Thursday, December 20, 2012

Emerald: 2013 Pantone Color of the Year

Emerald: 2013 Pantone Color of the Year

As we begin the weeks of end-of-the-year countdowns and “Best of...” lists, Pantone is Tangerine Tango-ing out of 2012 and introducing us to our new favorite color: Emerald .
This emerald green color swatch released by Pantone is Pantone LLC's Color of the Year for 2013, beating out all the other shades of the rainbow. (AP) 

How did Pantone land on this hue to forever represent 2013? We’re sure to hear many theories in the next few months, which will probably range from: The color reminds us of simpler things such as grass and Mother Nature...Green is the color of growth and signifies America in 2013...The rich tone is all about luxury, just like jewels and money.... Whichever theory you prefer, Pantone is describing the choice as, “Lively. Radiant. Lush...A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

That nice, but what does it mean for you? It’s time to visit Emerald City. Whether it’s your wardrobe or your living room, here are some tips for embracing emerald:

-Lively and radiant: Just like in nature, greens look good with bright colors. Pair it with bold yellows and oranges for an energizing jolt.


Fashion from the Spring 2013 collection of Nanette Lepore in New York. (Bebeto Matthews - AP)
-Lush: Emerald is a jewel tone. Take a hint from jewelry counters and mix it with rich purples, blues, reds, black and golds. 

A gown from the Zac Posen Spring 2013 collection during Fashion Week in New York. (John Minchillo - AP)

-Balance and harmony: Embrace the zen of emerald by pairing it with grays, whites and muted yellows or blues.


Skyla Freeman's 425 square foot studio apartment in Washington D. C. features the Pantone 2013 color of the year. The crisp white accents pop against the office walls. (Katherine Frey - THE WASHINGTON POST) 
And if you’re looking to find emerald for a bargain? Check out the after-Christmas sales, the red-and-green holiday is sure to leave lots of green up for grabs.
Reposted from the Washington Post, By Veronica Toney

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The VISUAL Power in Packaging

Strong images on books and packaging move a person to act - and when it comes to deciding on which product oftentimes the visual impacts your decision to actually buy it.

When is the last time you walked through a book store, grocery, drug or toy store to see what kind of visuals are on the products? Have you ever taken your digital camera into the stores to get pictures of products which could inspire you or products that you could see your own art work on?
Scott Padbury's portfolio -

Everyday consumers have ever-changing tastes making the average life span of a package about two and a half years. This leaves plenty of need for designers and art directors to hire an illustrator for package art.

Traci Daberko's portfolio -

Illustrations that offer innovation and/or cutting-edge technology are perfectly acceptable forms of visuals for packaging. 

Mike Dammer's portfolio -

Make sure your illustrations identify what's being sold inside the package especially if you're competing with four-color photography which shows a product exactly like it is. 
Matthew Holmes' portfolio -

Effective package illustration looks great on the shelf, differentiates your product from a hundred others and sends the right emotional message to the consumer. Don't forget, a lot of consumer spending is impulse buying so if you can make your illustrations memorable, the art buyer hiring you knows his product has a better chance of being purchased.
Sonya Shannon's portfolio -

Read more: 
40 Creative and Beautiful Package Designs 
Industrial Makeover: Fully Illustrated Package Design

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Communication Arts Banners drive traffic to Directory of Illustration

As you may already know the Directory of Illustration consistently runs 50,000 banner ads every month on Communications Arts Magazines website driving creatives to These banners are free to every illustrator on our site and will send a creative directly to your portfolio. These banners run consistently in rotation on our home page as well.

Regarding the Directory print + internet program: Overall site traffic is up 29% on top of a 19% increase the previous year. We average 20,000 visitors per month with a bump after the 18,000 books are distributed in January -- for example, we had 24,000 visitors last February and 29,000 last March. An advertiser can monitor their own stats/activity on the back end of the site as well.

Click on these and you'll see them full size:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Industries Are Using Illustration?

Are you aware of the following growing industries that can use illustration? Can you target these audiences? There is always a need for illustration to solve a problem, tell a story or sell a product. Look into these industries to see how your work fits in and how you can target them for opportunities:

From Susan Tolonen's portfolio on

Baby Boomers:
From John Batten's portfolio on

From John Francis' portfolio on

From Greg Paprocki's portfolio on

From Ronald Wilson's portfolio on

From David Goodwin's portfolio on
Home Improvement:
From Mark Bremmer's portfolio on
From Jennifer Lilya's portfolio on

From James O'Brien's portfolio on (representated by Gerald & Cullen Rapp)

Children's books:
From Jomike Tejido's portfolio on (represented by MB Artists)

Toys & Games:
From Russell Benfanti's portfolio on By Mendola Artist Representatives)

For a more detailed review of your portfolio and which industries you could target, please connect with me directly. I'd be happy to share some ideas based on your passion, skills and past experience.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Digital Copyright Advice (and more) from illustrator/educator Don Arday

I’m extremely impressed with illustrator/educator Don Arday's detailed compilation and advice regarding digital copyright, color and other important subjects for illustrators. Don's blog, appropriately titled: The Informed Illustrator is intended to give illustrators information on a variety of subjects, both digital and traditional. His thoughtful 10 Digital Art Copyright Definitions are spelled out below and on his blog. 


