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  • What's the Point...alism?

    alt text
    Art by Iain Davidson

    Can you grow an Instagram following without posting finished work? How can you start projects with confidence? And when are you good enough to teach? Jake Parker, Will Terry, and Lee White explore these questions in this week's episode.

    Ask A Question!

    Click HERE to listen and read the shownotes.

    posted in 3 Point Perspective
  • RE: Work for Hire? Not sure what to do.

    @carlianne I would be interested to see the wording of a contract that actually states that.

    But I can't say for certain a ridiculous clause like this doesn't exist. I have seen contracts that state the "rights are licensed in all forms now known or created in the future throughout the known universe"
    My feeling is, "You want to publish my work in Alpha Centauri? -- Cool. Let's add a bunch of extra zeros to that licensing fee!"

    But, for anyone reading this thread who decides to get a full-time in-house illustration position -- read your contracts! This would clearly be a negotiating point that could (and absolutely should) be crossed out.*

    *Except in the case of the Bratz dolls. I'm actually sympathetic to Mattel on this one.
    Carter Bryant made a product that directly competed with his employer.
    If you are a shoe designer working for Nike, they are going to be understandably irritated if you design a shoe and then take it over to Adidas (here in PDX that is literally across the river)
    What Nike shouldn't be irritated about is if you are a shoe designer who writes a picture book and has it published. The two markets don't overlap in any significant way.

    As a full-time employee I would have no problem agreeing not to create a directly competing product. But I would not agree to letting the company own EVERYTHING I make outside of the office.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Work for Hire? Not sure what to do.

    @Janette I saw your message, and see that you've received a number of replies to your OP.
    I am a huge fan of illustrators understanding the concept of Work For Hire (WFH), and then based on that understanding, deciding if they wish to agree to it or not for a given project.

    I encourage all illustrators to read and understand the copyright law in their given country. In the U.S. it is Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17)

    An important concept to understand about WFH is that when you agree to transfer your copyright the client now becomes the legal "author" of the work. From a legal standpoint you did not create the work, the client did. The client, as the author of the work, had no obligation to give you a credit line. The client now controls ALL the aspects of copyright, including the sole ability to distribute and profit from the work for 95 years after it is published (or 120 years from date it was created)

    Work For Hire is a very specific term that is defined in Title 17. Check out Section 201, subsection b.

    I briefly explained during the conversation that the illustrator maintains the copyright of their work, but sells the rights to use the images to the author and it would be laid on in a contract

    Fundamentally correct, but I would encourage you to alter the word "sell" to "license".
    "Sell" implies a transfer of ownership. While "license" implies renting the rights to the client for a limited amount of time. Check out this article from the Graphic Artist Guild To Sell or to Rent: The Difference Between Copyright License and Transfer

    As I understood if, work for hire means that you have benefits and are basically an employee.

    Yes and no.

    It is true that most illustrators who are full-time employees of a company have signed a WFH employment contract with the company they work for. But legally it does not HAVE to be that way. That is, there is no specific U.S. law that says: "All work created by full-time employees MUST be created WFH". It is simply much easier (and potentially profitable) for the company to own all the intellectual property created by their employees, during work hours, on company property, using company tools and materials provided and paid for by the company.

    But in theory if the company wanted you and your creativity badly enough you could say that "Everything I make every second Thursday of the month is not WFH. I license that work only for the time that I am fully employed by the company". It would be unusual, but not impossible.

    My feeling with full-time employment and WFH is that it is a reasonable trade off.
    As I mentioned earlier as a full time employee you make work from 9-5. At 5pm you stop working.
    You make artwork in a building the company pays rent on. The company heats and cools. The company provides water, gas, and cleaning services. You work on a computer the company buys, uses a phone and phone service the company pays for etc. etc.
    But most importantly, if you come in to work one day and there isn't a project for you to work on -- you still get paid an hourly rate and get insurance and benefits!

    For all this the agreement is: all the intellectual property (IP) you created during the 9-5 you are in the company's building using company supplies, the company owns the IP.

    Now, when it comes to freelance my opinion on WFH flips completely.

