Hey there! How are you doing today? I’d like to talk about a resource that I’ve recently come across; a resource that has actually come in super handy. I’m calling it an ‘iClipArt Review’, but it’s mostly going to be a chat about all the ways I’ve found myself using iClipArt.
A little backstory:
I’m not much of a photographer. I do okay, but I just can’t seem to get my photos to look as high-quality as those other ‘bigger’ bloggers and influencers out there. I certainly don’t think my images are as good as I’d like them to be, and that’s what hinders me when creating content for my blog: I do all the research and write all the words in virtually no time at all, but then spend hours upon hours upon hours trying to create stunning shots, fabulous flatlays, and phenomenal photos.
It’s not just productive for me, especially as I always end up taking 150 photos, spending two or three days editing them, and then STILL having ZERO usable images at the end of it.
But images/photos/graphics are important.
They’re one of the most important ‘components’ of blogging, and then using social media to promote a blog.
That’s why I bought and downloaded the Procreate app and ordered myself an Apple Pencil: I wanted to have a bash at drawing, illustrating, animating, and doodling. Sadly, it didn’t take me long to realise that all of that doodling and ‘arting’ took more time than I had to spare, especially as an absolute beginner. (Though, thankfully, still less time than trying to take high-quality photos.)
So, I started to look around for things that might make the process a little quicker.
That’s when I found iClipArt.
What Is iClipArt?
iClipArt is a website/resource for stock images, vectors, videos, and other media bits n’ pieces.
As previously stated, I’m a total newbie when it comes to graphic design and digital art so I’m not too hot on all the lingo, but in short, this kind of stuff:
There are over EIGHT MILLION media items to choose from, between the web graphics, images, vectors, illustrations, web buttons, fonts, and more.
You can search for them in a bunch of different ways (such as by keyword, image orientation, age, etc.), and download them in a bunch of different formats or sizes.
I’ve been using iClipArt for a few weeks now, and there’s not been a single occasion where I’ve typed something into the search bar and not been able to find what I was looking for — and I’m talking about a BUNCH of different niches: floristry, gardening, blogging, search engine optimisation, animals (general), pest control, music, beauty, coronavirus, tattoo shops, other small businesses …
You name it, I’ve managed to find the graphic or media item I was looking for, for it.
I was quite impressed by that. I also spent literally hours of my time just going through the media items and ‘wowing’ at the pretty pictures, but that’s because I’m a master procrastinator.
Things I Really Liked
I’d like to talk about a few of the features that really stood out to me, or proved really helpful if you don’t mind? I think they’ll be super helpful for you, too.
One of the things I really liked from the very beginning, was the option to save images or media items into ‘Baskets’ for later downloading. It came in really handy when I was looking for an image for one blog post but found something along the way that would perfectly well for another blog post; I would simply save the ‘other’ image to my basket and then carry on looking.
I also really liked the option to browse for other images/media items in the same collection.
If you have a theme or particular style going, this feature makes it easier to keep to it. For example, if you wanted to keep the same style of illustrated people in your blog and social media graphics, you could easily find a bunch of images with the same style.
Illustrations Are A Big Trend Right Now …
… and there are LOADS of illustrations on iClipArt: simple illustrations, 3D illustrations, complex illustrations, abstract illustrations, industry-specific illustrations, holiday or occasion illustrations …
I’ve spotted loads of big brands and businesses using illustrations in their promotional material – and if it’s good enough for them, it’s definitely good enough for me!
Also, as a little side note, I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to make unique graphics out of one or more illustrations than using stock photos, especially stock photos. There are only so many ways you can edit a stock photo to make it look different, but you can layer up and combine multiple smaller illustrations to create something that no one else has.
Just ask yourself this: how many times have you seen the same stock images on multiple bloggers’ Pinterest Pins?
What are the chances of someone using multiple illustrations in *exactly* the same way that I have? (Excluding copycats, obviously.)
Annnnnnd you don’t need to give credit for the illustrations you use. You’ve paid for them, after all.
