ARTiSTORY launches its 2023 creatives to a global audience

ARTiSTORY has revealed its 2023 Spring Summer global arts and cultural trends and themes to licensees, retailers and DTC brands across the world.

The online global event on 6 April 2022 presented new collections inspired by trend research and the wealth of artists and artefacts in the archives of ARTiSTORY’s museum partners: The National Gallery, London; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The National Palace Museum, Taipei; Dunhuang Inspiration, China and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Spain.

In addition, ARTiSTORY announced its collaboration with the Benaki Museum, Greece for a multi-year, global licensing programme, and a new partnership with the presitigious Parsons School of Design at The New School. The New York based university, which provides world-class education in design and art history, will work with ARTiSTORY’s Global Artists Programme to reinterpret museum pieces for a commercial context.

As for serving the global market, ARTiSTORY announced strategic partnership with Sevens Marketing Consulting. The two entities will work together to help Chinese DTC companies build their brand and increase sales in the global markets.

ARTiSTORY’s North America office also shared news of two new deals with Ruggable, a high-end DTC rug company and Jade City Foods, a specialty food manufacturer, who will be both working with ARTiSTORY’s museum partners for co-branded products.

Four new trend-led themes were launched: ‘Marvellous Menagerie’, ‘She Created’, ‘Glitz and Glam’, and a refreshed collection for ARTiSTORY’s popular ‘Botanical Affairs’ theme.

The new collections of prints and patterns are inspired by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Peter Paul Rubens, George Barbier, Clara Wolcott Driscoll, Maria Sybilla Merian and William Morris, with their iconically beautiful designs of florals and animals. Beatrix Potter and her famous bunnies celebrate the upcoming Year of the Rabbit and Easter. John James Audubon and George Stubbs bring together our natural environment, along with stories and legends of the Silk Road.

Female focused ‘She Created’ celebrates the work of Guan Daosheng, the oldest known artist in the collections, dating from the 13th century.

‘Glitz and Glam’ features splendid headdresses made by Chinese court artists and the flappers and feathers of the 1920s, bringing these beautiful crowns and jewels roaring back to life and ready to embrace the dazzling 2020s.

The collections are now available to licence across multiple product categories and territories, supported with storytelling content for merchandising, marketing and immersive experiences.

Yizan He, Founder and CEO of ARTiSTORY, says: “The annually refreshed themes are developed in line with the global fashion trends, and inspired by the collecitons from our museum partners. Via licensing, retailers and consumer brands can work closely with ARTiSTORY to develop attrative new product lines that are appealing to shoppers.  The ‘artifacts to merchandise’ capabilty is a key competitive strength of ARTiSTORY.”

Natasha Dyson, co-founder & licensing director, ARTiSTORY, also commented: “This was our second creative launch and we were very happy to welcome so many new attendees, in additional to those who re-joined us.  As well as presenting stunning designs our themes highlighted some important issues, such as sustainability and protecting the planet and its wildlife. We hope to encourage brands and retailers to create eco-friendly and sustainable products that also match the ethos of our museum partners”.


ARTiSTORY secures global licensing rights for the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Spain

Art and cultural specialist ARTiSTORY has partnered with the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Madrid, to build its global licensing programme. The addition of the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum to ARTiSTORY’s portfolio shows the company’s commitment to working with the leading cultural organisations around the world.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum joins cultural partners for ARTiSTORY including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery, London; Brooklyn Museum; the National Palace Museum, Taipei, and Dunhuang Culture & Tourism Group, China.

One of Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Art” museums and located in the main boulevard of the city, the museum holds over 1,600 iconic paintings, including artworks by Italian, Dutch, German and English artists ranging from the 13th to 20th centuries. Collected over two generations of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, in 1993 the collection became a public museum for all to enjoy and admire, now known at ‘Everyone’s Museum’.

Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, Édouard Manet, John Singer Sargent and Paul Cézanne are just a handful of the great artists seen in the museum. Key art movements including the Renaissance, Expressionism, Impressionism and Cubism are represented, alongside medieval art from the likes of Jan Van Eyck and Albrecht Dürer.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum is no stranger to licensing and has created a wealth of licensed collections over the years, with Swatch and Winsor & Newton, among others. Designs inspired by the museum’s artworks will be featured in ARTiSTORY’s Global Theme launches for 2023 – details of the Spring/Summer 2023 launch to follow soon.

