The National Gallery taps ARTiSTORY to grow licensing programme on a global scale

The cultural IP licensing specialist, ARTiSTORY has secured a new, multi-year partnership with The National Gallery Company through which it work to expand its licensing programme on a global scale.

Co-founded by Yizan He and Natasha Dyson, ARTiSTORY is a specialist in IP development working with museums, galleries, science centres, and libraries across the globe as it brings a spectrum of creative design, licensing,and retailing capabilities geared towards helping cultural organisations develop their licensing programmes.

The National Gallery is a home to more than 2,600 of the world’s most renowned paintings including 700 years of work from the late 13th to the early 20th century. Founded in 1824, just 38 paintings started what would become a National Collection of art. The gallery covers 46,396 square metres and is located north of Trafalgar Square in the centre of London.

Inspiration for ARTiSTORY’s cultural themes and design assets will derive form the Gallery’s collection of masterpieces by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Cézanne, Gentileschi, and Van Gogh. The art movements represented in the gallery are various, from renaissance to impressionism, to rococo and romanticism, there is a wealth of stories to share with licensees, to create a range of product collections.

“We are thrilled to be working with Judith and her team and to finally be able to meet in person after so many months of communicating virtually. Adding the National Gallery’s image collection to our portfolio of IP has given us access to many of the world’s most sought after and iconic masterpieces,” said Natasha Dyson, co-founder and licensing director at ARTiSTORY.

“Our creative team have been busy working on our themes, design assets, including illustrations, patterns and prints, ready for launch in July. We can’t wait to see these design applied to products.”

Judith Mather, buying and brand licensing director at the National Gallery, added: “We are very excited about working with ARTiSTORY to further grow our licensing programme.”

ARTiSTORY expands global reach with new US office and development in Southeast Asia and Oceania

ARTiSTORY is expanding its global reach with the opening of its US office where it will serve its portfolio of IP clients in the North American market. At the same time, the business’ Singapore office has officially welcomes a new force to lead development of the Southeast Asia and Oceania markets.

Co-founded by Yizan He and Natasha Dyson, ARTiSTORY is a specialist in cultural IP licensing with capabilities in transforming “Artifacts to Merchandise” and creative contents. The outfit reaches a global audience with merchandise and promotional licensing inspired by art and culture.

The addition of the US and Singapore operation grows ARTiSTORY’s global presence, now covering markets across Asia and Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as America. Co-Founder Yizan He is also serving as a General Partner of Sinofaith IP Investment Company (SIPIC), an entity that embarks on a unique “IP+Investment” business mode by injecting premium IP rights and working capital to empower startups in the art and culture sector.

Supported by SIPIC, ARTiSTORY has made clear its determination to ‘build a genuinely global powerhouse of art, cultural and science related IP and a full ecosystem of IP licensing business.’

Anna Stein has now joined the firm as country manager and business development director for North America and will work closely with Yizan He and Natasha Dyson. Stein has a background in art history and brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the role after having worked in global licensing for over 15 years.

Previously, she has worked for major studios such as Nickelodeon and Twentieth Century Fox, as well as working on the manufacturing and the agency side of licensing.

“I am really impressed by the licensing model that ARTiSTORY has created and excited to work with new partners with this innovative company,” said Stein.

With Alicia Chen joining our Singapore office as country manager and business development director, she will work closely with Yizan He, UK and US office to develop Southeast Asia and Oceania markets. Having over 12 years of solid business development experience in B2B and B2C environment with C-level decision makers and national consulates across Asia markets; enhanced with Master of Science qualification in Marketing, Alicia has been focusing on lifestyle, and FMCG related sectors.

“I am delighted to be joining the team and looking forward to working together with the international team closely,” said Alicia Chen.

Yizan He, co-founder and CEO of ARTiSTORY, concluded: “We are thrilled to see both Anna and Alicia bring a vast array of resources to the international team. Together with these talents, we are ambitious to become a strong voice in the cultural enterprising scene across the globe.”

ARTiSTORY teams with Brand Licensing Studios to build retail and partner base across Italy

Brand Licensing Studio is the latest sales agent to join ARTiSTORY’s growing European team in a partnership that will see the European outfit focus on securing retail and brand partners in Italy.

Brand Licensing Studio will look for partnerships to feature designs from ARTiSTORYs’ biannually refreshed creative themes across its growing portfolio of art and cultural IP.

