Around the Web Archive

Google Drive and iStock Deal

HandshakeI killed my iStock account a couple years ago, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have problems. No, I’m not talking about falling sales. I’m also not talking about them paying independents less than 20% royalties. Nor am I talking about forcing contributors onto their partner programs. Any of those reasons would be enough for any sane contributor to pack up their bags and leave, but they pushed even farther with their newest “deal”. So, what is this deal? Basically, they are allowing Google to redistribute images from iStock for free through their Google Drive.

Well, it looks like this might be the straw that broke the camel’s back because contributors are up in arms. They are threatening to delete their accounts, images and probably more. You can read more about it on You can also see contributor’s reactions on MSG.

All I can say is I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that mess.

Buy Stock Art Images Directly from the Artist

Unless this is your first time on this site, you probably know that I create stock art and sell it on the internet. There are a variety of places out there that you can partner with to help you sell your work, but many of them take a large cut of the royalties. So, some artists (like me) have created their own sites and keep 100% of the royalties.

I wanted to compile a list of those sites, so I enlisted the help of the people over at Microstock Group to help. Here are the sites that they listed (in no particular order):


Site: MyStockVectors
Artist: Cory Thoman (That’s me!)
Description: MyStockVectors is a premium collection of cartoon vector illustrations by artist Cory Thoman.


Site: Real Stock Photos
Artist: Tyler Olson
Description: Real images of real people. I like to shoot candid portraits of professionals and outdoor adventure lifestyle.


Site: Clip Art Candy
Artist: Amanda Bodack
Description: Clip Art Candy sells fun modern clip art and illustrations with an emphasis on people and vector characters.


Site: Jareso Stock Database
Artist: Boris Jaroscak (jareso)
Description: Personal website of enthusiast photographer. Website features selected photos of landscapes, animals and architecture.


Site: Vectorella
Artist: Cihan Demirok – Cidepix
Description: Stock Vector Illustrations and Design Elements.


Site: Denis Pepin Royalty-Free Stock Images
Artist: Denis Pepin
Description: Beautiful and useful images for your home or limited commercial purposes from $2.00 to $10.00. Extended commercial purposes, $28.00.


Site: Travelling Light
Artist: Colin and Linda McKie
Description: Mainly travel/scenic and food images direct from the photographers at microstock prices.


Site: Elenaphoto
Artist: Elena Elisseeva (Elenathewise)
Description: Diverse portfolio of more than 12,000 stock images covering lifestyle, concepts, travel, food and nature photography.


Site: About PhotoStock
Artist: Colin and Linda McKie
Description: Mainly travel/scenic and food stock photo images direct from the photographers. Rights Managed and Royalty Free.


Site: Cascoly Software
URL:  and
Artist: Steve Estvanik
Description: World travel, maps and people from Europe, Egypt, Syria, India, China and the Americas. Patterns, backgrounds and textures.


Site: Rudersdalfoto
Artist: jean schweitzer
Description: Stock pictures and local pictures from Denmark.


Site: SweetSham Stock Illustrations
Artist: Melissa Patton
Description: Royalty-free stock food and drink illustrations in jpg and vector formats. A growing collection including cakes, sweets, and food characters.


Site: Pixels Away Stock Photography
Artist: Marek Uliasz
Description: Concepts in business, education, science, internet and self development. Vintage typography. Fitness and outdoor recreation. Healthy food. Colorado and southwest.


Artist:  Lisa F. Young
Description: High quality collection of royalty free stock photos at reasonable prices. Areas of specialty include people/lifestyle, business, education, medical, and industrial.


Site: Photostockit
Artist: yuliang & szefei
Description: We specializes on south east asian, chinese and malaysian content. Prices are at microstock level.


Well, those are the ones that people sent me. Hopefully, this will be a useful list for buying illustrations and photos directly from the people that created them. Feel free to add more suggestions to the comments. Please try to limit them to sites run by one or two artists.

I’m Sorry!

I apologize to anyone that showed up yesterday and was greeted with a big red warning. Apparently, Google decided to flag me for malware. I’m not sure if I was hacked, but I had to get my extermination equipment (a blowtorch) out. I burned the house down and rebuilt it yesterday. Then, resubmitted my site to Google for the all clear (no evil bugs).

Please, bear with me over the next few days while I fix things I broke during my “housecleaning”. Ironically, one of the things that got purged was Google Adsense. I guess this hurts Google too.

Speaking of Google, it’s great that they are fighting the nefarious forces on the internet, but it is a little disturbing that they can just slap a contaminated label on your website with no questions asked. There seems like there should be a more gentle way to do that.