“I’m very pleased to have signed our first Spanish Museum, giving us two European, two American and two Asian cultural sites within our portfolio,” says Natasha Dyson, co-founder and licensing director of ARTiSTORY. “The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum adds dozens of new modern artists for our creative teams to be inspired by, expanding our range of early 20th-century art, among many more iconic masterpieces. We look forward to working together, bringing these works to a range of product categories.”

“For the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, this partnership with ARTiSTORY above all represents the chance to make its great masterpieces of painting internationally known beyond its own walls and galleries and thus reach the largest number of people, and also to establish contacts with potential collaborators in the design field,” adds Ana Cela, head of the Museo Thyssen’s Book and Giftshop.

A style guide for Collections containing Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum creatives will be available in the coming months. For more information contact

ARTiSTORY brings together AI firm obode and the National Gallery

Art and cultural IP specialist ARTiSTORY has brought AIoT technology eco-brand obode, a member of China’s Midea Robozone, together with the National Gallery, London, to create a smart-robot vacuum cleaner featuring designs inspired by three great artists and supported with innovative digital marketing content.

The smart robot, obode P8, launching to market this spring, will be available to purchase online at Kickstarter. P8 is one of obode’s most advanced AIoT products, and is part of what Midea Robozone calls “the new wave of tech life”, combining technology and art.

As part of ARTiSTORY’s living artists programme, Finnish designer and illustrator Janine Rewell was commissioned to create new contemporary artwork for obode P8 inspired by three masterpieces in the National Gallery: Ambrosius Bosschaert’s Still Life of Flowers in a Wan-Li Vase, Claude Monet’s The Water-Lily Pond and Vincent van Gogh’s iconic Sunflowers. The three artists shared a fascination with nature and benefitted from advances in science and technology, such as the newly invented microscope which Bosschaert may have used to study the flowers he painted in detail. Images of the new artwork will be created as stickers to be applied to the robot cleaner by the customer.

The collaboration is being supported by a digital marketing campaign arranged and led by ARTiSTORY. This includes a film shoot in the National Gallery, bespoke narrative, and interviews with the artist Janine Rewell and the National Gallery Company’s B2B and Brand Licensing Director.

“This exciting collaboration is a great example of how ARTiSTORY’s licensing programmes can bring together cultural IP with cutting-edge innovative products and immersive digital storytelling content,” says Yizan He, CEO and Founder of ARTiSTORY.

Continue reading

ARTiSTORY strengthens UK sales team with the appointment of Caroline High

Global art and cultural IP licensee ARTiSTORY continues to grow its UK team with the appointment of Caroline High, of Caroline High Consultancy Ltd.

Caroline is an established brand licensing expert with 20 years’ experience working with a wide genre of brands across the globe, including preschool, entertainment, lifestyle, heritage and movie.

Having previously worked at Boat Rocker Studios, Fremantle Media and Warner Bros, Caroline brings vast experience in developing licensing and retail strategies across a range of categories, leading on global toy and publishing deals, launching soft lines and apparel collaborations as well as DTRs with major retailers and also managing agencies across EMEA and Australasia.

Working on brands such as Thomas & Friends, the DC Comics portfolio, Harry Potter, and entertainment brands including The X Factor, Caroline has an in-depth knowledge of the licensing industry and most recently developed the licensing strategies for preschool shows Love Monster and Dino Ranch, negotiating the master toy, publishing and soft lines rights with partners and agents across North America and EMEA.

Caroline will play a key role in the UK team to secure licensing deals using ARTiSTORY’s latest on-trend designs inspired by artwork and artefacts from the archives of its partners: the National Gallery, London; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Palace Museum, Taipei; and Dunhuang.

ARTiSTORY Co-Founder and Licensing Director Natasha Dyson said “Having worked with Caroline previously I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work together again at ARTiSTORY. A huge part of ARTiSTORY’s business is creating unique and exclusive designs, so having someone with Caroline’s creative vison joining the sales team is a big win.”

Caroline commented “Having recently set up my own consultancy I am delighted to work with Natasha and the team at ARTiSTORY and I am looking forward to working on the licensing strategy for their engaging portfolio and bringing their designs to market in new categories.”

Q&A: Natasha Dyson, co-founder of ARTiSTORY

Indie Uncovered | UK artist Meg Hawkins strikes staycation success in SDL Imports gifting partnership

The UK artist and talent behind her self-titled design brand, Meg Hawkins has secured her latest licensing partnership in the gifts and lifestyle sector, teaming with SDL Imports to launch a selection of wooden homeware items.