Italy is home to the largest number of luxury brands in the world, many of which are looking to expand their presence internationally and appeal to new audiences.  ARTiSTORY is creating designs to appeal to these consumers and content to engage them.

Established in 2018, Brand licensing Studio is a boutique licensing agency specialising in creating brand extensions and merchandising programmes for artists, design brands and iconic retro characters (like Astro Boy). 

Natasha Dyson, co-founder and licensing director, at ARTiSTORY, said: “Having spent 13 years working as a brand and licensing consultant, working for well know companies in Italy, Ambra is well connected and experienced in the key categories we will be developing in Italy across both retail and brands. We’re very happy to have Ambra join the team and excited to work togther to develop long-term partnerships in Italy.” 

Ambra Farioli, managing director at Brand Licensing Studio, said: “When Natasha invited me to join the amazing team of ARTiSTORY, I really felt honored.

“I have been working with several art IPs and I can say it is a growing trend, especially for the luxury industry. However, there are some difficulties in working with art pieces which ARTiSTORY overcomes as they have been able to perfectly translate artefacts for licensing. I am really looking forward to starting work with these IPs across multiple categories.”

ARTiSTORY taps Marcrom Licensing as sales agent for Iberian market

ARTiSTORY has appointed Marcrom Licensing as its sales agent for the Iberian market, a move that sees the art and culture licensing specialist position itself for further growth across Europe and beyond.

Under the deal, Marcrom will focus on securing retail and brand partners to feature designs from ARTiSTORY’s biannually refreshed creative themes across its growing portfolio of art and cultural IP.

Recognising that appealing designs are key to the success of any product, ARTiSTORY’s dedicated creative team works to identify themes and research appropriate artefacts from its mainstream museum partners, before developing design assets such as prints and patterns.

Founded in 2015, and based in Barcelona, Marcrom is headed up by Ivan Marco.  The company represents a selection of corporate, entertainment and lifestyle brands such as fashion brand Munich or the television series Peaky Blinders.

“Home to several global retailers the Iberian is a key market for ARTiSTORY and our clients. We believe local expertise is very important when building a global business which is why we’ve chosen to work with Marcrom,” said Natasha Dyson, co-founder and licensing director, ARTiSTORY.

“Ivan instantly understood our business model and his wealth of experience, connections and ideas really impressed us.  We welcome this new partnership together to bring art and cultural IP to the Iberian market.”

Ivan Marco, ceo of Marcrom, added: “It is a pleasure to be part of the ARTiSTORY team. From the first time I discussed this project with Natasha I fell in love with the idea of working with art and cultural IP. Art has always been part of our lives and thanks to the partnership between ARTiSTORY and Marcrom we will now be able to bring art even closer to people through various product categories such as home, apparel and accessories and gift, among other.”

ARTiSTORY appoints Georgina Heatley as new licensing and editorial assistant

The cultural IP licensing unit, ARTiSTORY has appointed Georgina Heatley as its new licensing and editorial assistant, joining co-founders Yizan He and Natasha Dyson on the mission to ‘transform artefacts to merchandise.’

As part of the business’ endeavour, ARTiSTORY sets out to reach global audiences with well designed merchandise that is inspired by art and culture, offering an immersive retailing experience and telling stories via digital content and pop-up exhibitions.

The team is focused on helping cultural organisations ‘go beyond the walls of their buildings and expand their reach to a much wider audience,’ while generating sustainable revenue that can be used to support their operations.

“We’re thrilled to have Georgina on board,” said Natasha Dyson on behalf of the team. “Georgina shares ARTiSTORY’s passion for storytelling, art, history and cultural heritage with experience gained in both the licensing and heritage sectors, having worked with a wealth of licensees at Historic Royal Palaces. 

“Georgina’s role will see her working closely with the creative team researching artefacts across a range of the world’s top cultural organisations to develop design themes and assets.”

Georgina Heatley, licensing and editorial assistant, added: “I am honoured and excited to be joining ARTiSTORY as the licensing and editorial assistant. With my background as an Archaeologist and Sociocultural Historian, and previous role in heritage licensing with Historic Royal Palaces, ARTiSTORY’s mission and values resonate closely with my own.

“Learning and sharing history, art and culture through stories is a skill and tradition shared globally. I am looking forward to bringing this into merchandise, experiences and creative themes and trends with a some of the world’s top art and culture organisations from museums and galleries to science centres and libraries.”

