May 11, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER- ( In fact, quite often, it’s worse)

Obviously in the case of the environment, a bigger car or a bigger house leads to a larger eco footprint where you are using more than your share of resources. And a larger portion of food leads to obesity and disease.

But lets look at “Bigger is Better” in the creative commerce world.

Case in point: I was thrilled to have Random House want to publish my book “Creating Animated Cartoons with Character”. I had a previous publisher interested but , oh hey, Random House was a name I could throw around to add prestige to the project ( and I often did.).  But large companies are owned by large conglomerates. Departments that are not performing well in their eyes, get the ax. Such as what happened with the department of Random House that published creative books. They slashed it and discontinued all of the books sending them to “out of print” heaven. Not because they were not selling, but because they were not selling “well enough”.

Large companies have trouble lending support to “smaller niche’ projects. A creative lesson you should take into account. Learn from my mistakes. And remember it was “my’ mistake, not Random House. I was not a victim. I was a volunteer.

Someone at Cartoon Network thought it would add prestige to all of the Cartoon properties they owned if they signed an exclusive contract with the toy giant  “Mattel”.( without any input or say from the creators of those properties). Exclusive meant, even if they passed on a toy line, nobody else could carry it either. I’m not all that big on toys, but what we found out was, if Mattel could’nt guarantee that they could ship so many millions worth of toys out of the gate, a toy line wasn’t worth their time.

Hence, no Cartoon Network toys except for a few internal offerings and some happy meal toys.

I’m not saying that these examples are always the case. Just as an artist and business person, take the support you will get for your creative project as a point to ponder. Not just the bragging rights. Networks “LOVE” for you to start bragging about a show you have with them before you start negotiating. It puts you in a bad spot if you can’t make a deal.

The final info I’d like to pass on, is that I have purchased some of the last remaining copies of my book. If you would like to get one autographed, before you can only buy used ones on ebay, I have them in my store. Get one while you can.




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3 Responses to May 11, 2012

  1. Nick Fortunato says:

    Glad I bought mine when I did

  2. Matt Stevanus says:

    That’s a good point Joe, I totally agree and I’m disappointed that they slashed your book, that is a true crying shame. I took a lot away from that book, especially the part about protecting my intellectual properties. I have found a neat little way of side stepping merchandising companies and making my own little gems from my creations in printing and laminating my prints then cutting them out to make a custom “sticker”. As far as figurines or anything, I plan on making my characters in 3D and making 3D prints while I still have use of the school’s 3D printer. (it’s only $2.50 for a nice 3D printed sculpt)

    Boy am I glad I got your book when I did and I still have it autographed (many thanks to you for that). It saddens me to hear that they canceled it though, I feel for the ones who will miss out on such a wonderful, wonderful publication. I’m not one to brag, even if I were part of some major network, I’d just be happy to have my vision realized. Someone asked me if I wasn’t in this field for the money or the fame, what reason I had for wanting to create art and I simply answered; “Because it makes me happy and I love what I do more than breathing.” Which, by the way couldn’t be any more true.

    Hopefully you will roll out another great book and grace us with your wisdom once more and this time the company won’t cut the cord on it like the last one. That is really upsetting to hear. Take care and good luck in all that you do!

  3. Dave says:

    Have you considered republishing your book as an ebook or in print with another publisher?

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