Tuesday, April 28, 2009

IF: Theater

So apparently I have a gallery show coming up at Nickelodeon in July.  It's funny because I had petitioned about 2 years ago and was given this date...and since the time dragged on and on and on, I almost completely forgot.  Then, on Saturday morning, I woke up with just the hint of my dream left...in it, I was being told that my gallery show wasn't good enough so they would need to bring in another artist to fill out and save the show.  And that reminded me that I just might possibly have a gallery show in July.  So I have 2 months to make this happen.  I have about 30 images I would be confident with putting up, but I want more...a hell of a lot more...
This is a rough for the Illustration Friday theme Theater.  Now that I have a gallery show to work towards, these sorts of roughs will actually get finished up.  I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the week...

And in a bit of terrible news...my visitor counter has disappeared! I went to the website that hosted it and it too had vanished (or would not come up...). So I had to start over...it's all very sad.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

planting a tree

It's weird not posting something about either Shutterstock or Illustration Friday - But this won't be going up for stock imaging sales, and Illustration Friday has moved on to "theater" as a topic...I would imagine that this image would be hard pressed to fit into that narrow category.

I was about three quarters of the way through this drawing (in adobe Illustrator) when I suddenly wondered why I hadn't done it in Photoshop...It was fun doing a complete illustrator piece, but it was also limiting (for texturing purposes)...

So I think I'll recolor it in photoshop...eventually...


Monday, April 20, 2009

IF: Impossibility

This is a picture (not quite done, but it needed to be posted) that is full of impossibility.

It turns out it's impossible to actually dig your way to china. For a little panda wanting to go home, he needed another option.
Another thing is that they're impossibly cute. Even in this unfinished piece, they're so cute it hurts.
I was also going to say it was impossible for a panda to be holding a shovel and trying to dig to china, but it's probably more highly improbable...
Oh - and finally - it's impossible for me to draw these characters holding something over their heads and actually have their hands reach...why did I create them with such stubby arms?

Monday, April 13, 2009

IF: Fleeting - Summer Day

A summer day's bright sunshine is fleeting.


This is my first version. I want to add a farm in the background (I have to add a lower ground plane...). We'll see if I can get to it...I've already uploaded this one to Shutterstock...and I'm just waiting to see what happens when it gets approved (like, will anyone like it enough to download...?)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

IF: Fleeting...

When I saw the word this week was Fleeting - my first take on it was a fleet of ships or trucks or something of that sort. What I had drawn recently was a fleet (a rather small fleet) of tie fighters (those are from Star Wars).

But that's lame.

Today is Easter - and I fully expected to sleep in. But the cat likes to wake us up around 6:30 am to remind us to feed him. And when I fed and watered the cat, I went back to bed only to find that I couldn't sleep. Cats suck. They don't celebrate Easter.

But since I was up I decided to do some illustrations for Shutterstock.

If you didn't notice - these are variations of the same drawing. I drew this map way back when I started Shutterstock, but those drawings didn't sell too well. But I always wanted to redraw it (with better color) and see if I couldn't get these to sell.

The problem with Shutterstock, is that success (in the form of downloads) is fleeting. Some images start with tens of downloads the first day, but as each day passes it makes less and less until it completely disappears. But by continuing to upload new image one can maintain relevance and continue success. It's a neverending cycle (unless you don't wanna do it, then it ends pretty quickly).

Monday, April 06, 2009

IF: talisman

This might have been more suited for the IF last week - Subtract...because what else do you do with beer, but subtract it from the glass?


I also did a bit of subtracting (took away the glass) to make an abstract beer background:

I wasn't going to post this into Illustration Friday - because what I'm annoyed with most on that site are people who post in without having it relate to the topic. And then I came up with Beer is the Talisman of the masses.

And boom. It works. And to all those who might try and disagree, too bad! It's perfect!

I did these images last night for Shutterstock...I'm excited to see if they sell at all.

Speaking of Talisman...I don't know if anyone else played that game when they were growing up?

I was introduced to it when I was about 11. I loved the game so much - it was just like Dungeons and Dragons...only less nerdy and Talisman WAS a board game (and not a make it up as you go along nerdfest).


