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Author Topic: do vectors make more money than photographs?  (Read 10695 times)

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tan510jomast

« on: April 24, 2009, 08:23 »
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Just curious, I am not a vector artist. Don't even know what they meant until someone explained it to me  ;D
I realise that buyers like vectors due to its unlimited size. Also , vector art has less problems with MR, PR, none if any. Even those that copy from a photograph, so I am told.

My question is: Do you really make more money? How much time does it for you  take to create a vector art? Is this time in return for sales worth it, as opposed to making photographs.

Just asking...


« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 10:48 »
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You do need a model release if a vector is copied from a picture.  You can make some very decent money doing vectors but you have to be committed to learning the skill, I haven't yet.  The level of quality of vectors has increased significantly, you won't make a living submitting vectors unless they are exceptional.

« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 11:21 »
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You do need a model release if a vector is copied from a picture.  You can make some very decent money doing vectors but you have to be committed to learning the skill, I haven't yet.  The level of quality of vectors has increased significantly, you won't make a living submitting vectors unless they are exceptional.

I'd like to hear form master vector artists here; what commitment in hours would you say you made before you were doing decent vectors?

« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 11:58 »
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I don't know if I'm a master, but here's my take.

I don't know if you can put a time on it. Some people will pick it up quickly and some will never get it. It really depends on your skill level. I'd been drawing my whole life, went to art school and got a BFA, had been freelancing full time and had a whole portfolio of Illustrator files when I discovered microstock. I got accepted to IS on the first try and was instantly addicted.

Now, my photography on the other hand looks like a drunken monkey took the shots.

tan510jomast

« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2009, 12:02 »
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You do need a model release if a vector is copied from a picture.  You can make some very decent money doing vectors but you have to be committed to learning the skill, I haven't yet.  The level of quality of vectors has increased significantly, you won't make a living submitting vectors unless they are exceptional.


but how do they know you copied it from a photograph? it's like those silhouetted images, do they always ask for MR ? even for the ones with a bunch of different silhouettes?

i think i read somewhere that MR is required for silhouettes, but do the sites actually ask you for MR even if there are 20 different silhouettes on one image?


I'd like to hear form master vector artists here; what commitment in hours would you say you made before you were doing decent vectors?

yes, me too.

« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 12:44 »
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If you traced your image from a picture, then you have to submit the photo with your illustration if you want to sell it at iStockphoto. No other agency seems to be really doing this. As for how long it takes, I've had a simple one sell enough to make around eighty dollars. It took me about twenty minutes to make it. And on another illustration that took a few hours for me to make, I haven't made hardly anything. So it's kind of random.

bittersweet

« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 13:24 »
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I'd like to hear form master vector artists here; what commitment in hours would you say you made before you were doing decent vectors?

It depends greatly upon where you are starting from. Can you draw? If not, you gotta learn to do that first. The software is a tool. You still have to put in the time to develop the skill.

Of course there are sites that accept dingbat fonts converted into paths. That doesn't really require skill at all.

So it also depends on what goals you'd like to set for yourself.

« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 13:44 »
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I'd like to hear form master vector artists here; what commitment in hours would you say you made before you were doing decent vectors?

It depends greatly upon where you are starting from. Can you draw? If not, you gotta learn to do that first. The software is a tool. You still have to put in the time to develop the skill.

Of course there are sites that accept dingbat fonts converted into paths. That doesn't really require skill at all.

So it also depends on what goals you'd like to set for yourself.

I see, so I'm asking the equivalent of how long does it take to learn how to take a photo.

Thanks,

« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2009, 15:11 »
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You need to be good to make money. You don't make decent money unless you are good. But it is the same for photography as well.

If you can't be bothered to spend time to improve your photographic skills then you probably won't have a chance for vectors as well. As whatalife said, softwares do not draw images, you gotta draw it yourself. If you can draw, then go for it; if you can't, then don't pay any money for software as  there will be no decent return. There could be some return, but only good vectors will do the trick.

Softwares only simulate real drawing tools like pencil, pen, brush etc. They don't draw it for you!

And for model release: Istockphoto asks you to upload a release for almost everything... Silhouettes, icons, basically almost everything needs a release (a sketch or a photo that you took.. Only the photos that you took can be used in your illustrations, you can not use anybody else's photos as a reference file)...

So, all I can say: If you can draw to a high standart, then go for it, now!  ;) If you can't draw, you can still go for it but don't expect much return...
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 15:18 by cidepix »

tan510jomast

« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2009, 15:23 »
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thx for your input so far.
one question really comes to mind between vectors and photography.
we all know that photography can earn you a good sum, eg if you get to be as productive and knowledgeable in the market as Yuri,etc.
would that be the same for vector artists. is there a "Yuri" in vector art who commands as much as photographers in micro?

i am assuming there is, since vector can be used for sign boards,etc.. so the money must not be low. eg. you need a better camera to make a 17MP image than a 2MP . so you need to spend money on a higher res camera. would this be the same for vector artist?

i hope i explain correctly the 2nd question , if not let me know .

« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2009, 15:32 »
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thx for your input so far.
one question really comes to mind between vectors and photography.
we all know that photography can earn you a good sum, eg if you get to be as productive and knowledgeable in the market as Yuri,etc.
would that be the same for vector artists. is there a "Yuri" in vector art who commands as much as photographers in micro?

i am assuming there is, since vector can be used for sign boards,etc.. so the money must not be low. eg. you need a better camera to make a 17MP image than a 2MP . so you need to spend money on a higher res camera. would this be the same for vector artist?

i hope i explain correctly the 2nd question , if not let me know .

You still need to pay for the illustrator software and it costs as much as a decent camera.  But yes, you don't need to buy many more additions like lenses and other equipment. You only need adobe illustrator. Photoshop or photoshop elements might be useful to have as well.

As  I said if you are good yes, there is good money! And yes, it can be much more than your day job!

And yes again, it is possible to make even more than Yuri, only if you could draw faster than taking photos.

I think the answer you are looking for is this:

Let's say you have 100 photos versus 100 vectors. If they are good, 100 vectors should make much much more than 100 photos..
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 15:33 by cidepix »

tan510jomast

« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2009, 15:49 »
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I think the answer you are looking for is this:

Let's say you have 100 photos versus 100 vectors. If they are good, 100 vectors should make much much more than 100 photos..

i am glad you understood my question , cidepix. and yes, that was the answer i was looking for, as i figured from the impression i got about vectors, that a good vector artist can make more money than a photographer.
i have both an Arts degree and photography, and i can draw well, since i was able to hold a pencil.
 but i have to admit that i am a better photographer since i have been teaching that too.
but thanks alot for the insight.

good job . wish you all the best.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 15:51 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2009, 16:15 »
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I think the answer you are looking for is this:

Let's say you have 100 photos versus 100 vectors. If they are good, 100 vectors should make much much more than 100 photos..

i am glad you understood my question , cidepix. and yes, that was the answer i was looking for, as i figured from the impression i got about vectors, that a good vector artist can make more money than a photographer.
i have both an Arts degree and photography, and i can draw well, since i was able to hold a pencil.
 but i have to admit that i am a better photographer since i have been teaching that too.
but thanks alot for the insight.

good job . wish you all the best.

No problem!

Good luck for whatever you choose to do!


« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2009, 17:25 »
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Two things. Traditional drawing skills are not necessarily required for making vector illustrations if you trace photographs. Of course, drawing skills do help with the creative side of things. But you can just trace photos (make sure they're your own). And as for software, you can easily buy an earlier version of Illustrator that only costs around a hundred bucks on Amazon or eBay. Just do your best to ensure that it's not a pirated copy (difficult, I know).

« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2009, 17:35 »
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is there a "Yuri" in vector art who commands as much as photographers in micro?



While not on the same production level as Yuri I've always admired (read: envied) nico_blue's vectors on iStock.  One of his floral backgrounds has earned him ~$25K since December of '06.  It's a beautiful and pleasing design but not necessarily complex.  With a couple custom brushes it could probably be recreated in about 10 minutes.

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-2621328-spring-in-pink.php

These are the things that people (such as myself) see and go "holy $h!t, I could do that!"  Unfortunately the market is so incredibly over saturated with such vectors that unless they are of the highest quality they fall super low in the search results.  I spend a lot of time looking at the newest vectors on IS and am just blown away by the quality and originality of the art work submitted.  While some of the concepts are cliched and tired like much of micro photography, I can't help but feel that IS vectors pick up in the artistic area where micro photography has sadly left it way behind.

Regarding the statement that I've seen Whatalife make before regarding the software being only a tool, I agree with you completely, however I think that it's easy to marginalize the importance of the software once you have a respectable command of it's functions.  I've drawn (poorly) all of my life and I'll be damned if I can get the friggin' pen tool to make a line like I want, plus a lot of the really cool vectors you see utilize a tool in AI that takes a lot of practice to get good at.  Further more you are so limited to what you can create by the AI8 compatibility issue that I spend more time trying to figure out how to fake a transparency than actually drawing.

What if it took Van Gogh years to learn how to simply grasp a paint brush?

« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2009, 19:14 »
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Regarding the statement that I've seen Whatalife make before regarding the software being only a tool, I agree with you completely, however I think that it's easy to marginalize the importance of the software once you have a respectable command of it's functions.  I've drawn (poorly) all of my life and I'll be damned if I can get the friggin' pen tool to make a line like I want, plus a lot of the really cool vectors you see utilize a tool in AI that takes a lot of practice to get good at.  Further more you are so limited to what you can create by the AI8 compatibility issue that I spend more time trying to figure out how to fake a transparency than actually drawing.

