Obtaining clearance for the use of art is a two-level process (much like clearances for photographs):
The first level of clearance is the art object itself – you must get permission from the creator of the painting, sculpture, drawing, cartoon, or design if it is in copyright.
The second level arises if you use a photograph or color transparency to reproduce the work of art. A separate clearance must be obtained for the photograph, drawing, or whatever you use to reproduce the art.
TIP: Be aware that many valuable works of art are in the Public Domain.
Cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, the Simpsons, and Superman are difficult to license and extremely expensive.
The companies that own cartoons must do any drawing and animation needed for your project.
Approvals of the rights owners are required throughout the process of creating everything from an ad campaign to a coffee cup.
TIP: Many of our clients have worked with major cartoon figures successfully, but you must have a significant and suitable project with a large budget, and the willingness and time to go through a lengthy approval process. Owners of most characters are not interested in small, low-budget projects. Most cartoon characters cannot be associated with alcohol, gambling, or drugs (not even aspirin!).