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Discover the Essentials of Art Licensing: A Step-by-Step Guide on How and Why your Business should License Art from

Suppose you are searching for contemporary art and artists to license for your marketing, gifts, homeware, clothing, cards, posters, calendars and more. In that case, we have something unique to offer your business from our many artists. If you want to sell art on your products, please get in touch. We are one of the most established art licensing galleries with a niche high-profile set of artists.

Representing artists John Dyer, Joanne Short and Ted Dyer, we have licensed art for many applications, and our artists are also known for surface pattern design and graphic designer collections.

Our artists have an extensive catalogue of paintings that can be licensed and have a history of successful art licensing.

Paintings and images of Cornwall, France, Monaco, London, Provence, Gardens, Italy, Costa Rica, The Philippines, Australia, Peru, the Amazon Rainforest, Blackpool, Liverpool and more can be considered.

John Dyer and Joanne Short's art is colourful, fun, vibrant and life-enhancing, and Ted Dyer's art has a timeless classic feel.

We provide digital files for clients in the correct size and format and work with businesses from Japan to London.

We have licensed art for homewares, cards, posters, marketing materials, calendars, corporate reports, exhibition displays, fiction books, and more.

We hold an extensive archive of images from our artists and are happy to discuss licensing opportunities. The archive is partly digital and partly in medium format and 5x4 inch transparencies. corporate licensing clients include:


The British Museum, London

The Eden Project

The Art Group, London

Athena International

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall

International Rice Research Institute

Bioversity International

The National Trust

Trelissick Gardens

International Centre for the Potato, Peru

Alan Titchmarsh Products

Hibell, Japan

Cornwall Council

Visit Cornwall

Hanwha, South Korea

FalRiver Cornwall

Truro City Council


Woodmansterne Cards

Canns Down Press


Mother Ivey's Bay Holiday Park

Conservatoire de Musique, Menton

Orion Books

National Taiwan University Lifescience

Center for Educational Technology, Israel

Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta

Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races

The St Michael's Hotel, Falmouth

Visit Somerset

Art Eco Designs

Ravensburger Puzzles

Proctor & Clark

Art licensing empowers artists to generate income from their creations and offers companies a treasure trove of unique visual assets. This thorough guide will demystify art licensing, covering why it's beneficial, how it functions, and the strategic steps to navigate this profitable avenue for artists and clients alike successfully.

Contact to explore Licensing Unique Artworks from our Artists

Key Takeaways

  • Art licensing allows artists to monetize their creations by granting manufacturers, corporate clients, businesses and retail outlets the right to reproduce their work while retaining intellectual property and enables companies to develop unique branding opportunities.
  • Navigating the art licensing industry requires research, networking, building relationships with potential licensors, and monitoring the market landscape for opportunities.
  • Negotiating art licensing deals involves understanding royalty rates, payment terms, and the meticulous creation of contracts that protect both the artist's interests and the integrity of the artwork.

Understanding Art Licensing: The Basics

Joanne Short licensed art for a range of gifts at the British Museum in London

Above: Joanne Short's art was licensed for a range of gifts at the British Museum in London

Artwork licensing is a business model where an artist grants a manufacturer the right to reproduce and utilize their creative works across diverse formats while retaining the original intellectual property. This formalized process amplifies the artist's reach across various mediums and products and provides an avenue for consistent income.

Businesses can leverage the power of art licensing. Companies can create unique branding opportunities and stand out in the market by using contemporary art for promotional material, corporate messaging, and retail gifts.

What is Art Licensing?

Art licensing resembles a rental arrangement, with manufacturers gaining usage rights to an artist's work for their products while the artist retains the original intellectual property rights; this allows artists to monetize their existing library of work, providing a source of passive income for the artist and a visual resource for the art licensor.

Unlike outright selling, licensing allows artists to retain the underlying rights to their creations and can agree on all the details, such as:

  • Involved parties
  • Artwork description
  • Purpose or scope of use
  • Duration of license
  • Territory
  • Exclusivity
  • Royalty payments

Why License Art?

