Art Licensing: Through the eyes of Joan Beiriger

Joan Beiriger
Joan Beiriger
Artist extraordinare
Website name:Joan Beiriger art for products

What do you create? I create art especially to be put onto products.  My art style varies depending on the product line and manufacturer I am creating the art for but the majority is traditional and realistic looking.

What medium do you enjoy most? I absolutely love to create my art on the computer.  I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and a little bit of Corel Painter thrown in.  And believe it or not I don’t use a digital pen but a mouse for most of my work.

How did you get started? I started out as a counted cross-stitch and blackwork needle artist selling my designs to kit manufacturers and magazines.  Later I sold my needlework charts and kits at retail shows, wholesale, and over the internet.  In the late 1990s I designed my last cross-stitch chart and started painting with acrylics until I eventually moved into digital painting.

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives: There are so many that it was hard to narrow it down to just three but ultimately I decided that Mary Engelbreit, Jody Bergsma, and Marjolein Bastin are at the top of my list.  Not only do I love their art but I also admire the success in art licensing that they have achieved.

Joan Beiriger art

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now? I took a couple of art classes in college but I am essentially a self taught artist  with much experimenting and a lot of help from a slew of art books.

Do you feel you’re successful? I feel VERY successful, not just in art licensing but in life. I could write a book on it but suffice to say I am one satisfied person.

What do you like most about what you do? What I like most about art licensing besides creating art is networking with a bunch of wonderful people.

Joan Beiriger art

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

In my opinion you need to do four things to license your art.

  1. When you start out, learn everything you can about the industry and NEVER stop learning.  Take as many classes in art licensing that you can afford, listen to the experts, and read anything you can about art licensing.  By doing so, you are better prepared to make decisions on what information works best for you.
  2. You NEED to think product when you are creating art.  If you can’t think of what kind of product your art should be on than neither can the manufacturer.
  3. You need to build collections around each painting or set of paintings you create.  That will make your art versatile so that it can be used on many kinds of products.
  4. Create mock-up products with your art on them.  It is a great marketing tool so that manufacturers can visualize what your art will look like on their products.

What are you most proud of? Up to several months ago I would have said that being the featured needle artist in the 1985 premier issue of CrossStitch & Country Crafts magazine was my most proud moment.  Now it is my blog where I share information about art licensing with others in the industry.

art by Joan Beiriger

What do you focus on for your marketing and promotion efforts? My main focus in marketing is by hiring an agent. But I haven’t stopped there because I feel my agent’s job is to connect to manufacturers. promote my art at trade shows and manage the contracts which does not cover all aspects of marketing.  That is why I continue to advertise at my own expense, send out press releases, and market my art via social media.

Additional ways to connect with Joan Beiriger:

Twitter: joanbeiriger
Facebook:  Joan Beiriger
Linkedin: Joan Beiriger

Other: Joan’s agents site