Don has been creating conceptually based digital illustrations for many years. Prior to switching to illustration, Don worked as a graphic designer and art director. He is also a professor of illustration at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Wine and Cheese - Don Arday
CFO Supply Chain - Don Arday

Visit Don Arday’s blog titled The Informed Illustrator, at, for articles of interest to all illustrators.

10 Digital Art Copyright Definitions from artist Don Arday:

There are many misconceptions concerning the use and effects incurred by copyright law. “Copyright Law of the United States”, published by the US government is 351 pages long. Although much of the information doesn’t pertain to visual artists, that which does, is absolute, so it pays to know how copyright effects what we do as illustrators for our livelihood. Whether work is created digitally or traditionally the same laws apply.

© 1995 Don Arday.

#1 Copyrightable Art


All art is copyrighted from the moment it is produced or becomes a fixed copy. Copyright means the right to copy. “Copyright protection subsists … in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” In the case of digital art, the display of a work on a monitor through a digital transmission constitutes the establishment of a copy. “A work is 'created' when it is fixed in a copy.”

#2 Notice of Copyright


Before April of 1989, copyrighted art had to be accompanied by a copyright notice. The word “copyright” or the familiar “©” symbol had to be displayed with the artwork. At the present, all art is copyright protected whether it contains the symbol or not.
Now that said, use of the word or symbol is recommended. The use of it serves as a warning to possible copyright infringers, in this way, it can authenticate and strengthen the protection of your artwork.
The copyright symbol is available on keyboards by the keystroke <option g> or <alt g>. It is also available through the Object Palette in many software programs. The correct form is: Copyright: Date(s): Author/Creator/Owner. The word “copyright, the symbol ©, or the abbreviation “copr” may be used.

#3 Original Work


A “work of visual art” is a painting, drawing, print or sculpture, existing in a single copy, in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer that are signed and consecutively numbered by the author, or, in the case of a sculpture, in multiple cast, carved, or fabricated sculptures of 200 or fewer that are consecutively numbered by the author and bear the signature or other identifying mark of the author.
For digital artists this still applies. A digital painting or drawing illustration created in Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, or any other image-based software, is considered a “painting”. Digital drawings created in Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc., i.e. vector illustrations are “drawings”.

#4 Copyright Law


Copyright law in small doses falls into the category of “civil law”, meaning that your legal rights as the artist would have to be implemented though the initiation of a law suit. However, large violations involving 10 or more copies with a value of over $2500 is a felony, which falls into the category of “criminal law”. In the case of all art, to display a work publicly means to transmit it.


#5 Derivative Work

The derivative work concept is perhaps the most misunderstood part of copyright law. The derivative work clause regulates the use of copyrighted reference material. For some illustrators this can have a great impact on the use of reference material. Copyright law supports the making of derivative works, but only by, or through the permission, of the copyright owner.
A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.
It is highly advisable to exercise caution when using published work as a reference source. As alluded to in copyright law, every photograph, artwork, artifact, etc. is copyright protected.  And through the internet, gathering reference copies of images has never been easier.


#6 Fan Art

Fan art is a form of derivative art. It is when another artist uses original characters or settings created by the originating artist. For instance, when an illustrator uses Spiderman as a straightforward character in a promotional illustration. This kind of use requires the permission of Marvel Comics. However the parodying or making fun of a copyrighted character or situation does not require permission of the copyright owner. This falls into the category of “fair use”, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t end up in court.
This is important to know. Fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which means the copyright would be owned by the character/settings originator. So, if I did an illustration of Spiderman, I would not own the copyright of my own work! And, any display of my fan art Spiderman would be an unlawful distribution of a derivative work.


#7 Fair Use

Fair use is the use of a copyrighted work, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. If the reason for use of a copyrighted work falls under this description it is not an infringement of copyright. However, the following factors go into determining whether the use would be considered fair use: The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.


#8 Work Made for Hire

A “work made for hire” is a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work; such as a movie, audiovisual work, a supplementary work, a compilation, an instructional text, test or answer material, or an atlas.
A “supplementary work” is a work commissioned for publication to support the work of another author. Illustrations commonly fall into the category of supplemental work. Examples of supplementary works by illustrators would be non-self authored commercial editorial illustrations, commercial book illustrations, corporate illustrations, etc. Nearly every commission could conceivably be a work made for hire, but only if agreed upon by the illustrator and the commissioning party. All parties must expressly agree in writing to the “work made for hire” designation.
Watch out. It is vitally important to consider the following: If a work is "made for hire", the employer, not the illustrator artist, is considered the legal author and owner of the copyright for the work. Many publishing houses and magazine conglomerates are adopting and enforcing “work made for hire” contracts. This may sound absurd, but bound by one of these “work made for hire” contracts, the original illustrator would have to get permission from the contractor to display or publish the illustration.



