One thing that has been a constant over the years has been change, not to mention evolving on the creative path, maintaining some kind of balance and making a living.
In 1995 I worked with a group of 6 women utilizing a book called Wishcraft, we all read the book, did the exercises, and each actualized our goals. I wanted to live off my stock illustrations and created an archive that sustained me for years thanks to Stockart.com.
With the popularity of royalty free stock cds, the emergence of iStock and the ability to purchase vector art for as little as one US dollar, my royalties slowed to a crawl. Stockart.com began focusing on chasing and litigating clients stealing off their website and then as their staff dwindled along with sales reports and any accountability, I decided to terminate my contract with them a few months ago in order to do something else with my archive, which I am still trying to figure out.
For the past five months I have been happily working for L&A - Letters and Arts, a small clip art site locally located, creating clip art mainly for their new menu site, combining two of my favorite passions -food and art. I create art they then own outright and where I used to make 200 to 600 an illustration -sometimes more depending on rights and usage, I make at best 50 dollars and they prefer to pay 30 an illustration. Along with the Menu Clip art, I've also been doing art for their Faith Clip site. I'm humbled by having to embrace the fact that they pull apart my submissions (they do own it after I'm paid) and break it into multiple pieces, giving me some serious reflection in respect to clients taking creative liberties.
This was driven home a few months ago when I had another assignment, for the Siskiyou Project. The executive director I worked with, owned a copy of illustrator and decided to work over my final logo I had been hired to create. Even after a few rounds of changes, apparently, my logo was not realistic enough, and he claimed it was about making the staff happy.
After months of working on the project, not to mention wanting to be paid, once again, I'm struggling to find some balance between wanting some creative respect and wanting to be compensated for my time. I work tirelessly to visually balance my art and when clients remove elements or rework the art, it throws me. I wonder if any other illustrators have encountered this and can share how they have handled it.
Its sure been putting me through some changes....
On the right, my logo design, click on the Siskiyou link above to see the reworked logo.