ARTiSTORY’s Natasha Dyson on the future of the art and culture licensing space

ARTiSTORY, a licensing super group (The Crosby, Stills, and Nash or the Emerson, Lake, and Palmer of the industry perhaps?) comprised of Natasha Dyson, Dave Collins, and Tamara Dixon, couldn’t have arrived at a better time for the art and culture sector.

Alongside the arts and the hospitality industries, the cultural sector has been one of the hardest hit by the events of the past nine months, with venues and organisations forced to close or cope under the financial pressures drawn out of large decreases in footfall and visitor numbers all at the hands of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result, licensing has become the beacon of light and a means for the sector to continue to reach its audiences across the globe in the meaningful ways that resonate with the public, while developing the much-needed incremental resources for themselves. And, made up of a team of ‘pioneers in the art and cultural IP licensing sector,’ this is just what ARTiSTORY is setting out to achieve.

The question is: just how big an impact is the coronavirus pandemic likely to have on the future of the art and cultural sector, how has it shaped new means of consumer and fan engagement within it, and what will licensing now have to achieve or adapt to in order to ensure those meaningful experiences are maintained? catches up with Natasha Dyson, co-founder and licensing director of ARTiSTORY to talk all this and more.

Hello Natasha, it’s nice to catch up. Just to kick us off, and to recap, what is ARTiSTORY, what is it bringing to the licensing space and what is your role in the new venture?

A new venture specialising in working in the art and culture sector, ARTiSTORY acts as a master licensee to IP by helping them to launch design led licensing programmes across Europe and North America.

ARTiSTORY merges art and culture with our daily lives through exceptional consumer goods, engaging storytelling and interactive shopping experiences.

My main focus is on developing the licensing programme on behalf of our clients. Though as you can imagine, as a new company we all wear many hats at the moment in order to get everything done.

Why is now the right time to be launching ARTiSTORY? How is this reflective of the way the licensing industry or consumer tastes have changed? 

The founding members of ARTiSTORY have been working in licensing for many years. As a team we are pioneers in the art and cultural IP licensing sector, and in the past have developed and launched numerous award-winning licensing programmes. As an example, the founding members have worked with the MET, Natural History Museum, V&A and British Museum, just to name a few, and we’ve worked with global top consumer brands and retailers, such as LVMH, P&G, Nestle, Miss Sixty, Amazon and Uniqlo.

COVID-19 has forced closures across various art and cultural organisations which has led to more demand within the art and cultural sector to continue to reach their audience in meaningful way while still developing incremental revenue sources. We see this is the perfect moment for us to bring our expertise and resources under one roof by setting up ARTiSTORY, so from a start, ARTiSTORY is an industry leader in driving the global development of art and cultural IP licensing.

ARTiSTORY is very much tapping into the heritage and cultural space – why is this such a strong sector for licensing?

The world of art, cultural and science IP is very unique in many ways. Firstly, it has literally countless precious artifacts and objects, ranging from Pottery of ancient Greece, to master paintings from Renaissance, from Kimono collection from Japan, to contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol. Each piece of these artifacts and objects offer ARTiSTORY wonderful sources of design inspiration and elements for storytelling which we then license as a package to our licensees.

Secondly, art and culture are universally cherished by consumers worldwide, regardless of their age, language and professions. Many consumer brands and retailers with whom the founding members have worked are all impressed by the scale of the impact, the effectiveness of new user acquisitions that art and culture IP has delivered. As an example, a recent market report released by Alibaba Group in 2019 indicates that art and cultural IP licensees reported an average rate of 70% customers are first time customers to them, thanks to the art and cultural IP. In a world where the costs of user acquisitions are so high, licensing has proven to be a great and cost-effective marketing tool.

How will you approach this space, and what will be at the heart of the partnership’s you guys forge here?

With a track record of success in the art and culture sector we are confident that we can convert our strong existing relationships into new partnerships. ARTiSTORY is an appealing proposition to IP, retailers and brands alike as there is no other company that come close to what we have achieved in our former roles in this sector.

ARTiSTORY offers consumer brands and retailers the possibility to elevate their product designs, acquire more customers and charge a premium price.

How are you guys looking to push the envelope of innovation in this space? What sort of partnerships will be top of your list?

