EZArt Graphics© ™

EZArt's FAQ List
( frequently asked questions )

These are the MOST asked questions I get about the "Cowboys & Critters" series and how things are done at EZArt. Hopefully, posting them on this FAQ list will help answer some of your question(s) beforehand.

This is a "Work In Progress" so click your "Reload" or "Refresh" button a few times to make sure you have the latest revisions / updates.



01 - Why are there 9 Sets of the 600 dpi series of "Cowboys & Critters"?
02 - What is a .ZIP package?
03 - What's the difference in a Raster and a Vector image?
04 - Why don't you just offer your packages in a .DXF Vector format?
05 - Can I import and convert your images with other software?
06 - Can I see ALL your images before I purchase?
07 - Will you fax or e-mail a preview of your Sets?
08 - What are the Guidelines for Webpage owners displaying these graphics?
09 - What are the Guidelines for ordering with the Download Option?
10 - What are the Copyright guidelines after I purchase your Sets?
11 - Can I order on weekends and holidays?
12 - What are your business hours?
13 - Where are you located?
14 - Why is your phone number not listed on your Website?



01 - Why are there 9 Sets of the 600 dpi series of "Cowboys & Critters"?
    When I first introduced the 600 dpi "Cowboys & Critters" series back in 1995, there was only 1 Set containing around 180 images total. I could almost squeeze this Set into one .ZIP package for my download customers and have it "downloadable" in an acceptable amount of time. Since then, it has grown to 630 images total. To try and make 630 images a single Set and put into a single .ZIP download package would mean my phone modem clients would need a couple of hours just to get it to their computer. That's just too long. Also... as more images were introduced... several of my clients requested a "lay-a-way" payment plan so they could pay some each month until they paid the entire 630 images, 600 dpi series off. I came back with the "let's break it up into Sets" offer. This way clients can buy 1 or 2 Sets as the budget allows... and then buy the others when they can. They are not out of pocket for the entire 630 images, 600 dpi series up front... and can have what they can afford "in hand" and working for them in the mean time. So now the "Cowboys & Critters" 600 dpi series are offered in 9 Sets with 70 images per Set. While 75 to 80% of my clients purchase the entire 9 Set 600 dpi series at once... there is still a "buy when you can" purchase option for those with smaller shop budgets with which to work. Also... with my phone modem customers in mind, I have broken the download package(s) into 9 Sets as well.

    Note: With a several of my clients asking about which Set(s) contained the "Critters" images... and so everyone got selection of each... I indexed Sets 1 through 4 to contain an average of 50 "Cowboys" themes and 20 "Critters" themes each. Making a total of 200 "Cowboys" themes and 80 "Critters" themes in the first 4 Sets. Sets 5 through 9 are a selection of the newest released images as they came off the drawing board, but not necessarily in a 50/20 split.

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02 - What is a .ZIP package? (this is for ANY download orders)

    To move large files on the interNet... there are "compression" software programs that take files and "compress" the kbyte size of the file, image... etc., down so you can move them faster on the interNet. This is especially handy for phone line modem users. One of the best programs for doing this is WinZip. For an example, Set 1 of my 600 dpi "Cowboys & Critters" series (un-zipped) weighs in at approx. 55.1 Meg. The WinZipped package containing Set 1 only weighs in at approx. 1.2 Meg. So you see the difference in the size (and the download time) it makes in moving the Sets through an interNet connection. Just think of a .ZIP package as a "box" that contains the item you are moving on the interNet. Once downloaded... and with WinZip on your computer... you can usually double click the file name and it will open up the "box" and you can then "extract" the files, images... etc. to a directory/folder on your computer. They are now "un-compressed" and at full kbyte size again.

    Short version:
    I "zip/compress package" my .BMP graphic files with WinZip on MY computer... YOU will need WinZip (or equivalent program) on your computer to "un-zip/un-package" them once you have them downloaded.

    If you don't have WinZip on your computer... I highly recommend getting it and having it handy! If you are going to be involved with purchasing or moving large Kbyte graphic files on the interNet... you need a .ZIP program! Almost ALL downloads on the interNet are in a .ZIP package anymore. It's become a "standard" up here.

    WinZip Download Site
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03 - What's the difference in a Raster and a Vector image?

    The BIG difference between them is re-sizing capabilities.

    Raster formats (.BMP, .GIF, .JPG... etc.) DO NOT re-size very well. Graphics editing software that works with Raster formats can only re-size an image with a "best guess" process. While re-sizing does take place... the results are very "blocky", "raggedy" edges to the image. Therefore... a clean trace of that image is marginal at best.

