Caduceus: Worth it's Weight In Gold
I wrote this in my personal blog and thought I'd add it here too...
This image is my most prized illustration to date, leading on every microstock site that I've submit to, in terms of downloads, revenue and RPD. The image makes up for 27% of my total downloads and a whopping 48% of total revenue right across the board. The Caduceus is not only my proudest vector illustration so far but it has single-handedly been the driving factor that has motivated me to continue my journey in microstock. Without it, I’m sure my enthusiasm would have plateaued by now. I'm now not after a huge portfolio but after a tight portfolio full of winners and this is definitely one of them.
I want to share my opinion with everyone as to why this image is successful. Who knows, it might help some other illustrator who's just starting out like I did back in April. Although I have to say this image is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it's no da Vinci masterpiece. So what is it about this image that makes it successful? Well I'll tell you... It's original, it's well executed but more importantly, it appeals to various sectors in the market.
Before putting pen to paper I did my homework with this one. Before coming up with the original concept I put a lot of thought into what market(s) I was targeting. I wanted to hone in on medicine but I knew if I drew the typical caduceus, no matter how well it was executed, it would be lost in the midst of all the other great illustrations that have already climbed up the ranks. Before sketching it out on paper, I made sure there was nothing like it out there already. I searched "caduceus" all over the net and found thousands of them, many wonderful images but most only appealed to conventional medicine. This caduceus, with a twist, appeals not only to medical practitioners but also those in alternative medical fields such as naturopaths, homeopaths, Chinese medical doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, herbalists, reflexologists, yogis, and the list goes on.
This one image taught me so much about microstock. I’ve been painting since I was very young and have always created work that appealed to one target audience... myself. My paintings have always been very personal to me and I’ve always wanted to keep the viewer guessing. Microstock is the opposite. We have to convey a message with our artwork and this message can be broad but has to be absolutely clear.
So my advice to any illustrator who’s starting out, once you get some experience with technique under your belt, forget about mimicking the most successful images, instead create something that is different to the norm and will appeal to various crowds. Your one successful illustration is more likely to generate more revenue than 20 illustrations that have been done many times before.