Monday, May 16, 2011

The Dailey Series...Hunt's Barbecue Sauce/The Coupon...

In my long career, I can honestly say that I was never "stiffed" for a job. I always got paid, but there are many other ways to screw illustrators besides not compensating them for a job well done... or a job poorly done. Here's one example...

My wife, the coupon expert, actually found the above coupon in the food section of the LA Times. My first reaction was, wow, I've got a nationally printed piece, but my elation lasted about all of a minute or two. I quickly realized I was taken advantage of. I was angry as well as disappointed that my comp work was doubling as illustration.

In the beginning, I naively rendered tight comps to impress art directors that would surely see my talent and offer me real live illustrative jobs. I was angry because they used one of my pieces without paying me another nickel for it, but I was also disheartened that the agency used a comp that was not only one of my lesser pieces, but that it was being used as an illustration. Although I didn't complain to anyone at that time, I was livid. At that time, I didn't understand why they couldn't see this was not my best work and why they would not give me the opportunity to redo the comp as an illustration. For the record, I probably would have done the illustration gratis just to say, proudly, that I created artwork for a national client. On the flip side of the coupon, there was an altered portrait of Dick Van Dyke that I did for the storyboard. It too was poorly illustrated to imitate my comp style. In a strange way, I was glad that the agency didn't use my signature for this or any other promo that I illustrated without my knowledge. The irony of it all was more than I could handle as a rookie!

It was a lesson well-learned...

Copyright Ben Bensen III / 2011


  1. Well if no one else is going to say it... BASTARDS!

  2. Yeh Steve. Hard lessons, but once learned never forgotten. I can only hope artists are aware of their circumstances when it comes to the biz end of making art a profession. As I'm sure you know, it takes so much more than talent to have a real career in this scene!