    This is what I have done with the Raster .BMP images offered in the "Cowboys & Critters" series. The images have been "boosted" up to 600 dpi (from the standard 72 dpi) which made them MUCH larger in physical size. Because of this size increase, I can work on the edges with a couple of my graphics programs to "smooth" them to best possible edge I can get. This lets your CNC cutter software import these re-worked .BMP's and do a MUCH cleaner trace before you export them out in the whatever Vector (.DXF, .PCM, etc.) format that your cutter system uses. Simple rule: the better the Master image... the better the trace.

    Cutter systems work with Vector formats (.DXF, .PLT, .HPGL ... etc.) to process their image layout for tracing/cutting. Vector images are re-sized with a mathmatical process that give an exact reading of the image outline no matter if you are re-sizing up in scale or down. Once the cutter software has imported and traced the Raster image (.BMP), and converted it into whatever Vector format it uses, ie; TorchMate = .DXF, etc., then very "clean" re-sizing can take place.

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04 - Why don't you just offer your packages in a .DXF Vector format?

( .DXF is an AutoCAD format used worldwide to produce & work with Vector images. )
    Two reasons:

    (1) In many hours of experiments and customer feedback... I found that there is NOT one .DXF generation that works with ALL cutter systems out there. There are around five generations of .DXF to date, and not all systems read them the same. Even the age (version) of the same cutter software read them differently. That makes it almost impossible to offer a single .DXF Vector package that will work for one and all. What I did discover is that a major majority of the cutter systems software will import a .BMP formatted image. Since .BMP is a "standard" graphic format used worldwide and compress packages very well in a .ZIP format... I decided to go that route with my package format. Since .PCM is PlasmaCam's own Vector format... I can not offer that format.

    (2) As stated earlier... my original client base was the Printer/Desktop Publishers. Since they can use the .BMP formats as well, I was able to offer my packages to both worlds.

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05 - Can I import and convert your images with other software?

    If you are a cutter, but not a owner of one of the manufactured tables/systems software packages... there are several Raster to Vector (called vectorizers) conversion softare programs out there. Just enter "raster to vector software" or "vectorizer" into any search engines and you will see what I mean. One of the better ones (from customer feedback and cost) is CorelDraw. I understand that version 9 is probably one of the better versions. CorelDraw is now at version 11 or 12... but I hear that the CorelTRACE function is not as "user friendly" as the version 9 series. I have CorelDraw 9 Suite in my toolbox... and after a short learning curve on the tracing part of it, it is relatively simple to import .BMP formats, then trace and export the images as .DXF formats in a short time.

    Should you decide to purchase CorelDraw... make sure it includes the "CorelTRACE" function in the package as offered standard in the CorelDraw 9 Suite. Also... I've been hearing some good reports on some programs called "RasterVect", "AlgoLab R2V" and "VexTractor".

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06 - Can I see ALL your images before I purchase?

    This is a very, very sticky point in having a graphics type business and product on the Net. I would love to show you my "Cowboys & Critters" series, but everytime I have posted the example images on my site, or send a "preview" to clients... they end up on some "freebie" site within days... sometimes, within hours! I've even caught them being offered as someone else's graphic package and being sold illegally. Needless to say... that cuts my own throat... and undermines the investment my clients have made. Those that do try and pirate my clipart series are always introduced to my attorney in a timely manner.

    Now with that said... our lastest attempt is to experiment with an online "thumbnail catalog" for reviewing. It is located in a password protected directory on my server and can only be entered with a Log-in code. Since the UserID and Password are automatically changed on a random basis by a javascript program... you will need to visit the "Contact" page and use that "preview request" e-mail link to request the Log-in info at any given time. Be advised... that just a note without the courtesy of a full name and/or business name will probably be ignored. I just don't have the time to setup the review catalog for the mildly curious surfer.

    Why all this protection...?
    If you have noticed, even venues such as Dover Publishing doesn't let you see ALL of the package ON the interNet. Now you know why... too much theft up here. I do try (same as Dover), with the small examples on the Silhouette pages, to show you what the overall theme looks like. That... plus the customer example shots I post, will hopefully give you a working idea of what I am offering. In a nutshell... it all boils down to protecting content. And that's extremely hard to do on the interNet.

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07 - Will you fax or e-mail a preview of your Sets?

    Sorry, No... review the above Answer 6
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08 - What are the Guidelines for Webpage owners displaying these graphics?

(This section refers to any of the "Cowboys & Critters" series)
    For my cutter clients who are planning on using the actual graphics on their Websites... I am offering this approved way of showing my clipart on other personal and/or business websites.

    EZArt offers a group of 18 thumbnail catalog "sheets" that EZArt uses for displaying the series to new clients for review. There are (at this time) 18 "sheets" of the images in a "group" setting. Each "sheet" is in .JPG format for interNet use and the thumbnail images are listed in numercial order, on the "sheet", with the corresponding number beside each thumbnail image. This makes it very handy when you and your client are discussing a particular image and helps in making sure you know exactly which image they are inquiring about. Also, to display the 18 approved "sheets" takes much less HTML coding than the 630 single thumbnail .JPG images.

