This is the story of my most successful piece of graphic design, and how it all happened without me even knowing about it…
Back in 2004, I had a client who wanted some 3-D renders. Having invested in U&I Software’s quirky but almost infinitely powerful ArtMatic program, I produced a series of high-res images, a few of which the client liked and paid for, a there were a few that the client didn’t want. Normally I’d just file these away on a backup disc that would end up gathering dust in my off-side long term storage facility (also known as my parent’s loft). At the time, I was sharing office space with half a dozen professional photographers, and one of them was moaning about a new low cost stock photography site that was eating into his business. Intrigued, went on line and after jumping through a few hoops to prove my camera was high enough quality (unsurprisingly my 3-D rendering software proved not to have a cheap lens with chromatic aberrations or any dust on it’s CCD) I managed to get my unused renders up on the site for anyone to buy.
Here’s one of them, called “Explosion”.
Since then, I have received pleasant but mostly nominal amounts in US$ in my iStock account, which nicely offset my occasional need to purchase stock photographs for work… and that’s where the story might have ended. That image is my most popular ones, and has been downloaded over 1000 times, presumably because actual photos of explosions are fiendishly hard to take, and it pretty much has the market to itself.
Fast forward to late 2009, and I happen to glance at the top BBC 40 singles, and get quite a shock! Does this look familar to you?
So far, this song has achieved sales of over 3 million, and been a top 10 hit in Canada, Turkey and Japan, and number one in South Africa… and if I hadn’t looked at the charts that week I wouldn’t have known about it at all.
Sadly, worldwide success hasn’t paid off financially, I received a flat fee for the use of my image that would barely cover a round of drinks, let alone a rock and roll lifestyle.