    All that stuff the company pays for, well as a self-employed freelancer YOU pay for everything.
    If you come into your studio and there isn't a project to work on -- you don't get paid that day. Oh, but you still pay for all the materials, utilities, insurance etc. etc.

    There is little to no reason for a client to need to own the copyright to the original IP a freelance illustrator creates. As a freelance illustrator I personally recommend maintaining control over all your copyrights, and only licensing limited, specific rights. Licensing the client specific rights for a specific amount of time will allow both the client and the illustrator to be successful.

    Of course it would be easier and more convenient for the client to own the copyright to your illustration (IP). And the only way for a client to own the copyright to your work is for the illustrator to sign (you can't do a WFH transfer verbally) a WFH contract. But like all things that are convenient -- a WFH transfer of rights is, and should be, extremely expensive.

    I think of it (roughly) like this:
    A pie company is just starting up. They want to deliver those pies to clients all over the city, but they don't have a delivery truck. They do have a small budget to rent a truck for a week. And in that week ideally they will generate enough money to make more pies and rent the truck again to deliver them.

    Yes it would definitely be MUCH more convenient and easier for the new pie company to own the truck. But buying (WFH) a delivery truck is very expensive. Renting (licensing) the tuck successfully accomplishes what the startup company needs right now to be successful.

    This analogy is imperfect because a vehicle loses value with age, while the more an image is promoted the more valuable it becomes -- but hopefully you get the idea.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: NEED FEED BACK! INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS (FINALLY)

    Cool Thanks for the feedback guys. We will be making announcements soon about what we are going to do! : )

    posted in Announcements
  • RE: Confused about perspective

    @Urvashi-S Glad it's helpful. Most "realistic" cityscapes will employ multiple different sets of Left and Right VPs. This is because typically the world doesn't exist in a simple, tidy grid.
    You can always tell the cityscape drawing of someone new to perspective because everything is just a little too perfectly parallel with each other, or at 90 degrees to each other. (Hey, we've all been there!)

    So, yes you could certainly use something like this.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Confused about perspective

    This is a bit tricky -- but honestly you all have given great info on how to approach a perspective situation like this.

    First, does this photo primarily use a 1 point, 2 point, or 3 point system?

    Keep in mind we always experience the world using a 3 point system.
    The application of 1 or 2 point is an artificial construct applied to a scene to simplify it. So, while a photograph is always fundamentally capturing a 3 point system sometimes it can be just as effective to evaluate it using a 1 or 2 point.

    Okay so let's begin:
    First does this photo justify a 3 point system?!Screen Shot 2021-10-02 at 6.54.37 AM.png
    I drew some vertical lines (orthogonals) on the photo. While the vertical (and also parallel) sides of the buildings do seem to taper slightly toward the top of the image, in my opinion they don't do it dramatically enough to justify a 3 point system.

    Cool. A bit simpler!
    So, is this a typical 2 point system?
    Screen Shot 2021-10-02 at 8.01.04 AM.png

    I'm going to ignore the FlatIron building at this stage (it's a big triangle) and focus on the buildings to the left, right and behind the Flat Iron. These are more rectangular buildings with 90 deg corners.

    The Horizon line (HL) is indicated by the purple line toward the bottom.

    Note how all the sides the buildings with windows facing the viewer (generally) follow the brown horizontal lines. If those brown lines converged toward the HL on either the left side of the image (the left vanishing point) or the right side of the image (the right vanishing point) this would indicate a typical 2 point system. These lines don't converge. They remain parallel to the HL. This image does not employ a 2 point system.

    So then what's the deal with those two streets (5th Ave and Broadway)?

    I've found it's important to understand a city photo from above as well as street level, when trying to fit it into a 1, 2 or 3 point system. Check out this shot from Google Earth:

    Screen Shot 2021-10-02 at 7.18.32 AM.png

    A nice, simple two point persecutive system applies neatly to a city scene when the buildings are on a tidy rectangular grid. When all the streets and buildings are perfectly 90 degrees to each other. @Jeremy-Ross shows this perfectly in the example he posted above.

