Frequently Asked Questions

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Below are some points for you to consider when thinking about incorporating artwork, and particularly scientific illustrations,
into your research or other project.

Sometimes concepts cannot be conveyed with words alone. As visual communication, by design illustrations pick up where words leave off. While ambiguity is often unavoidable in photographs, illustrations carry with them flexibility. The natural sciences illustrator is trained in rendering shapes, anatomy, details, and concepts with crystal clarity.

Here are a few very helpful questions to ask yourself when determining your intended use:
Who is my target audience?
This could be peers, students, children, and/or the general public.
What is likely to be my final output?
Some possibilities include: scientific research paper; textbook or other illustrated educational book; magazine, journal, newspaper, or periodical; brochures, booklets, folders, mass mailings, circulars, or leaflets; posters, billboard, panel, or display unit; greeting cards or calendars; reproductions on objects; packaging.
What if my final output is a form of literary publication?
In this case you will need to determine if the illustrations are for cover print, interior print and/or electronic publication.
What if my final output is some form of public display?
Public displays can be of a temporary or permanent nature and may appear in rental or non-rental space. When it comes to usage, the natures of permanence and space are key factors in determining price.
What size, resolution and file format should I request for my deliverables?
The completed artwork will be delivered in digital form. Consult with your publisher to determine what size (pixel width x pixel length), resolution (dots per inch) and file type (eg. png, jpg, tiff) is required for quality publication.
Do I intend to give away the final product or offer it for sale?

The answers to all of these questions will affect the nature and final size of the illustration(s), as well as the price. In general, the larger the final product and the more commercial its intended use, the higher the cost.

The short answer is, the fewer the rights the lower the price.
In terms of usage rights, this can range from first publication rights only, in which case specific terms will be established, to full copyright in perpetuity plus original artwork purchase. Copyright and the original work of art are retained by the artist, unless there is a signed agreement stating otherwise. If, in our arrangement, these are to be passed onto you, the contractor, then the cost of my work will reflect my loss of further use and consequent income.

Level of complexity includes both the number of illustrations and how fully developed each one is. A single illustration may suffice; however, multiple illustrations portraying various profile views of, say, an individual species, may give greater clarity to your overall communication. Illustrations can range from simple black & white line drawings to full-colour renderings. Complexity increases further when backgrounds are needed or the artist is required to composite illustrations, as is the case with designing an infographic.
Complexity affects cost. The more illustrations and/or the more complex each illustration is, the higher the cost.

While I do work in traditional mediums (graphite, pen & ink, coloured pencil, and watercolour), my preferred medium for client work is digital. Using a Wacom Cintiq tablet and artists’ software, I can digitally simulate the appearance of any medium. This has the advantage of already being digital, making scanning or photographing the original work for creation of the final, usable product unnecessary. This is both time and cost effective.

Knowing your budget allows you to consider your options realistically. This Q&A gives you a sense of the many possibilities and a basis for our initial discussion. We can start with the number of illustrations and complexity you desire, then if necessary, adjust the plan to fit what you can afford.
In terms of timeline, planning ahead gives room for creative quality and is more cost-effective. I do not charge for consultation and the lead-up to production. There is, however, an extra charge for rush jobs.
A note about spec work: I do not offer speculative work. That is, I do not offer any form of creative work to prospective clients without fair and reasonable payment agreed upon in writing. I do not create work for free.

Scientific illustration is research and reference based art. Useful resource materials include sketches, specimens and photographs. The more material you provide, the less time I will need to spend in research. This is cost-efficient for you.
About photographic material: if the provided resources are mainly photographs, several will likely be necessary due to shadows and unclear areas. Always be mindful of copyright when providing this form of reference material.

