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How to recognize an Art Scam.. It all started with this message on my web site:

“Hello There, 
My name is Jackson Banks from Washington DC. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I’m also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase Two of your Artworks “NOCTURNE #6 & 12”, as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept Check as mode of Payment. “

Thanks and best regards 
Jackson. .   (or )

Hi Jackson!
These are large works and two of my favorites. Give me your number and let’s talk about it.

Thomas Brummett

Dear Thomas,

“Thanks for the message, For now i can Only be reach
 via Email, My computer will alert me as soon as i have an
 incoming emails.. I must tell you I intend to give my wife a
 surprise with the immediate purchase of the two piece. Also
 If you’d like to know, I’m relocating to Canada soon
 and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I’m
 trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a
 surprise one. I am buying those piece as part of gifts to
 her (quickly before someone else grabs it). Kindly email me
 the asking price for both piece asap. I’ll be sending a
 check. As regarding shipping, you don’t have to worry
 about that in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the
 surprise. as soon as you receive and cash the check, my
 shipping agent (who is also moving my Truck and Properties)
 will contact you to arrange for the pick-up. I would have
 handled this much differently if I’d been at home but at
 the moment, am on training voyage to the North Atlantic
 Ocean, (I’m a Civil Marine Engineer) with new hires who
 are fresh from graduate school and won’t be back for
 another couple of weeks.”


 Jackson Banks.

So this was the big tip off… Can’t talk on the phone ( always get a phone number) Further email showed the shipping guy would be paid by artist via an overpayment from the check. ( How they make money)

Long Story short…. I engaged the guy and let him spend money to send me a check.. ( I made him overnight it) When I got the check I had to laugh as this guy is apparently a complete Moron. (Don’t ever deposit these checks as its a federal offense). I just called the company (or the bank) to confirm funds.

Maybe this guy needs to move to a country where he can spell?

Free and anonymous web site….  That tracks artists jobs and the money (or lack of) they make from them.

Making a living as an artist can be hard.

You never know how much to ask for. Discussions about money are taboo because we pretend that passion and creativity alone should pay the bills. Some of the best events have “no budget”, and sometimes only the worst events can make a career as an artist look painfully sustainable. Let’s help each other sort through some of the confusion, and develop an ongoing dialogue about how artists make money.

Screen shot 2014-06-06



How Much Do Artists Make?

Oh boy!  In the never ending race to the bottom, Getty owned iStockphoto went from $14 net sale to less than a buck per image in the world of microstock. (My thoughts on Getty can be found here). For those of you who are not in the stock biz this means for the average pro photo shoot with working models, assistants, lighting, makeup etc, the price went from taking 10 years to pay for a shoot to basically never paying for a shoot. (Meaning actually making a profit, which was of course impossible at the $14 level).

I know of no company on the planet that forces its prices downward so consistently as to economically wipe out the very people that provide them with the ability to sell their products. It’s like a snake that is so big it does not realize it is eating its own tale.


iStockphoto Lauches New Subscription Model, Pays Contributors as Little as 28 Cents Per Image Download.

The change has sparked a lively discussion in iStock’s forums. One user noted that he just netted over $14 for a single download, which would have netted him less than $1 if downloaded under the subscription model.

via iStockphoto Lauches New Subscription Model, Pays Contributors as Little as 28 Cents Per Image Download.


iStockphoto Lauches New Stock Subscription Model


File this under “the irony of our modern world”.

I went to read an article on the New York Times site and low and behold they were running a conflicting ad directly next to the article on how women are portrayed in Stock Photos.  I guess they have no idea what ad runs where?

They should…

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 1.23.17 PM

The La Perla Ad is a bit of a problem in this context…LOL



New York Times And the Portrayal of Women

Another great article by Carolyn E. Wright covering the Lil’ Kim copyright infringement case. Lil’ Kim stole Makeup Artist Samantha Ravndahl’s work to promote her latest single Dead Gal Walking and violated just about every copyright law on the books. If Samantha’s lawyers loose this case then pretty much anything can be stolen on the internet and used to make money without the artist permission or compensation.


You be the judge:

Li'l Kim's image for her new single

Li’l Kim’s image for her new single

Samantha’s published makeup work

“Back in October, Canadian artist Samantha Ravndahl produced a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a “glam zombie” look using makeup and posted it to her Instagram and other social media outlets.

About a month later, Lil’ Kim announced cover for her new single “Dead Gal Walking” and, much to Ravndahl’s surprise, the cover was her image with only slight retouching.

That kicked off a flurry activity that saw Ravndahl try to get in touch with Lil’ Kim’s camp and resolve the issue but, after more than two months of trying, Ravndahl gave up and, earlier this week, filed suit against the singer, her agent and others involved.

On the surface, this looks to be a pretty straightforward case. If Ravndahl’s description of what happened is accurate, then the use is a definite infringement and, to put it modestly, an egregious one. But the actual lawsuit raises some issues, questions and concerns that should have every photographer paying attention as they could set the tone for how photographers are positioned in similar cases down the road.

Reading the complaint, the bulk of the argument centers, as one would expect, around the traditional copyright violation. By taking the photo and using it as a cover for the single, Lil’ Kim’s camp made a variety of unauthorized, commercial copies of the work, posting it to various social media platforms and using it in promotional material.

While this is definitely an extreme example of copyright infringement, it’s also fairly straightforward. For all of the case’s egregiousness, the issues here are fairly mundane. If it is indeed Ravndahl’s photo and Lil’ Kim did not have a license for it, then it is an infringement – end of story.

However, the complaint also made a series of other arguments that are much less common and could play a big role in determining just how large of a lawsuit this becomes”.





Why You Should Watch the Lil’ Kim Copyright Infringement Case