VARA also known as “The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 or Statute 106, exclusive rights in copyrighted works. VARA protects the “moral rights” of the artist as it relates to his or her creation. Only “works of visual art”, a painting, drawing, print or sculpture, existing in a single copy, or in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer qualify for VARA benefits. VARA gives the artist creator the exclusive rights to do or authorize the following:
Concerning the Work (Statute 106)
The right to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies; to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work; to distribute copies the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending; and in the case of pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, to display the copyrighted work publicly.
Concerning the Creator (Statute 106A)
Titled the “rights of attribution and integrity”. The right to claim authorship of a work; to prevent the use of one's name on any work the author did not create; to prevent use of one's name on any work that has been distorted, mutilated, or modified in a way that would be prejudicial to the author's honor or reputation, and to prevent distortion, mutilation, or modification that would prejudice the author's honor or reputation. Authors of works with "recognized stature" may prohibit the work from being destroyed. These rights persist for the life of the author.


#10 Copyright Registration

Copyright registration serves to verify the ownership and date of creation of a work of art with the authority of the United States Copyright Office. Registration of a work does not constitute a “granting of copyright”. Copyright is automatically granted when the work created and displayed. However, copyright registration establishes a public record and adds proof of copyright ownership to aid in fighting copyright infringement.
The US Copyright Office provides standardized forms. The web locations are linked below. The basic registration fee is ($65) for a single work or a group of works. Two or more individual works can be registered on one application with a single filing fee under certain circumstances, see below. Electronic filings made online through the Electronic Copyright Office or “eCO” are available at a reduced fee for ($35).
A group of unpublished works can be registered as a collection if all the elements of the collection are assembled in an orderly form, the combined elements bear a single title identifying the collection as a whole, the copyright claimant for each element in the collection are the same, and all the elements are by the same author or, if they are by different authors, at least one author has contributed copyrightable authorship to each element. All of these conditions must be met and works registered as an “unpublished collection” will be listed in the records of the Copyright Office only under the collection title.
For published works, all copyrightable elements that are included in a single unit of publication and in which the copyright claimant is the same can be considered a single work for registration purposes. An example would be a children’s book with multiple illustrations.

Sources and Resources

US Copyright Office Website
Single Visual Arts Copyright Registration Form VA
Single Visual Arts Copyright Registration Short Form VAS
Group Visual Arts Copyright Registration Form GRVA
Electronic Copyright Office System
Copyright registration for Works of the Visual Arts
Copyright Office Fees

The information in this post is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional legal advice.

Finding and Keeping Clients

What is getting in your way of achieving the results that you want? 

Aad Goudappel -

How are you going about generating new jobs, finding new projects and keeping clients?  

Do you have laser focus in your efforts to do this? 
Jeff Huang -

Let's talk about this so we can get to the bottom of your stumbling blocks.
Ken Orvidas -

A lot of factors can help a motivated and talented person stay busy AND make a good living. Creative people need constant inspiration AND marketing...a way to keep their name and good works in front of those that can hire them.

Since each individual is just that - unique in their own creativity - there are different approaches for everyone. 

Often a portfolio review is a good place to start so you must be open to honest feedback and suggestions. Sometimes it helps to talk this out with a trusted professional.

I can talk this through with you and offer suggestions. I tend to ask a lot of questions to trigger ideas. This requires true introspection and commitment on your part.  

Wesley Bedrosian -
Here are a few things I ask a dedicated illustrator:

     ~ How do you market yourself?
     ~ Do you connect with past clients? When was the last time?
     ~ Is your current website relevant to the kind of jobs you want?
     ~ How do you get traffic to your website?
     ~ Do you know what industries your work is best suited for ?
     ~ Do you think like a problem solver?
     ~ Do you use time off, times when you have no pressure, to

          develop new creative ideas?
     ~ Have you found a mentor?

