Stock Illustration

There's some heated debate about stock illustration over at the iSpot.... with the verdict being that stock illustration is not a good thing for illustration. Not only does it lower the general perception of fees that should be paid for illustration... but it also reduces the quantity of work available. In a nutshell... a short term profit for a long term loss.

In an online chat forum last week, I asked Harriet Kaysak... who is a prominent children's artist representative whether there is much use of spot art in children's publishing... and she said she had seen very little evidence of any. How about some 'stock' for other professions... I think we could easily manage some 'stock politicians' or stock 'professional sports' we have the technology.


John Nez / Illustration

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 15:49:13 EDT
Subject: Re: illustration: stock illustration debates

I kinda just glanced over the post regarding the debate on iSpot regarding stock illustrations. Not being an illustrator in the truer sense of the word, I've not had much experience with pure illustration 'assignments'.

But I feel I've done something similar to stock illustrations. Maybe some will disagree.

Anyway, it seems to me to be a good entry-level area for illustrators, or wannabees, just starting out. When I was still working full time, as an artist, for someone else, I was given the opportunity to sell lots of my work, for essentially very little money, at least when you consider the per- piece payment. I got into a program that bought artwork to be re-sold, by auction, on cruise ships. I had to go through a jurying process, of sorts, but was lucky enough to have been accepted twice, under two different pseudonyms. Looking back, I regret using the different names. But that's another story.

Anyway, we only recieved 30 bucks for each painting we supplied. But I supplied them with 1200 originals in 13 months. (thats 36 grand...for part- time work) I fully expected to paint over 2000 pieces the following year. Yet another story:-)

The moral of the story? This work enabled me to leave my somewhat low-paying job and not only go off on my own but I rented my own studio and began getting new clients who could see what I could do and were willing to pay me lots more. Plus, the painting experience was invaluable.

So now, the same paintings I sold for 30 bucks, and the cruise lines sold for an average of $175.00, I sell for 800 to 1200 dollars.

The moral of THAT story is that finacially, I was better off doing the cruise-ship thing. Go figure.......

Skip Dyrda
New World Productions
"Fine Art, Accessories and...Just Cool Stuff!"

The topic of the SIS was a bit confusing to me since I missed some of them twice. However, basically, Brad Holland recommended we artists need to PROTECT ourselves and DO NOT get involved with SIS!!! And not only this, another one to stay away from is royalty free CDs. These will hurt us artists and we need to do something about this problem!

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