Monday, October 23, 2006

"the coolest teapots in the world..."

How cool is this, Neil Gaiman has again linked to my dad's website, this time calling them the "coolest teapots in the world", high praise indeed from such a literary luminary. He was also nice enough to order several teapots one of which is going to a Very Famous Illustrator......

Hi, Neil, this is a little off topic, but I thought it would be right up your alley. I am in England for the year studying abroad, and my fantasy-and-macabre-loving artist best friend has given me a mission: to find a teacup, and preferably also a saucer, to bring home to her. This comes with the disclaimer that the teacup and saucer have to be in the very least odd-looking. Do you know of any shops in Blighty or the rest of Britain that sell strange/wacky/interesting teacups? I would be most thankful for any help.

Well if it was teapots you wanted, I'd point you to the coolest teapots in the world, at (Last time I linked there I crashed the site, though. So don't all click on it at once.) If I wanted an odd teacup and saucer though I would probably poke around junk shops, or possibly just go to to and search for teacup.


Leaves - Photoshop experiments

Leaves - Photoshop experiments
Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

An experiment in creating foliage....

Lily Peach and Freddie Thor's 2nd date

Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Dragon paint experiment.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

Experimenting with painting in Photoshop

Some recent work

Some recent work
Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

More recent work

More recent work
Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

More recent work

More recent work
Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

More recent work

More recent work
Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A cautionary tale....

I've just had three months of work rejected by a publisher. While this is upsetting, they are perfectly entitled to reject it if they feel it is not up to standard.

What I want to warn people about is this publisher's contracts and business practices.

When I was initially contacted about this book I was offered the same amount that they paid me for a book I did 2 years ago. The new book was also going to be 10 pages longer (42pp), have a tighter deadline and require a fair amount of research.

My agent tried in vain to negotiate a better deal but they wouldn't budge on anything, even down to small things like upping the number of copies of the book I would receive (they said it would be unfair to give me more copies than the author, is it my fault the author didn't ask for more?!).

The contract specified that I would paid on signature, on approval of final art and on publication. Once again, my agent tried to get this changed to include a roughs payment and to reduce or remove the payment on publication. They refused. I reluctantly agreed to do the book because at the time, I needed the money and thought I could make a good looking book out of this.

After continual reminders, I finally received my contract payment 45 days after returning the contract to them.

I completed four spreads and the cover, ahead of schedule to be used a sample for the Frankfurt Book Fair, they gave no indication there was anything wrong with the artwork at this stage. Over a month later, after some frantic work (into the night and across the weekends) I delivered the final artwork for the rest of the book.

They e-mailed me yesterday to tell me that the illustrations were "below the standard we require to invest in publication." They would not be publishing the book and would not be paying me anymore money. They had given no indication before this that there was anything wrong. I think this raises serious questions about how professional they are as a company, if they cannot come to a decision about artwork until they have the whole book.

Because of the way their payments were arranged I was not entitled to anymore money from them, despite having completed the entire book.
I would strongly recommend strongly recommend anyone who is negotiating a contract with a publisher to ensure they have a rejection clause in their contract and if possible to push for a payment at the point of approved roughs.

As it is they can commission you for a book, reject it when you've finished it and only pay a signature fee (if you've received it by then).

This book was supposed to be a lead title for their spring 2007 range so I imagine they will be very frustrated at not having the book, the difference is of course that they have all been paid fully, whilst I was wasting my time on it.

Hopefully the lesson they will learn from this is that for a 'lead title' to be successful they need to allow enough time and a big enough budget for the illustrator, treat them with a little respect and be around to offer feedback (both the founder and the designer went away on holiday during the production of the book.).... but I doubt it.

Needless to say I will not be working for them again, and I will be checking my future contracts very carefully, as I've learnt this the hard way.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jagosilver.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Page by Page: the making of a monkey boy

This is a fantastic video of the creation of a picture book.... absolutely correct in almost every aspect....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bloglines - Day Against DRM -- TODAY!

Boing Boing

Day Against DRM -- TODAY!

By (Cory Doctorow)

Cory Doctorow:
Today is October 3, the International Day Against DRM -- the first global day where people rise up and say no to anti-copying technology that treats you like a crook. Remember, DRM doesn't stop "piracy" -- the only people who get DRM infections are people who don't pirate their media. You get DRM by buying your movies, music, games and books through authorized channels -- the stuff you download from P2P or buy off of a blanket at a flea-market has already had the DRM cracked off of it. They say that DRM "keeps honest people honest" -- but all it does is keep honest people in chains.

Here's some things to do and read to celebrate No DRM Day:

The Digital TV Liberation Front's Wendy Seltzer is giving a free talk tonight at Los Angeles's USC Annenberg School (main campus) at 7PM.

DefectiveByDesign's list of anti-DRM actions contains over 200 suggestions for activities you can participate in today and all year round to fight DRM. is a search-engine for DRM-free music for sale on the Internet, a single index of dozens of sites that sell or give away music without crippleware. is a site aimed at explaining DRM to the uninitiated -- what DRM is, why you should care, and what you can do about it. Tell your friends!

Who Killed TiVoToGo? is a murder-mystery from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that explains how even restricted services that let you get more out of your property are being axed by regulators and the entertainment industry (here's how to fight back).

Kembrew McLeod's guest-edited issue of the journal Cultural Studies contains uproarious scholarly works on the copyfight.

Anti-DRM banners for your site from Militant Geek.