What if it took Van Gogh years to learn how to simply grasp a paint brush?

There was a friend of mine with awe inspiring sketching skills but with no Illustrator knowledge at all. When she decided to go for vectors, with a little bit of help, it took her a couple of weeks to master the pen tool...

So, what matters is really the traditional drawing skills. If you don't master regular sketching on paper; years wouldn't be enough to master the pen tool.

You must start from traditional paper to learn doing vectors. Draw on paper and show it to your friends. If you get to the level where you can impress them and hear a few "wow, how . did you do that" then it is time to move to illustrator. Any attempts before getting to that maturity on paper would result in disappointment.

I believe putting enough time, anybody would be able to draw. But that "enough time" would often mean years.  ;)

tan510jomast

« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2009, 19:37 »
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....
So, what matters is really the traditional drawing skills. If you don't master regular sketching on paper; years wouldn't be enough to master the pen tool.

You must start from traditional paper to learn doing vectors. Draw on paper and show it to your friends. If you get to the level where you can impress them and hear a few "wow, how . did you do that" then it is time to move to illustrator. Any attempts before getting to that maturity on paper would result in disappointment.

I believe putting enough time, anybody would be able to draw. But that "enough time" would often mean years.  ;)

I supposed it would be easier for me, having 12 years of art training; 15 years if you include Pre U, and.... kindergarten, lol.
However, from what all of you mentioned here, it would cost me quite a bit to get started. It's definitely not the trad art skills I lack, but the "paying skills, ha!ha!".   I would be better off using that money to get better lenses, etc... then to start as an apprentice in vector.

Thanks again everyone. Much appreciation.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 19:41 by tan510jomast »


bittersweet

« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2009, 21:34 »
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There are freeware and shareware programs that there is no reason you couldn't start with. There is a thread somewhere stickied in the IS vector forum (or a simple google search would probably be just as effective). If you have the drawing chops, I'd say go for it. IS pays the best by far for vectors, so it's worth the extra effort to get accepted there. I probably make more in a month from my small vector portfolio than some photographers make with 5X the photos in their portfolio because I never get 30 cents for a download.

tan510jomast

« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 08:08 »
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There are freeware and shareware programs that there is no reason you couldn't start with. There is a thread somewhere stickied in the IS vector forum (or a simple google search would probably be just as effective). If you have the drawing chops, I'd say go for it. IS pays the best by far for vectors, so it's worth the extra effort to get accepted there. I probably make more in a month from my small vector portfolio than some photographers make with 5X the photos in their portfolio because I never get 30 cents for a download.

Wow whatalife, that's a lot of encouraging words here ! It sounds so tempting, I might just give it a try. So, what's a good freeware to start ? If you or anyone here has any link to a freeware worth downloading for a start , pls send me an PM. I would appreciate all the help in the world to get my feet wet on vectors.

Oi gente Hey Ppl, have a great weekend all !  You rule  !  8)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 08:12 by tan510jomast »

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2009, 18:34 »
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I didn't realize that vectors were just drawings. I figured you had to create them through a bunch of specialized software. I always wondered how they did it. I to went to college to be a art teacher and for many many years did oil painting as well as watercolor. I think I'll try to find that free software and give it a try also.
Question though is when using the pen tool .... is this controled be your mouse or what? I have a hard time being able to draw a straight line with my mouse. Stupid question proubably but was just wondering.

« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2009, 22:18 »
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I didn't realize that vectors were just drawings. I figured you had to create them through a bunch of specialized software. I always wondered how they did it. I to went to college to be a art teacher and for many many years did oil painting as well as watercolor. I think I'll try to find that free software and give it a try also.
Question though is when using the pen tool .... is this controled be your mouse or what? I have a hard time being able to draw a straight line with my mouse. Stupid question proubably but was just wondering.

You use your mouse, but it's not exactly the same as drawing a straight line when you're using the pen tool. With the pen tool, you click and drag a line around your image until you've finished tracing it. There are these tiny square points that are formed whenever you click down with your mouse button. You will connect these tiny squares with the pen tool to form an image. By holding down the mouse button and moving the mouse, you can also make the lines bend or curve. It takes a little getting used to. For just simply dragging with your mouse, you will need to use the brush or the pencil tool. It doesn't work that way with the pen tool, though.

« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 15:23 »
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You don't have to use a mouse. It is possible to buy a sort of pen and special board  instead. They come in all price ranges, but the cheap ones are not very good.

helix7

« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 23:02 »
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...The level of quality of vectors has increased significantly, you won't make a living submitting vectors unless they are exceptional.

That is so true. It seriously is frightening how high the bar has been raised over the last year. It's tough to stay competitive as a vector artist when there are just so many incredibly talented people out there cranking out new stuff all the time.




 

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