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Messages - davidgoh

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26
General Stock Discussion / Re: April Sales
« on: May 01, 2013, 07:03 »
I'm an iS exclusive here. :) April is BME for the last 6 months I've been doing this.

Downloads: +34% from previous month
$$: +80% from previous month*
Portfolio growth: +10%

*Turned on exclusivity mid May, which is why the large jump.

Growth has begun to decelerate, as expected. Which is fine -- I'll be content if every month was like this. :D

27
Dear Davidgoh

Thank you so much for your reply.

I was looking in the net for some information about fonts and free commercial use, and as I can see, this is more complex than it seems.

For example:
I can use fonts licensed under the SIL Open Font License (OFL) and sell the document in microstock??

Because as i can read in wikipedia:

"The License permits covered fonts to be freely embedded in documents under any terms, but it requires that fonts be packaged with software if they are sold."

But in microstock is not allowed add fonts to documents.

Hey there. To my understanding, the embedding of fonts refers to the attachment of the .otf or .ttf file data within an illustration. Which means the recipient of an illustration would be able to take your file and edit the text within it however he likes. Using text, however, and then flattening it does not count as embedding, which is why this is allowed. You aren't "adding" fonts to an illustration - rather, you are using shapes from a font file you possess. This is also why some stock sites do not allow cases where a contributor inputs every glyph of a font file within his illustration, for that is as good as embedding an entire font file.

As for the "SIL Open Font License" that you've mentioned, I think the line "The License permits covered fonts to be freely embedded in documents under any terms, but it requires that fonts be packaged with software if they are sold." only applies when you have chosen to embed the font into a document. Since you would be converting any text data into outlines, you should be able to ignore this instruction of packaging the font with your illustration.

I hope this helps. If anyone else has a much better knowledge of how this works, please chime in too. :) I've only been doing stock for half a year and my understanding on legalities regarding stock might be limited.

28
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Uploaded limits raised to 999
« on: April 23, 2013, 09:59 »
http://www.istockphoto.com/stats

Total files 13184228
Waiting approval 88946


Thank you! :) What a strange, barren page... I always thought iStock had a 20 million+ strong library, since they've been around for so long. :o This is rather surprising...

29
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Uploaded limits raised to 999
« on: April 23, 2013, 09:10 »
Gosh, hope they've appointed a batch of new inspectors, the queue is currently 77889.
Clearly, they must have lost too many big guns and need to hothouse the newbies quickly. Even when I was Silver, I think I only hit my weekly limit twice. Still, I remember when I was new and had a backlog and used to wish I could buy spare slots!

They tried this with vectors first, apparently not many people were using their full allocation, so they increased the limits.  ???

Oh, I see they have been training more inspectors. Also they are relaxing some technical rejections.

Hey Sue, could you tell me where you're getting that 77889 number from? Is it only for photos, or for all mediums? Can't seem to find that sort of information any where on iStock... Thanks! :)

30
Why would SS agree to have their images mocked? And if they bought them of SS, then he is in violation of the licence.

Yeah, they are quite large. I thought it was in violation but I don't know what the top limit is on the different sites. I also wondered if it was some kind of second hand agreement directly with Shutterstock. Some of the agencies donate articles with their images in to odd hobby and tech sites/blogs to get publicity. Most of the readers don't realize that.

Just checking -- are they violating the license agreement because of the size of the images, or because they're mocking the images?
Parody is a fair use.

I see. :) Thanks!

31
Why would SS agree to have their images mocked? And if they bought them of SS, then he is in violation of the licence.

Yeah, they are quite large. I thought it was in violation but I don't know what the top limit is on the different sites. I also wondered if it was some kind of second hand agreement directly with Shutterstock. Some of the agencies donate articles with their images in to odd hobby and tech sites/blogs to get publicity. Most of the readers don't realize that.

Just checking -- are they violating the license agreement because of the size of the images, or because they're mocking the images?

32
General Stock Discussion / Re: SL/EL Sale Ratio
« on: April 18, 2013, 05:29 »
doesn't this also depend on what site? ELs are different everywhere?

Does it? I'm personally not sure, since I've mostly been exclusive in iS. I would think that content would be the main factor though.

