THE answers to (almost) all of your questions.

Before you write or call....

I have a question about your magazine, ImageS or B&W ImageS. Where did you get the wonderful images?
How do you sell it at such a reasonable price?
Can I pay for it by check?
I am a Venture Capitalist. Can I fund your future issues?
Of course. me and thanks for asking.
or call me at the number above if the question is urgent. I love to talk to my customers.
I have some art your might like to include in the next ImageS or B&W ImageS. Do you want to see it? Of course. me with a small scan and some information about the piece(s).Or call.
I have a question about your
Everett Raymond Kinstler book.
Can you answer it? Of course. me or call. Talking about Ray and the book is a favorite pastime.

You may have other questions about art or books or artists..
Below I try to respond to them as I have for others over the years.
The answers are frank and honest.
I have a question about some art I own. Is it an original?
  How much is it worth?
  How do I find out those answers?
  But it has the ORIGINAL paper backing, etc...! Take it out of the frame.
  But it's in the original frame! Take It Out Of The Frame.
  But, but but...! TAKE IT OUT OF THE FRAME.
  How and Why should I take it out of the frame?
  I've got it out of the frame (or it was never in a frame) and
it IS an original.
Now how do I find out how much it is worth?
  Okay, I know how much it is worth? How do I sell it?
  If none of these people can help, THEN can I call you?
I have a question about a book I own. Is it a first edition? I can't tell you.
  How much is it worth? I can't tell you.
  Is there some way to find out?  
  Who wants to buy my book?
  My book really is rare.
Surely you must know someone who will buy it?
I read your biography about XYZ. Can you give me his/her/their email address? No.
  Phone number? No.
  Can you forward something? No.
I have information about XYZ. Can I send it to you? Of course. me, and thank you.
  Will you add it to the biography? Probably not, but thank you.
  Why not? Because I'm busy working on ImageS. The biographies were last decade. I've moved on.
  What about Sulamith Wülfing? She's different. Submitted information will be added to the Bibliography.
I have magazines/books/pictures by XYZ that aren't in your biography. Can I send you scans?  

Illustrations copyright by their respective owners.
This page written, designed & © 1997 by Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. Updated, 2011.

Learn about other ILLUSTRATORS

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Is it an original?
Actually I seldom get asked this question—most people just tell me they have an original. But to answer it:
  • I don't know.
  • It MUST be removed from the frame (see the section on How and Why should I take it out of the frame?).
  • It is NOT an original if any of the following are true:
    1. Any printing on it (a title, a copyright line, etc.)
    2. Any printing on the back
    3. There is a regular half-tone dot pattern (use a magnifying glass)
  • It is probably NOT an original:
    1. If it's on really thin paper
    2. If it is a painting, originals have some texture. They are not smooth like paper.
    3. Lack of a half-tone pattern does not postitively mean it is an original.
    4. Large size does not positively mean that it is an original.

How much is it worth?
This one is simple:

How do I find out those answers?
This one is also simple:

How and Why should I take it out of the frame?
Because you want to know about the ART, not the frame.
  • Why?
    1. The frame is not the art—don't confuse the two.
    2. The art might be in perfect condition or it might be glued to the backing board. Such things matter.
    3. If the frame is precious, you'll be able to sell it to a frame collector. The odds of this being so are fairly remote.
    4. If you're nervous about removing it from the frame, seek help from someone with experience:
      —perhaps the owner of a local framing shop
      —or a local artist who frames her own work.
      —Someone near to you works with art and frames.
      —Seek them out. Usually they are happy to help.
  • How?
    If you must try it on your own:
    1. usually you'll need an X-acto knife or a razor blade to cut the paper (which was only there to keep dust and dirt out of your artwork—it's done its job and can be replaced if you keep the art framed).
    2. cut carefully around three edges where the paper meets the frame, making certain that you don't impact the art underneath
    3. fold the paper back to expose what is usually some backing material that will be pressing the art to the glass. This is usually held in place by nails, brads, staples or small pronged clips pressed into the frame.
    4. a pair of needle nose pliers can be used to pull out any nails or brads holding the backing to the frame
    5. or you might need perhaps a flat blade screwdriver if staples were used
  • Be careful and you'll soon be able to discover exactly what you have.

