Meet Australian creative Ben Hoole, founder of FUSS FREE IMAGES.
Ben Hoole (MBA., MPET., B.Comm.)
I've been a passionate multi-discipline artist since childhood, and have worked largely as a commercial web, graphic and product designer/ digital artist for much of the past 20 years.
Over the years, I've been both a heavy user of, and prolific contributor to, intermediary artist marketplace sites, and I've created FUSS FREE IMAGES in response to what I perceive as limitations and deficiencies with many of those with which I've interacted, both as a buyer and seller.
Despite a 20+ year management education (I hold an undergraduate degree in commerce, a Master's degree in business administration and a Master's degree in professional education and training), I've shunned the corporate world in favour of life as an independent artisan - I'm strongly opposed to the excesses of corporate greed and a "growth-at-all-costs" mentality. I like artists - my wife and daughter are both artistic, as are many of my closest friends. Art is good for the soul, and, I'd argue, good for the world.
So, as an artist, it does grate to have to deal with large (or small, for that matter) commercial enterprises unless they are doing an exceptional job of supporting the artists on the backs of which they are building their businesses. I'd like to see intermediaries, for example, do everything in their power to prevent their artists' work getting ripped off, to promote and sell artists' work fairly and competently, to reward innovation and ingenuity (as opposed to simply promoting a narrow range of popular culture themes and styles) and, most importantly, to remunerate the creators of a work respectfully and fairly. It seems to me that an intermediary should be entitled to a minority percentage of each sale of an artists' work as compensation for promoting and selling it, with the lion's share of a sale being passed to the work's creator. Not the other way around.
In my opinion, if you like an artisan's work and really want to support them, perhaps you should consider dealing with that artist directly.
As a consumer of art resources on the other hand, I believe that things should be kept affordable, simple and fair. I should be able to purchase the right to use an individual image for a fair price, without requiring an expensive membership or package to do so. A licence agreement should be easy to understand, and sensibly balance the rights of a work's creator with the needs of the licensee, without undue restriction or limitation.
These are my goals here at FUSS FREE IMAGES, driving the way I've structured the site and guiding the decisions that I make each day. Whilst they mean that we can't boast millions of images as our larger competitors do (my family and I currently create all content for the site), I'd argue that's of little consequence - you don't need millions of images, just good ones. We are adding new works most days and, if you find a stock image or resource you like, you can licence, download and use it affordably, quickly and easily. Welcome to FUSS FREE IMAGES.