Vector Halftone Tutorial at

I put up a new halftone tutorial at called 3 Ways to Make a Vector Halftone in Adobe Illustrator. Check it out here.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials on

Bird Tutorial

I’ve written a couple tutorials on my stock art site, They both involve the cartoon bird above. One is a basic Illustrator technique. You can check it out here. The other involves using colors and gradients in Illustrator. Check it out here. Enjoy!

Communication Arts 52nd Annual Illustration Competition

Want to flex your artistic muscles in front of your peers? Well, you’re in luck. Communication Arts has announced a Call for Entries for their 52nd Annual Illustration Competition.

Deadline: January 7, 2011 (Entries submitted after January 7, 2011 require a $10 per entry late fee. No entries will be accepted after January 21, 2011)

Why enter?
Winning guarantees illustrators worldwide exposure to the largest audience of designers and art directors who commission illustration. Many successful illustrators cite winning the Illustration Competition as a milestone in their professional career.

Selected by a nationally representative jury of distinguished designers, art directors and illustrators, the winning entries will be distributed worldwide in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual and on, assuring important exposure to the creators of this outstanding work. As a service to art directors, designers and art buyers, a comprehensive index will carry contact information of the illustrators represented.

What should be entered?
Illustrations used for advertising, books, editorial, for sale, institutional, self-promotion and unpublished are eligible.

Need more info?

To Enter Online NOW

Submission Guidelines and FAQs

See winners from the past seven years online

Good luck to all that enter!

This post was written on Content copyright 2010 Cory Thoman.

Mail Me Art an Illustration Mailer Book

I’m always interested to see how other artists promote their work. Half the battle to getting freelance jobs is the marketing. So, how do other illustrators promote their art? Well, Darren Di Lieto and the folks at HAI! have put together a book of mailer pieces. If you are interested check it out at Mail Me Art. Here’s a little more info and how to help out:

“Mail Me Art: Medium Without a Message is the follow-up to the successful 2008 Mail Me Art: Going Postal. We are proud to announce we have over 700 new pieces of mail art. Medium Without a Message is be an amazing collection of envelopes and boxes from around the world decorated by some of today’s most talented illustrators and artists. What makes the work special is that every single piece of art was sent through the postal system, exposed and on view as regular mail. At the end of this month all of the work will be on display at the London Mail Me Art exhibition.

How can you help support the project and become part of it? Well… The running costs for the project are currently at around £6000  ($9120). We’re hoping to recoup most of that by selling the new book and we’re also hoping to make the artists lots of money by selling their work at the exhibition! We’ve just finished the book and we got as many of the mail artists into the book as possible in some way or another! So please help us recoup some of the costs by making a pledge and supporting the project! In return for a pledge we’re sending people copies of the new book. We’ve also got some really cool artwork up for grabs from the likes of Dan May & Jon Burgerman! Please check out the site for more details – Mail Me Art “.

There you have it, so check it out if you have a few moments.

This post was written on Content copyright 2010 Cory Thoman. This post contains affiliate links. Please read the About & Policies for more information.

Faux Watercolor Vector Style

I haven’t done an "around the web" in a while, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff happening on the internet. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to work on a faux watercolor style in Illustrator, and I finally got off my butt to do it recently. After searching the net, I found this tutorial. It had a good way to make a faux look, so go check it out!

Here is my first experiment. I used one of my doodle style illustrations and recolored it.

This post was written on Content copyright 2010 Cory Thoman.

Program for Making Vector Halftone Patterns

My halftone tutorials are fairly popular items on this blog, so I thought I’d look around for some other halftone tutorials. What I found was a great article on 3 vector halftone programs. I ended up purchasing Vectorraster from Lost Minds. It was only $20, and they let you download a free trial first.

I haven’t played around with it too much, but I was really impressed with the results.
What I really like is that it makes perfectly round circles. Here is my initial experiment. I took a burst I had and created a halftone out of it with vectorraster. Then, I took it all back into Illustrator and ended up with the Sumo wrestler.

This post was written on Content copyright 2009 Cory Thoman.

Creating Vector Faces Using Simple Shapes

I know the internet is a strange and confusing place, but I’m here with another "Around the Web" post to help you navigate it. I know this forces you to leave the safe confines of Illustration Info, but there is a lot to see out there. So buckle up your computer chair seat belt and feel free to don your tin foil hat. I doubt you’ll need it though because I’m sending you to a safe place. A land of shiny happy vectors. A land called Bortonia.

All silliness aside, Bortonia: All Things Vector has some great tutorials. Here’s one for making faces using simple shapes. Check it out!

This post was written on Content copyright 2009 Cory Thoman.