@Avery-Monsen This is amazing!! So well done and the book sounds wonderful. Congrats!!
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Published by a Publisher
RE: I made a book trailer for my first published children's book
RE: Question about contract & copyright
@paran Usually with exclusive rights, the artist is still allowed to use the pictures for self-promo purposes such as portfolio and social media, but it's good to have it in writing in the contract anyway. What's good to know though is that it is NOT the norm for publishers to request exclusive rights. That's because most of the time it's unnecessary, and exclusive rights are expensive AF. You're signing away any potential future income you could make from those illustrations, and that's worth something. In fact it's worth in the tens of thousands of dollars and they probably can't afford that. Certainly do not sign your rights away for no additional compensation. You can explain to them that exclusive copyrights are not necessary and it is not industry standard to request them. Get a conversation talking about their needs. The licensing agreement should restrict the territory where they can use the art, the time during which they can use it, and sometimes other things as well such as number of units they will print, wtc. Do they only publish in Germany, in German language? Well, maybe a license to use the illustrations for 10 years restricted to the German territory would be right up their alley, and that's a much more reasonable request. Maybe they don't want you to resell your illustrations in Germany, but they don't mind if you resell them elsewhere? Then perhaps an exclusive license only for German territory would do wonderfully.
Each contract is slightly different - I recently signed a contract with a self-published author who wanted to to be able to sell her book on Amazon worldwide and in many different languages, and both in print and digital, so instead of restricting territory I sold her a non-exclusive license to sell up to 1000 copies worldwide. This protects me because if the book does really well, she will have to renegotiate a license for additional copies. You want to do is retain rights to your illustrations at least in certain countries or after a certain amount of years, in order to be able to resell the art later if you so wish.
Most people and even some publishers think they need exclusive rights when they don't. It's up to you to explain that to them and negotiate a fair agreement. That self-published author I told you about initially wanted exclusive rights too. Ità told her it would be way too expensive and started a conversation about what rights she actually needs. I gave her examples: for instance, if in 8 years I resell those illustrations to a Swedish company to use on their reusable diapers packaging, does it affect your own project at all in any way? I originally offered her a 5 year license for use in Canada and French language only. When she told me she wanted to translate it and sell it online worldwide, we opted for a restricted amount of copies instead and wrote into the contract I cannot use the illustrations in book form again, but otherwise can resell them as I please. This worked for both of us and respects my rights much better than what she initially wanted.
The most important thing is to discuss all this with the publisher and if anything is not 100% clear in the contract, ask them to clarify and have it written in. For instance the use of your illustrations in your portfolio - while it's usually allowed, every contract is different. Asking the question here cannot answer your question with certainty, only asking the publisher about it can!
RE: Pricing question
@LauraA I would recommend not assuming it is Work For Hire.
It certainly can be, but only if both of you agree. Otherwise I recommend licensing only the uses the client intends to use the artwork for right now.
After all, if the channel becomes successful enough that the client needs to use the artwork in other ways you can always negotiate that later.
I agree with feature creep that @Nyrryl-Cadiz mentioned.
I'm not aware of a going rate in the US. You can find people doing avatar drawings for $20- $1000. Based on my experience you are going to find that the budget is low. Your hourly rate may even be deemed "too high". Which is why I would again recommend limiting the rights licensed.
By licensing the artwork to (for example) a YouTube banner and avatar use only for 2 years for $200, the initial investment by the client is very low. If the channel fails they haven't spent any significant money. And you made enough to hopefully break even.
BUT if the channel succeeds and they start generating real revenue, then re-licensing the image for 5 years for (and I'm just picking numbers here) $500 is great for everyone. Client continues to build a brand and you continue to generate income from work already created.
And while you (likely) lost money on the initial license of $200, you start to generate profit on the relicensing of the same image over and over.
RE: Feedback welcome on my druid and fairy scene
@Wouter-Pasman The SVS contest considers storytelling a very important part! After all, SVS stands for Society of Visual Storytelling Images without clear and compelling storytelling are often dismissed right off the bat. It would infinitely help your chances in the contest if you thought more about storytelling and planned your piece more carefully. Not just for the contest, but to improve your art general in fact! Pretty images are nice, but for professional work it is so often not enough. Illustrations that people and companies pay for have a purpose. They need to tell a story, explain a concept, sell a product, etc. Practicing infusing meaning, story or purpose into your images (and practicing hitting the mark on communicating appropriately what you wanted to tell) will level-up your work significantly!
For this fairy illustration, the image is cute and there is the beginning of a story, but it is not entirely enough. I think this is because a character "encountering" another character isn't really a story, it's a setting. There is no action, no sequence. "Encountering" is passive if it's not bolstered by other factors. There are so many ways to add more story: maybe the druid is scared and trips over himself, which makes the fairy giggle? Maybe the fairy was running away from something and plows right into the druid without noticing him, making him fly backwards? Maybe the fairy is spying on the druid from behind a tree, while he has set up camp in the woods with his dog and is roasting marshmallows? You can do whatever you like, but adding a story instead of just a setting will add meaning and charm to your work, make people remember it, and art directors be able to aptly judge your communication skills for a potential project. It is good practice to think about this more before you put pencil to paper!
RE: Postcard Crit/Advice?
@LauraLane You can start by finding a publishing company and dig around their website, linkedin, twitter. Sometimes looking at book jackets can be a treasure trove of info too, because many of them list the art director or editor that worked on the book. As for email content, they are busy people so they always appreciate when we keep it short and sweet, with a portfolio link right at the top You don't have to include images to the email itself but if you do, resize and optimize them dramatically so you don't blow up their email inbox. Good luck!
RE: Postcard Crit/Advice?
@LauraLane It does actually cost something though: it costs the printing fee for all those postcards, and especially it costs the postage for every single one of those postcards. Considering in a mailing you should send minimum 50-100 postcards, it actually can be quite expensive to send all those cards if you're not even sure they're going to reach their recipient. It also costs quite a lot of your time, which is your most valuable resources. Personally I did a couple postcard mailings at the beginning of my career, never got anything back from them and started balking at the cost so I switched to email and never looked back. I've built my whole freelance career on emails, got my first several books and my agent this way A lot of art directors and publishers accept emails, and many of those who usually don't may have changed their policy during this pandemic time since they haven't been able to get regular mail.
RE: Postcard Crit/Advice?
@LauraLane This is super cute and lovely! I'm not sure postcards right now are the best idea though. With most people in the publishing work still working from home, it's very unlikely your postcard sent to their workplace will even make it to their hands right now..
RE: Trying out new textures
@K-Flagg @Neha-Rawat @Braden-Hallett Thank you guys, I'm reassured to hear it still fits in ok with my other work! Braden, these are entirely brush textures I used a mix of Kyle's dry media and gouache brushes. I really liked the Nupastel and the rough chalk!