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  • Selling Illustrations

    Hi all,
    I have a bunch of high quality vector illustration series(s) that were never used for the project that they were intended. Does anyone have any suggestions for the best way(s) to market or sell them, ie. stock sites, license arrangements, and any other venues I should check out, to capitalize on my artwork? Right now it is just sitting here and I would like to at least make some money off of them...

  • #2
    Hi Iheartdesign and welcome to GDF!

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    • #3
      It depends on whether or not you want to keep them exclusively your content or let others use them for whatever. If you want them, I suggest using them in your own designs on, say, Cafepress, Threadless, RedBubble, etc. But, if you're more interested in earning royalties on the illustrations themselves, by all means throw them on istockphoto, shutterstock, etc.

      I've never tried this, but maybe you could offer the package to another company? Just not a direct competitor of whomever you first developed them for - that could get dicey. Or save them for a later client/project?

      Welcome to GDF, and good luck!
      The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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      • #4
        Thanks!

        Thanks for the ideas, I overlooked Cafe Press and threadless. Selling the whole package to a company that does the same as they were specifically intended is a good idea. Just not sure how to go about getting the ball rolling on that. I guess more of a cold-call email introduction might work. As a sidebar, has anyone had any regrets selling their work/rights as a royalty based arrangement via istock and the like? I have done this before, but with illustrations that I was not particularly "attached" to. Perhaps I just need to eliminate the emotional attachment I have for said images

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        • #5
          I think it more depends on if the illustration content is client specific. I'd be real careful about approaching your original client's competition with them. Especially if there is any way your original client might construe you developed the artwork while under contract with them. If you don't have a contract that states development ideas are yours, or if you have some kind of Non-disclosure agreement, some clients can get sticky about that.

          When it comes to commercial illustration, you can't marry your work. It can't be considered fine art. You have to lose your emotional connection to any work you produce and put it out there for sale. If it's good enough and the vectors are drawn correctly (no overlapping cut through shapes and all properly welded), I'd see about getting them on one of the upper level stock sites. If they are good, go for the bigger money. Vector art isn't usually rights managed, but you might be able to get onto some of the pay per use sites, rather than the image for credits sites. Those credit sites don't have a large ROI unless you are very prolific and sell a lot of the work.

          Keep the rights.

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          • #6
            Oh, and having just spent the morning on credit stock sites, be careful about what the site gives out as your photo credit information.
            If your personal info is hidden, and your screen name is StinkyJoe, the photo credit you are going to get is likely to be StinkyJoe / StockSiteName.com
            I'll embed that in porcelain for ya if you want...

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            • #7
              Re:

              Thank you for taking the time to reply. The statement " you can't marry your work" really rang true for me and I needed to hear that. For some reason I seem to hang on to all my work emotionally, and letting it go and seeing it as a business, a means of income, feels a little bit liberating. I think I will be able to move forward from my rut, so to speak, if I can take a different approach and look at my career in a different way. Thanks so much for your advise.

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