View Full Version : Stock Illustration

10-20-2004, 03:00 PM
Hi guys, have been pondering for a while about the pros and cons of selling my illustration work as stock.. not sure if I want to do it yet but am nevertheless trying to find suitable companies and their web sites just to check things out..

Do any of you know the names of some of today's leading stock illustration companies?

Troublesome stuff this stock illustration issue.. on one hand it sure is great to resell our work and get some more worth out of it, on the other hand stock illustration harms the illustration business by decreasing the number of commissions, and that is a big no-no...hmmm, would like to hear your thoughts on this


10-21-2004, 06:49 PM
In my view, there are two kinds of stock. One is re-selling your work and another is giving it to a clip-art company. If an illustrator is working with a company that sells usage rights of individual illustrations at fair market prices, that's fair. This is more like working with an agent. If an illustrator sells his work to a company for a small, flat fee, or for so-called royalties, for a compilation of illustrations that either go on a CD or website, it does hurt the field. It reduces the real and perceived value of illustrators and their work, and it really doesn't do much for the participating illustrators either.

barn spider
10-22-2004, 12:33 AM
i wold like it if you would explain more about what you mean by "stock".

10-22-2004, 12:40 AM
I'm still trying to distill how I feel about stock work, so I'm not sure this is exactly how I feel, but here's some of it......

To my mind, stock is a bit like fine art in that it is work done on spec. and how do most of us feel about work on spec.? We view it pretty poorly. Don't get me wrong, I'm not equating it to fine art, except that with both you are creating work you hope someone will come along and buy.

If your looking to do work without client input, it might be a good venue. I've been tempted along this route myself. A chance to do some work, without interference from clients. I'd rather focus on fine art, though.

Trying to get extra mileage out of work I've already done, doesn't feel right to me. Seems a little unfair to the original client. There wouldn't be much call for my existing work in the stock market anyway. Who would want to rebuy rights to an Architectural Illustration?

Submitting stock work to Stock Illustration Companys or websites goes against my marketing beliefs. Doing so would put my work in the barrel with tons of other artists and it might get lost in the shuffle. I'd rather market myself directly.

These are just some of my thoughts and they may or may not be right or worth defending. ;)

10-22-2004, 09:28 AM
Hi all, thanks for your imput! I understand what you mean Ted, when I meant stock illustration I didn't even remember the clip art industry, I think you're right about that,

AFM159, I guess the question about reselling (or maybe the right word here is recycling) work that was comissioned by a client to a different one may raise one or two moral dillemas regarding the fairness of the practice. However, what we, as illustrators, sell to our clients is usually not the artwork but rights to publish (or other) within a certain specified guidelines which are set in a contract. I say this because the option to buy all rights (which efectively renders the client as the virtual owner of the image and prevents it from being published elsewere) is always on the table and it is the perrogative of the client to exercise it or not (of course, buying all rights can be quite expensive).

Most magazines don't though, they'll generally buy the right to be the first publication to publish it, and buy publication rights for that issue of the magazine, together with internet rights when they have a website.

At least in my case the contrat generally includes a period of 6 months while I'm contractualy forbiden to sell rights for that image to another publication, after which I am free to do as I wish.

What I mean by all this is that in such a legal bound world, with contracts signed and with each party knowing exactly what the other one is selling or buying, with such a commercial feel to it, the issue of fairness to the client becomes less present.

By the way, I used to be an architect before I decided to become a full time illustrator, we used architectural illustrators quite a bit, mostly for client presentations (even with all the 3d renderings available they could not quite replace the feel of the hand made ones :) , I didn't usually get involved in the process (I was a very young architect then, just out of uni and not very high up in the team), but I used to chat with the artist they used to hire, english guy, Richard (don't know his surname I'm afraid), he did awsome work, I really respect you guys, to be artistic and yet remain absolutely architecturaly precise must demand some very hard work!

07-07-2007, 08:23 AM
Try the following companies www.images.com and www.stockillustrations.com or www.getty.images.com

Good Luck, Don King