SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Save me from photoshop-phobic clients...

Discussion started on

So, I followed down a lead of someone who was looking for a picture book illustrator. I was already wary because it was through a friend of a friend (and those never seem to work out well), but I followed up on it anyway...

The woman ended up ranting in circles for over an hour about how bad the illustrator her independent publisher had hired was, and that "you could tell he did it all on the computer! How lazy is that! My book is way too heartwarming for the linework to be done on the computer!', and how her publisher had told her that she was allowed to find her own illustrator to replace him. (The moment I really knew to get out of dodge, though, was when she told me that the publisher guy had told her to 'look for a college or highschool student because you can pay them less'. Also that she wanted an entire picture book by the end of the summer because she had been promised that her book could be published then, and she wasn't going to take no for an answer - but it also had to be cheap! And beautiful!)

In any case, she was obsessed with getting a painter to illustrate her book. I unknowingly let it slip that I actually use photoshop, not watercolor, and she got really surprised and upset - "don't all of the good illustrators paint?!" The way she 'fixed' this was by saying that I should do the sketches and she can get someone else to do the ink and color. I guess I didn't realize people still had this weird bias against digital art? It's not like you press a button, and hey, presto! Art! (Or even that she could tell my stuff was digital in the first place!) :banghead

I think it's probably a bad sign that by the time I got off the phone with her, I had a raging headache. :smokhead:

(EDIT: I should specify that none of the quotes written above were exaggerated for effect - she quite literally said that... Including the bit about her book being 'too heartwarming' for digital media.)
#1 - June 09, 2013, 07:16 AM
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 07:51 AM by GoldenBird »

I draw stuff for chocolates.
Member
Poster Plus
RUN AWAY FAST!!!!!!!!! (I hope you already did.)

My art would really throw her through a loop since I color traditionally but use digital for nearly everything else.

Her bias isn't only in the general population but many illustrators have the same prejudice against digital art.

What she (and they) don't realize is the the tools don't make the art beautiful, the mind, skill and experience of the artist does. Artists using today's programs can reproduce traditional styles like oils, acrylics, watercolor, pastels - whatever - in a digital format and the view will never know the difference if the artist is skilled. This piece is all digital http://beta.imaginefx.com/image-day-69598 and the artist is far from a minority working digitally!
#2 - June 09, 2013, 08:14 AM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Ha. You could have asked her if she used a computer to write her stories, and if she said yes, tell her vehemently that a book written on a computer must be totally soulless and you would only do illustrations for manuscripts written with a goose quill and ink on foolscap.   :snork:
#3 - June 09, 2013, 08:31 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
Well, she's just crazy, b/c I'd think anyone who saw your work would want you to illustrate their book- I do, and I don't even write pic books!  ;D
#4 - June 09, 2013, 10:54 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region sfnortheastbay
 
Ha. You could have asked her if she used a computer to write her stories

Well, not quite the same thing, but very apropos....  :pp
#5 - June 09, 2013, 11:34 AM
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing
THERE'S A TURKEY AT THE DOOR, Hometown520

www.mirkabreen.com
http://mirkabreen.BlogSpot.com

Marissa, you are BRILLIANT!!!

:) eab
#6 - June 09, 2013, 11:54 AM

I agree with Lyon "Run away fast"
#7 - June 10, 2013, 09:51 PM

Lyon- I did! I very politely turned her down and wished her luck. She seemed to take it very well, thankfully.
And, I know, it's such a shame =/ Oh well, hopefully people who think like that become more and more the outliers, as seems to be happening. I wish I could have shown her a panel of digital art that would have blown her socks off! But, then, she probably still would have been unconvinced... The skill and effort argument didn't budge her in the least - she pretty much ignored me.