33
General Photography Discussion / Re: Easy money....
« on: April 18, 2013, 00:25 »
I actually got into microstock after reading this article:

http://freelanceswitch.com/money/how-i-make-2000-every-year-without-doing-very-much/

What's written isn't very reflective of how the industry is now (especially because it was written in 2008!), but I thought it was a pretty honest take on what to expect. :)

34
General Stock Discussion / SL/EL Sale Ratio
« on: April 18, 2013, 00:20 »
Hey guys,

I'm trying to get insight on what kind of portfolio grabs the highest number of EL sales (compared to SL sales), be the the type of work, (photography, illustration, video) or your subject (still life, people images, cartoon images, or design elements). I'm sure there are patterns to be identified, which means it'll be very useful information for those new to microstock. (Like me!)

I'll start off by sharing my info:

Portfolio type: 100% Vector Illustrations
Subject: Design Elements, Labels, Backgrounds.
Ratio: 1 EL for every 700 SL sales. (I've had 700 sales so far this year, and only one of them was EL. While I'm happy with my sales, I wish I had more ELs... But doesn't everyone?)

I'd love to see what you guys have. Thanks in advance for taking part in this! :)

35
Yikes. Not even a week of lead time? :S That's pretty harsh.

36
Illustration - General / Re: Newbie question - tracing
« on: April 16, 2013, 21:39 »
The fact that you do clean-up and add colour from that point is more than good enough. It's usually stuff that are hastily auto-traced and then quickly uploaded that get rejected. I think you should be fine. :)

37
Illustration - General / Re: Newbie question - tracing
« on: April 16, 2013, 19:51 »
Hey there Skearney,

Auto-tracing refers to a available command under Adobe Illustrator, where the program will automatically convert a raster image into vectors with little to no participation on the artist's part. While it sounds like quite the dream come true for traditional artists, its limitations makes it useful for simple images, such as those with 3-4 colours max. For full detailed colour images and photos, it renders an artwork with very blotchy and messy shapes, often with lines that are excessively complex and poorly formed and with none of the shapes or layers grouped in a logical manner. Agencies tend to prefer clean and neat files, with compositions that can easily be manipulated.

Your illustrations look great, at least at a smaller size. They certainly don't look auto-traced. :) I think you should be just fine. The process of what you're doing sounds like the exact reverse of auto-tracing, where you are manually digitizing your artworks to vector.

Hope this helps!

38
Hi there! I'm an illustrator who uses fonts a lot, so I can share some of my thoughts with you.

The few most important things to consider are:

1. Always ensure that the fonts you're using are either free for commercial use, or that you have purchased a license to use them. Most free font come with a license document (text file or PDF) - always refer to that if in doubt and keep that file with your font just in case. I personally have a folder where I track all my free for commercial use fonts. Note: Not all websites offering free fonts give you license details up front - it's up to you to check the document that comes with it. Fonts from Losttype.com are wonderful, but some are only good for personal use. Using those very fonts for commercial usage could land you into trouble.

2.  Try to grab your fonts from reputable sources. While Dafont.com is great for fonts that are advertised as free, there's a lot of instances where uploaders use copyrighted work without obtaining licenses themselves, which might get you into trouble in future. It's always good to grab fonts offered by font foundries themselves. Fontsquirrel is another website that does its best to guarantee that its fonts are good for commercial use.

3. Almost all free commercial licenses do not allow for embedding, and very few regular paid licenses allow that. It's very similar to how "extended licenses" are for stock - most font creators charge a much higher amount should you require embedding of fonts in any work. It's a moot point anyways since most agencies don't allow this. :) If you're using Adobe Illustrator, make "Ctrl + Shift + O" one of those commands you perform at the end of any work - alongside checking for open paths and expanding effects. You should be good then!

Hope this helps.

39
Ever since I upgraded to CS6, I have had trouble getting SS to properly recognize any files saved as EPS 8.

If I upload as EPS 10 it seems to work just fine.

Most of my files are saved as EPS 10 and I don't do anything to label them differently.



Ah, I see. Thanks for this. :) I do recall that Shutterstock doesn't have a description field, so it's not easily indicated unless the contributor places a label within an artwork itself. I suppose buyers don't really bother about formats, or at least the ones on Shutterstock don't!

40
How do buyers know the difference?

Isn't it a requirement (at least on iS) to place a note on whether or not a file is EPS 8 or EPS 10? I read it in one of the older threads.

Even if it isn't so, it seems like a courtesy thing that many illustrators rightfully practice.