The deal sees a collection of some of Hawkins’ most popular artworks feature across a portfolio of SDL wooden items, spanning coat hooks, boxes, and key boxes, joining a line up of already established footstools and further household and lifestyle items.

The SDL Imports Natural World by Meg Hawkins collection has been the focus of a long process of product development and a partnership that originally kicked off in January 2020, when the SDL Imports team first discovered Meg Hawkins’ art brand at Exeter’s Giving & Living Trade Show. 

While partnerships were quickly formed and contracts swiftly signed, the pandemic – and knock-on effects from the Suez Canal blockage and subsequent issues around shipping – hampered plans to launch product to consumers until only recently. However, the team have since been encouraged by a strong positive reception from customers and the public alike, with repeat orders across the range already being placed.

“We are absolutely delighted with our new Natural World by Meg Hawkins range. Meg’s designs look wonderful on our products,” said Diana Leadbetter of SDL Imports. 

“We have had a very positive response to this new range. We only received the stock three weeks ago and one line is already 50 per cent sold and many others over 25 per cent sold. Given that our customers have largely been unable to see and touch the products before buying them, that is very encouraging.”

SDL Importants has been supplying the tourist industry with giftware since the 1950s. Its partnership with Meg Hawkins focuses on the artist’s UK wildlife and animals collection, tapping into UK tourist attractions with a range that has proved particularly popular with buyers and retailers based in seaside towns and UK coastal holiday destinations.

The SDL Imports team has found that, while the pandemic hampered plans for the range initially, the resultant influx of holiday makers staying within the UK this year, and heading to coastal holiday hotspots, has helped boost sales.

“The increase in staycations has resulted in an extension to the normal UK coastal holidays into late autumn,” continued Leadbetter. “Last year, it was all going well until the November lockdown was announced. This year, as soon as holiday accommodation and restaurants were able to open, everywhere became busy quickly.

“The resultant influx into the traditional tourist towns of people tired of months of lockdown and not being able to visit shops has resulted in increased sales, with some of our customers advising having experienced their best weeks trading ever over the May half term.”

A brand centered around watercolour artwork and photography, the Meg Hawkins brand has been featured on a vast portfolio of products, from greetings cards to footstools, and within five years the brand has advanced form the kitchen table to being sold worldwide.

Hawkins has previously secured licensing agreements with the likes of Widdop and Bingham,, a fudge range from Gardeniers of Scotland, and 2022 notes cards with the RNLI.

“From the minute I met Diana and Mike Leadbetter at SDL Imports, we hit it off straight away,” said Hawkins. “Communication is key and we seem to be able to go with the flow. I am really pleased the collection has been selling well for them.

“We are a young company and extending our ranges through licensing enables us to gather a larger product range and most importantly, brand awareness. Our goal to be a recognised household brand is showing a glimmer of light, and hopefully all the hard work will pay off.”

Hawkins now plans to see the brand extend across other categories including stationery, as well as further homeware offerings such as bedding and soft furnishings.

“We have just launched a children’s range under Little Joe & Co which has proven really popular. We’re looking for someone to license the images for toys and baby clothes and other children’s products.”

Poetic Brands teams with the National Gallery to launch art inspired apparel and accessories

Apparel licensee, Poetic Brands, has teamed up with the National Gallery to create a range of adult apparel and accessories based on its impressive and extensive artworks.

Incorporating a wide range of products, including adult daywear apparel and outerwear, swimwear, flip flops, beach bags and towels, adult nightwear and essentials, and accessories including caps and luggage, the move has been made in response to the growing interest in art in the licensed fashion sector.

The National Gallery was founded in 1824 and houses over 2,600 paintings from the late 13th to the early 20th century in Trafalgar Square. With one of the greatest collections of art in the world, the Gallery displays many world-famous works, such as van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s The Rokeby Venus, Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

Anne Bradford, director, Poetic Brands, said: “Over the past year we have seen a significant interest in art within the fast fashion segment of the industry and subsequent demand across the High Street. The National Gallery offers us a wealth of assets from a number of artists that translate beautifully onto apparel and nightwear. 

“We are also developing luggage which although isn’t hugely in demand at the moment, the time will come when we are all travelling again and this collection will provide premium, and easily identifiable pieces for consumers to be proud of on the carousel.

“Working closely with the team at the National Gallery, we have ensured that their art collection has in turn created a fashion collection that is already very much in demand.”

Judith Mather, buying and brand licensing director, the National Gallery, added: “We are very excited about the partnership with Poetic Brands which will bring old master paintings to a new audience. It is amazing to bring our collection to modern life.”