Generally, a commission for scientific illustration(s) proceeds as follows:

    1. We have an initial discussion to determine your needs, as presented in this Q & A, and what can be done within your budget and timeline. We’ll also establish a sense of what reference materials you are able to provide.
    2. I will create a price estimate based on our initial discussion. This will be in the form of a contract, with details for the required illustrations, revision schedule, expenses, payment plan, usage rights, and copyright clearly laid out. Negotiations may follow.
    3. Once the contract is agreed upon and signed, and reference material is obtained I will proceed with research and preliminary sketches. This process will be followed by the development of an initial drawing, with lighting, anatomical features and accuracy of form, proportion and perspective worked out.
    4. To ensure accuracy, I will submit to you my preliminary work. Any revisions needed will be incorporated into a detailed outline.
    5. The detailed outline will be submitted for final approval before moving on to the fully rendered illustration(s). A Note About Revisions: Making revisions to the initial work is easier and more cost-effective than revisions to the work in its final, fully rendered state. ​
    6. With approval to move forward, I will complete the final illustration(s). My copyright, © Suzanne M Matheson, (date), will be incorporated into the artwork, unless we have agreed for you to place it elsewhere in the final publication. The two rabbits on this page offer examples of incorporated copyright size and placement.
    7. With final illustration(s) complete, I will submit my bill. Delivery of illustrations will coincide with our contracted payment plan.
    8. I always ask for a copy or reprint of the publication, both for my portfolio and to see how well the work reproduces.
Whimsical illustration of a curious rabbit for Suzanne M Matheson FAQ page.

To set up our initial consultation, please contact me via, suzannemmatheson@gmail.com.
I look forward to hearing from you! : )

About Copyright and Licensing of My Illustrations

If you’re not finding the perfect illustration(s) for your project I will be happy to discuss your needs and come up with an estimate.  For more information about custom work, check out the Q & A above.

Whimsical illustration of a curious rabbit for Suzanne M Matheson FAQ page.

“Copyright protects an artist’s ‘form of expression,’ — an artisic work such as a painting, sculpture or bookwork — as defined by the Copyright Act.” – from, Information for Artists A Practical Guide for Visual and Media Artists, CARFAC Ontario, 2005. Copyright is a bundle of rights, including the right to reproduce. It ensures that the sole right to reproduce a creative work remains with the artist, and that reproduction of a work can only be authorized by the artist.

There are basic moral rights implicit in a copyright. The right of integrity gives an artist the power to protect their work against distortion, alteration or mutilation. The paternity right gives the artist the right to associate their name as creator of the work. It is an infringement of copyright to associate your name with a work if you are not the creator. Infringement may also occur by association. In this case, the artist has the right to protect their work from being associated with ideas and entities to which s/he is personally opposed.

Copyright ownership is exclusive, usually to a single artist, but in the case of collaborative works, to each individual within the creative group. Protection of copyright lasts for the lifetime of the creator plus 50 years (of the last surviving creator).

In Canada, when the basic criteria for copyright are met, copyright is assumed and does not have to be registered.

While, according to the Copyright Act, copyright ownership is exclusive and remains solely with the creator, a contractual agreement, in writing, designed by the artist, can grant permission to another for reproductive use. The contract will be explicit in terms of use, including length of time for use, reproductive limits of use and permissions purchase price.
License: Permission granted by the artist or artist’s agent to another for specific use of an artwork. It is in the artists’ best interest to limit use. A fee is set in accordance with the nature and extent of permissions granted. Licensing maintains the artist’s flexible use of an artwork, allowing for continued remunerative benefit.
Assignment: An artist is free to transfer ownership of a works’ copyright over to someone else. Not usually in the artist’s best interest, it can be advantageous if assignment is going to a copyright collective or agency administering rights on the artist’s behalf.

Absolutely!
Without written permission by me, my copyright prohibits your use of my images, regardless of where you find them. For you, use without my expressed permission is a criminal offense.

People lacking knowledge about copyright believe that there is no harm in using images they find on the internet, but consider this: What would your thoughts be if you saw someone walk into an art gallery, and without permission, lift a piece of art off the wall. Following this, with the piece tucked under their arm, the person walks out the door without paying? The reality is, by not paying for your use of copyright images I post for internet display, my income is diminished and the integrity of my profession undermined.

So, I invite you to contact me for permission before using any image(s) I have post for internet display. I will be happy to hear from you and to work out, in writing, an equitable arrangement.

