I don't think this is a new phenomenon. I know there are galleries in NYC and SF that specialize in children's art. But who could blame the poor artist for trying to make a buck? Move over Curious George.
I know that Maurice Sendak has all of his work shipped to a museum in Philadelphia as soon as it's done. Actually, he said to the students in his class that he "sends it out the door and never wants to see it again!" That special feeling that comes from a long... and perhaps not altogether victorious struggle.
BTW, nearly one year about our local illustrators Craig Brown in town did have a show to sell his originals. And there were a few other freelancing illustrators did the same with their own originals. Thomas Blackshear and his wife Ami also have their nice gallery featuring their originals, too.
From what I've seen, an awful lot of artists are reselling their work any way they can. The book I'm marketing has illustrations that can be reused. For that, the publisher is getting much more detail and heart than for the usual work for Hire. I'm somewhat surprised at the fuss over Bill Gates.
Look at our work for Hire contracts...."all rights signed off, including electronic, universal and rights yet unknown" plus, the illustrator gets to be responsible for any lawsuits by nimnuts. Bill Gates isn't the only one who has figured out where the money is: multiple use. I think a piece can be done to fulfill both uses. What do the publishers expect? They keep cutting prices.
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