Magazine Article


Color-ful Hands

The process in creating stock imagery, Alt explained, generally starts either from him or from the stock company.

"I usually get a list of subjects or concepts from my stock provider _ Corbis _ or I'll pitch a concept to them and ask if there's any interest," he said. Several variations of any given image is created, then printed out _ generally nine images to a page. Each are numbered, and Corbis reviews the images.

"They might take none, they might take them all," Alt said, adding that they'll sometimes offer suggestions on certain images, as well.

Although he's not directly involved in how the images get used, he does receive regular "sales reports" indicating which images have been sold to whom and for how much. "I get a sales reports from them, but very rarely see how [the images] are used."

Over the years, Alt has created about 7,000 to 8,000 images for the stock industry. A typical sale ranges between $300 to $800, of which he receives a percentage. "Anything over $2,000 is a-typical," he said, then added that he once sold an image for $40,000 to an optical company that bought world-wide rights to the image for three years. "I was shocked by that," he said with a laugh.

When he sends his images, they are generally 50MB files. "That's pretty good resolution up to 11x17," Alt said. Everything is sent via CD, which he uses to archive all of his images.

"After 20 years of creating art, I've got a huge library of bits and pieces and things," Alt said. "It's been a lot of years, but I'm doing what I love."

For more information on Tim Alt, visit You can contact him via e-mail ( or call (661) 265-8092.