Thursday, March 5, 2009

Picturing the Regency

I have a new contest up on my website. If you'd like to enter it, please visit the home page and go to the guestbook to sign up and be entered in the draw. The prize this time--for March and April--is a blank, lined journal with Shakoriel's Regency art on the cover. The journal is from our CafePress store, Regency Fancies

When we started the CafePress store, I just wanted Shakoriel's Regency art to find a bigger market. It is so good, so evocative of the Regency period, that it seemed to me it deserved a larger audience than it could find if it remained only on my website.

I am so fortunate to have a resident artist. And I am so lucky she doesn't charge me an arm and a leg for every illustration. She's just starting out, glad for the commissions, and I'm happy to give her the work. Because you see, there just isn't a lot of Regency art available for use, for reasonable prices.

I need art for website information, for book trailers, for promotional materials and for covers. I comb out of copyright books (thank goodness for Google Books and Project Gutenberg), free clip art sites and Dover's invaluable clip art series for appropriate illustrations. There is a Regency romance writer who does a great deal of promotion, and she uses literally dozens of the grand Regency artworks to illustrate her essays, blogs and newsletters. I don't know how she affords it. I certainly can't. Most of the Regency art that you will see on book covers, websites and various publications is all copyrighted at stock art agencies. It costs a fortune to use original Regency art--at least $300-$500 for a single time use. Places like Mary Evans Picture Library, and, and, are invaluable, but they cost, big-time.

If the picture is from a book, you can't use it without permission or licensing. If it's on a website, you need to make sure it hasn't come from somewhere else without permission. I tried to get permission from the publisher to use Barbosa's art from Theresa Chris' out of print book. They didn't even answer my letter. So I am using it but with full attribution, and even then, it's a risk. The Internet is a huge problem for artists--as much as it makes their work available to the world, it also makes it available for pirating. As I work in the creative field, I am concerned about pirating. And I want my illustrations to be legal and above-board. But I do want to have lots of Regency art.

As I've said before I'm a visually oriented person. I want to see what the Regency looked like and I want to show my readers what it looked like. Shakoriel helps me do that.

Thanks, Shakoriel!

Till next time,

1 comment:

Janet said...

Great post, Lesley-Anne! I'm so afraid of the copyright police - I always check and double check when I'm going to post something.

When we began the adventure known at Prairie Chicks Write Romance I thought it would be a great idea if I used a definition as part of my blog title (unique/something to set me apart from the other chicks). So, I wrote an e-mail to the dictionary people - you know the one with the hyphenated name - explaining my idea and asking what I needed to do in order to use those definitions. Yep, still waiting on a reply. Oh, well, it was a good idea:)

I'll be e-mailing Shakoriel soon to ask if she'll guest blog about her cover art.