    An important concept to remember is that in linear perspective all groups of parallel lines (orthogonals) converge on their own vanishing point on the horizon line (HL). So each of these sets of parallel lines (blue, green and purple) will converge on their own distinct blue, green and purple vanishing points (VP).

    Note what the location of the Flat Iron Building does. 5th Ave and Broadway angle away from each other, each street forming it's own 1 point perspective system. The blue line of Broadway, as compared to the purple lines of 5th Ave.
    Combine that with the fact that the Broadway face of the Flat Iron Building itself doesn't line up parallel the street. The green lines show it's at a slightly different angle. (Who built this thing‽)

    By looking at the ariel view in Google Earth above we can start to better understand the street level photograph below.

    Screen Shot 2021-10-02 at 7.15.04 AM.png

    The 5th ave face of the Flat Iron is parallel to the street and to the buildings on the opposite side of 5th ave. All the purple horizontal lines of those buildings converge neatly on a vanishing point (VP) on the HL.

    Screen Shot 2021-10-02 at 7.15.29 AM.png
    The buildings on the left side of Broadway are also parallel to each other and the street. The blue horizontal lines of those buildings converge on their own VP on the HL.

    Screen Shot 2021-10-02 at 7.15.17 AM.png
    The left face (Broadway) face of the Flat Iron is parallel to itself, but not to the Broadway street or the buildings on the opposite side of the street. So all the green horizontal lines of that face of the Flat Iron will converge on their own VP on the HL.

    The result of this careful analysis, is a photo that creates a perspective grid that looks like thisScreen Shot 2021-10-02 at 7.20.13 AM.png

    To the uninitiated artist, a confusing tangle of lines -- but if you step through each set of orthogonals carefully you can see the underlying order in the image.

    @Lee-White wrote:

    know that in photos the lens that is used can wreck havoc on trying to line up vanishing points in a easy to understand way. Wide angle lens vs telephoto will yield VERY different results for a scene.

    This is too true! For this reason, when students are starting out I strongly recommend that you work from photos you've taken. From locations you have physically been in. That way you'll be better prepared to understand the potential distortions a camera lens can create.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: NEED FEED BACK! INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS (FINALLY)

    @tomparsonsart Everyone would get individual feedback and instruction.

    @jthomas The $250 would be per class. You would have an individual instructor giving you feedback and doing drawovers, etc. it would probably be around 5-8 hours of instruction and crits. etc. But, you bring up a good point, maybe we could offer a discount if you wanted a group of them, etc.

    posted in Announcements
  • RE: Confused about perspective

    Whew, that's a tricky one! It is definitely 2 separate one point drawings within a 2 point perspective system. All objects within a scene can have their own vanishing point, and those points will move along the horizon line. know that in photos the lens that is used can wreck havoc on trying to line up vanishing points in a easy to understand way. Wide angle lens vs telephoto will yield VERY different results for a scene.

    This image is further complicated with a triangular building right in the middle so there is that to deal with as well. Let's ask the master: @davidhohn what do you think?

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • NEED FEED BACK! INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS (FINALLY)

    Hey guys, I have been tasked with building out some of the interactive components of our curriculum. So I wanted to ask for some feedback if you don't mind. The thing that we are contemplating is running 2 day "workshops" for the individual classes in the curriculum.

    For example: "2 day Light and Shadow workshop". There I would go over some additional samples of light and shadow elaborating on what is in the class. Then you could submit your work and I would do some lecture and draw over on how to fix it. That would be recorded content so you could watch it at your convenience. Then the next week there would be 2 zoom sessions (one in the morning and one in the evening so it works for different time zones). In the zoom session you could ask questions or show your work, etc.

    Cost would be around $250. We would offer workshops for all the classes in the foundation. Let me know what you think. Love to hear any and all ideas. : )

    posted in Announcements
  • RE: Do You Need To Have Talent?

    @TaniaGomesArt that is a great story! I would like to elaborate on that point. Many times in the class the person I think is the "best" will not be the one with the most developed skills at that point. Their work wont be as polished, or as accurate, but still there is something there. Sometimes I can see that "x factor" even in a total beginners work, it just hasn't been totally exposed yet.

    posted in 3 Point Perspective