Lots of things come out of the time we spend together as a group with the Hartford Limited Residency MFA in Illustration program listening, talking, and gathering all that is thrown our way. There were some very strong messages sent out to those of us who could hear them (as an aside, I am a believer that we all hear different things as we are all on different paths and as in the game of telephone--it is all in the translation, and that is why it is good we all talk so much amongst ourselves). Some I picked up were:
> Do your own thing and sell it. To quote Murray who is often quoted by Dennis Detrick "Imagine it, Draw it, Sell it". Exactly. To that, Zina Saunders is dead on with her New York portraits and her wonderfully funny political work. Also, Cheryl Philips charge to be a licensor (make that old work live again...imagine and research the market, marry it to the work and sell it). And, in creating that work, protect yourself through registration. Even Brodner and Ciardello were on that same track. Either it's age or time or both, it works for me. Take risks. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payout. work on what you like/love. There will be a home for it.
My case in point was the work I did around Memento Mori at the advent of my fiftieth birthday. Yes, it was obsessive. Yes, it was me going totally off the tracks. Yes, there was reading and odd thinking that became pictures, but I did it for me to understand what I was thinking about and as a way to process the idea and information in a way that I could fully integrate that concept of memory, remembrance, mortality and death. But guess what? I have sold illustrations from that collections of neurotic images along with having applied as a tattoo to a friend, sold mini books on the idea and used it as a personal brand for the short term. I did the work for me, about me and it was saleable and done. I have a feeling this work will give in the land of licensing as well. So, pursue your neurosis, your dreams, your nightmares, your ideas to the places you can take them...and there will be a home in the marketplace for them. This is a bit different than editorial work or art directed work. When it's done, its a different thing. You may do some tweaks--but not much more than that.
> Register your work. Protect yourself. It is beyond creativity. This is business. To that point, I was doing my daily web wandering and got the the Copyright Office page. On the eCo Online Page they are pitching why filing your work online is great(which totally works for me)>>
> Lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim (for online filings only)
> Fastest processing time
> Online status tracking
> secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account
>the ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into eCO as electronic files
It seems (we can hope) to be pretty staight forward along with all sorts of FAQs, tutorials either in powerpoint or pdfs. So, within the next few weeks, we are reading and getting going on this. I can get girl Friday, Ms. Amanda to help me with the scans etc. and we can get ourselves up to date so we can systematize this as we move forward. I was thinking that we should tie the upload with the payment of our Quarterly taxes as a way of getting real and having Barbara come at be and push me to get real. Love that.
I have just begun to get a bit deeper with this content and my head is beginning to spin. Here is what's nice though, it's in layman's English so that it is perceivable...just tough going...(reading out loud for understanding as a way to go..?)but worth it. Take a look. Join me in this fun!