Sunday, February 28, 2010

lil' IG-88 takes a rest - rough drawing

This is the original drawing for one of the illustrations I'm doing for a group show at Nickelodeon this week.  I've got a couple of other pieces, but I wanted to finish off with yet another image from my Heebeejeebees line of popular characters.  I've enjoyed trying to redraw these characters from my perspective.  From Star Wars I've already done Darth Vader and a Sand Person.

This is 'lil IG-88.  And if you don't know him, then shame on you.  He was in The Empire Strikes Back - there's a scene where Darth Vader is sending out a bunch of bounty hunters to find Han Solo...there was Boba Fett, a lizard guy (Bossk), and a guy with toilet paper wrapped around his head.  And standing out amongst them all was IG-88.

I'm half way done painting it (in photoshop) and will be posting that when it happens...

Microstock report for February 2010

 This month rebounded from a bit of a slow month.  I guess in any industry you have to be prepared for a bit of a letdown in the month of January.  But in February we uploaded a lot of images and enjoyed the results.

Shutterstock, once again, led the pack.  It's the easiest site to upload images to, and is the only one where we've had at least one download every day.  Istockphoto is second on the list, and while we reached our first milestone (250 downloads) it doesn't do anything to increase our sales or sale percentage.  It's just nice to see that the images are selling on that site.  Istockphoto always comes in second based on a regular amount of downloads (just not as regular as Shutterstock) and the fact that each download earns us about $2.50.

Dreamstime came in third - and it's really settled into that spot.  I had higher hopes for it this last summer when it frequently competed with Istockphoto for second...but at least it's averaging around $40 a month.  In February I tried hard to upload a bunch of illustrations for their monthly contest (still waiting for the results, as the contest ended on the 22nd).  So far three out of the 5 contest images have sold once (and I expect more as the months go on).  The contest is for members of Dreamstime that have at least 50 images online - and you can win up to $300 for first place.  But even better than that (because most of us won't win) is that each image accepted into the contest becomes a top level image.  That means when it sells, it sell for a lot more (for example - a regular file will make 35 cents for a subscription download, but a contest file will make $1.26).

Everything else was least compared to Shutterstock.  Some of the sites - like Vectorstock - are BME (best month ever) but it's still only $9.25.  It's slow, but they'll continue to get better as the portfolio sizes get bigger.

What's horrible this month is the closure of Stockxpert.  They were enveloped into the Istockphoto family and shut down completely.  So while that site only accounted for 15 dollars or so a month, it was still one of the better ones.  And now it's gone.

And finally - the worst site of the month has been Crestock.  I've had files since November uploaded that still haven't been approved.  And when sales do happen, they're the smallest of all the sites at 25 cents a pop.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

IF: Propagated with marine life

I did this for a variety of stock illustration sites (Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Istockphoto).  I figured that if I drew a bunch of marine life - seals, fish, and others, I could use them in an illustration together, but then also separate them into a page of fish by themselves.

In this one i did a variety of colors, added a shark, and changed all their eye lines so they're looking out at the camera instead of all looking at the small cute fish in the center.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IF: Adrift and in danger


I did this illustration for the tail end of the Dreamstime contest.  The subject this month is 'first steps' and is about teaching.  I did a couple of illustrations where a mother teaches her child to walk...and yesterday I filled a sketchbook page with drawings of animals with their young.  I was going to use one of those to finish on the computer - but instead I woke up this morning and drew directly into Adobe Illustrator and cleaned it up and colored it.  I usually pop my cleanup into Photoshop to finish, but I for stock illustration sites like Dreamstime, vector images sell it's always good to keep that option open.

Anyhow - the idea behind this came from thinking of a shark mother teaching her young how to hunt...and the easiest pray is the kind nearest the beach that just adrift with not a care in the world and no idea of the danger lurking under them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

IF: Adrift at sea in color

This is the finished illustration.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

IF: Adrift at sea

I've been working on a top secret project for the last month or so - which has made it hard to draw anything else.  What's nice is that I finally finished the project this last i finally have time to do something for Illustration Friday.

This is the original rough that I did in Photoshop and next to it is the Illustrator clean-up.

This is a new character that I'm working on.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

IF: Focused and concentrating

I did this illustration for the stock image site Dreamstime.  I've said this in a previous post - but just in case you didn't read that one I have two things to say.  The first is that Dreamstime is for illustrators and photographers to upload images that are then downloaded for between 30 cents and $28 (depending on how the customer wants to license the image).  My second point is that every month Dreamstime has a contest with a different theme (not unlike Illustration Friday)...only the Dreamstime contests have cash money winners (or sometimes t-shirts or ipods).  The only stipulation for entering the contest is that you have to be a member and have a certain number of images in your Dreamstime portfolio.

Anyway - I originally did this image as the above kid walking by himself with no background...and I illustrated a boy version and a girl version.  That image was denied by Dreamstime because they said it was too simplistic.  So I chose the little girl and drew a whole background behind her.  It took almost a week for the little girl walking to get approved...but in the meantime I thought that I would finish up the picture of the little boy.  I moved the crib (from the little girl walking illustration) to the other side of the frame and added a mother behind the boy.  I wanted it to look like she had just let the kid go and this really was his first step.  I thought this illustration would also work for Illustration Friday - as you need to be focused to pull off your first steps without falling on your face.
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