I have a rubber stamp for the back of my paintings, declaring my copyright ownership. This is discussed in my website article “Explore Back Of Your Painting.” Peter.


The following article is extracted from the August/September 2014 issue of Robert Burridge’s newsletter “ArtsyFartsy News:”

Ask Kate About Art Marketing

ASK KATE! With every newsletter, Kate will post your questions and her responses on the subject of marketing, sales, and promotion. If your question is selected for the newsletter, you will receive a Burridge Permission Mug. If you have a burning question that you would like to have answered — for your benefit and everyone else’s — email Kate at kate@robertburridge.com

Barbara from Illinois asks…. Recently, a customer asked whether he could reproduce my painting, if he were to buy it. What is the best response to someone who asks about copyrights? And where can I find current going rates for image usage rights?

Thanks for your question Barbara! I am sure that this same question has come up for a lot of artists. This is an example of Licensing your Art.

We refer to licensing as “Making Money while you Sleep”.

Concept: You (artist) sell your design (art) to a company to use on a specific product.

You get: Advance payments/royalty or a percentage of sales. If successful, Artist can expect to make anywhere from hundreds of dollars to millions. Time – 2 to 10 years – Donʼt get discouraged. Licensing can be a very slow-building process.

Youʼll need to have more than one idea. Think of a full line of products. Does your design work for a full line of products? Ask yourself – Do your artwork really have the right look for commercial products? Think greeting cards, coffee mugs, jigsaw puzzles, coasters – any product that has an artwork component is more than likely a “licensing deal”.

Back to your customer – I would probably ask him what he had in mind, then draw up a licensing contract and charge him that way. I don’t know if I would be too keen on selling him the original if I couldn’t trust him to honor the artist’s copyright. Hmmm… I think I would also go over these points with the customer.

1) The Artist owns the copyright of their work, period.

2) Any reproduction of the artist’s work must be granted in writing by the artist.

3) Just because the person owns the physical piece of art, they do not own the copyright.

Here is a great website that will answer a lot of licensing questions:www.porterfieldsfineart.com

Click HERE for more Licensing Resources.

Here are a Couple of Books I Use For Reference


Licensing Art 101 by Michael Woodward

Publisher: ArtNetwork; Third Edition edition (July 1, 2007)

Paperback: 192 pages

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0940899841

ISBN-13: 978-0940899841

(buy at Amazon)

Licensing Art and Design by Caryn R. Leland

Licensing Art and Design: A Professional’s Guide to Licensing and Royalty Agreements by Caryn R. Leland

Published by Allworth Press; Revised edition (May 1, 1995)

Paperback: 128 pages

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1880559277

ISBN-13: 978-1880559277

(buy at Amazon)