the Great Illustration Game

I don't do a whole lot of illustration, but I get my share of city papers, as that's what I've targeted over the last couple years with self-promotion. Sometimes they pay well, sometimes it's nearly free, but usually it's a good experience, because the lower-budget papers give you freedom. This is an example of a paper that decided to change a lot about the illustration. I won't say anything bad about them, as they were probably the most professional I've dealt with, but it's always a strange surprise when you find your artwork quite different on their website... after they thank you for the great work.

I guess it's an ever-lasting part of the gig. Caricatures will always have a sen
setive spot with many viewers, as long as they exist... I guess the rebel side of me gets a tickle out of the reaction, mostly because off the misunderstood nature of the artform.

I recently purchased Sebastian Krueger's 2007 calendar, and he/his management do a great job of covering this area on the inside cover; along-side a picture of Sebastian in Times Square, it reads:

...Kruger approaches nearly all of his subjects with a level of respect and sincerity contrasting the often extreme exaggeration of their features...

Smart fellow.


SEILER said...

That is not cool man, I can't believe they actually messed with your art after the fact? What a shame, it's not like they're change really changed much at all. I love that mouth, and great folds and rendering with the body!

Tom R said...

That is inexcusable. It's one thing to crop the art, or alter the color balance, but to change the actual art by widening the head like that is crap. Bad art directing. If the narrow head bothered them they should have had you change it at the pencil stage.

Jeremy Townsend (JERT) said...

good old new orleans, who is this guy anyway?

Cedricstudio said...

I agree, that's terrible what they did. Is there something in your contract that stipulates you get to do the revisions? If not, there should be. Anyway, great job on the original art.

Jonathan said...

Bad form to have someone do that to the artwork, and to such a great piece of work as well. That heavy, unnatural drop shadow behind him kind of ruins it for me.

..and what you note about the true nature of caricature is so very true..

Joe Bluhm said...

Thanks. I guess that sort of stuff doesn't bother me in the long run. They gave me money, and that gig won't change me as a human, so it rolls off my back.

I don't have a formal contract with most of the smaller city-papers, as I've never had problems with them. I keep them accountable through email records and note that they are paying for standard first-time print-rights only. I know this isn't the best form, but it hasn't given me problems, save this incident.

Jeremy- this is the VP of Shell Oil - he's organized the Jazz Festival, helped build homes for displaced residents, and made sure that Shell was around to donate/sell fuel to help rebuild a lot of the town. I forget his name (sorry- sounds so bad). Anyway, concept is usually by the AD, but they sometimes let me give them ideas, and always see thumbnails before I go to final... so I never surprise them.

I can't see it being an issue unless they call me back, at which point I'd nicely bring up my concern.