There are only a couple of personal project scenarios in which I give provisional permission to use my image(s):

The Type of Project

    1. Personal School Project – created to receive a grade, never to be made available to the public electronically or in print;
    2. Educational Not-For-Profit Presentation – such as a PowerPoint, delivered to a live audience, and not otherwise made available to the public.

Conditions of Use

    1. Use only low resolution, copyright-stamped image(s) found on my website;
    2. Include, within your project, the visible credit line,
      © Suzanne M Matheson, Illustrator

Many of the illustrations presented on this website are available in file formats suitable for print (cover & interior) and electronic publication.  Interested in using a specific illustration? Contact me for details.

Many of the illustrations presented on this website are available for purchase in file formats suitable for print (cover & interior) and electronic publication. These are file formatted for one-time non-exclusive North American usage rights. Purchase of an image is purchase of a licence entitling the purchaser to reproduce the work in a single manner. For most of my stock illustrations you will find three file sizes. These sizes have been optimized for three general purpose categories: cover print publication, interior print publication and electronic publication.
Contact me for inquiries about specific illustrations.

Cover Print Publication
Large File Size – 300dpi with the longest side 3300px
Licensing of this size entitles the purchase to reproduce the work in a single manner, as specified below:

    • Classroom Materials, in print and/or electronic format, for educational programs; or,
    • Textbook, Illustrated Book, in print and/or electronic format, with a distribution of up to 10 000 units; or,
    • Magazine, Journal, Periodical, Newspaper with a print and/or electronic distribution of up to 10 000 units; or,
    • ​Brochure, Booklet, Folder, Mass Mailing, Circular, Leaflet, Etc. with a single print run and/or electronic distribution of up to 10,000 units; or,
    • Poster, billboard, banner, plaque, etc. not posted in rented advertising space, up to 500 copies

Any right not specified above may be purchased at an extra cost.
For inquiries, please contact suzannemmatheson@gmail.com

Interior Print Publication
Medium File Size – 300dpi with the longest side 2400px
Licensing of this size entitles the purchase to reproduce the work in a single manner, as specified below:

    • Scientific Research Paper in print and/or electronic format; or,
    • Classroom Materials, in print and/or electronic format, for educational programs; or,
    • Textbook, Illustrated Book, in print and/or electronic format, with a distribution of up to 10 000 units; or,
    • Magazine, Journal, Periodical, Newspaper with a print and/or electronic distribution of up to 10 000 units; or,
    • ​Brochure, Booklet, Folder, Mass Mailing, Circular, Leaflet, Etc. with a single print run and/or electronic distribution of up to 10,000 units

Any right not specified above may be purchased at an extra cost. For inquiries, please contact suzannemmatheson@gmail.com

Electronic Publication
Small File Size – 72dpi with the longest side 1000px
Licensing of this size entitles the purchase to reproduce the work in a single manner, as specified below:

    • Classroom Materials, electronic format only, for educational programs; or,
    • Scientific Research Paper in electronic format only; or,
    • Textbook, Illustrated Book, in electronic format only, with a distribution of up to 10 000 units; or,
    • Website, Blog for a duration of one year; or,
    • Magazine, Journal, Periodical, Newspaper, in electronic format only, with a distribution of up to 10 000 units; or,
    • Brochure, Booklet, Folder, Mass Mailing, Circular, Leaflet, Etc., in electronic format only, with a distribution of up to 10 000 units; or,
    • Digital screen display, not located in rented advertising space.

Any right not specified above may be purchased at an extra cost. For inquiries, please contact suzannemmatheson@gmail.com

In all reproduction scenarios, copyright remains the property of myself, the artist, unless there is a signed agreement stating otherwise. Legal moral rights remain with me, the copyright owner, and entitle me to require that I be credited with each and every reproduction of my artwork. Copyright acknowledgement has been included as part of each image and must not be removed.

