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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Illustrator's Partnership of America

    Hi all,

    I noticed that many members from this site have visited our website recently so I thought I would take a few seconds, visit your site and let people know a little more about our organization. The Illustrator's Partnership of America (IPA) is a non profit trade association that deals with the complicated issues, freelance illustrators face in this industry.

    This is a new group formed in 2000 by several hundred of the top illustrators in the field.

    Some frequently asked question about the IPA.

    Q: Why did these artists wish to start a new organization?
    A: By 1997 it was clear to many artists that stock houses were engaged in a hostile takeover of the illustration industry. Yet none of our professional organizations would stand up to them, or expose their bad contracts. In fact, several organizations were accepting stock house money, either as "financial support" or for promoting stock house contracts. As artists began to act on their own, a spontaneous movement developed.

    Q: What has the IPA done?
    A: The founding members of the IPA conceived the first Illustrators' Conference and started a newsletter, the Illustrators' News. On the IPA website, members can exchange ideas and information, and anyone–members or non-members–is welcome to download pamphlets and articles, free of charge.

    Q: Can anybody join the IPA?
    A: As a new organization, IPA members are still developing membership thresholds. Artists who don't qualify for full membership can join as Associate Members.

    Q: Do I have to be an "award winner" to qualify for IPA membership?
    A: No.

    I hope that more artists take the time to visit our site, which contains well over 140 articles, newsletters, and compilations in our 'New Topics' section from some of our most respected and talented illustrators.
    Much of the information in the site, many of you may indeed find helpful.

    In addition we include copyright registration forms and information on how to process them

    If anyone here has questions or need further information, please feel free to contact me at 781-837-9152 or by email at

    Thank you

    Ken Dubrowski
    Director of Operations
    Illustrators Partnership of America

    Ken Dubrowski Illustrations

    BIG Illustration Group

    Editor Illustrator's News

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    CA, USA
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Sounds interesting...

    I see you have C.F. Payne in your gallery. I have his class next semester.


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
    Chris is one of the founding members of IPA and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. If you have him as a teacher you will learn a lot from him.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Santa Rosa/San Anselmo, Calif.
    Thanked 418 Times in 161 Posts
    forgive my ignorance.. what are stock houses?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
    No problem.

    Stock houses are companies that sprang up in the 90's promising that if illustrators paid these companies a fee to be in catalogues, they in turn would sell the images that were sitting in your basement for a little extra cash. Many illustrators jumped at the chance and many more helped promote the venture to other artists as a new source of revenue.

    For years artists licensed secondary rights as a standard business procedure, so reselling your work was not new. What happened next is what has changed the industry for the worse because these stock houses then sold the images for what ever they could make. Artists made very little often 15.00 an illustration and fees ranged from 50% to 70% going to the stock houses.
    This saturation of low balled images in turn flooded the market place with cheaply priced illustration and changed forever how companies buy illustration.

    The problem now is that in the last decade, middlemen (stockhouses) have accumulated vast libraries of these rights and are using them to compete against artists themselves. By cutting into assignment work and lowering fees, this development has hurt many illustrators.

    But it has been particularly hard on entry-level artists.

    Please read this article to better understand the issue.

    Here are some quick points

    Q: What is "stock?"
    A: "Stock" is just a common name for the secondary rights to pictures.

    Q: Should I sell stock?
    A: It's best to remember that selling stock requires an inventory of pictures. This means that an artist with 20 years in the business will have hundreds or thousands of images to license, while you may have only a few. Stock favors established artists, not beginners.

    Q: A stock agency says they can help me get started in the illustration business by promoting my work. Should I believe them?
    A: You should proceed cautiously and get all the facts before you sign a contract with a stock house. A stock house is in business to make money for themselves, not for you. If they use your work to attract clients, those clients will call the stock house–not you–the next time they want art. Think of a stock house as your competitor, and if you conclude that it's a sound business decision to give inventory to a competitor that they can use to underprice you, then proceed accordingly.

    Q: A publisher has offered me money to do illustrations for a royalty-free disk. Should I accept?
    A: It's a violation of antitrust law for any trade association to tell you what you should or shouldn't do with your work. All we can legally say is that most illustrators regard royalty-free art as exploitation.

    Q: Why?
    A: In royalty-free, you get a small, one-time fee for a series of pictures and surrender all rights forever. The buyer of the CD-ROM can do anything he wants with your work. He can alter the images, crop them, sample them, or combine them with other pictures. They can remove your name. And by surrendering all interest in your pictures, you can never build any residual value in your work. Worse, by providing others with pictures to alter, you're signaling to clients that you have no respect for you own craftsmanship. In royalty-free, the company that pays you is considered the "author" of the work. Legally, you have no further claim to the pictures at all.

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