Saturday 5 December 2009

Complete Control

The digital age has created some weird anomalies for the reproduction of artworks. I did have the honour once upon a time to be contacted by the art director of Playboy magazine to create an artwork of the then current "bad girl" diva, Alecia Beth Moore aka Pink.

The art direction was nice and simple and followed on from an earlier illustration of mine that had aroused the A/D's interest. All I had to do was to pretty much follow my already established template in terms of pose and perspective but substituting Ms Moore and her chien andalou aka "Fucker" in place of the original characters I had previously created.

So far so good ...

But there was one additional request from the art director that did have enormous ramifications. They wanted the artwork supplied with the background layer separate to the figure. The fee was generous and it was a nice assignment so I happily nodded my head in assent and got on with the job.

It went through incredibly smoothly, just a couple of minor tweaks and it was in the bag, so to speak. Bang off the invoice and await the copy of the magazine which was to be sent to me upon publication of the piece.

The magazine, in fact several of them arrived some few weeks later and I eagerly tore open the package and leafed through the endless pages to arrive at ... ulp! ... the article in concern.

There indeed was my artwork but barely recognizable, the A/D had completely reworked the original background so that he could run text through it and as the final macabre twist had actually artworked the name Pink to the resultant concoction. To me it looked Godawful and i think to the powers that be at Playboy it looked dire too as I've never worked for them since.

The example here is an approximation by yours truly of the resultant page I was so depressed with the magazines themselves that I quickly binned them.

There wasn't much I could do, the final twist being that to cash the cheque that finally arrived I had to sign a mini contract on the back of the cheque which essentially assigned all my rights in the artwork to Playboy.

You live and learn ...

I'll be running a little comic competition tomorrow - first prize (well the only prize) is that the lucky winner gets transported to the Cloud 109 cyber lounge and you can nominate a partner too.

And further excitement on Monday David Orme the guy behind the wonderfully wacky script for Cloud 109 takes the stand to regale you with some of his experiences and passions including "Planet of the Knobheads".

P.S. I'll try and get the contest up by 9.30 am GMT tomorrow, it's being run on a first with the correct response basis. If you don't win this one don't worry because I've got some more daft contests I want to do in the run up to Christmas. Today's blog was horribly late as I got dragged down our local boozer by some of my flaky boho neighbours. I did ever so slightly try and protest but they wouldn't have it and the inevitable happened and I got trashed again, so I'm having a quiet night in to make amends.


  1. Commiserations, Peter. The original is much better. "Those who can, draw. Those who can't, art direct."

  2. Couldn't agree more with Dave just there... :D The contest sounds fun, tho. Can I enter too? :3

  3. Of course Leeann. This is a democratic blog, it would be great to have aboard on this.