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Game of Thrones – Licensing & Art

game of thrones -

Game of Thrones

What in the world would a TV drama have to do with your art career? Possibly… everything.

All right… I’m not open to suggestion but I will give you 2 seconds to get my attention. This better be good.

Thinking too small will delay, sand-bag and sabotage your art career. Now do I have your attention?

If artistic talent is literally the power to convert your thoughts, your dreams into a life style of vast comfort… what in the world is holding the artist back?

In short it is your body of work. More to the point… it is the body of work you choose to paint. And whom you choose to show it to.

I know an artist who draws and paints super heroes. And once his panels are finished he cannot wait to show them to the neighborhood teenagers.

Wouldn’t it be a lot smarter to send an inquiry letter to a comic book publisher? Even if he got a rejection letter… he just might get a reason why his drawings did not make the cut.

The Game of Thrones is about power… who wants it, who has it and what some people will do to get it. But artists don’t want power. They want to be loved.

In the world of art you really don’t have to bloody your hands to get it. You just have choose a target rich environment of where to show your work. And to whom to show your work. Then you can get the love.

Not as easy as it sounds… because these contacts are hiding in plain sight. Actually they are not ‘hiding’ deliberately. You just pass by them every day… without thinking. But they are there.

Consider… in the Game of Thrones… the Kings live high up the hill, behind fortress walls… for everyone in the lowlands to see.

But in your world… the art gatekeepers are not so obvious. You could be standing next to a mover and shaker of the art world while waiting in line for cup of coffee. But these people look just like everyone else.

No one is going to strap you to a table and push a copy of a book like the Artist’s Market into your hands. No one is going to force feed you the table of contents. That you would have to do for yourself.

Of course… what would you do with a compendium of Art Directors, Museum Curators, Magazine Editors, Greeting Card Companies, news publishers, graphic design firms? Most people would do nothing. Because it is a big book.

However, a character in the Game of Thrones… a ‘wanna be King or Queen’ as the case may be… would devour the contents of such a treasure trove of contacts. Because the pages represent the keys to the kingdom.

The author of the Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin was not born a blue blood. His father was a longshoreman. As a child he wrote and sold monster stories to neighborhood children for pennies. But he did not stop there.

He became a journalism instructor. He wrote part time through out the 70’s. Honing his craft and making connections.

Now seriously… what would writing have to do with painting? Nothing other than it demonstrates that you have to have some inner drive and dedication to your craft. Also consider Jacob Lawrence who at the age of 23 made his mark and reputation with a 63 panel set of paintings.

Moving on to Hollywood… he became a story editor for Twilight Zone. I’m not suggesting you move to California… but a move can sometimes do you good… especially if it brings you into daily contact with the centers of the art universe. Some people freeze up at the thought of picking up the phone and calling some one blind. But manage to meet them in person… and the heavens open wide.

Some characters in the Game of Thrones represent some of the character traits that would serve an artist well: The Hound, Joffery and Tyrion are examples.

While you might have an extreme dislike for Joffery… he does represent one admirable trait… he is willing to roll the dice.

The Hound represents the warrior attitude of being ready to tussle and mix it up with whatever is out there. No shrinking violet here.

And Tyrion… like most of us, little people wending our way in a world of giants… relying on our cunning, our wit and cleverness to see us through to the end of the day.

In short … the Game of Thrones… is a short course in character traits… that an artist needs to absorb into their ken of behaviors to succeed.

And what does the Game of Thrones suggest to us in the world of art licensing?
If you have read this far… you are in for a treat. Everything and more than you can imagine.

As a body of work, 5 books leading to 4 seasons of TV drama… it has generated over 350 thousand DVD box set sales in 7 days, spin offs of 10 thousand dollar watches and replicas of the Iron Throne to the tune of 30 thousand per replica.

So I will direct your attention to a store like Michaels… to a floor stand labeled Mary Englebreit… and advise you… that upon some inspection on your part… you will find that Ms. Englebreit is the all time leader in art licensing income… to the tune of $150 million annually.

The world of art licensing is an elephant full of legal stuff and meetings and art directors and interested parties. But over time… it is worth the effort to add this channel to your activities.

The Game of Thrones… is a paradigm of what can be done in the arts… for the artist… that’s you.

Best regards