Happy Birthday To Me!

By heather at 5:47 am on Thursday, March 29, 2007

Today’s my birthday, and I’m celebrating it by posting this illustration of a cupcake. Boy do I know how to party!


Cupcake © Heather Castles

Client : Northern Cards
Medium : Watercolour & Pencil

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Sample Illustration Agreement / Contract / Terms

By heather at 1:00 am on Wednesday, March 21, 2007

When working with Clients on illustration or design projects, establishing the terms of working together before the project begins protect both the interests of the Artist and the Client. A contract which clearly includes your Terms & Conditions is one of the most important documents you can set up for your illustration business… it will set you apart as being ethical & professional. Having your clients sign a contract doesn’t take much time… and if taking a minute to sign an agreement for the project ahead scares them away, they probably weren’t legit anyway. In my experience, any legitimate business would not bat an eyelash at signing a contract before the work commences.

When writing your own Terms & Conditions, be sure to specify :

  • • the timeline for the project
  • • what you are providing to the client
  • • what rights the client will have to the artwork
  • • what rights you will have to the artwork (i.e. intellectual rights, the right to use the art for self promotional purposes, etc)
  • • whether you are willing to allow the client to alter your designs / artwork
  • • cancellation fees
  • • number of copies of the finished product you hope to be provided free of charge

Sample Illustration Terms & Conditions

Below I’ve copied my Terms & Conditions (which I include when I give a quote,) feel free to use this as a starting point to create your own:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A schedule compatible with the Client’s timing requirements will be established at the outset of the project, with project commencement contingent upon prompt acceptance of this proposal, and with anticipated completion date of March 31, 2007. All dates and time schedules are contingent upon prompt project commencement and timely Client’s input as required.

1. Client acknowledges that Illustrator is first and sole owner of all “copyright” and shall retain intellectual rights of all Illustration(s).
2. Upon payment in full of all fees, the Illustrator shall grant the Client’s unlimited rights for all approved designs and shall transfer
ownership of high resolution scans of the illustrations, design mechanicals, and reproduction specifications to the Client.
3. Illustrator is entitled to use all Illustrations for self promotion purposes or to enter into any contest.
4. Reassigning of Rights : Client may not assign or transfer this Licence or any part thereof unless authorized in writing by Illustrator.
5. No modifications, changes or alterations may be made to Illustrations or any part thereof, directly or indirectly, without Illustrator’s prior written consent.
6. Cancellation: Should Client choose to cancel work after commencement, Client agrees to pay Illustrator 25% of the final fees if the cancellation occurs after sketches; 50% of the final fee if cancellation occurs after revised linears; and 100% of the final fee if cancellation occurs after final art.
7. Credit : Client agrees to include a credit to Illustrator in connection with the Work.
8. Illustrator’s Copies : Client shall furnish Illustrator with two copies of the Work upon publication.
9. Terms become effective upon the signing of the agreement. It will be retroactively cancelled if the Client is in default of carrying out the complete payment of the invoice in the 90 days of receipt.

If you found this post helpful, you might also like to read about other Business Tips for Illustrators here.

Filed under: business of illustration19 Comments »

Art.com | Artist Rising Gallery

By heather at 2:57 pm on Sunday, March 18, 2007

Portrait of a Lady © Heather Castles
(Prints Available at Art.com)
I recently joined Artist Rising through Art.com… it’s basically a place for artists to sell prints of their artwork and original pieces online. …thought I’d give it a go! Uploading images and setting up a gallery is pretty easy to do. I’ve posted several of my fine art studies as both prints and original artwork for sale.

Birch Forest
Crabapple Blossoms
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Book Review | The Designer’s Guide to Colour Combinations

By heather at 4:57 pm on Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Designer’s Guide to Color Combinations
by Leslie Cabarga

This book is a wonderful quick reference for illustrators hoping to capture the feeling of a particular era with color. Having the CMYK values accessible, as well as examples of their uses in historical artwork is extremely useful. This book is a must have for the modest illustrator’s library. You can find The Designer’s Guide to Color Combinations at Amazon.com.

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HOWDesign.com | Anonymous letter on Spec Work

By heather at 3:17 pm on Friday, March 16, 2007

This letter is a great read about of what professional illustrators are having to deal with regularly in our industry. Hats off to the author, whoever you are! I came across it at No!Spec, who traced it back to HOWDesign.com - Graphic Design Forum

“Every day, there are more and more CL posts seeking “artists” for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service.