Past success and research tell us that we need to look beyond the traditional audience for this sector and reach out to a younger audience. As well as looking to work with brands and retailers that already appeal to this age group, we will be targeting those that don’t as this is where we can really add value to their businesses and drive customers to their stores.

To appeal to the younger audience ARTiSTORY will invest in content development including social media postings, videos, documentaries, live streaming, talk shows, workshops and more. Equipped with high quality content, we will launch various marketing campaigns to promote our licensed products and our IP partners.

How do you think the current situation will evolve the heritage and cultural space overall – i.e virtual tours – will they be a part of the future of the space? – and how can licensing tap into this evolution?

In the era of pandemics, cultural institutions remain closed or are expecting lower levels of visitors – which result inevitably greater revenue shortfalls. How to stay financially sustainable is a key question that cultural organisations need to solve in order to keep their missions alive.

Licensing, as proven in many world’s leading museums such as British Museum, The MET and V&A, is an effective practice that not only allows cultural organisations to enjoy incremental revenue but also enable them to extend their reach to tens of millions of audiences globally.

We see digital tools such as virtual tours and live streaming to be an integral component of future licensing programmes. This is something we plan to implement for our clients having seen first-hand how successful it has been in other markets. We hope to build loyal fans of art and culture products through interacting with audiences around the world.

What are the key trends you guys are seeing in licensing at the moment, and how will ARTiSTORY be tapping into these?

Obviously the last few months have been very strange for everyone and there has been huge shift in the way consumers buy products, and also the products they are buying.

Online has become such an important channel over the last few months and now many people have switched to online purchasing they will continue to shop in this way. Brands and retailers that have an online presence are appealing to us due to their accessibility and the fact that our target consumer primarily shops online.

Whether online or in-store we are seeing an increase in customer experience spending. ARTiSTORY can help retailers and brands bring customers back into their stores through developing innovative store experiences.

A trend that is becoming increasingly important to consumers is the desire to purchase sustainable products and buy from brands and retailers that they know are sustainable. ARTiSTORY will be working with IP that has preserved history for thousands of years. It’s now our responsibility as an industry to preserve the planet for future generations. Material, packaging and reusability will make up part of the selection criteria determining our partners.

Industry trio forge new art, culture, and science focused business ARTiSTORY

Licensing industry specialists Dave Collins, Tamara Dixon, and Natasha Dyson have united their expertise and combined experience to launch the new licensing business venture ARTiSTORY, a new unit focused on developing content in the art, culture, and science sectors.

ARTiSTORY will aim to translate objects or artistic, cultural and scientific significance into usable assets for the consumers of today, doing so through its three key areas of business: IP asset development, IP licensing, and content development.

The founder trio are each experts in their respective fields and the new venture will see Collins take on the role of co-founder and commercial director, Dixon as co-founder and creative director, and Dyson as co-founder and licensing director.

By tapping into treasured collections at world’s top museums and heritage institutions, ARTiSTORY creates annually refreshed trends, themes and original design assets including illustrations, prints & patterns, which in turn, can be applied onto product and packaging design.  

ARTiSTORY licenses these design assets to consumer brands and retailers and assist them to introduce compelling products, engage shoppers via digital marketing and offer immersive shopping experiences. Each product comes with a unique story that consumer brands and retailers can attract more shoppers by leveraging the power of storytelling.  

“Storytelling is central to human existence. That it’s common to every known culture and research shows that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts. Storytelling is the future of marketing and there are no better ingredients than art and culture which transcend time and geographic barriers,” read a statement from the new business.    

“By working with ARTiSTORY, consumer brands, manufacturers and retailers will acquire new customers more effectively, both through their online and offline stores, turning shoppers into your loyal fans while providing them with unique shopping experience.”

The team at ARTiSTORY are pioneers in art and culture IP licensing with track records working with the Natural History Museum, British Museum, the MET, V&A and many world’s top retailers and consumer brands such as Uniqlo, Amazon, Max Factors and Nestle etc.  

“We are constantly looking to partner with new IP in the art, culture and science sector. We serve as a creative design studio, act as a joint licensor and roll out design led licensing programmes across Europe and North America,” said ARTiSTORY.  

ARTiSTORY will work from a design led studio in London and a sales office in Barcelona.

Contact: Natasha Dyson on +44 7855 858711.