Marilyn Janovitz -

Your goal is to find good jobs and make money. I'd be happy to chat with you to cultivate opportunity and climb the ladder to success.
Marilyn Janovitz -

In order to grow your client base, you need to find a very good program with a proven track record and a great vehicle for promotion – and then stick with it!  Give art buyers and creatives time to get to know you!  You’ll find over time this will be your most rewarding course of action and you’ll begin to see your business growing.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Variety of Featured Projects on

Ashley Barron
Globe and Mail
Antony Hare, P.I.
Advertising Age
Wesley Bedrosian
Chronicle Books
Yana Beylinson
The Guardian
James Brown
New Division
National Geographic Traveller UK
Freddy Boo
Wall Street Journal
Maria Corte Maidagan
Richard Solomon Artists Representative
Gary Redford
Meiklejohn Illustration
LA Times
Chris Whetzel
Richard Solomon Artists Representative
Adam's Eve Gastropub
Anthony Mullen
Isotropic Fiction
Chuck Regan
Strategic Finance
Cathy Gendron
Aervoe Industries, Inc.
Ron Rockwell
Science News Magazine
Nicolle Rager Fuller
Groucho Sports
Emory Allen
Gary Newman
New Division
Captain Lawrence Brewery
Bill Cigliano
Marquette University
Christiane Beauregard
Lindgren & Smith

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FLOW - a marketing campaign to keep you engaged

For several years now, Richard Solomon Artists Representative has been successfully advertising with The Directory of Illustration. In addition to his efforts with us, Richard and his team are always thinking of new ways to showcase their diverse group of award winning talent with unique and dynamic promotions. 

For the past year they were working on something really special, an idea to help set them apart: FLOW. The artists worked in collaboration and conjunction with his/her immediate neighbors and made sure that all the pieces connected to create one continuous work of art, with each composition flowing into the next. Have they succeeded? You decide. 

Wednesday they launched the project with only the first 4 images and for the next several weeks, will be releasing images regularly so stay tuned by following them on:  

FLOW - RSAR - Richard Solomon Artist Representative
Gary Kelly

Murray Kimber

Yan Nascimbene

Tyler Jacobson

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How are you using color in your illustrations?

Colors emit emotions and catch the eye of creatives who hire illustrators. In art and design color influences, engages & drives decisions for creatives and consumers. Color can act to stir emotion, create magic and set the atmosphere of your marketing presentation. 

How are you using color in your illustrations? 

Whether you cater to the advertising, entertainment, design, fashion, toy/game, packaging, publishing or editorial markets you need to keep in mind that color sends emotional and subliminal messages to your audience. 

For example: 

~ "Color is top priority in vehicle design," Ford Senior Interior Designer Anthony Prozzi said in a recent Bloomberg radio interview. During Fashion Night in New York he also said, “Our goal is to offer a car that is drop-dead gorgeous – something our customers can justify on a rational level as well as one they can relate to on an emotional level. You expect that car to drive, but its design makes you desire it. Beauty has that effect on people.” 
Digital Progression -

~ Trademarks - Cadbury just won the right to stop rival chocolate makers using its signature color, Pantone 2685C purple, on their wrappers. The chocolate giant has been battling its Swiss rival Nestlé for the last four years over the use of the purple, which has appeared in Cadbury’s packaging for almost 100 years. Last December a court ruling gave Cadbury exclusive rights to the hue, despite Nestlé’s claims that a color could not be used as a trademark. Now Britain’s High Court has overturned Nestlé’s appeal, ruling that Pantone 2685C purple is “distinctive of Cadbury for milk chocolate.”
Cadbury Chocolate bar - image courtesy Trend Journal

~ Branding - A good branding example using color is Owens Corning's choice of pink to denote its brand. They incorporated the Pink Panther image in its entire strategy and its website is based on the color pink association. Using color in your brand can have long-term benefits too as the Supreme Court ruled that a particular color can serve as a defensible trademark for a product.
Trademarks: The “Owens Corning” logo, the color PINK, and other trademarks identified with a ® in these documents are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Owens Corning Intellectual Capital, LLC INNOVATIONS FOR LIVING and other trademarks identified with a ™ in these documents are trademarks of Owens Corning Intellectual Capital, LLC THE PINK PANTHER ™ & © 1964 - 2012 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All rights reserved.

~ What do the colors connote in the country of destination? Vibrant, attention-grabbing red sometimes signifies “warning” or “danger” in the U.S., but in Chinese culture, it indicates luck. A slick black package with touches of embossed gold or silver conveys elegance and sophistication in the U.S. and some newly industrialized countries, but in certain parts of Africa, for example, it suggests death! Even if your design principles have been fool proof for products to be sold in the U.S., expect to have to scrap them and start fresh when it comes to marketing products abroad. (from “How to Prepare Your Product for Import/Export” by Laurel Delaney for


2012 the official color is Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango.  

2011 was Honeysuckle Pantone 18-2120.   

2010 was Pantone 15-5519 Turquoise.

Pantone's Color Guide - Essential color tools can always be at your fingertips

Are your colors current and relevant to your viewers' eyes?


Whether discussing your latest images in your portfolio, your website design or your marketing presentation, the similarities between what art buyers and consumers want are numerous and compelling. The use of color might be one tactic to help you get work.

Mona Daly, Mendola Artists Representatives -