    These "thumbnail group sheets" will be useless to online pirates and help protect both our investments in time and money. I will offer these approved display image "sheets" for free to any new and past client with a Website (or planning on one).

    Please use only these approved images if you are planning on showing the actual "Cowboys & Critters" clipart series on the InterNet as opposed to photos of your metal/vinyl product, and please do not have them linked to a "click for larger view" function... that defeats the whole purpose.


    If you are a new or past client and have plans now, or in the future, on displaying these acutal clipart images on your business Webpages... let me share some hard won education and guidelines on protecting them from download pirates.

    Now that you have made a financial investment by purchasing any of the "Western Moon Silhoutte" packages by EZArt, it makes sense to protect that investment. If you plan to display these images on a Website, be aware there are people lurking out there who will immediately try to steal what you've just paid for. Obviously, you and I both suffer when someone steals our work, but here are a some good tips on ways we can protect ourselves.

    Photos of the product are the best... especially turned about 1/4 off of dead "side-on" and against a textured background (woodgrain... etc) and sized no larger than 200/250 pixels... are VERY hard to clean up. While not ironclad... it certainly helps deter the thieves that prey on someone else's work.

    For those who plan on displaying the actual clipart itself....
    Displaying the actual graphic of the clipart itself in large sizes is basically giving them away with a single click of the mouse!   9 times out of 10, it's the "Click for larger view" that causes most of the problems of download theft. While I know you need to show your potential clients what you have to offer... they really don't need half a monitor screen shot of the graphic to "see" the image. I strongly suggest to not display any clipart image(s) on your Website over 100 pixels in width. Like Dover Pub... I only show "thumbnails" of any of my work ON the net.... and the best way is in "clusters" or "sheets" like my catalog review pages. I strongly urge that you consider using this method as well. Those make it so hard to clean up from a download, that the thief might as well have drawn the images themselves.

    Display very noticable "Copyrights" notices on the pages help protect, not only the images... but your product design as well... should it come to a shootout in the courtroom someday. One of the best I've seen up here is worded like this:

    Copyrights: All of our metal silhouettes are protected by U.S. copyright laws,
    (Business name) has a purchased license to produce these designs.

    Here's another protection method using some HTML coding on your Webpage(s) where the images are displayed. This JavaScript coding will stop the "right" mouse button from activating the "download" box and display a message instead to the would be thief. This message can be worded with any thing you wish to tell the would be downloader. While this is not 110% foolproof... it will make it much harder for a third party to take the images from your pages with a simple click of the mouse. To see the JavaScript in action.... head to my Western Moon Silhouette page and try to download an image. If you are doing your own pages... and need the JavaScript code, head to the example code page and just "copy and paste" the code into your own Webpages. If you are having your Webpages designed by someone else... your WebMaster will surely know about this coding. If not... send him over here to get it.

    If you would like a copy of these guidelines for quick reference.... here's a download copy.

    You and I are pioneering the path at this very moment since all this is still such a new media... especially where art is concerned. There's no way I'm going to try and tell you HOW to build your site... but I do request you keep the above guidelines in mind, when displaying the actual clipart, to protect both our investments ---- not only my time at the drawing board... but in the money you've invested in the artwork as well.

    Here's some existing Websites of clients that have used either the catalog "sheets" or the single thumbnail .JGP images. It will give you some very good ideas on correctly displaying the images on your Website.

    Jackson Hole Forge
    KotaMoon Creations
    Hill Top Welding
    Wright Shapes

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09 - What are the Guidelines for ordering with the Download Option?

    When you select the "Download" delivery option on your order form... and it is within store hours (8:00-5:00 CST   Mon-Fri)... once I open your order, I immediately process your card, and with successful approval, I then create a private download directory for just you. I then e-mail you a copy of the order form which will contain the personal URL for your download page. I set it up to give you a 4 hour "Window" for you to reach your page and download the Set(s) you have ordered. This 4 hour "Window" starts at the time I post your download page on my server and have e-mailed you your order form copy. Should you miss the download "Window"... simply let me know and I will set it up again with a new URL for you to visit. Of course... you need to contact me with the same e-mail address and copy of original order form so I know it's legit.

    What is GREATLY APPRECIATED on this end... is you letting me know with the "Download Complete" e-mail link, that will be on your download page, that you have the Set(s) in your hand once your download session has been completed. This confirms you have your Set(s) and I can then immediately remove your personal download page and the .zip files from the system.

