A few years ago, I was approached by iCanvas to license my art. iCanvas is an online art gallery that works with artists from all over the world to print their art on canvas. They offer a wide variety of sizes and art styles. They also work with major retailers like Nordstrom, Target, Wayfair, etc.
I have had a lot of people ask me about it and wanting to know more so here it is.
Should you license your art with iCanvas?
Like everything in life, it depends. I can only speak from my personal experience.
Licensing allows you to spend more time creating and immersed in your art. Someone else will use your artwork to make commercial products in exchange for a fee. It can be a one-time fee or royalties paid every month, depending on what you negotiate. Art licensing can be a great source of passive income. In most cases, you retain copyright of your work, meaning you stay in control of how other people use your work. And typically, the contract is not exclusive, so you can license the same piece of art with different companies.
To learn more about licensing in general, I recommend reading Maria Brophy’s articles on the subject. They helped me a lot when I got started.
Make sure you understand the contract
It’s very important that you understand what you sign. If you don’t understand or need clarification on something, don’t hesitate to ask. The licensing coordinators are there to work with you and I think it’s important that you feel comfortable asking them questions and negotiating if need be.
Regarding iCanvas, in my case, this is what I made sure was in my licensing agreement:
- I still own the copyright to my art
- Non-exclusive, I can sell the same artworks to other vendors or people
- Clear terms for payments
- Cancellation is possible
Before signing, make sure you read everything thoroughly so you know what to expect and don’t hesitate to ask them to clarify things if you don’t know what it means. Then, it’s up to you to decide if you accept their terms and royalty percentage.
How is the partnership with iCanvas going for me?
I’m very happy with my partnership with iCanvas so far. They have answered all my questions promptly and they have paid me the royalties on time, according to the contract I signed. I like having my art printed on huge canvases and potentially available in big retail stores, in front of many eyes.
Now, for the big question.
How much do I make?
To be honest, not much.
iCanvas pays quarterly and I barely receive anything. Sometimes, it’s not even enough to meet the payment threshold and I have to wait another quarter to get my royalties. But it’s not zero and therefore, it’s still a win in my book. Plus, you never know when a design may take off and become popular.
Now, don’t let this discourage you. It’s impossible to predict how you’re going to do. You may be more lucky than me, your art may appeal to more people, and you may sell a lot. Honestly, I also haven’t been too good with uploading new artworks…
Would I recommend iCanvas?
Should you count on it as a main source of income? Definitely not.
So if you are considering signing with them make sure you understand the licensing agreement and don’t expect too much at first.
It’s an opportunity. Whether you take it or not is your choice.
Personally, I’m glad I did.