Value For Money
I’ve attempted to use graphic designers and artists in the past, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am the WORST kind of client.
I don’t know what I want.
When I do know what I want, I change ideas right in the middle of a project … and I’m super control-freak’y about it, too.
And, once the project is completed and I’ve paid for + marked it as such, I think of a bunch of ways I’d like to change it … which I obviously then can’t do without paying a bunch of extra money.
The hire-a-graphic-designer route, for me, has always proved to be a costly, not-very-productive one.
(P.S. This is a very public apology to every graphics person that’s ever had the misfortune of working with me. Honesty, I’m so very sorry!)
Using iClipArt has solved a lot of those problems.
I can tweak and play and move stuff around as much as I like, and I’m not wasting anyone’s time in the process. Well, apart from my own, but I get r-e-a-l-l-y involved when I start playing around in the graphics department. “I’ll just tweak this for five minutes …” soon turns into four days of obsessive Pinterest Pin designing, but it’s better to be all-in than not at all, right? (That’s my motto and I’m stickin’ to it.)
And while I’m on the subject of value for money, let’s just compare the price of iClipArt’s subscription with the price of other places you can find stock images, illustrations, and other forms of media online.
A one-year iClipArt Subscription Plus package [the one I have] will set you back $99.95, but you’ll get 20% off if you use my discount code, making it $79.96 (about £61, according to today’s exchange rate).
On a different stock media site, I found a yearly subscription costs £70 per month for 25 images each month.
I found another stock media site that offered 10 images a month for £29 per month.
And on yet another stock media site, a monthly package with 25 downloads would cost £131 per month, with a yearly package (750 downloads per month) costing £1,173.
Would I extend my [currently gifted] subscription and pay for it myself after the one-year period?
Yes, I absolutely would. All the time I can find whatever I’m looking for (and I’ve had no trouble yet), I would happily pay to extend my iClipArt subscription.
Other pricing options include …
- One-off licenses for individual images
- Week-long subscriptions
- ‘Professional Subscription’ for licenses to use media in apps, software, e-books, print-on-demand books, TV and video, etc.
- Additional options on request (contact iClipArt for more details)
I asked if iClipArt’s Subscription Plus package would allow me to use media in YouTube videos — the answer was yes.
Some Legal Chit-Chat
If you don’t know by now, you could actually be in breach of copyright laws when you search for, download, and then use an image you simply found on Google images, or anywhere else online.
If you use someone’s image without their permission and/or giving attribution [credit for], they can send you a legal cease and desist letter, invoice you for the use of that image, and even get entire websites or social media accounts shut down.
The latter happens a lot on Pinterest — entire accounts are suspended and then permanently deleted as a direct result of repeatedly using “borrowed” images in Pinterest Pins.
If you take a peek at the terms of conditions of Pinterest (as just one example), you can see that the platform specifically states:
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, intellectual property covers drawings, photographs, sculptures, plays, novels, music, plus a host of other things.
By using someone else’s images/media, without their permission, you are infringing on their intellectual property.
By subscribing to iClipArt (or resources like it), you have a library of safe-to-use images and other media forms that you don’t need to give credit for, and you won’t get sued or billed for using.
iClipArt Review – Conclusion
I’ve found myself using iClipArt a lot more than I thought I would, and I’ve definitely been more productive as a result of not having to attempt my own illustrations each time or keep making notes of all of the original artists for free stock illustrations and images.
All of the images/illustrations used in this blog post were created using iClipArt media, as were the Pinterest Pins and other social media graphics to promote it, and I have absolutely no doubt that I’ll still be singing its praises in a year’s time when my subscription has expired.
I guess you’ll just have to watch this space to find out … 🙂
[Update due: June 2021]
Thanks so much for sticking around and taking a look at my iClipArt review today. Is it a resource that you’ll be taking a closer look at? Let me know on social media!
And don’t forget: you can save 20% off your yearly subscription if you use my discount code ‘UKWORDGIRL’ during checkout.