John Dyer at the Birmingham NEC at the launch of his licensed giftware range by Alan Titchmarsh Products

Above: John Dyer at the Birmingham NEC at the launch of his licensed giftware range by Alan Titchmarsh Products.

Licensing art can catapult an artist's professional presence and visibility to unprecedented heights. It provides brand-building opportunities for the artist and art licensor and can generate consistent income from multiple licenses, offering the advantage of passive income. Artists also gain emotional satisfaction from featured art on products, leading to significant business growth and new custom commissions. Our artists are happy to license their art to new clients.

Licensing contemporary art offers businesses access to a treasure trove of distinctive visual resources. It empowers businesses to create unique and powerful branding, new products, and presentations like no others, setting them apart in the competitive market landscape. Licensing art can be your business superpower.

Navigating the Art Licensing Industry

Successfully navigating the art licensing industry demands creativity, business acumen, and interpersonal skills. Relationships form the industry's bedrock; networking is integral to forging these connections. Being organized and maintaining a record of all communications is vital to managing professional relationships effectively.

Equally important are communication and sales skills, which are essential for building and maintaining industry connections. Trade shows offer artists the opportunity to meet art industry decision-makers and licensing agents directly and sell art. Websites like are also a great place to discover art to license from the comfort of your office or boardroom.

Researching Potential Art Licensors

Joanne Short art licensed onto wooded key-rings by Proctor and Clarke

Before initiating any licensing agreement or approaching potential licensees, artists must conduct thorough research and develop a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape. This research can be facilitated by online resources, trade shows, and even social media platforms. Once a list of potential manufacturers is compiled, artists can reach out to them professionally, showcasing their artwork and explaining the mutual benefits of a licensing deal.

Equally, this process can be run in reverse for the licensee, who will make a list of potential artists to license. All of our artists, John DyerJoanne Short and Ted Dyer, are happy to license and have a long and successful track record of licensing art over the past thirty years. 

Finding the contact information for the art licensing department or artist relations on a company's website can be a valuable asset in this process. Before committing to a deal, it's essential to investigate the potential art licensing agencies:

  • Experience
  • Track record
  • Communication practices
  • Contract terms

The John Dyer Gallery is experienced in art licensing and has a fantastic track record spanning over thirty years; we communicate well and have very reasonable and correct contract terms that we agree with any licensor.

Networking and Building Relationships

Carol Drinkwater and artist John Dyer pictured at the launch of 'The Olive Route' in Notting Hill in London.
Above: Carol Drinkwater and artist John Dyer pictured at the launch of 'The Olive Route' book at Daunt Books, Notting Hill in London, with a copy of the book with the licensed John Dyer painting by the same name.

Building genuine social interactions forms the bedrock of effective networking in the art licensing sector. It's more than just selling oneself; it's about forging connections that can lead to fruitful collaborations in the future. Online platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook serve as enjoyable and beneficial venues for networking within the art licensing sector.

Participating in art licensing trade shows and engaging with online communities are valuable practices for artists to showcase their work and connect with industry professionals. By introducing themselves and their work to potential partners and maintaining regular communication, artists create opportunities for art licensing.

The Artist's Art is Protected by Copyright Law

John Dyer art license onto a range of homeware - mug, coaster and teatowel

Artists automatically own copyright (intellectual property rights) upon creation of their work in the U.K. However, registration with the U.S. Copyright Office can sometimes help take punitive action against infringement. Copyright rests with the artist unless it has been explicitly sold to a third party. Enforcing protection is a necessity.

When entering art licensing agreements, artists should be allowed to protect their work by ensuring they maintain control over its use and backing that control up with the appropriate paperwork. Companies should not seek to control copyright as this is not a good working practice.

Ensuring Proper Usage

Artists should actively monitor how licensees utilize their artwork to confirm adherence to the agreed terms in the licensing contract. They must be clear on the quantity of artwork to be supplied under the agreement and if licensees are permitted to modify the art without the artist's prior authorization.

