Friday, March 23, 2007

Lines in the Sand

Coffee is long gone, music is the clacking of the keys as I agitatedly type. Though I would like to be looking forward to new projects and challenges, I am stuck in the rut of The Book. I have shrugged off a lot of little annoyances and realigned my expectations again and again over the past year, but we have reached my line in the sand.

One of the projects in the book is a birdbath. It was not shot as a birdbath but on a white tile floor with white artificial pears in it. The editor wants me to rename it as a "Standing Server". Not going to happen. I think a project list containing a birdbath is much more likely to be attractive to a reader than a project list with a serving bowl in it. Additionally I designed it for outdoor use and purchased a wrought iron birdbath stand for it. If they want to use the picture with the pears in it and say something like "In the winter this lovely birdbath makes a great standing bowl indoors", I am fine with that, but I am not renaming the project.

The final project in the book is a fountain, shown above right (shot by my photographer). The little glass leaves at the top conceal the opening where the water comes out, provide a high point to the piece, and control the water flow. The shot done by the publisher has the little leaves scattered along the outer edges of the two plates. When I said it needs to be reshot I was basically told it wouldn't be. So this morning I had to go to the additional annoyance of writing my lawyer (specialty: intellectual property rights--he reviewed the initial contract) for assistance. He provided me with a a nice edit of the email I had prepared but not yet sent to my editor and included references to "misrepresentation of the Work" and inability "to allow their publication in that form". I love him. Just having someone professional to go to who can take the emotion out of a situation and reduce it to the basic facts is such a relief! He calmly, without heat, laid out my position and stands ready in the wings to pick up any actual legal conversations that might follow. Lines in the sand.


ren said...

i am sorry that it's coming down to this. having worked in publishing for a while i can assure you that we are not all like this, not publishers, not editors, not art directors. some of is are ok. i swear.

Jodi said...

Good luck...sounds nightmarish. I love the blue in that piece, by the way.

Bill Paley said...

I just used my sister in a similar fashion, though to no final effect, unfortunately.