I got all the expansions to Talisman (original expansion, The Adventure, The dungeon, the horrible Timescape, and Talisman City)...except for the Dragon expansion set which came out in 1993. I don't know why I didn't get it, I just know that when I finally decided to check it out, it was no longer available for purchase.

What happened is they revised the whole game and changed the art (for the worst, in my opinion)...all the characters went from scruffy looking cool art to bubbly cartoons. I never bothered to get the new edition.

Just this last year, however, they revamped the game one more time. The art wasn't as bad as the last edition - it still had a cruddy children's cartoon look, but it wasn't as bright and gaudy and distasteful. I still didn't buy this version, but my brother in law did. What's nice is that the new version went back to the rules of the good edition of the game.

So that's what I think - when I think of talisman. Besides beer, that is...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Microstock earnings for March

Things took a turn for the better in microstock earnings. Two big things - Shutterstock pays out once again (the only site to do so) and I actually started selling consistantly (if slowly) on some of the other sites. But I tripled February's numbers thanks to all the sites I'm signed up with...

Sadly - it wasn't until the last week of March that I finally got accepted into Istockphoto - and in that week's time I still have yet to have a single download.

Shutterstock - 76% of my total microstock earnings. They're the most fun because they produce the most downloads. I'm getting at least 20 downloads a day on Shutterstock. So, if nothing else, it's a lot of fun to visit every couple of hours and see what's been downloaded. Each download nets you 25 cents (I'm just about a hundred dollars away from $500 lifetime on Shutterstock which will raise each download to be worth 33 cents). They also have On Demand Downloads which net you $1.88 per. I've been averaging about 1 of those a week (it really depends on your images as to whether or not you'll get those). The final week of March I got 5 of them...so it was a nice way to end the month. And finally Shutterstock also has Extended License downloads which I haven't gotten yet. Usually those come easier to photographers, but I'm still hoping for some eventually (they net you 25 dollars). Anyhow - that's Shutterstock....a terrific site to be affiliated with.

My latest images for sale at

My most popular images for sale at

Fotolia - 7% of my earnings for March. I got nothing from them in February (my first month)...well, 60 cents...but this month the downloads were coming! And steadily. I'd go a couple of days without one, but then someone would download 2 and then another couple of days and then I'd get 4...


Big Stock Photo - 6% of my earnings for March. I was surprised by this one. It was basically all on the strength of this image:


That image sold as a vector and as a jpg several times. What's different about Big Stock photo is that they don't have subscription downloads (like Shutterstock...the 25 cent downloads), so you get fewer downloads, but each one is for more money.

Dreamstime - 5% of my earnings for March. I was very disapointed with Dreamstime. I had a few downloads at the beginning of the month and then nothing for almost two weeks. The only reason I ended up making as much as I did is that this file sold twice within two days for 5 dollars each (which is the most I've made from any one image at any time from any site):


And the rest - 123 Royalty Free, Crestock, Vectorstock, Stockxpert. Total they equalled 3% of my total earnings. Stockxpert is the hardest on vectors (there are so many little variables for why something gets rejected)...what's nice about them is that the reuploading something is an easy process...but they were incredibly frustrating...and all said and done Stockxpert netted me $2.40 for March. Is is worth uploading images to? The two brand new places I signed up with - Crestock and Vectorstock - were kind of slow too - Crestock was the easiest to upload files to (I made 5 dollars from 7 downloads) and Vectorstock was the hardest (you have to upload each and every file individually...plus they want a jpg preview version that's a very specific size...which is annoying because all the other sites have just a minimum size...that's means you have to resize each jpg for vectorstock...and I only had 7 downloads for 1.75. That's right, they're also a 25 cent downloads, only, like Crestock, they're new and don't have much traffic...so it makes it hard to want to waste the time uploading to their site.

Anyhow - that's my microstock earning report for March. It was a fun month (but mostly only because of Shutterstock). My goal right now is to get an image into their top 50. Our highest downloaded image was this (which was surprising):


It was uploaded on the 16th of March and already has 95 downloads! It was so simple too...

So...we'll see how April goes - I'm on 9 microstock sites currently...8 hours old and already have $7 on Shutterstock!
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