Julia Breckenreid
June 2009
The Art of Conversation
I've been considering the thread that happened on Drawger the other day, when Chris Lyons admitted to being (now formerly) one of the illustrators that agreed to work for Google/Chrome for free.

I think that we need to take a pause and consider how to have an open conversation about how we run our businesses on our separate islands.  

The way we converse is a large part of the overall problem.

I have great empathy for those illustrators who will be vilified within our community for making a 'mistake'. This is division, not solidarity. I respect Chris for backing out of Google's offer, but even more so for admitting to taking it.

I'm grateful that the NYT article was written, and to those that are willing stand for their convictions and the community as a whole... I sincerely hope that what happened with Chris the other day will not prevent others from sharing their experiences and looking for a dialogue, support/advice.
Nicola Simbari
I was out for lunch with friends the other day and walked into RITCHIES auction house here in Toronto. Thought maybe they'd have some inventory to look at, but you couldn't really get past reception. However - from across the room we could see a painting of a nude about to go up for auction, and we were so taken with it that we looked up the artist when we got home - Nicola Simbari, a still-living Calabrian painter, born 1927... I feel stupid for not knowing who he is. Here are a few of his paintings that are making my little heart go a pitter-patter.

Tech Support
Here's the image found on bing - a cover I did for Penguin Canada.
Technology and I have not always been friends, but luckily I have in-house tech-support to work as a mediator. New innovations are something I'm not always aware of or looking out for, so it's nice to have someone a few feet away who is. Ryan was doing an image search with my name on bing the other day, and he came across one I hadn't seen via Google's image search. Bing looks nice, is easy to use, so that's a plus.

To keep track of my images and where they're being used online, I go to tineye - here you can do a backwards search by uploading an image to see where it pops up - try it out! Look below, here are the image results I found using the Penguin cover I did.

Most recently Ryan encouraged me to try fotomoto to sell prints of my work. I've had many requests for prints of varying sizes and am always trying to find the best way to do it. While you don't have to pay to use fotomoto's service (you pay a percentage when a print is purchased), I'm not crazy about the paper they're printing on - it's more suitable to photography, and I'm not convinced anyone is going to want a print of a painting on lustre paper, so I'm waiting to hear back to see if they'll print on something like Hahnemuhle - and until then I'm taking the service off my site. It's also a little weird or inconvenient that when you set the code up in your html, the 'buy print' button shows up on every image in your portfolio, and I haven't figured out how to get rid of 'send e-card'. HOWEVER - a few things I really do like about fotomoto is the ordering system - when you click on 'buy print', it shows the size of print you choose in context above a couch with a person standing nearby, that you set your own prices and they print, package and ship the work for you. I should also say that fotomoto is making changes and adjustments quickly, so I'm thinking that any issues I have will be rectified soon.

Here you can see how a photo I ordered from fotomoto came in the mail.
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Breckenreid is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!