Saturday, June 27, 2015

I Posted About Equality Today and What Happened Next Shocked Me

Today something amazing happened in this country----yup you know it. Finally equal rights for everyone on marriage. This is a huge and I'm so happy to call myself an American-FINALLY, I can stand up tall and be thrilled with news. I was so excited in fact, that I posted three articles about it on Facebook.


Little did I know. 

Three words often used in literature to lead into something bad... little did I know that..

I was about to be sent a friggen' ISIS video to "teach me a lesson" from a fellow (aspiring) teen author.

This person actually deleted me from FB, because I posted the news, but before she did that, she sent me this HORRIFIC video, that I can't ever get out of my mind now to show me what non Christians (her words not mine) do to Christians, and the world needs to be rid of people like me. (again her words.... who does that sound like? WOW--rid of people like me... the words are raw, stale and full of hate.)

 Now, I'm not sure how me posting articles about equal rights makes me the same as a terrorist, but in her eyes we are the same. The video was of a few men being drowned. I wish I could ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND it out of my head. I can't. I wish that I had not opened it. I wish that there wasn't so much hate in the world.

I also do my best not to judge others for their beliefs, but I don't know what version of the bible she is reading that has taught her that having love for all people is the same as carrying out an act of terrorism. I think that she needs to reread it because I'm sure she has missed the point entirely of what it's teaching.

She went on to say that people like me (SIGH) shouldn't be allowed to write for kids, and she is going to write a letter to the head of the SCBWI to tell them that all members need to be "Christians" because we need to teach kids this, and it's unsafe to have people like me as members-all because I posted the news today.



I can't believe that she did this.

I knew this woman was conservative because she was in a writing group that I was in and she read my first chapter of one of my novels and promptly bitched me out for having the teens at a party drinking and what teens do at parties. Yes she is older, she could be my mother, and yes she is conservative, but today she went too far.

Instead of teaching teens hate, shouldn't we be teaching them about LOVE, and EQUALITY for everyone? Shouldn't we lead by example? 

I don't understand why it matters to anyone who gets married to whom, and who sleeps with who--I don't understand the hate.

I'm so disturbed by this woman's behavior today.

I for one, am so happy that we finally have equality in this country. Aren't we supposed to be the leaders in this kind of thing? Other countries, have had equality for years.


Today I am proud to be an American. It's been a great week, and our president is awesome.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

RIGHT TO WORK Contracts & Copyright, What it Means for Artists


RIGHT TO WORK Contracts & Copyright, What it Means for Artists

(mostly in this blog I'm talking about children's books)

 Earlier this week on Facebook,  there was a discussion from an artist about taking work for hire work as an illustrator and whether or not she could ask for royalties, it was/is a great discussion, but it did get side tracked and turned into a conversation on copyright.

I am just sharing information.

 One of the persons in the conversation said that artists automatically keep the copyright and just look in any book on the shelves-those are NOT "work for hire" books, they are from big publishers and yes that is the case, artists do retain the copyright. It is standard for artists to retain copyrights, but if an artist is signing a "work for hire" contract they do need to add in a "right of use" clause or just have a right of use contract instead of the work for hire.

I am talking specifically about WORK FOR HIRE here, not traditional publishing.

There are exceptions to every rule, and yes many authors and illustrators pair up and work together for splits, that is their choice, but for illustrators working for flat rates, for hire, etc.. they do need to know that they need to have this clause in there, or they will not hold the copyright.

It's just like working for a big company like Disney, etc-here is a link about the law-this is worldwide, not just in the USA.

I am sharing this information not to be a know it all, but just sharing so both authors and illustrators understand.

I didn't know any of this until about my 5th book and my author said, "you signed a work for hire, so I own all the drawings." I did get credit from her, but she was the first one who told me what "work for hire" meant in that way.

 I posted about it on my FB personal page and about 60 other artists confirmed my worst nightmare, that I did NOT own the copyright anymore.

So now I do "right to use" so I don't get burned, it works well. If I let the copyright go, then I charge a lot more; unless of course this is work on an existing property.

All of this information can be found with a little time and Google. The Writers and Illustrator market books are also good, and the SCBWI, and the Graphic Artist Guild. I apologize to anyone if my comments offended anyone, as that is never my intention. I just want to share what I've learned. Thanks so much and I hope this helps clear it up. http://worksmadeforhire.com/ I'm in the US so I am posting the US one, but in that other thread I posted one about world wide copyright.

It's a very tricky thing for artists and we all need to be aware. Just read your contracts thoroughly before you sigh. Most authors have no problems with the "right to use" clause.  ;)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Don't Get It

I don't like to post anything negative on social media---but while I was on vacation visiting my sister, someone from one of the groups I am in on FB for kidlit messaged me about illustrating her picture book-I replied saying that my rates are standard rates via the SCBWI and GAG handbook and gave her my website. Well I guess she is one of these people wanting an entire book done for $250 or less-she sent me several NASTY messages bitching me out, so much that I had to report and block her. First of all, I don't understand why people think it's okay NOT to pay artists for work, and second of all-I think it's horrible that so many people join the kidlit/children's book FB groups, and then expect people to work for free-it really bugs me! There I said it. I don't understand people sometimes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Will Terry on Doing Test (FREE) Illustrations for Jobs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q2KP0kVNsE&feature=em-subs_digest

I am posting this video today because I really like what my colleague-Will Terry has to say.
Some artists get really upset with this kind of thing, but it's part of being an artist.
In animation and illustration it is common and for the most part I don't mind doing a test image.
Sometimes companies, or people will pay for the test and sometimes they don't. It really depends, so before you decide to do it, you really have to ask yourself a few questions.

