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A brand new stock site featuring exclusively Dutch illustrations has recently launched in the Netherlands. In an almost saturated market of similar images, SaltyStock promises high-quality stock within a close-knit community of independent artists. 

By Cassandra Pizzey / 30-12-2013 spoke with Greetje de Graaff, Creative Director of Saltystock about this new venture. 

First can you tell us where the name SaltyStock came from?

“We wanted to create a platform with a spicier stock selection (hence salty) than most of the bland websites out there. You could see illustrations are the salt to the meal, the seasoning if you will.”

Why did you launch SaltyStock now?

“Budget cuts are forcing many image users to choose cheap stock images, or no illustrations at all. Efficient, fast and cheap has become the norm for many companies and there is such a vast amount of imagery that it makes quality control difficult. Everything’s started to look similar, we aim to offer users something beautiful with character for an affordable price. 

On the other hand it has become increasingly difficult for illustrators to make a living from their work, which is why we want to grow the pool. There is so much talent out there. In the long run we’d like to go international but do that by breaking open the market for illustrations.”

Who is SaltyStock aimed at?

“Mainly professional image users whether that be online or print, public magazines, news media, custom media, commercial companies but also research institutes and companies that create presentations, even blogs. Any media in which the illustrations will support text really.”

How can talented illustrators participate in SaltyStock?

“We have a quality filter so not everyone can participate but they can upload work via our website, it’s that easy. Of course beginning illustrators are welcome too, if their work fits the SaltyStock aesthetic. When the work is sold, the artist receives 50% of the sale price. 

We work in four price categories, ranging from €25 to €100 and images can be sold multiple times. If a special order is made for SaltyStock then the illustrator will receive a higher rate. If images are used commercially by clients on request there are also varying prices and rates.”

What have been the reactions from the artists so far?

“There are already 102 and many of our illustrators agree that this is a good alternative as they are noticing the effects of a dwindling market and rise of boring imagery. SaltyStock is a great way for them to show their portfolio, create work quickly, create a different kind of work or work that is news related. They can even reply to our calls for special requests. 

The community idea has also proved popular: we host meetings and we’re planning workshops and even exhibitions. There are also other outlets such as our first line of cards on our sister website SaltyStuff. 

Most people are very enthusiastic about our transparency, we are open and approachable and very motivated. Also, we try to make the website as easy as possible. Of course there are illustrators who wouldn’t want to work with stock imagery. There were a few who had doubts beforehand, some say yes, some say no. Everyone has a valid, personal reason for participating or not, it’s something we are open in ourselves.”



1 - SaltyStock logo

2 - Habiba Doorenbos

3 - Jacqueline Elich

4 - Lisbel Gavara

5 - Martien ter Veen

6 - Mietze B

7 - Red Cheeks Factory

8 - Sam Loman