It is equally important to grasp the obligations of licensees in enforcing copyright protections and the level of marketing support they will provide for the licensed art. They ensure that measures are in place for quality control, which is vital for maintaining the integrity of the artwork for both the artist and the client.

Working with Art Licensing Agents

Joanne Short Art licensed and commissioned by Visit Somerset for an official pictorial map.

Above: Joanne Short Art licensed and commissioned by Visit Somerset for an official pictorial map.

Working with art licensing agents can be a significant advantage in art licensing. Agents like ourselves at help smooth the art licensing process by dealing directly with the licensor. We offer expertise in negotiations, market knowledge, and legal protection.

The presence of an art licensing agent is not strictly required for success in the industry. An artist should evaluate their situation to decide whether the benefits provided by an agent align with their career goals and needs; again, this is where we excel as every company licensing from will get to connect directly with their chosen artist if they request to.

Benefits of Working with an Agent

An art licensing agent assists artists by negotiating deals with manufacturers and managing the licensing contracts. Artists benefit from the support of a team at an art licensing agency, which can include multiple agents working to sell their art and services such as bookkeeping and royalty payment follow-ups. We work closely with licensing agents in Japan who represent our artists in that country who do precisely this.

Working with an agency allows artists to focus on their creative process without worrying about business and negotiation. However, before signing with an art licensing agent, artists should know the commission rates and any additional fees associated with the service. A 10% royalty is quickly eroded if a licensing agent extracts a percentage of that or a fixed cost.

Discover Contemporary Paintings to License Online

John Dyer art licensed by King's College Hospital in London

Above: John Dyer art licensed by King's College Hospital in London for a waiting area.

Discovering contemporary paintings and wall art to license online can be thrilling. Regularly updated art galleries, such as, showcase many captivating artworks, demonstrating an artist's ongoing commitment to creating art and helping them remain current in the market.

In the digital era, online galleries have become a portfolio resource for licensing, offering a range of work from diverse artists at your fingertips. You can explore galleries and select artwork that resonates with your brand's aesthetic and message.

Discover Art to License on

Selecting the Right Artwork for your Project


Selecting the suitable artwork for your project involves more than just visual appeal. Companies licensing should consider factors like the quality of the art, the compatibility of the artist's style with their brand, who the artist is, and the previous licensing history of the artwork, if any.

Artists can stay competitive in art licensing by:

  • Having an organized library of art categorized by themes and trends
  • Matching current market demands
  • Creating adaptable art that is scalable, versatile, and color-flexible art to suit various products and materials.

Online Art Gallery as a Portfolio Resource for Licensing from

Online art galleries like can serve as a comprehensive portfolio resource for licensing. High-quality images accurately represent the colours and details of the original artwork, making it easier for potential licensees to envision how the art will translate onto their products. High-resolution images of everything seen in the gallery are available on request.

An artist's licensing portfolio can be hosted on a webpage, assembled as a PDF, or sent directly to potential buyers as curated JPGs, ensuring ease of access for potential licensors. Organizing the portfolio thematically and ensuring it is easy to navigate assists potential partners in finding relevant work while showcasing the artist's style and range. At we have themed painting collections and art categories that are ideal to start your research. Painting collections featuring art from Cornwall and the coast, GardensFrance, ItalyGlobal Travel PaintingsLondon and more are available to view. In all of these collections, we can research additional sold paintings you might want to consider for your licensing project and explore our unique catalogue of art transparencies to provide created collections for you to consider.

Negotiating Art Licensing Deals

Negotiating art licensing deals is an intricate process that requires a thorough understanding of various factors. Royalty payments are typically based on the total gross revenues generated by the licensee from the artist's products, ensuring artists receive a percentage of actual sales. Artists should avoid licensing agreements that calculate royalties after deducting the licensee's expenses, which could notably decrease their earnings.

Artists may negotiate an advance payment for financial security before sales, reflecting the licensee's confidence in the product. Ensuring the contract specifies any advance payment to be deducted from future royalties, which aligns with industry standards, is vital.