1. Do I have time to do a professional test?
2. Is this job worth it for me?
3. What is the likelihood that I will get the job?

The last one is because sometimes in animation, the studios will give 100+ people the same test and then it really is just a Craps shoot on whether you will get the job or not. Usually, these days, I stay away from those. I used to do them, but one animation studio-who I won't say which-I passed the same test 9 times, yup NINE and they never hired me, so I was wasting a week (40 hours) each time I did it.

I think as artists we really have to know our own time, strengths and whether it is worth it.

Have a great day making art everyone and you can find Will via this video or here.
http://willterry.blogspot.com/

and here

https://svslearn.com/

Here are some of my test images that I have done for some jobs

:






Friday, May 8, 2015

What I Realized at a Book Signing-Teens LOVE Characters Like Real People

I chose this photo just because the book I am working on now is set in a private school,
well that and a hospital, and the city of Boston. :) I love photos and just like to have them in my posts.
belmont
I have never thought about killing off my characters more than, this is what I need to tell this story. It has to happen. I don’t sit down and say, “hrm? How can I make people cry?” Or “I want to write a boo-hoo (as a fellow author friend of mine calls them) book.”
I went to a book signing and talk last night that a friend and fellow author was giving for her book-All The Bright Places- (Jennifer Niven). It was great, and I love supporting my friends, and great books. What was especially cool was sitting in the room with about 100 teenages. Watching their reactions to the book and how the book made them feel really hit home with me.
I thought.
Oh. My. God. “They are going to hate me, I kill of characters in every book.”
They didn’t hate Jennifer, but a lot of them were sad, and some destroyed because of something that happens in the book.
It’s funny how we as adults feel like we know and love these characters, but for teens, well, I am learning, there is a whole new level of “REAL” when it comes to our work.
I brought my first 10 pages to a Starbucks a few months ago. I bought all the teens in the room coffee and treats and asked for their opinions on my first chapter. It was amazing, and what was great was that they had totally different reactions than my critique group-who at the time was mostly middle aged and older women-who don’t want to think that their sons would ever do anything wrong. So I had to get teens to weigh in.
When I then told them what happens in the story, in a clumsy not-the-way-I-would-pitch-it way, they had STRONG reactions. One girl actually teared up-WHY???? why does that character have to die-why??? I could see it in her face. Broke my heart a little, and it excited me at the same time.
My goal is not to make teens, or anyone cry, but to tell a powerful story. I am trying, learning, revising, reworking, working on my craft daily so I can achieve this. Last night gave me a whole new perspective on just how personal these stories can be to these kids.
Also helps me be ready to answer these questions when I am up there giving a talk.
When I used to read my chick lit books at signings-I just hoped for some laughs-the books didn’t mean anything, they were just fluff and fun. Now I have shifted into wanting my work to mean something to kids even if that means I may have to pair up with Kleenex and sell tissues with each copy (just kidding of course).
If you haven’t read All The Bright Places, I highly recommend it. It’s powerful, beautiful and just great. Finch and Violet will take you ‘wandering’ into their lives, dreams, hopes, despair and love.
atbp_m

Monday, April 20, 2015

Yay, It's OKAY to Be CARTOONY and ME!

OMG guys, I was just at the SCBWI Houston conference and I am happy to say that I have beeing feeling so insecure (you may not know that I actually am insecure about my work, even if I appear confident due to years as a professional artist) about my "cartoony" style for children's books. Even though I have done many, I still get the "your style won't work for children's books" comments etc, from more "artsy" folks in the industry. Well I received AMAZING comments in my portfolio which was on display. I always get good comments, and at every conference, including New York and Los Angeles, I have gotten calls about work from them, but I am ALWAYS NERVOUS-because of the aforementioned cartoony-ness of my work. So it was great to talk with a fellow cartoony illustrator, who is doing really well in children's books with her debut book, that just came out this past year, and I had a critique session with, who has a similar background to me and know that it's okay and I can be myself. YAY! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Da Beers-Blood Diamonds & Engagement Ring Scam

http://www.diamondboycott.com/


I rarely am political on social media, but this is something that I really believe in. It's ridiculous-the whole diamond industry. I am shocked at how many people are okay with it, and also argue that no one died so they could wear that big rock on their finger.
Especially my vegan friends! Come on, it's not okay to kill a chicken for food, but it's okay for CHILDREN to constantly be slaughtered, or arms cut off, or forced into slavery so you can wear a diamond? It boils my blood.

In 2006/2007 I did volunteer work AGAINST Da Beers and the diamond industry.
I can't stand diamonds, I can't stand the ads that run all the time about them and I can't stand that people turn their heads and pretend that what's happening isn't.
Also why should a guy spend so much on a ring? It's stupid. I'd rather go to France or Italy for a week, put a down payment on a condo/house. Seriously I don't get it.
http://expandedconsciousness.com/2015/04/10/scam-alert-the-awful-truth-about-diamond-engagement-rings/