I base my stock illustration prices mainly on Section 3 – 2020 Reproduction Royalty Schedule – Commercial and Advertising of the CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule. By reviewing the various categories of copyright usage, I determine equitable averages based on the nature of and limitations of use. These limitations include such things as non-commercial vs commercial usage, non-rental vs rental display space, and extent of use in terms of both length of time and reproductive quantity.

What is CARFAC?
Founded in 1968, CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation / Le Front des artistes canadiens) is an organization by artists for artists. It is certified as the national representative organization of professional visual and media artists in Canada.
What is RAAV?
RAAV (Le Regroupement des artistes en arts visuals du Québec) is the federal level representative organization of professional visual and media artists from Quebec. It was founded in 1990.

Together, CARFAC and RAAV hold an obligation to represent the interests of Canadian visual and media artists. Their “founding principle and continued concern is that artists, like professionals in other fields, must be paid fairly for their creative output and services.” – CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule Introduction

So, what is the CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule?
In 1968, artists Jack Chambers and Tony Urquhart​ gave birth to CARFAC by establishing a set of rates for artist royalties and fees. The CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule was developed from their initial work.
Widely recognized as the national standard, this Fee Schedule provides guidelines on what visual and media artists should be paid for their copyright, as well as other professional services. ​
This Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule is updated regularly through negotiation and usage. Within the schedule, all royalties and fees are considered minimum payments for copyright usage, as well as professional artist services. Annual increases reflect changes in the cost of living. Presented in Canadian dollars, the Fee Schedule does not include PST/GST/HST.

Why yes! I do! Thank you for asking! : )

Presently, some of my illustrations are being offered as archival Giclée prints, as well as Art Cards.

Archival Giclée by Art Ink Prints​
Giclée (pronounced “gee-clay”) digital fine art printing method combines superior quality pigment inks with archival papers for the most accurate reproduction of art work. Giclée are considered to be the best quality digital prints available, ideal for limited edition print runs.
Substrate: Bright White Hot Press (Smooth), an acid-free 100% cotton rag inkjet paper with a bright smooth finish.
Medium: Pigment archival ink, light-fast and UV-resistant pigment-based inks.
Care: Each print is packaged in a protective archival plastic sleeve with sturdy matte board backing.
Each print is hand signed and numbered by the artist, with Certificate of Authenticity included.

Digital Press Art Cards by Art Ink Prints​
​”A digital print is created, using the process of Xerography, the electrostatic transfer of dry toner powder attracted to a light sensitive selenium drum onto paper. Xerox digital press produces smooth colour sweeps, sharp, high-resolution images, crisp, clean text, outstanding gradients, and fine detail.” – Art-Ink-Print

If there is a portfolio piece you are interested in purchasing as a Giclée print or Art Card, ​please contact me. I will do my best to accommodate you.

for Digital Stock Illustrations
Presently, purchase is made by interact e-Transfer or comparable.  Once payment has been received, the digital stock product will be made available by email via a Google Drive link.

for Print Products – Giclée prints & Art Cards
Presently, purchase is made by interact e-Transfer or comparable.  Once the desired product is decided upon, I will determine shipping cost/turn around time, & taxes (if applicable).  I will communicate these details by email, giving you a total cost and approximate date of product arrival by mail.  If you wish to go ahead with the purchase, we can proceed with payment, as above.  Order processing will follow receipt of payment. 

Return Policy
This Return Policy applies to all products – digital stock and print products.
All purchases are final sale. Prints and Art Cards have a delicate nature. Digital products are vulnerable to duplication. For these reasons I do not accept returns, offer refunds, exchanges, or store credit.

PLEASE READ THE LICENSING AGREEMENT BEFORE MAKING YOUR DIGITAL PURCHASE.

Shipping Policy
This Shipping Policy applies to all physical products.

For Orders Within Canada,
Carrier: Canada Xpresspost for shipping within Canada
Handling Time: 1-4 weeks for Giclée Prints & Art Cards, depending on stock

For orders outside of Canada,
Shipping and handling will need to be determined on an individual basis.  Email your order along with your shipping address so that these details can be determined. 

Needing to commission work?

It will be my pleasure to work with you!
Contact suzannemmatheson@gmail.com

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