Royalty Rates and Payment Terms

Above: Artist Joanne Short holding boxes of the Ravensburger puzzles featuring her licensed London art

Above: Artist Joanne Short holding boxes of the Ravensburger puzzles featuring her licensed London art

Royalty rates in art licensing typically range between 5% to 10% of the wholesale price but can go as high as 15% for specific products. Payment in art licensing can be an advance against future royalties, ongoing royalties from sales, or a flat fee, providing different compensation methods for artists.

The total royalties accrued by an artist can be influenced by minimum sales thresholds outlined in licensing agreements, affecting the effectiveness of the compensation structure. An advance payment acts as immediate earnings for an artist and is a measure of the licensee's commitment to the licensed product but is recouped from earned royalties over time.

Key Contract Terms to Understand

Comprehending the key contract terms in an art licensing agreement is fundamental to protecting an artist's interests. Licensing agreements should specify:

  • Usage rights
  • Duration
  • Geographical areas are sometimes known as territories
  • Specific product categories or mediums
  • Precise definitions for terms such as 'exclusivity' and 'licensed goods'

Financial terms must address royalty rates, license fees, payment schedules, the treatment of advances, and a precise definition of 'gross revenues' to prevent misunderstandings. Contracts can include clauses like Usage and Quality Control, Confidentiality, and Indemnification and outline procedures for succession and resolving disputes to protect the artist's interests and manage potential legal risks.

Build working relationships with artists for even better results

John Dyer art used by the national Trust for information leaflets and exhibition displays.

Above: John Dyer art used by the National Trust for information leaflets and exhibition displays.

Fostering robust working relationships with artists and agents can yield enhanced outcomes in licensing projects. Licensing art from contemporary artists can be a great way to build a licensed portfolio of products, marketing, exhibition and corporate materials. It gives consistency to the company's message.

A strong partnership with an artist can lead to a more cohesive and impactful product range. It allows for open communication and feedback, ensuring that the final product truly reflects the artist's vision and the brand's message.

Why use artists from boasts a unique stable of British and Cornish artists. Our artists have more than thirty years of licensing experience, offering a diverse collection of unique art for licensing. With clients worldwide, from Japan to the United States, they have a proven track record of successful licensing projects.

The gallery showcases diverse artworks, including British seascapesrainforests, and wildlife, catering to various aesthetic preferences and project requirements. With their emphasis on quality and originality, artists from can add a distinctive touch to your licensing projects.


In the ever-evolving landscape of art and commerce, art licensing stands out as a compelling avenue for artists to monetize their work and businesses to create unique branding experiences. From understanding the basics of art licensing to negotiating deals and building strong artist relationships, this guide has walked you through each step of the journey. With the right resources, a keen eye for art, and a strong understanding of the industry, art licensing can unlock a world of opportunities. It's time to embrace art licensing and let creativity fuel your commercial success.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to license artwork?

To begin licensing your artwork, thoroughly research how to license art. Understand your market, pitch, plan, and utilize social media to promote your work. Finally, consider licensing the work yourself.

Can you make a living with art licensing?

As part of a portfolio approach, art licensing can be a lucrative way for artists to make a living by partnering with large brands to license their artwork.

What is a typical licensing fee for artwork?

Artwork licensing fees typically range from 3-10% of revenues, with higher rates reaching 15% for brand and character licensing. The exact amount depends on negotiations and the type of products involved.

How do I get started in art licensing?

To begin licensing your art, start by doing thorough research, knowing your market, creating a solid plan, making a pitch, and utilizing social media to get started. Once you have a solid plan and understand the market, you can license your work.

Why should I consider licensing art?

As an artist, consider licensing art to enhance your professional presence, create unique gift ranges, create brand-building opportunities, and generate consistent income from multiple licenses. As a company, licensing art can give your company a presence, provide unique retail and marketing opportunities, and enable you to build your brand to stand out.

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