Tuesday, December 15, 2009

That's the Hitch

Few years back I licensed one of my panels to be used as an illustration for a calendar. The folks down the road who run Parks Highway Service & Towing mail out several hundred calendars each year to their own client list, and got good response with something hand-drawn and humorous, and that caught the eye, hopefully enough to get tacked up on a garage wall or refrigerator. So they tapped me for another classic culled from an older collection, and despite the inevitable wince at having to colorize something drawn a decade ago it went okay enough in the end. I have an upcoming post about this curious phenomenon over older works; for now it's enough to note that as ridiculous as current efforts might appear - in comparison there's always steady progress, maybe even improvement. Unearthing old stuff is cringe-worthy but healthy to keep a proper perspective on work I'm doing right now.

"Recycling" work like this is probably the best way to turn a profit off an image: the initial sale to the paper and even reprinting in a collection is a little compensation, but the biggest potential is in licensing the image out for illustrative usage.
The client is charged not only for the limited rights, but it also took some time rummaging around the external drive in backup storage to unearth the original file. That in turn needed to be imported and exported with all the accompanying circus-poodle tricks (including jumping through flaming hoops). After flushing away the grayscale, resizing, proofing with a mockup, and dropping in some new verbage it was coloring fun for a coupla hours. An irony in that of all people, clients such as mechanics instinctually empathize with and understand billing for art: the functional equivalent of "shop time" + experience, regardless if something else breaks down or even doesn't get fixed right the first time.

"This car is designed by computer, built by a robot, driven by a moron." - bumpersticker

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