April 18, 2003
Frustrating day yesterday. Fought many battles from changing out the cover and killing a major article to dealing with numerous bumps in the process.
Came home at lunch and tweaked a painting of mine which is running in editorial. Robert Ray thought it was a tad weak and he was right. I think I improved it and I appreciated the critique. Ironically, I’m not sure it cuts both ways.
Encountered a problem in production with changing or “enhancing” paintings in the Art of The True West department. In the current issue we are working on I noticed there were rounded corners and a frame on all the paintings being featured. I assumed the artist sent them to us this way, but when I asked I discovered that production had created these. I told them this is a potential problem and that the rule of thumb is when you are dealing with Fine Art you can’t monkey with it. Of course Robert and Abby fought this and said they have been doing this for months and why haven’t I said anything about it before. My answer was, “If I’ve been missing it doesn’t make it right and besides, they are two separate issues. I’m not criticizing the layouts or the quality of the scans. We can’t change Fine Art in this particular department.” Period.
They all went to lunch together and got their indignant flags flying and when they came back we went at it again. I called my old studio mate and very Fine Artist, Ed Mell and asked his opinion and then I called Diana Tyo at Native Peoples magazine to ask their policy. They both concurred: you can’t change or add to Fine Art unless you have the artist’s permission (and Ed Mell added he would be wary of what someone else thought was “groovy”). Now illustration for an editorial feature is a different deal and you can crop in, tweak lighter or darker, put in drop shadows, reverse, add effects ‘til the cows come home (even on a piece of art that might run on the Fine Arts page), but when it comes to Fine Art in the Fine Art department, you have to keep your mittens off the product. It’s not called Fine Art After We Add Some Stuff To It.
Ted G. called the artist being featured and he loved the rounded corners, so we dodged a bullet with this one and I let it go.
That was a problem hashed out with mature people. I had other problems during the day where the people were not as mature. Exasperating.
“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
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