My first experience came about as a result of an mass email to colored pencil artists. Prismacolor was looking for an image to put on their Verithin packaging. All you had to do was submit any image you used their product on and wait to see if you were selected. Gratefully, one of mine was. They paid me a nice little sum, agreed to adding my name to the image and it was done. I didn't get rich but you can't buy that kind of exposure, plus seeing your image on Amazon is a real rush, not to mention in every Michael's craft store.
I blogged about this last one but this is the first actual photo I have to show the display. The EMP Museum in Seattle contacted me and asked if they could license my Kvothe image from Name of the Wind for part of their educational, interactive exhibit on fantasy characters. My daughter is currently there on vacation and took this picture for me. The room is dark so it isn't the best, but it's satisfying to see it as the public does. Again, great exposure.
I retained all the rights to my images. The only restriction I had was with Prismacolor. I couldn't sell rights to another colored pencil company. I would love to know how someone goes about seeking licensing opportunities. It probably involves an agent or maybe not??