really really appreciated. This is my first project of this sort.

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Hi Lesley,

      One way to do it: Handle the printing of it yourself and charge a per-piece fee. (This gives you control over what happens with your art files.)

      Charge them a fee for creating the original artwork, which will cover their cost of the originals (whatever your fees are, you could offer a 25% discount, which can be considered your “donation”).

      Then charge them per poster – and handle the printing of the posters yourself, as that way you are able to control the quality and you will have the scans in your possession.

      Make sure your fees include the cost to have the paintings scanned professionally (this can add up – we pay $100 per piece to get our large paintings scanned).

      Source the cost of printing, and then add to the cost to ensure that covers all of your expenses are covered plus you earn a profit.

      I can’t give you specific numbers here, without knowing who the charity is, what your work sells for, and other details that are considered when coming up with a price.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  19. Nicole

    Very informative article! I have a new client that wants me to create cover art for his ‘inspirational self help journal’ book and layout all 90 pages. It’s in the beginning stages but he’s going through a publisher, and it will be sold for about $10 per book. Unsure of how many copies will be printed in the first run, but I’m not sure how to price my work. Should I do a flat fee, or a percentage per book sold? Should I do a flat fee for the page layout and percentage on just the cover art? If so, what’s a reasonable percentage price? Help please, any information would be Awesome!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maria

      Hi Nicole,

      I just hired someone to do something very similar for me. I’m paying him $1,000; $500 up front and $500 when it’s finished. Typically, this type of work is a flat fee project, not a royalty %.

      Hope this helps, let me know!

      Reply
  20. Emeka Dike

    Hi Maria, I wrote and published a fiction work based on a modern African Country covering economics, contemporary politics, and espionage as well as a coup d’etat which a group representing a European country want to turn into an animation film. I would like to charge them a licensing fee for a given period for them using the story and characters in my book as well as a % of gross income from the animation itself. Is this structure possible? Secondly the book is 380 pages long. I self published it and it is on sale on Amazon I have no idea what to charge them. I have created a cartoon series based on the book already which is currently running in a national newspaper in Africa although I have not started selling it commercially as we are still creating the comics. I have no idea what to charge for the licensing fee for the animation. The animation will probably be distributed world wide both in English and French. How do I charge them? I know this is not the typical scenario that you deal with but I need help on how to price. I have no idea how much money they could make from the animation. I need a quick feedback as I am meeting with them in a few days PLEASE HELP!

    Reply
    1. Maria

      HI Emeka,

      Congratulations on this project! Sounds amazing.

      When it comes to animation and films, you really need to hire an attorney who specializes in that industry. The fees, royalties and contracts are very different from regular licensing. Also be VERY CAREFUL to NEVER sign one of these agreements without the help of an attorney. It is the trickiest industry ever – they put language into their contracts which ensure you are never paid, if you aren’t careful. Be careful!

      Reply
  21. Kenneth Hershenson

    Excellent article! I’ve been searching high and low for assistance on coming up with a value for my paintings if selling the digital rights. My situation is a bit different than what you describe here, although what you describe here may also occur for me so thanks for that part.
    I have never been in this position before but a business that is owned by a pretty famous billionaire who owns a pretty famous company among many companies is interested in purchasing the digital rights to a handful of my paintings. They want to use my images for wall coverings in 6 of their entertainment businesses in the Midwest and East Coast. They are talking, so far, about enlarging them and using them for murals and for elevator doors. My images link directly to the name of their business. How on earth can I come up with a value when, in this case, there are no royalties because there are no product sales. If they like how these are accepted by the public there may yet be merchandise using the same images. So how does one come up with a value????

    Reply
    1. Maria

      Kenneth,

      I wouldn’t sell them the digital rights. Then you lose rights to your art. Instead, sell them a limited license to use the art for the specific project at hand.

      Pricing for these types of projects is different then regular licensing – typically you would charge approximately 40% of the retail value of the art pieces.

      If you want specific help from me, please set up a consultation – go to my “work” page and follow the instructions.

      Or, if you want a cheaper solution, click the link on the the right hand side of my page that leads to the ebook “getting your art into corporate collections” – which will give you details on how that type of business works.

      Reply
  22. Padraig McCaul

    Hi Maria,
    I have a licensing opportunity coming my way and I would apppreciate some help with how to price it.

    A TV production company want to use some of my paintings in their set design for the house of one their leading characters. It is an Irish/Canadian production, so I assume it will be aired in Canada as well as Ireland. They will be filming for 3 to 4 weeks.

    The paintings would sell for about $3000 each. Is there an industry standard for this type of arrangement? Or what would you suggest would be be a fair price to ask for?

    thanks!

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Hi Padraig, typically for a TV show, you would
      “rent” your art for the set. The industry standard varies depending on location (city/state/country), but in general, you could follow one standard, which is to charge a rental fee of 10% of the retail value of the artwork (in this case $300 per painting), and for each additional week charge 5% of the retail value ($150 per painting).

      However, if they are renting less than 20 pieces, I would come up with a minimum fee. For example, if they are only renting 5 paintings for 4 weeks, maybe offer a one time fee of between $3,000 – $4,000 plus transport and insurance (they should make sure the art is insured).

      This is just one of many ways you can do it. Play around with the math and see what feels right to you!

      Reply
      1. Maria Brophy

        Sorry, correction to my typo:

        10% would be $300 per painting! ($3,000 x 10% = $300).

        Sorry about that, corrected my comment to reflect the correct math, now carry on! 🙂

  23. Garrett McCarthy

    Hi Maria,
    A local tourist spot (privately owned island with a castle on it) wishes to commission me to do a painting of their facility ( Arial view shot from above highlighting the entire island and buildings). I foolishly low-balled it at $2,400 when they pressed for a ballpark figure as compared to another painting I had hanging in a shop. It should have been at least twice that….. But, that being said, they also want to discuss fee for making prints. Would you do a percentage / royalty fee or lump sum for reproduction rights and how much roughly would you advise? The canvas would be 36 x 48 – and they have resources / international investors of this island and now two more.
    Regards,
    Garrett McCarthy

    Reply
    1. Maria

      Hi Garrett,

      Congrats on this opportunity! It sounds great. You could come up with one of two options for them for art prints:

      1 – You do all the printing and sell to them at fair market value. If the prints will be retailed in their gift store, sell to them at wholesale pricing plus shipping. If the prints are being installed in rooms in the castle, sell to them for the price you would sell to an art consultant, which typically would be about 60% of the retail price. For a 36″x48″ retail pricing would range from $900 – $1,500 depending on how it’s printed (paper vs. canvas, etc.). Plus shipping.

      2 – you could license the image to them and charge per piece. The price depends on how many they plan to print.

      Also, before you paint anything, make sure you get a written permission from the photographer that you can paint his photo. This is important so that you don’t get sued later.

      And, lastly, it’s not too late to raise your price. Let your client know that while your existing paintings are priced at $2,400 at that size, a commissioned painting is more work and complex, and your price for that would be $3,500. (as an example).

      Hope this helps!

      Reply

Leave A Comment