Marissa- Haha! Wish I'd thought to say that!  :exactly:

Leandra- Awh, thanks   :love4:

Monica- Yup, got out of there asap! I'd run out of fingers to count warning signs on - this wasn't even the half of it  :slaphead:
#8 - June 11, 2013, 09:21 AM

I was once the boy who wouldn't sit still!
Member.
Poster Plus
This person obviously has never been to a library and walked through a children's book section. The beauty of art is that everyone approaches it differently. My book was done with hand painted backdrops and illustrator. I have seen great books that were black and white photos with line art over them and artists who used scanned colored paper to fill in their illustrations.
Good thing you moved far away from this. In my past experiences it is the closed minded clients that become too difficult to work with.
#9 - June 24, 2013, 07:18 PM

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
I would of ran when she said fast & cheap and mentioned hiring a  student
#10 - June 25, 2013, 02:48 AM

bennythepenny

Guest
Funny (not funny haha) story. As a newbie who has been a newbie for years but has stuck around long enough to recognize even newer newbies, this sounds like a case of naivete squared with dramatic tendencies. It's a tough call because even lovely and very well- intentioned beginners can have very high and (almost always unrealistic) expectations (ask me how I know), but simply need a lot of seasoning. In other words, you have to stick with this long enough to have your hopes and dreams whittled down to something that resembles reality...and that takes time and squishing.

I say go with your instinct, whether you take the job or not. It might not always work out like you hope it will, but at least you can always say. "I did it my way." I love that song :)

Philip   
#11 - June 25, 2013, 06:48 AM

Phil Hilliker

Guest
Yeah, too often when it comes to writers seeking illustrators, the illustrators not only have to create the images for the book but they have to act as guide & teacher, too. The less you have to inform your client of the process while doing your job, the easier it is. And if you can gauge their knowledge (or lack thereof) at the beginning, you'll be better prepared for the potential stumbling blocks that come along with the situation. Sometimes working with someone that's uniformed is worth it (like if you know them well or they're fully willing to listen to your expertise), but too often it just becomes a headache as you try to fight against their preconceived notions about how things work.

It sounds like this person revealed their stubbornness and ignorance (a troublesome combination) right at the beginning. You were right to get out of this one as quickly as possible.
#12 - July 12, 2013, 02:05 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region socal
Quote
Ha. You could have asked her if she used a computer to write her stories, and if she said yes, tell her vehemently that a book written on a computer must be totally soulless and you would only do illustrations for manuscripts written with a goose quill and ink on foolscap.

 :dr
#13 - July 12, 2013, 06:51 PM

Double W Illustrations
Member In Memoriam
Poster Plus
Ha. You could have asked her if she used a computer to write her stories, and if she said yes, tell her vehemently that a book written on a computer must be totally soulless and you would only do illustrations for manuscripts written with a goose quill and ink on foolscap.   :snork:

Love, Love, Love, LOVE This!!!!!!!!
#14 - August 10, 2013, 02:03 PM

ancient amber

Guest
 :aah
This is such an unfortunate experience and I'm glad you turned her down! I'd have shrugged and laughed. I create all my illustrations now using programs on my iPad. And it's even very different than using a the traditional computer mouse. I use my hands and a stylus pen to paint and draw and if anybody made a comment such as "my method not being valid", I'd have run away too.

The world is changing so fast and there are so many good people out there looking for what you have to offer! Just ignore those who don't validate or appreciate your unique approach; don't waste your precious time or energy! If someone doesn't resonate with you, that's okay, not everybody has to, but find the people that do and surround yourself with them!


                                                                                                       
#15 - October 27, 2013, 09:43 PM
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 09:48 PM by Ancient A »

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region florida
Hi GoldenBird,

Many years ago, after a long and unnecessarily painful business negotiation, a mentor told me, "You can't reason with unreasonable people." That experience taught me to save my time, talent and dignity and only work with people who appreciated me, and what I had to offer. Phil nailed it when he wrote, "It sounds like this person revealed their stubbornness and ignorance (a troublesome combination) right at the beginning. You were right to get out of this one as quickly as possible." 

Judging by your avatar, your illustrations would have been beautiful, unique and heartwarming. Her loss -- but think of the time and talent you can shift to someone who will value you and your skills!
 :)
#16 - October 28, 2013, 06:17 AM
Ten Clever Ninjas (picture book, Clear Fork Publishing, 2019)
Butterfly Girl (middle grade novel, Clear Fork Publishing, 2019)

Twitter: @kidlitSarah

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.