Journal Entry: Sat Feb 26, 2011, 6:51 PM
I could not have said it better myself !!!
So today, I'm hearing that I'm unprofessional, lazy, no talent, piece of shit artist because of one decision I made, based on economics and morals.
Well, normally I would throw down two words to describe my feelings. However... I'm going to be my more charming wordy self....
I will, for now, uphold my morals and NOT throw out names or companies... But I was commissioned to do a card, finding out later, it was for submission to a license owner for a set. I didn't know anything of the character, except it was created a little while back. I was 'accepted' and felt this was a little stupid to commission me to do a card, to submit for a set.
Economically, we'll throw down this way... What do you expect for $55.00 if you pay for a card? You expect the very best you can receive, right?
What do you expect from a $3.00 card? Surely you don't expect the same quality as you would a $55.00 card, right? Well a lot of people do, but simply put; just because you bought a $55.00 commissioned card, doesn't mean the work on a $3.00 card will look the same. Not even close. Why submit work to someone, when that's not the type of work they'll receive on a set? To me, that doesn't make a lot of sense.
But regardless. If you're willing to pay the price, I'm willing to do the time on the card. I'm not going to just throw shit together and call it good. You get what you pay for, is what I'm talking about.
Openly, a note went out to artists, asking how many cards they were willing to do. They were expected to do at least 20, but hopes were high to do 30 for each artist. The incentive was for every 10 cards you did, you'd receive, I believe 1 artist proof. I can't recall the full incentive on that right now. BUT, for every 15 cards you did, you'd receive an oversized 4x6 postcard artist proof as well.
I said, IF I had the time, I could do 20. I wasn't wanting to be a part of the set, but because of whom I am... I was willing to give it a shot. I was expecting a contract to be emailed, as it usually is to me... what I got was a few weeeks later in the mail... a contract, cards, and artist proofs from another set I had worked on previously. I read the contract but I couldn't agree to what was asked in the contract. I later read that there were penalties for unfinished work, or work that was not sent back on time. Which I had started to see in contracts from the company in the past, but the price was too much to ask for. EVEN IF I wouldn't have had a problem sending my work back... which I never do... I'm unable to be accountable for the postal service and their stupidity. I'm not going to be penalized for something that was out of my hands.
I sat for FIVE HOURS debating on what to do, after I read this entire contract. (there was more in the contract but I'm not adding it all in, dealing with stipulations)
I wrote a short note explaining that due to the terms in the contract I was unable to fulfill the needs of the art director and company. It was nothing personal, just business.
I sent the pack back the next day. I read on facebook about a week later about how unnamed artists were being unprofessional sending notes and cards back saying they couldn't do the work... and how we're starving artists for a reason.
I expressed my distaste for that post and was verbally insulted, not by much, but still insulted because I stood up for myself. Later after cooler heads prevailed I was told the individual was just disappointed in me. Which is fine. I've had a lot of people disappointed in me before. But we were still friends.
I can dig that. Fine. I was told that if I had emailed said individual the outcome would have been different. I found out from three other artists that did just that, the outcome was worse than what I dealt with. So you were damned if you do, damned if you don't.
I'm find with that. This is not the end all be all of jobs afterall. It's a stepping stone (if you're smart) to bigger and better things. I don't mind the deadlines most of the time. I don't mine doing full color for a figure, most of the time... What I do mind is the lack of creativity given to the artist to do something... Sometimes color ruins a card. Sometimes a headshot can be more enjoyable than a full body shot with color. Sometimes crosshatching with a ballpoint pen looks 'cool' as opposed to marker rendering, airbrushing and gouache painting.
Now, talking about economics, let's put it in perspective... Normal working wage is what? $7.85 an hour? Roughly? And you work for 8 hours a day usually?