41
Hey MSG Illustrators,

Recently, I found myself wondering: does preparing your file in EPS8 or EPS10 have an impact on sales? Are buyers naturally inclined to EPS8 files?

The reason why I'm asking this is because I'm seeing a trend where EPS8 files have more downloads - both in my portfolio and on the top lists of iS (I'm an exclusive there.) Of course, subject matter could also play a part here, so I might be seeing something that's not there.

I've been personally moving in the direction of doing more EPS10 than EPS8 files, even when the main elements of the illustration don't require EPS10 effects. Rather, I use EPS10 effects to spruce up the backgrounds in hopes that they'll look more attractive on the preview image. I'm beginning to wonder, though, if it's backfiring, and that there are actually a large chunk of buyers who avoid EPS10 files like the plague.

What are your experiences?

42
General Stock Discussion / Re: The best WHAT?
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:24 »
 ;D HAHAHA.

43
A (new) iStock exclusive here:

March 2013 vs February 2013 (Not a year-old stocker yet)
Portfolio Size: +20% (From 110 to 133)
DLs: +64%
$$: +195% *

* Became exclusive mid-March, so royalties received quite a jump.

I've only been doing this for 4 months, which is why I think my growth looks good as I'm still gaining momentum. :) I'll probably start decelerating very soon.

44
Hey illustrators,

Not sure if this has been posted before, but I've found a website that I'm pretty sure deals with stolen vectors. Here's an example of them stealing from a very prominent illustrator (Anja Kaiser):

STOLEN?: http://www.allvectors.com/vintage-transport-vector/

ORIGINAL: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-81148093/stock-vector-vector-set-vintage-means-of-transportation-variety-of-old-fashioned-illustrations.html?src=8A0E2BBE-91DF-11E2-8493-E6F69DA4A24C-1-26

I've not been able to identify the source of the other vectors, but I'm pretty sure that they've also stolen from other vector artists that may also be here in MSG. Worth checking out I suppose?  :-\ Also, I wonder what exactly can we do with websites like these?

45
Shutterstock.com / Re: 30% of Royalties Withheld!
« on: March 20, 2013, 07:09 »
If your income warrants it you could set up a company in a jurisdiction that has a tax treaty with the US and your country.

I suppose this is the only way out, isn't it? I guess lucky in that I'm trying to get my first and last ever payout from Shutterstock, as I recently deactivated my port in favour of exclusivity in iStock. The amount in question is small ($77), so it's not so bad still... Just came as a nasty shock. :P It now also feels like I have less reason to ever go back to being non-exclusive, given that if I do, my potentially 2nd or most lucrative site would suffer a 30% cut all the time. :/

Regardless, thanks for the reply. :)

Quote
failure to do so will result in a 30% witholding tax

I don't know about Singapore, but in the UK the rule is you can only be taxed once on income, so if you are a UK citizen and you are paid ( as I am from Getty)your income minus US tax, then you are not taxed again on that income in the UK. It may be that I might pay a little less tax in the UK if I received my Getty income untaxed, but it's a small price to pay, getting my income taxed, and not having to fill in the US tax exemption form ( have you seen that thing?) Singapore may be the same as UK, you'd have to look into it.

That is because the US and the Uk have a dual taxation agreement.

Aye, what Michealo said. Seems like Singapore's a bad place to be doing stock from. :(

46
Shutterstock.com / 30% of Royalties Withheld!
« on: March 20, 2013, 05:19 »
Being a non-US citizen, I just received an e-mail from Shutterstock on the mandatory submission of a tax form, and that failure to do so will result in a 30% witholding tax.

I'm still pretty green to microstock (and heck, to overseas transactions in general) so I decided to do a little research. To my horror, I discovered that the country I'm from (Singapore) does not have any tax treaties with U.S.  :o Unless I'm reading it wrong, does this mean that I can't do anything but forfeit 30% of my royalties? Do I even need to file the tax form when I'll be penalized the full amount anyway?

UPDATE: I just found a thread on the Shutterstock forums that serves as a comprehensive FAQ (http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=947605#947605). Seems like it's a pretty old issue. Thanks to all who replied to this thread - I now have all the answers I need!

47
Illustration - General / Re: how to 'frame' eps vector
« on: March 18, 2013, 06:48 »
this is the box i mean:




Hi Davidgoh,

Do you add a 'transparent' box around your vector?

