Web access is the facilitator that has allowed businesses to take advantage of a far greater range of picture values and options than have ever been known before. It has converted today's market into a virtual imaging outlet mall. A picturesque place where every business can feel confident about finding just the right visual for just the right price. That's because one image can be sold over and over at a price which is appropriate to each situation. Conflict of interest is rarely a concern because the audiences are relatively small. In general, only if the image is used in a national or very long-term communication will a buyer want to consider purchasing exclusive rights.
How interesting it is to note that many artists have historically made a living by satisfying the specific aesthetic agendas of others. Hundreds of years ago they were commissioned to create defined subject matter for such entities as the church. In today's world, a contrasting trend is emerging whereby some illustrators are creative/art directing there own work in anticipation of satisfying commercial messages which they anticipate will be needed. More than ninety percent of the illustrations found here were done soley for stock useage. They depict such subjects as search engines, new relationships between telephone and computer, and ways that the Web is increasing interaction between people everywhere. The balance were originally conceived for assignments and self promotion.
Now for the downside of stock. Because of its inexpensive availability, branding or visual consistency is often overlooked from one message to the next. This most important aspect of a long term investment in messaging can only be protected by a highly skilled creative team. One that has established an extremely productive line of communication with management. Otherwise, the next neat stock image anyone finds that sorta works with the new initiative will be used. Consequently, any hope of developing the credibility of a memorable stream of related messages will be lost.
Draw attention by showing the subject in an unusual way.
An exaggerated scale between the figures and the earth's surface is hard to overlook. The goal was to depict the ease in which email could reach lots of people on a worldwide basis. To date, the image shown above has sold over 12 times for a variety of uses. That makes it my biggest seller so far. Its uses include editorial for both print and the Web, direct mail and a cover. I believe that part of its success has to do with the relative newness of email. That is, the inventory of images depicting this subject is probably much smaller than that for regular mail just because email hasn't been around to illustrate for nearly as long.
Creative functions: Creative direction, art direction, design and illustration*
This image can be ordered from the Attiliis collection of illustrations at Stock Illustration Source