Sunday, December 03, 2006

Writers Looking For Illustrators; A Message From An Artist/Illustrator

I was recently asked by an author that if she purchased one of my paintings could she then use it for the cover of her book. It was 'her' painting right?... Wrong!

Let me define an illustrators perspective on marketing their art and writers using their work.

Buying a painting for you house or whatever and using one for the cover of your book are two different things.

Here is an example that might bring this to light:

If you purchased the original Mickey Mouse image for even fifteen million dollars..... you could hang it on your wall, 'that is all'. Obviously, Disney would not allow you to market the image.
Let me reverse this scenario from an authors perspective of getting ripped off:

If I bought an authors original manuscript, lets say someone famous like Donald Trump, to promote my art, for lets say ten thousand dollars, or maybe he had it online and I just copied it off; would it be reasonable for me to receive all the royalties; for both my artwork and the manuscript once published?

Do you think I might get a letter from Mr. Trumps lawyer?

Authors need to bite the bullet. No, they cannot use the artwork of an artist without permission and compensation, not even if they purchased the work to hang in their living room for fifteen million dollars. Authors are not lawfully allowed to use an artists work for promotional material without permission either. That is what copyright laws are all about.

Accept that you need to pay an artist the 'going rate', just as 'you' would expect to be paid. Check out the "2007 Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market' or earlier issues. They should have a copy at your local library. This will give you an education into what an artist expects on many levels as well as insight into publishing.

I have on occasion granted an author the use of my artwork both for the cover and promotion and their book. I have done this when it has appeared to be a potential benefit to me. It is to my advantage to get my name out there. But! On another note, I have collectors of my art and owe them, and myself for that matter, a certain responsibility to keep my prices at least at the level they purchased them at.

People who invest in art do it for two reasons, the first being of course because they like it. The second reason is for investment. They invest in a piece hoping the artist will prosper and that the value of their work goes up. Artists who wheel and deal with their work are usually not at a professional level. so I guess it goes back to getting what you as a writer 'hopefully' pay for.

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