Illustrators Beware! Please Read and Share.

Dear fellow illustrators it is my professional obligation to inform you all of the unethical actions of one Canadian publisher Three Bears Publishing and their representative Ashley Carleton.

On April 7th 2009 I was contacted by Ashley Carleton of Three bears Publishing to do a 51 page picture book consisting of 25 1/2 spreads plus cover.

Along the way they convinced me into doing numerous character designs and an extra page for no additional compensation. The projects original deadline was Aug. 30th but was then moved to Sept. 30th and later left open because the company consistently failed to provide me with the illustration suggestions of what they wanted me to illustrate and would take weeks to answer my emailed questions.

When I submitted the revised character designs Ashley Carleton said in reference to one of the characters ‘I love your revised character sketch of the girl… I LOVE her.’

On October 15th 2009 after I had submitted 95% of the layout drawings and was awaiting answers and the final spreads Ashley Carleton sent an email stating.

‘By the way, you’re[sic] sketches look fabulous!’

I submitted the last sketch on Oct. 30th. On Nov. 3rd I was told by Ashley Carleton,

‘Thank you for the sketches.  I am compiling a list of suggested additions and changes to some sketches.  In the meantime, you can definitely start to color the following sketches that are perfect as they are.’

If your following along, you may have noticed that only a few days before she said the sketches were “fabulous.”

I informed her that I could not start painting because she had only approved the color key for one of the three characters.

On November 3rd  Ashley Carleton said via email. ‘I hope to reply regarding colors for the characters clothes in the next 24 hours.’ To date I still have never received those color keys.

We both agreed that no painting would start until the changes were submitted to me.

And this is where everything takes a dive towards horrible.

On  November 19th, 2009 I finally get an email back saying they will send me the changes to the layouts within a week.

More weeks pass and my emails go unanswered. On January 4th, 2010 I receive an email from Ashley Carleton stating: ‘I am in the final stages of formulating my comments, and can promise you that i[sic] will email you all of my comments by Wednesday of this week, just 2 days from now.’

I receive a few more emails promising to have them to me in a few days. They however did not send me the suggested changes then, or ever.
At this point it has taken them longer to formulate their changes than it took me to draw the 40 illustrations.

On February 13th, 2010 I receive an email from Ashley Carleton stating that they would not be paying me for the months of work (40 drawings covering 52 pages plus cover) and instead would like to draw up a new contract to have me paint someone else’s drawings for only 46% of the original fee for a now 31 page book. They claim that because they have decided to not use the drawings they have no reason to pay for them.

I felt it was my professional obligation to inform you all of this so no one else will fall prey to Three Bears Publishing. Please share this and repost it anywhere you can think of. The more who know the less likely someone will fall into this trap.

This has been your public service announcement for today; Alicia “Kat” Dillman signing off.

If you would like to see the layout drawings they are now claiming are ” dissatisfactory” you can look at them here.

Here is Three Bears Publishing’s website