|Brad Eight:||Hi Katie|
|Brad Eight:||So fire away with your questions. When I am finished with my answer, I will type go ahead. Go Ahead.|
|KVJS:||Ok, But I am gonna sound more like a business man than a kid.|
|Brad Eight:||Fine. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||Hello, Mr. Hamann. Thank you for giving me your time during our previous e-mail conversations and for spending this time on line with me now. As you know, written communication is easier for me due to my hearing limitation.|
|Brad Eight:||Yes, I understand. Go ahead.|
|Brad Eight:||By the way, I do most of my communication with my clients with e-mail now, than with the phone. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||I have the artwork that you sent already for use on our website, with
pictures of different well-known characters. I also
have a sampler of your artwork which you send out to your clients to display your talent. I just want to make sure that we have written permission to use these images in our Thinkquest Educational Web Pages. We also plan to post this entire
interview as well as your e-mailed responses as needed to explain our topic. (copyrights/trademarks, etc.)
|Brad Eight||Yes, you have my permission. I am pleased that you are interested in my work. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||I would also like to know if you could send us a picture of yourself and your website URL so that we may link it to our page.|
|Brad Eight||Yes, I have sent a small gif picture of myself to your KVJS email address.
The URL for my website is as follows:
www.darkdesign.com Go ahead
Brad Hamann's Web Site
|KVJS:||Mr. Hamann, do you find your profession as an illustrator challenging and rewarding?|
|Brad Eight:||Yes I do in answer to both questions. I teach illustration at Parsons
School of Design, and just yesterday I told my
students that I believed being an illustrator was one of the best jobs in the world. It is challenging because I am asked to illustrate many different kinds of things, and this sometimes involves researching a subject, which I like.
|Brad Eight:||And of course I challenge myself to become better at what I do, even
after working for 23 years at it since graduation.
I still feel I have much to learn.
|Brad Eight:||It is very rewarding to see my work in print and to know that many
people are seeing it. Financially it has worked out
well too. I am thankful every day for what I am able to do. Go ahead.
|KVJS:||That sounds great. Do you find that illustrators today are very
dependent upon the use of computers or is non computer
generated artwork very much in demand?
|Brad Eight:||I think there is a pretty even division between computer and non-computer
illustration being commissioned right now,
but I think eventually there will be more computer illustration than traditional. Magazines seem to like computer art, while publishers like traditional art on their jackets.
|Brad Eight:||All the young illustrators these days are learning the computer. But
you can still make a career as an illustrator without
knowing computer skills. Go ahead.
|Brad Eight:||I meant to say book publishers above. Go ahead|
|KVJS:||With regard to the samples you sent me earlier ( the ones with images
of Barney and other popular characters), did you
need to get permission from anyone to use those images? Will we need to get permission from anyone to use them on our
website? Why or why not?
|Brad Eight:||Although the area of copyright can sometimes be a little "fuzzy", it
is my understanding that you can use an image of a
well-known person or character if it is used in the sense of a news story or parody. For instance the image I created with Barney was for a trade publication about cable tv, and it was to illustrate a story about kids programming. Therefore it rates as a news story.
|Brad Eight:||If the magazine decide to publish a regular story about a purple dinosaur,
more as a fiction feature and ran the image of
Barney, they might have been sued. The same for anyone who prints up Barney t-shirts and sells them without getting
permission from the creators of Barney.
|Brad Eight:||If you had to get permission from anyone to run the art on your website it might be the magazine, but since you are using the artwork only, which I maintain the rights to, and not a picture of the magazine cover itself, with the title, than all you have to do is get permission from me, which you already have. Go ahead. I hope my answers are not too long.|
|KVJS:||Your answers are very helpful, thank you! How did you learn to negotiate the value of the artwork you produce?|
|Brad Eight:||Alot of that was learned through trial and error. Young illustrators
tend to charge less for their work at the beginning
because it is important for them to get printed samples for their portfolios.As you become more experienced and begin to build up a reputation, you get better pay.Another big thing to consider is the budget of the client. For the same amount of work, I might charge one client $250 dollars for a spot illustration because it is a small circulation magazine,
|Brad Eight:||and for a big magazine like Business Week, I would get paid $800. I
don't have a preset fee schedule, ie I dont have a set rate for illustrations.
