Thursday, October 14, 2010

LEARNING THE HARD WAY!

Gather 'round children, it is story time!
I know you love a good yarn! Actually I think a yarn is another word for tall tale.....so it is not so much a yarn as it is a True Hollywood Story. (and by Hollywood I mean, Toronto)
So, earlier this week I posted about this piece:





and I promised the long and sorted story. So here it goes.
Many moons ago, I was approached by a poster company, let's call them Screw-You-International. (the name has been changed to avoid further incidents.) So, Screw-You-I just loved my work. It was 'fresh and new" and they had never seen work like mine before. So it was nice to hear that at the beginning of my career. So we had a bunch of meetings. It was decided that I would do a series of SIX paintings for them that they would turn into posters. It was so exciting! They really laid it on thick. I was told that I would get an advance on sales, and then after I made that back, I would get 10 cents on each poster sold! It sounded great because another artist was there the day I signed my contract, and she was picking up a $5000 check from them. WOW! That could be me! So then the design began. So I started doing drawings...lot s and lot s and lots and lots and lots of drawings. Soon after, I was given a palette of colour to use. I was not impressed. I mean that is some SERIOUS ART DIRECTION. To make it worse, the colours were all jewel tones. They were the colours that their big sellers stuck to. So, I followed!
MISTAKE #1. When you are forced to use ONLY the colours that are not in your regular palette, the result is often disaster!!
MISTAKE #2: I kept sending works with quotes that spoke to me. BUT they were considered to 'risque' for them. The end result was totally lobotomizing my work. ACK!
MISTAKE #3: Once I finally finished the work, I was not pleased with how they looked. They were stiff and lifeless. It made me mad to look at them. But we moved ahead and I got paid. One might think that would be the end of the story, alas, no.
A few months later, I called them to see how sales were. They were not good! In fact they were abysmal.
In the proceeding months I would get these monthly sales sheets. Each month they would track the sales and subtract the sales from my advance. 10 cents at a time.......for months and months and months. A couple years in, I called and was told that I still owed them over $700!!!! Needless to say, I stopped calling. It was really hard on my delicate ego!!!
What made matters worse? When I googled my name I found 16, count them SIXTEEN websites, all selling those posters. It should be good news, but they were selling my poster as a 'print' for $30-$300......depending if they were framed.....and I saw only 10 cents of that money! BRUTAL!!! And to add salt in the wound, I saw my work at Walmart. Which does not bode well for my cache as an artist. It kinda is not good news to be a Walmart artist. (It may have been less offensive, if I made nay money from it.....alas!)
The worst part is that to this day, when googled, those terrible posters come up for pages and pages and pages!! And when you are not happy with what they look like, it is not good news!
So that is the story. Boo.
Here are the paintings:






What do you think of them??

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