    FYI NOTE: (concerning afternoon download request)
    I try to be at the keyboard each Monday to Friday weekday mornings from 8:00 AM CST to Noon to handle e-mail questions, respond to mail-out orders and setup that mornings and the previous afternoons/evenings download orders. After Noon... I have to take care of other outside obligations that arise from time to time. During these afternoon hours, I generally check the e-mail approx. every two hours for orders, catalog request... etc. If my outside workload allows me to be at the computer that afternoon, I will get those mail-out orders processed and copied to your CD for the next day's mail-run. And any afternoon download request setup, that came in before 5:00 PM CST, for that same afternoon or even a later evening hour... so keep checking your e-mail for that day!
    Of course... this all depends on whether I am able to be in the office at a reasonable hour that afternoon/evening. If not... any download orders will definitely be setup by that next morning and mail-out orders will be in that next day's mail-run.

    Note: ALL Download Set(s) are in a WinZip package.
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10 - What are the Copyright guidelines after I purchase your Sets?

    You can use the metal / vinyl "cuts" of the images contained in the "Cowboys & Critters" Sets as you please. Either for sales as metal art or decals in either a storefront, shop or show market (display booths) enviroment in your geographical area. What you CAN NOT do is package the ClipArt graphics themself, for re-sale, in any manner of tranferable media (Floppys, CD's, Zips... etc.). Or as a graphics art package, to be displayed /advertised as such, for re-sale in ANY type of publication including print/online catalogs, online auctions or Webpages on the interNet. Changing the graphic format to .DXF, .PCM, G-code or any other graphic format, or combining these images in any combination "scenic" layout and adding text and/or border outlines does NOT constitute ownership of these copyrighted images. Doing so for your physical (metal/vinyl/wood) product is perfectly acceptable. But not to claim as an art image, and re-sold as such, in any other graphic format what-so-ever.

    What I do ask from cutter Website owners, is that reproductions of the actual clipart image(s) from the "Cowboys & Critters" series are not shown as "full sized graphics" (cutter useable sizes) where the image(s) can be easily downloaded and used by third parties with a minumum of "cleaning" effort. I ask that you size the actual graphic itself at not over 100 pixels in either width or height. Photographs of finished metal products of your own design, that "incorporate" image(s) from the "Cowboys & Critters" Sets, should be displayed at your own best judgement to protect your design idea.

    Short version:
    You can not re-sale my art series, as a graphics package, in ANY manner. Photographs of your metal designs, incorporating my clipart, should be displayed, especially in a interNet enviroment, with protecting your design ideas in mind as well. Smaller images of the product(s) are always more protected, from downloading and being "re-used", than large examples.

    Review copy of License Agreement included in each package.

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11 - Can I order on weekends and holidays?

    Of course, But... your order will generally wait until Monday morning or after the holiday to be processed. Main reason: My call-in credit card service is operated by my local bank branch and is closed by noon on Saturday, every Sunday and during all of the holidays. Plus... like many of you, I try and "escape" from the computer on weekends and spend most holidays with family. Even at that... rest assured your order will be "in the wings" and processed as soon as I'm back at my desk during the next business work day.

    Should I have to be out of the office for an extended period of time... I always post a very noticable Time Sensitive Popup Screen Note on both my Western Moon Silhouette page and my main Online Store page that informs what time frame I will be gone and when I will return.

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12 - What are your business hours?

    Monday through Friday - 8:00am to 5:00pm CST. I check for orders during that period, every two hours, at the top of the hour. This depending on other outside time demands that crop up now and then.
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13 - Where are you located?

    EZArt Graphics is a "homegrown" project that started when I lived in Tulsa, OK back around 1995. I have since moved to the OKC area 15 plus years ago and now live North of Edmond, OK. My office is in my home. I am the only "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer" at EZArt... so it gets hectic at times with running EZArt, developing new art projects, taking care of a small five acre piece of land and putting in a veggie garden each spring. I TRY to get away from the computer on the weekends to let my brain re-charge and take care of the on-going, never ending list of "Honey-do's".
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14 - Why is your phone number not listed on your Website?

    Since EZArt lives in my home office and, like you, I love my evenings quiet. After a few of years of listing my phone number... I learned a VERY good lesson. When the Midnight - 2:00 AM morning phone calls from Australia, Hong Kong, UK... etc. started coming in because of ignoring the global time difference... the phone number came off..! Also the tele-marketing phone calls, that had ripped off the posted phone number listed on websites, had become absolutely ridiculous! I have no problem sending serious clients my number. All it takes is an e-mail to me explaining what you need to talk about (and I get many that don't give a reason... they are ignored) and I will generally send you the number in an e-mail. Chances are, I can answer most of your questions with an e-mail anyway and save one, or both of us, long distance charges on the phone bill.
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