But what they’re NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be.

To those who are “seeking artists”, let me ask you; How many people do you know, personally, with the talent and skill to perform the services you need? A dozen? Five? One? …none?

More than likely, you don’t know any. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be posting on craigslist to find them.

And this is not really a surprise.

In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are professional illustrators. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are SEVENTY times as many people in the IT field.

So, given that they are less rare, and therefore less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street? (Read on …)

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Portfolio | The Birds

By heather at 4:45 am on Thursday, March 15, 2007

Illustration by Heather Castles (MacKay) © Image Craft, Inc. (Hallmark)

Bird Family
Brand : Thoughtful Moments Birthday Card D61441
Medium : Watercolour & pencil
Printing specs : hexachrome colour printing, Z-fold
Client : Image Craft, Inc. (Hallmark)

I created this illustration within the first few weeks of working for Image Craft… back when I thought I had to take my work home with me (because I illustrated by hand and it took more time) to keep up with the other designers who were creating digital artwork on the computer! I wised up pretty quickly, and started bringing in my paints to work with me and sparked among the designers the trend of painting & drawing beside our Macs, scanning the final artwork the moment the paint dried.

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Thinking | Crystal Driedger

By heather at 1:00 am on Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I really like this illustration by Crystal Driedger. LOVE the long neck & skinny wrist. I met Crystal when she sent me an email today asking about how I like Portfolios.com (I like it a lot), and through browsing her site I was introduced to Etsy.com (which I’ll check out and blog about if I like it!), where I discovered the work of Kendra Binney. It has been an interesting & inspiring morning so far!

Filed under: inspiration2 Comments »

Heroes | Tim Sale’s Artwork for Auction

By heather at 7:48 pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Graphic illustrator, Tim Sale, is a big hit in my books… his work is featured on Heroes, NBC’s latest hit… and one of my favourite shows! Sale’s illustrations (which in the show are illustrated enthusiastically by the hero Isaac Mendez), bring that beloved comic book flare to the show.

NBC will be auctioning off autographed limited edition prints of Sale’s works from the show, including “Exploding Man,” “Eclipse,” “Claire on the Stairs” and “Hiro and T-Rex,” to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation on March 26 and April 2.

You saw it in Heroes. Now you can own it yourself. Imagine a signed limited edition print of Hiro and the T-Rex hanging in your very own home—and the original drawing that inspired it from artist Tim Sale. These limited edition prints are actually displayed on canvas and stretched over wooden frames, just like in Isaac’s studio. On March 26, you can bid on these prints and other memorable artwork from the show. You not only have a shot at owning a piece of history, but you’ll also support the ongoing efforts of the National Epilepsy Foundation. Over 2.7 Million Americans are living with epilepsy everyday. The Epilepsy Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures can participate in all life experiences. So join Greg Grunberg of Heroes and make a bid on exclusive Heroes artwork. In this auction, everyone goes home a winner.
Heroes TV Show on NBC: NBC Official Site

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Portfolio | Texas Oil Painting

By heather at 2:16 pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Texas © Heather Castles

Medium : Oils over an acrylic underpainting
Created : Spring 2002
This is one of my earlier oil paintings I have held onto… I spent a couple weeks layering the paint, it’s nice & thick and blobby! Initially I painted the canvas yellow, added a layer of crackle medium, and painted red over top. So there are yellow veins showing in areas where I haven’t covered it with oil painting. Gives it a real red-earth feeling.

If you’d like to give your monitor a colourful kick, feel free to download the wallpaper of this painting!

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Book Review | Artist’s Manual : A Complete Guide to Painting and Drawing Materials and Techniques

By heather at 4:51 pm on Monday, March 12, 2007

Artist’s Manual: A Complete Guide to Painting
and Drawing Materials and Techniques

by Angela Gair

This was the first ‘artist’ type of book I ever purchased… to be honest initially I bought it more for inspiration than to learn techniques! The chaotic photographs of artist studios and artwork featured in the book are well worth the purchase. And flipping through the book again and again, I’ve found it has a lot of great tips on maintaining your artist tools, how to safely reuse and recycle solvents, and how to decipher paint labels to find the best quality for your project. It also has some great techniques & tips for all sorts of mediums (oils, pastels, watercolour, pencils, and more.) You can find Artist’s manual at Amazon.com.

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