If you're interested in commissioning an original Aerocature(tm), the
following information will give you a quick overview of the process
How much will an original
This is the first thing that everyone wants to know, but the answer is
not simple. The cost of the finished art will ultimately depend on the
size, complexity, and urgency. We'll look at each of these factors
separately. To start with, however, let's assume that there is no
immediate critical deadline.
Sizes are typically 9"x12", 11"x14", 14"x17", and 14"x22". The art will
either be black & white or color, rendered in ink and Prismacolor®
pencil. Shipping charges, local taxes, and insurance will be in
addition to the cost of creating the art.
Costs associated with research time, printing or producing prints,
T-shirts, or other products from the original art, and
reproduction rights, commercial license fees, royalties or copyright
ownership will also be in addition to the cost of the original art.
More about these issues below.
How is complexity involved?
The complexity of the illustration will influence the cost. While there
is no simple formula to evaluate a proposed Aerocature(tm)'s complexity,
here are some of the considerations that matter:
a. How many aircraft or other vehicles are to be depicted? The
more aircraft, the more time is involved to plan and execute the
drawing. Landing gear, ordnance, flight or ground crew, and support
equipment also affect complexity.
b. Is the caricature of a specific person involved? Getting
people right is a bit trickier than working with aircraft. At least 4
or 5 representative candid photos will be needed along with background
information on hobbies, quirks, and personality. More back and forth
communication is usually involved as well.
c. How hard is it to tell the story? Creating the image of an
aircraft flying through the air is generally a straightforward process.
However, often times the story being told involves a complicated
scenario or an abstract concept. In such cases, more time will be
needed to for both my client and me to develop an image that both looks
and "feels" right.
What if research is
Many times, the person requesting the Aerocature(tm) wants to portray a
particular aircraft or specific event, with associated markings,
ordnance, or surroundings. The more information that you can provide,
the better. If you cannot provide the appropriate reference
information, additional charges for significant research time may be
added to the costs described in the table above.
How are payments made?
Should you decide to pursue commissioning an original Aerocature(tm),
the following payment schedule applies:
a. One-third of the total amount agreed to is to be paid "up
front" as a retainer. This payment demonstrates serious intent and
enables me to put you "in the queue" along with my other
b. One-third of the total amount is to be paid on your approval
of the final sketch(es).
c. The balance of the payment is due upon delivery of the
finished illustration, prints, or other products.
d. If the commission involves producing prints or shirts, the
up-front fee may be at least 50% to provide the printer with working
capital for materials and pre-press preparation.
e. To keep costs realistic, final shipping costs may be billed
after the illustration and/or prints are delivered.
How do I make sure the finished
illustration is what I want?
I derive great satisfaction from knowing that a commissioned
Aerocature(tm) conveys the idea that my client expects. While the basic
premise may be easy to define, how the final illustration will look may
not be obvious at first. There may be several different ways to get a
particular idea across. Many times, the best solutions don't happen
immediately. Therefore, I will try to keep you closely involved in the
development of your Aerocature(tm). This includes asking many questions
as I develop the initial sketches and faxing, e-mailing, or otherwise
sending you copies of the work in progress for your evaluation.
For an example of how the interactive creation process works, please
visit our commission evolution
How long will the creation process
This a difficult question to answer, since there are several important
Normally, I'd like at least 2-3 months after receipt of the up-front
retainer to begin work on an original Aerocature(tm). For various
reasons, however, the overall process could take anywhere from 4 to 12
months. If prints or T-shirts are required, the necessary completion
time may be even greater.
Because you will be directly involved in the creation process for
your Aerocature(tm), some "creation" time will be spent communicating
with you to make sure I know what you're looking for. Usually this
process goes smoothly, but for complex illustrations, the time involved
for communications could be significant.
Ideas don't always come on demand, so unless there is a specific
event or occasion involved, the completion date that I provide will be
approximate. This helps me give you the quality of illustration and
idea development that you expect.
On occasion, an already existing Aerocature(tm), sometimes with
minor alterations, can satisfy a "rush" request.
What about "rush" orders?
"Rush" commissions will cost more. When does a commission become
"rushed"? Generally 3 months is enough lead-time to schedule a
commission. One month of lead-time is definitely a rush job and will
cost more. One week of lead-time is pretty much out of the question,
unless an already existing Aerocature(tm) will serve your needs. Rush
deadlines will also involve higher shipping charges.
It's also important to mention that the second half of the year is
always busier for me than the first half. This is because I am involved
in production of my Aerocatures(tm) Calendar,
along with commissions oriented towards holiday gift giving.
What about copyright and other
We conclude our discussion with a few important administrative
Under copyright law, when a client purchases art from an artist, the
artist retains ownership of the copyright. This means that even though
the client owns the art, he or she may not reproduce or
distribute the art without prior agreement from the artist. This
agreement may include specific royalties or license fees. We'll work
out the specific details before we begin the project.
It is possible to purchase the copyright along with the art. A few
clients have done so to retain exclusive control over what is done with
the illustration. However, most clients don't need this degree of
I generally include commissioned Aerocatures(tm) in future
Aerocatures(tm) Calendars, portfolios, or promotional material. If I
do, you would be given recognition for the illustration (from the
private collection of...). Of course, if you don't want your
Aerocature(tm) used in this way, I'll certainly respect your
Can I get fries with that?
This could be a fun project. If you find the above conditions and
considerations agreeable, let's talk. I look
forward to hearing from you.