Christmas Cards Available

(Other merchandise also.)

This is the time of year to think about buying Christmas cards.  I have several designs available at my Zazzle store.  (Lately they’ve been running some 60% off sales on holiday cards, which makes them a reasonable price.  Just look for the coupon code.  Today’s is HOLIDAYZSAVE, but that only lasts until midnight tonight.  Black Friday’s coming up, though, so they’re bound to have more good discounts soon.  The code BLKFRIDAYZAZ will get you 60% off until the end of the day 11/25/18.)  The code ZCYBRMONDAYZ will get you up to 75% off on some projects.  I think it’s 60% on cards.  Until the end of the day Cyber Monday.  And I have a coupon code for 60% off cards, among other things. Good until midnight on Monday, Dec 3rd. Use ZCYBRMONDAY2 at checkout.  Use DECKTHEHALLS at checkout for 60% off cards until midnight on Friday, Dec 7th.


My latest is the Christmassy Streetcar that my Dad requested.
Ogerita

Last year’s card was my family ice skating.  Sorry it’s not a more universal image.  It’s very specifically my family, complete with Katie in her Canadian flag hoodie.  I have considered reworking it with polar bears or something skating instead, but I haven’t gotten around to it.
Ice Skating

Before that was a snowman family.  (Also available in portrait orientation and on other merchandise.)
Snowman Family

A single snowman with a cardinal perched on it’s hand/branch.  (Also available in portrait orientation and on other merchandise.  It’s particularly pretty on a coffee mug.)
Snowman

And, for the more new age among you, a Stonehenge winter solstice card.

Winter Solstice

There are also tons of other products up on my Zazzle store.  Mostly prints and cards, but other merchandise as well.  More-or-less any decent images that I still hold the copyright on are fair game for Zazzle printing.  If there’s any of my work that you’d like to see printed on something and I don’t already have it up, just let me know.  I’d be happy to set it up for you.

I’ve illustrated two books that are available also.  They’d make good Christmas gifts.
The Squishy, Stinky Diaper Written and Illustrated by Karen B. Jones
The Genie Loophole by Paul Maguire Illustrated by Karen B. Jones

(Preview images were generated by Zazzle.  They own the greeting card templates, I own the images pictured on the cards.)

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Public Service Announcement for Freelancers

Today I received a response from a potential client I’d queried as a freelance illustrator.  They wrote to say that they thought my illustrations might work for their clients, who were big names and they listed quite proudly.  Yada-yada-yada…  If I would just send a $150 check for my work to be included in their talent list they would try to find me work (no promises, though!).

No.

That is not how it works.

I do not pay clients to (maybe) give me work.  They pay me to do their work.  Even art reps, which this company was not, do not charge for merely listing my work on their website.

This is predatory.

Inexperienced freelancers fall for this, waste their money, and get nothing out of it!

So.

Public service announcement.

Clients pay you, not the other way around.

Be wary.

Promo Postcards

I got my newest promo postcards from VistaPrint just now.

It’s a girl-themed card this time.  I used the new Girls in a Treehouse image on the color side and the one with Sarah and Katie with the bike and skateboard on the back side.  You might notice that I recolored the “No Boys Allowed” sign so that it didn’t distract from the overlaid text.  You probably didn’t notice (because it’s not important) but I moved the bird too.  The image wasn’t exactly the same dimensions as the card, so I had to cut off a little at the sides.  So, I nudged the bird over a bit so it wouldn’t be too close to the edge.  Working with digital images makes last-minute changes so much easier!

Now, I really need to get moving on my promo mailing list.  I’m in the process of transferring my notecard-based system into a computer-based one.  I have to type everything in new, which is time consuming now but should pay off later.

Anyone want one of these postcards?  Contact me with your name and address and I’ll mail you one.

IMG_20180330_131952 (1)

Shutterstock and Trump Caricatures

So, I finally got some information I needed yesterday about shutterstock’s rules for stock image submissions.

I have several celebrity caricature and political cartoons that I want to sell for stock images, but they can only be sold for editorial use because they’re images of real people rather than fictional characters and I don’t have a model release. Istock won’t allow illustrations to be sold as editorial stock, but shutterstock allows this, which is just what I needed.

I had a few cartoons and caricatures of Donald Trump, one of which was clearly offensive and kept getting rejected when I submitted it. I suspected it was being rejected due to being offensive, but they never said that. They kept saying they didn’t like my description or the keywords. I gave up on it for awhile, but I tried again a few days ago and I finally got a response that it was rejected due to being an offensive subject.

Which is fair.

It’s also what I needed to know.

 

My new Trump caricature (below) is very neutral. It’s not quite complementary, but it isn’t offensive at all. I figure this one should easily pass shutterstock’s censors and, based on my sales of my other Trump images, it should sell reasonably well also.

Trump Golfing

[Edit: Trump Golfing is now available on shutterstock.]