I usually am very flexible, and unless someone really is underpaying, I
am willing to work with
|Brad Eight:||The other major consideration is usage. By that I mean, what the art
is going to be used for. If someone asks me to do
an illustration for a one-time appearance in a magazine, I will charge them less than if I had designed a simple logo that
will be used on all the companies stationary, business cards, t-shirts etc. So as you can see there are many factors. Go
|KVJS:||Wow- has anyone ever asked you for internet rights for any of your artwork?|
|Brad Eight:||Yes. In a few cases, I have done a piece of art for a client for magazine publication and then been asked permission for it to appear on the publications website. I usually negotiate a small additional fee 10% or 15% of the original fee for web usage. Once or twice I have seen artwork of mine appear without my permission, and have asked the client to remove it or pay me a fee. Usually they have put it up out of ignorance, but most everyone is aware of the issues now. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||If a prospective client asked you to design a graphic or series (for
example, a family of copycats like I have designed for
my web site), what kind of usage agreement would you negotiate with them?
|Brad Eight:||It is always better to spell out very specifically what rights to the art you are selling. If I designed a graphic for a client, I would give them one price if they were ONLY going to use it on their website, and another price if they wanted to use it in other instances too. If there are going to be many usages, I might just figure out a price for what is called a "buyout", where I literally sell all the rights to the art...and the client owns all the rights to the art and can do anything they want with it|
|Brad Eight:||In that case I must try to figure out the worth of the art. Sometimes it is tricky to put a value on something like that. I have learned, over the years to negotiate better fees for myself.|
|Brad Eight:||But to your original question, the more specific the terms are spelled out to begin with, the less likelihood of trouble down the road. If I sold a client the rights to use art on the web and they went ahead and made t-shirts using the art, that would be in violation of our agreement and I could take them to court. If I found out about it, and thats another tricky thing. Its hard to keep tabs, almost impossible. Go ahead|
|KVJS:||If you sold your graphics to a client, and then they decided not to
use your work, would you be able to use it for any other
|Brad Eight:||It depends. If they paid me a buyout fee, ie bought all the rights,
they would be under no obligation to actually use it. I
wouldnt mind as long as I got paid. If I sold what is called "first reproduction rights" to a magazine, that means they have the right publish it once. If they killed the story, they still owe me the money. All of it. And in either case, if I had sold them 1st repro rights, I could legally go ahead and sell it again to another clients. Sometimes if a client tells me they hate the art,
|Brad Eight:||when it is still in the sketch stage, then I will only charge them half of the original fee, what is called a "kill fee". Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||Mr. Hamann, I am learning so much from you today. Have you actually ever gone through the copyright process?|
|Brad Eight:||No I have not. I produce over 100 illustrations a year and it would be costly and time consuming for me to register each one. I rely on the automatic copyright protection that an artist is granted when his work appears with his name and the little c in the circle. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||Can you explain a little bit more about this automatic copyright? Does it apply to anyone other than artists?|
|Brad Eight:||That I am not sure of. I think that a composer has to register with a group called ASCAP (American Society of Composer and something). I am not sure about writers. I suspect the copyright laws apply to all creative people. Sorry I dont know more. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||Do you have any trademarks that represent you or any of your work?|
|Brad Eight:||I very often put a little circle with my initials in it in the corner of my artwork, even if I have a credit line next to the art. I use it most of the time. Its not a registered trademark. Just my initials. But it looks cool. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||Mr. Hamann, is there anything else that you feel would be beneficial for our readers to know about licensing, copyrights or trademarks?|
|Brad Eight:||What I would like your readers to know is that the issues regarding licensing, copyright, and trademark are wide ranging and if you are considering a career as an illustrator, writer, photographer, composer, you need to educate yourself very well about these matters or you will run the risk of having your intellectual and creative property misused. Treat your creative output like your children. You have an obligation to protect your creations. Go ahead.|
|KVJS:||Can you recommend any books or software for budding young artists like myself, to help us on our way?|
|Brad Eight:||There are many books, but there are two books, I believe put together
by Pat Porter, (I will check on this) for kids
about illustrators and how they work. They are good. Believe it or not, when I was a kid, the things that inspired me
were comic books, Mad Magazine, and picture books. If you like for instance the Harry Potter books, realize that
you could do art like that to. As for software, there are alot of paint programs for kids, but I think that it is better to
walk around with a sketchbook. I also recommend the Graphic Arts Guild Handbook Pricing & Ethical
Guidelines 9th Edition for further information regarding copyrights and the professional aspects of illustrating.
|Brad Eight:||and a pencil. You can always get computer savvy later. People that
learn how to draw and paint the traditional way
are usually great when they try it on the computer. But people who start from scratch on the computer, are never quit
as good, IMHO. Go ahead
|KVJS:||Well, Mr. Hamann, once again I would like to thank you for spending this time with me. I wish you continued success and look forward to seeing your artwork in many different places. Check out our website when its done. It will be really cool!|
|Brad Eight:||Thank you, it has been my pleasure.|
|Brad Eight:||Brad Eight: And I look forward to looking at your website. end|
THE COUNTERFEIT COPYCAT'S TOUR
|Computer #1 says: Hey
Comp 2, Why is a carpenter like an illustrator?
Computer #2 says: One use's drill-bits the other bit-maps.
Searching the Web is informative and fun. But if you really want to see a lot of images and the history of their storage it's great to able to go the source. Come continue our tour and visit the Library of Congess with us.