I've got it out of the frame (or it was never in a frame) and it IS an original. Now how do I find out how much it is worth?
Try one of these resources:

these are on-line databases of realized auction prices for the works of various artists. Chances are good that if you're looking at my site, it's because you think you have art by an artist I've written about. These sites cover all of them. They charge a fee for their services, but you will be able to find out if they know about your artist before being asked to pay.

Okay, I know how much it is worth? How do I sell it?
Try one of these resources:
  • Fred Taraba of Taraba Illustration Art might be either a buyer or an agent to help you sell.
  • Bud Plant and Anne Hutchison occasionally buy and sell art. You might drop them a line.
  • Illustration House in New York City is another potential source for appraisals and/or purchases.
  • Do it yourself on eBay. You'll have to sign up, if you don't already have an account, and you will have to pay them a commission when you sell it and PayPal a commission when you get paid.

If none of these people can help, THEN can I call you?
Everything I know is included on this page. Every one of the resources listed above knows more than I do. You can call, but not with any hope of accomplishing anything.
  • I do not buy or sell original art
  • I wasn't very successful when I was buying and selling—hence my retirement.
  • I have been away from the "market" for more than six years
  • I really don't have anything to offer you in this arena. Sorry,

Is there some way to find out a book's edition and value?
First, you'll want to gather the following information:
  • From the title page, not from the cover
    1. the exact title of the book
    2. the author of the book
    3. the publisher of the book
    4. the printing date, if given
  • if there are illustrations in the book, how many?
  • color? b&w? printed on different quality of paper? tipped-in?
Then you'll want to visit one of these websites/
coalitions of on-line booksellers
Look up your book in one of these sites and see what other people are "ASKING" for their copies. If you are registered with eBay, they will also let you know whether or not any copies have sold recently in Completed Auctions.
  • If you can't find your book, do NOT assume that it is really rare.
  • rather ELIMINATE some of the detail you entered
    e.g. Kipling is actually better than Rudyard Kipling
    e.g. Watson is actually better than Watson-Guptill
  • the odds of you having a book that no one else has are pretty remote
  • try to find books for sale that match your copy (date/number of illustrations/condition)
  • remember that a wide range of prices on a lot of copies usually indicates a common book with little demand - i.e. not much value
Look at HOW MANY copies are being offered and consider that your copy will have to compete with the lowest-priced ones. Not to discourage you, but I retired from bookselling because of all these factors.


Who wants to buy my book?
Quite frankly, probably nobody, but here's the best way to try to find that illusive buyer: .
  1. you can list it for sale on eBay books or amazon and see what happens
  2. you can sign up with AbeBooks or alibris and compete with all the other sellers
  3. savvy book buyers know about all these sites, so you have to price your book lower than most if not all of the other copies
  4. all of these sites will take a commission on your sale
  5. PayPal will take a commission on a buyer's payment to you
  6. you'll have to pack and ship your book to a buyer
  7. you have to be prepared to deal with recalcitrant buyers/payers/shippers, etc.
My best advice to you is to appreciate the book for the sentimental or nostalgic value it has for you.

My book really is rare.
Surely you must know someone who will buy it?

It is possible that you really do have a rare book and it's possible that someone really will want to buy it.
  • be prepared to be disappointed
  • it's only happened to me three times in my on-line experience
  • be prepared to accept 25% to 50% of what you found it was "worth"
  • assuming that it is an illustrated book
    (why else would you be looking on this website?),
    I will recommend you to my former partner,
    Bud Plant and Hutchison Books
  • if you wish to get a reply to your email, here are the rules:
    1. write them an email (do not call)
    2. list all of the information (title/author/publisher/date/illustrations) that you have gathered
    3. do not send scans or photos UNLESS THEY ASK for them!
    4. be patient
    5. be prepared to be disappointed
  • Okay? You got all that? Write to Anne Hutchison.

PLEASE can you tell me how to contact this artist?
All but a handful of the artists I've profiled are deceased.
Those that are still with us are private individuals who have decided exactly how much of their lives they wish to be public. If you can find them on facebook or anywho or in the phone book, feel free to write or call. They have made that information accessible. With most of them, I have no special connection beyond an appreciation for the art, so I don't have any additional access information. I respect the privacy of the others.

Can I send you scans of this work I found?
Maybe. You should know that my biographies are not meant to be comprehensive.
  • for most artist I have hundreds of other examples
  • the odds are good that I may even have the piece you want to send
  • even if I don't have it, I probably know about it
  • but I WOULD like to find out
  • so before you send me some scans, me and tell me what you have
  • thanks

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