Selling Stuff

Will Draw for Money 150 hI’d like to mention, because I haven’t lately, that I do sell prints and print rights to most of my work.

zazzle shop 200I sell custom-printed merchandise and prints through Zazzle. I just finished a large update, so that’s up-to-date now. I only bothered with posters for most of the latest stuff, but if you’d like to see any of my work on a mug or a T-shirt or anything else Zazzle offers, just let me know and I’ll be happy to set it up for you.

istock iconI also sell limited, non-exclusive print rights for most of my images through iStock.

Dolores UmbridgeBree NewsomeThere are a few pieces I have which Zazzle and iStock won’t allow for various reasons. Like my Harry Potter illustration or my Bree Newsome tribute. If you’d like prints of one of those, or if you’d like to purchase anything directly from me, feel free to contact me and we can arrange that.
Print
The third edition of my book, The Squishy, Stinky Diaper, is available through Amazon. Both in print and for the kindle. If you purchase a paperback, be sure it’s the third edition. The old one’s out of print now, but it’s still around. The illustrations are much better in the new one. Also, I don’t get any royalties on used book sales.

Also, as usual, I am accepting commissions and I’d love to work with you on your next project! smiley 15

iStock

I decided to take some of my images just sitting around in my portfolio and put them to work.  To that end I created an iStock account to sell some of them for stock.

I’m pleasantly surprised that, so far, they’ve only rejected one image, and that one because it was a photograph where a brand name was visible (I should have know better).  I was surprised that they didn’t reject more of the photos because they were all taken with a point-and-shoot camera and had compression errors at full size.  I reduced them to fix that, but I still wasn’t 100% sure they were sharp enough.  I uploaded just a few of them mostly to get an idea of if that quality of image was good enough.  I guess they are.

I’ve got quite a few in-queue still and some of the accepted ones aren’t up yet, but if you’d like to see what’s up so far, here’s the link to my iStock portfolio: http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/11221904#1232097

Also, I’m curious if any of you have tried iStock as contributors and what your thoughts are on the experience.

Working on Things

I probably won’t be posting images for a little while. I’ve been busy.

1. I’ve been toying with the idea of merging my blog and website over here on WordPress so it’s all in one place. Right now, I’m hosting my website on iPage. I’m quite proud of the custom designed site I wrote myself (PHP with a mySQL database and custom administrator interface) but it would be nicer if it was integrated with the blog and I didn’t have to go two different places to admin it. So, the toying has gotten rather serious. I already have all the important pages from my website duplicated as private pages here on WordPress. When I get some breathing room, I’ll switch them to public and move the domain over here. But I want to wait until after the Art Fair in case there are problems so I can concentrate on getting it moved over quickly with minimum problems.

2. The art fair. Yes, I decided to do it. I have all my matting and framing supplies down in my studio. I have all the prints, some pins, and I’m trying to get a T-shirt printed.

I’d like to take a moment to say something nice about EPG Imaging at 79th and Marty in Overland Park, KS. They printed my 20 images (all around 8X10 or so) for 3-something each. Good job, EPG. It was exactly what I was looking for. More than a copy shop but not a big printing factory. Perfect for artist prints.

I ordered my mats online from Documounts. They have these kits with a standard cut mat, mounting board, and plastic sleeve that are exactly what is needed for an art fair. I haven’t mounted the prints yet, but I don’t anticipate any problems. With shipping I think it came out $2.25 or $2.50 for each sleeve/mat/backer set. Something like that. The kits come in packs of 25 sets.

Also, Hobby Lobby has the plastic sleeves cheaper than Coldsnows, in case anyone’s interested. Hobby Lobby charges $6 for cutting a custom mat and the cheapest frames they have are $9. At least for the sizes I was looking for.

I sent in my dues to the Olathe Visual Artists Association, so I guess I’m now officially a member of that. Or I will be once the treasurer gets the mail tomorrow. That group is my in with the fair, otherwise I’d be too late to get a space.

So, the art fair is the Downtown Olathe Art Festival on the 9th and 10th. So, if you’re in the area come on down.

3. Promo Postcards. Yes, it’s that time again. Time to pester the publishing industry with my promo postcards. That’s always tedious, but it’ll be something to do during the art fair if things are slow.

4. I need to figure out which of my pieces to submit to Paul Zelinsky for the professional critique I signed up for. I’m thinking either the Tortoise and the Hare or Let’s Make Magic. I have to send that by the 15th.

5. Speaking of Let’s Make Magic: I’m still waiting to hear back on whether that got picked for the local SCBWI conference. I figured I’d been passed over since I hadn’t heard back, but when I contacted them they said they hadn’t decided yet. So, there’s still hope for that.

6. Tomorrow I’m sending my Tortoise and Hare hidden picture piece to Highlights High Five. I’m not entirely sure I have the correct contact info, but if not, I should get it returned to sender and then I’ll know.

7. I’m not really happy with my Zazzle store. I need to recategorize things and purge my poorer quality products.

8. On a personal note, last week I completely spaced and forgot to take my daughter to her guitar lessons. So, hoping not to forget that again this week.

9. I should probably fold the laundry.