I have no problem to generate jpg out of illustrator or photoshop.. in order to get the raster jpg same as the eps vector, I don't know any method other than adding the 'transparent' box with no filled and no line.

I hope i explain it good enough..


Hi all,

I usually make a 'box' with no line, and no fills that 'frame' my eps vector..so there are so space around the vector when it is rasterize as jpg in photoshop or other application..

I got some rejections sometimes saying i should remove the 'white shape' in the background as it will cause some problems for some applications.

I convert the shape as 'artboard'..and no more shape.

but if i open in an application, there are no space around the eps vector..and it is like cropping to the maximum.

I don't like how it shows as preview..and a vector that touching border with no space.

If my method is wrong, what is the way to do it?

any adobe illustrators expert can give me a hint? thanks!


Hey there! I'm a vector artist and I think I know your pains. When I first started out, I had this issue as well.

I've personally found that the fastest and easiest way to save a JPG of your file is to use the "Save for Web & Devices" Command under Adobe Illustrator (You are using Illustrator, right?). Under the "Image Size"  Tab to the right, set your required dimensions, and be sure to turn on "Clip to Artboard" and you should be good to go.

I hope this helps. If you're insistent on opening a file in a raster program such as Photoshop, doing so will open up a prompt on your required dimensions and other details. under "Page Options" and the drop down Menu "Crop To:", set to "Bounding Box" (It's set to Media Box by default, which ignores your art board.) Be warned though that rasterizing in Photoshop can sometimes change colour information, which is why I recommend using Illustrator's innate "Save for Web" command. :)



Hey mtkang, I don't normally add a transparent box around my artwork, no. With the settings that I specified, there isn't a need to do something like that.

I see that you're trying to create a sort of "cropped," zoomed in JPG of an artwork that is on a much larger artboard. My advice is to either a) resize the artwork so that it's in focus, relative to the artboard size, or b) change the artboard dimensions. :) The latter has loads of tutorials online on how to do this, so you can check it out yourself.

I hope this helps!

48
Illustration - General / Re: how to 'frame' eps vector
« on: March 17, 2013, 21:52 »
Hi all,

I usually make a 'box' with no line, and no fills that 'frame' my eps vector..so there are so space around the vector when it is rasterize as jpg in photoshop or other application..

I got some rejections sometimes saying i should remove the 'white shape' in the background as it will cause some problems for some applications.

I convert the shape as 'artboard'..and no more shape.

but if i open in an application, there are no space around the eps vector..and it is like cropping to the maximum.

I don't like how it shows as preview..and a vector that touching border with no space.

If my method is wrong, what is the way to do it?

any adobe illustrators expert can give me a hint? thanks!

Hey there! I'm a vector artist and I think I know your pains. When I first started out, I had this issue as well.

I've personally found that the fastest and easiest way to save a JPG of your file is to use the "Save for Web & Devices" Command under Adobe Illustrator (You are using Illustrator, right?). Under the "Image Size"  Tab to the right, set your required dimensions, and be sure to turn on "Clip to Artboard" and you should be good to go.

I hope this helps. If you're insistent on opening a file in a raster program such as Photoshop, doing so will open up a prompt on your required dimensions and other details. under "Page Options" and the drop down Menu "Crop To:", set to "Bounding Box" (It's set to Media Box by default, which ignores your art board.) Be warned though that rasterizing in Photoshop can sometimes change colour information, which is why I recommend using Illustrator's innate "Save for Web" command. :)

49
@sweetgirll - No, I do not sell at clipartof. Thanks.

UPDATE: I contacted the business via their Facebook page. The owner responded and was very surprised to see this. He had paid a "designer" friend of his to develop the logo. He is very disappointed with his friend but glad to know the truth. The owner of the restaurant and I are now discussing how we can make this right.

Thanks to all the MSG folks who offered their input, I will let you know how this all unfolds.

Sounds like you guys are off to a good start, which is always great to hear about. :) Good luck!

50
iStockPhoto.com / Re: No downloads in two working days!!!
« on: March 13, 2013, 14:27 »
Aye! I lucked out with a single file that managed to get a flame - it's responsible for half of my earnings overall. :P I hope it stays that way... *fingers crossed*
Don't count on it.  I had a file that made well over $5000 just stop selling almost overnight because the search changed.  Your best bet is to keep working on finding a new best seller.

Understood. ;D Working hard on that at this very moment!

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