Baiting with free exposure, pricing, contracts, art theft
Artworks get stolen on a daily basis as if this was a natural thing to do, as if art grows\
on trees or is generated with a single button click in mysterious apps like Photoshop.\
Illustrators, designer, concept artists, animator and many others are the backbone and face of one of the\
biggest industries on this planet, Film, games, toys, you name it, most products need a design and milliards\
are made every year.
It is currently 25 May 2013, 22:23
A big number of artists, especially young artists are constantly being ripped off, underpaid or not paid at all, lured into contract traps, baited with exposure or get their artworks stolen.
Having a great number of members we can do many things about it and be sure, things DO need to be done
unless you want to find yourself one day working at a gas station in order to support your ‘dream’ job as Artist.
Having a great number means having a strong voice, a international infrastructure, access to information on
various subjects around the world and legal advice . We can help each other dealing with various issues, collect
and share information and facts and deal with art theft.
Every artist is free to join and post up some experience here, issues, links to stolen art, warnings, tips.
This is a good thing! Let us all try to heal each other! Invite your fellow artist friends to join.
Trust me, it will make a huge difference writing a little mail of complaint on your own or having a gigantic family
of thousand of artists behind you.
- - -We develop a free product for fun; can we use your artwork?
Is it really free? Before submitting your hard work make sure to check out the real purpose of the
product in question. While it may sounds fun and reasonable to participate in some activities , some ‘clever’
people use the trusting artists to enrich themselves on other people's work.- We develop a free product
This could be some fan made game but it could also be some free to play mmo that generates money with
Ads, sales of virtual items, premium accounts.
It could also be a prototype developed for some pitch to get funds.
Free not always means free, there are many ways to make money with “free” products.
Make sure to get all the info you need.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
We are working on a game/movie prototype, we can not pay anyone but if we happen to get
funds we may be able to provide you with paid jobs.
Now from times to times some people actually really do start very cool and rewarding projects, there is nothing
wrong in seeking new partners for collaboration and it might be a fun thing to work on some projects in your free time, in
reality however a large % of those offers are clever tactics to get you to work for free.
- Make sure you have a written contract that clearly states that if they get funds, that they have to pay for ALL your
previously done work and in addition guarantee you continuous work for this project. You may also want to negotiate
some % ownership of the product.
Because what could happen is: They get funds, but will not pay the work you already did and instead of giving you a job
you they will hire some cheaper artists.
Make sure that your contract states clearly that you give them only the right to use the artworks for this very project
and nothing else.
- It could happen that the development of this ‘free’ project suddenly stops and you never hear from them again and
then some new project pops up using those artworks.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Test work?
It happens that some clients will demand some samples, they will give you some design docs and let you create
some concept or illustration as a test to see if you fit the bill.
Make sure to get it right!
- Make sure to negotiate that they give you a actual task that can be used for the product in case of successful
completion and be paid for it if you get the job. Otherwise you would be making free designs for them.
As a professional artist you have a PORTFOLIO that shows various samples of your skills, everything else is EXTRA
and a big waste of time unless it is paid.
- Make sure that the contract clearly states that the Test work can NOT be used for anything at all in case you
do not get the job! Some companies are very ‘clever’ about it, they let a whole group of artists do such test work
just to get a bunch of free concepts or a free pitch
- - - -
Entertainment industry is a well growing industry… There is a lot of cash involved…
The education takes many years and a lot of practice, concept artists and many other related art jobs are
actually rather rare and very specialized and yet we get a lot of disrespect from so many people.
Not people who don’t know better NO, not at all, in fact the consumer are the one who love our work and often
choose to buy all the various products based on the look we create, No , it is mostly other professionals who
take us for entirely stupid. It came so far that it almost became an inside joke…
Instead of money we are offered that mystical thing called “exposure”….
Now don’t get me wrong, exposing your work is a MUST in this industry, without exposure there is little chance to
get seen by potential clients and this what everything comes down to: Potential clients.
Exposure is only of value if your work is seen by the right people, people who might hire you.
The chance being spotted in some crappy indie flick or some amateur PC game is very slim.
The chance being spotted in some crappy art books is better.
If you want jobs you do:- Send your portfolio to all potential clients
- Try to hook up with new clients and various game/ developer conventions in person
- Build a strong web presence and a network with other industry professionals
- Hook up with 3rd parties who do a lot of outsourcing
- Look out for job postings
- Use your time working for a studio as a full-time artist to make contacts in the industry that might
be of use if you one day might want to work freelance
What you should look out for:
- Being milked by websites, agents and publishers
Some websites are specialized in milking artists, their business models are build all around your pocket money. Best art
communities are usually nonprofit unless they are offering some very helpful service.
Cutting off almost 80% of your poster print sales is NOT a helpful service, that is milking.
Premium memberships, oh please… If that means contributing to server costs of a great community, great! (good thing)
If it means that you actually get some sort of useful and helpful service, great! (good thing)
If it is just to be able to have to upload more pictures in your portfolio… oh wait what?
It means you pay good $ just so you can show your work to your fellow artists.
Have no illusion, having a couple artworks more in your port will not bump up your chance of getting jobs, quality counts,
not quantity! There is a URL in your info, if the client wants to see more, he will click or send you a mail.
Business models are made to make cash, very little is free in this world.
Beware of shady agents offering to buy your images for little $, there are many of them who are putting together catalogs,
selling your hard work for a multiple amount of what you get.
Art book submissions… Lots of those… they will ask you to submit your work for free, some demand unpublished work (they want
you to paint exclusive images) of course all for free, some even want YOU to pay money so they can make a $ by selling the books. Clever.
While some of the art books are fairly well distributed within the developer studios, most are not, many are sold right back to
the poor artists on various cons. So you pay cash or invest time, they make $ and who get to see the books?
; Your friends, the fellow artists. Open your eyes, invest 15 min and google up info before submitting anything at all,
always ask yourself, who will see the work?
We will all benefit from this in the long run, but first our industry needs some changes.
Times do change! Due to a fairly easy access to educational materials, tutorials on internet we have floods of newcomers, from all over
the world, joining the international market. This affects the rates and also results in abuse due to lack of information. People need to see
and understand the big picture, education can solve many of the problems.
e are the artists and it's up to us to make these changes happen, there is no point waiting for someone else to come and fix problems, this will never happen.
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