How to Become a Porterfield's Artist
Porterfield's Fine Art Licensing is a full-service art licensing agency that represents artists who would like to have their art reach a broad audience and increase their income and artistic reputation in the process. We are actively seeking new artists for representation, who are able to create female-oriented art that can "hit" today's market and work on a wide variety of commercial products.
Why have a licensing agent in the first place?
There are many reasons. On the most basic level, while you may have spent years focusing on creating beautiful art, chances are you haven't spent years in the field of art licensing. You probably don't know which of the thousands of manufacturers and publishers in the United States and Canada might be seeking art like yours, you may not know how to contact them and whom specifically to contact in each company, and you may not want to go to the expense of doing so.
While you may know some basic facts about copyrights, you probably don't know what needs to be in any contract you sign to protect your right to control the reproduction of your art and to protect your copyright rights.
After all, you're an artist, not someone who specializes in legal contracts, negotiating the best licensing deal, and making sure that you're being paid fairly and adequately for what you've created while having all of your rights protected.
It can get worse...
We've heard so many awful stories over the years about artists who signed away full reproduction rights to their art without ever realizing they had done so, who found themselves being named in lawsuits because there was no protective indemnification clause in their contract, or who were taken advantage of in a whole number of ways.
Some problems came about because of companies that tried to take advantage of artists and buy their art for a song, and some of the stories resulted from lack of knowledge on the part of the artist, or the company, or even both.
In every case, having a knowledgeable licensing representative who knows the law and knows what needs to be in an art licensing contract (and what shouldn't be there), could have made the problems vanish before they ever had a chance to appear in the first place.
That's where we come in
Lance J. Klass, President of Porterfield's Fine Art Licensing, began licensing art commercially in 1985. Our company, Porterfield's L.L.C., was established in 1994 and for many years has been devoted to commercial art licensing into a wide variety of fields. We know lots of creative directors and licensing directors in major companies all across America that are seeking good art, and we know how to get you the best deal, protect the quality of reproduction of your art, and make sure that your rights are fully protected.
What we're seeking
Fully 80% of consumer goods in America are purchased by women age 30 and above. They purchase home decor and home accessories, home fabrics, clothes, giftware, collectibles, prints, calendars, cards, stationery and other printed goods with lovely art. They buy products for their spouses, their children, their homes and themselves.
Therefore, our major emphasis at Porterfield's at the present is in finding and offering for license beautiful, charming, nostalgic, evocative or decorative art that appeals to this specific group of consumers. If women like the art, chances are we'll be successful in licensing it.
The human dimension
There's an important human dimension as well. If you want to license your art you have to be willing to keep at it, week after week, year after year. We'll be investing literally thousands of dollars in time, labor, digital costs, reproduction costs, promotions and the like to make you and your art known. So don't expect to send us a dozen pieces and "see what we can do" as it's an ongoing, collaborative process. You have to be willing to keep up on the marketplace, on trends and what's selling, and you need to keep building your portfolio of licensable art.
Also, don't expect to "get rich" immediately. There are no overnight sensations in this business. The artists whose work you're most familiar with have put in many, many years to achieve a solid level of name recognition and reap a solid income by licensing their art. Consider licensing as a ramp, or runway, that can and should build over time. The fact is that most artists make next to nothing in their first year or two in licensing while they're beginning to build their name, reputation, and image recognition, so patience and hard work are definitely virtues in the world of art licensing!
If you're not willing to make that commitment, please don't contact us. But if you're willing to really devote yourself to making it work, then you might just be our type of artist and worth a serious investment to get you rolling.
What we're not seeking - because it's so very hard to license - is black and white art, abstracts, portraiture, landscapes or cityscapes of specific known regional locales (Boston, San Francisco, Florida), cartoons, or art that is oriented toward very small niche markets (lovers of a specific breed of dog, for instance). We do not represent sculpture and we don't represent photographs or photographers.
We want color, good design, lots of appeal, and well-composed images. Gouache, watercolor, oil, acrylics and digital media are all acceptable.
The bottom line is that we're seeking art that will license to companies that sell their products to women. We receive between three and five submissions from artists each and every day of the year including weekends and we take extremely few artists - only those whom we feel can create art for this current marketplace. Can your art work on a wide variety of products? Is it oriented toward women? If so, let's see a sampling!
Let's see what your art looks like
We're always interested in finding excellent artists to represent for licensing. It's easy to submit art to Porterfield's. Just email us low-resolution samples of your work or direct us to a site where we can see your portfolio. Or mail us good quality color prints or slides of your work along with a cover letter about yourself and a self-addressed stamped return envelope. Unfortunately, we cannot return art that is sent to us without a postage-paid return envelope.
Send your submissions to
Porterfield's Fine Art Licensing
attn: Lance J. Klass, President
8437 Tuttle Avenue, Suite 410
Sarasota, Florida 34243 USA
We generally are able to get back to artists about their work within a month after receiving a submission, and will let you know whether or not we think we might be able to effectively and successfully license your art and if it meets our current needs.
If you have specific questions that you'd like to ask in advance of sending us art, just email us first.
Porterfield's Fine Art Licensing is a full-service international art licensing agency, online at www.porterfieldsfineart.com. Visit our blog for artists on The Business of Art Licensing at www.art-licensing.biz and our Art & Licensing News Page at www.artlicensing.org.