Sketch cards is something a bit different. On average, you get paid $3.00 a card. So if you work an hour on a card, you're getting paid $3.00 an hour. If you spend two hours, it's $1.50 an hour for a card. Migrant workers get paid better than this. People strike back and say "If the pay sucks why do you do it?" It's a stepping stone AND I try not to waste THAT much time on a card. Sure... I enjoy what I do, so sometimes, like War of the Worlds, I'll spend a bit more time working on it... but cost effectiveness isn't there. You will receive months down the line, a check for 15.00-90.00.
In the working world, you get a check every two weeks for 100.00+.
"So get a real job." You try going out and getting a real job lately? In this economy? Fuck off.
I've seen people bitch piss and moan about sketch cards... how they were done with the industry after this last set... yet I see them a year later, still working on sets... some too scared to advance to something better. That's your business. If you love what you do and don't mind the shit pay and lack of sleep, lack of time to do anything else except the job... go for it! I have nothing against you!
I do have something against people judging me as lazy, piece of shit artist, who's unprofessional.
This industry of sketch cards is SO SMALL... and SO MANY ARTISTS are out to replace one another. Is there really a need to backstab one another? Is the really a need to talk shit about one another? NO! So why the fuck do it? Sure two wrongs don't make a right, but apparently people should have the ability to defend themselves when the chips are down. And it looks like that's happned recently.
I'm sick of it. To some artists, Sketch Cards is the big time... Great, you keep doing what you love. To me, and many others, this is just a stepping stone to something bigger and sometimes better. It's to get your name out. It's to get a body of work and proof that you can in fact meet deadlines. It's great practice for those bigger projects. You work out the kinks in your skills.
Tom Hodges made a name for himself in sketch cards and I say good on you man. He's working for Lucas Films on a comic and some other stuff... Great. Is he talking shit about Jon Riggle, or Lance Sawyer, because they didn't like the terms of contract for something? Fuck No!
Ryan Kincaid isn't talking shit about us because we aren't signing a contract we can't agree with. Adam Hughes... well, he really doesn't know me so I can't say anything on his behalf.
The point is... there is a wider gamut out there for artists... and instead of brow beating, or talking shit... why the fuck can't we just include one another into a great design of helping one another out?
An artist begs to be an artist on a sketch set... help em find their way. Let THEM decide if it's what they want to do or not. Give them some tips... don't be a dick and say "good luck you're on your own, just like I was." Kind of a dick move if you ask me.
If you commission me to do a piece of art... I will spend time on it. And TRY to make it look good. If you tell me I"m working for $3.00 a card, don't expect commission detail... expect work for 3.00 a card. I try to spend 45 minutes on a card... that's it. Sometimes pencils only, will bring forth a better card than markers. Sometimes inks will bring forth an awesome and sometimes ball point pen.
The other thing I dislike anymore is the double standard on some situations with sketch cards. You have a contract given to you that says you'll be sued if you talk shit about the stock you're working on... yet another person working on the exact same set, gets no contract. Because they're 'friends' of the art director. You hear some people have exemptions from the contract and that the lines within are for those that have screwed the art director over in the past. Yet, you sign that contract, you're bound by those laws.
So no, I'm not signing something that I feel is not a contract I want to agree to. Nor am I going to work on a set that I find no interest in. I've done it in the past and now... I choose what I work on...
BTW, for those of you that keep telling me I'm a shit artist... I have enough people that say otherwise and to me... your opinion doesn't matter anyways. It shows no merit and is just speaking out of hate and negativity. I have no room for your bullshit in my life.
For those of you that are saying "The contracts can be changed and negotiated" I was told the contract and working environment for that company, art director and forthcoming sets will be the exact same and no changes will be made... So I'm not working on them either...
Artists such as the ones in question are making more drama than is needed. Art Directors that talk shit because they are unhappy that some artists they depended on, don't wish to work on something as a personal attack instead of business politics... well... that's your decision... I urge you all, to stop talking shit about the artists that turn down something. Whether it leaves you with little time to come up with replacements... (Have a plan B from now on) or you think we're shitty artists just to be attacking us because you're hurt that friends won't stand up for you... (No friends in this business I've been told and I see it now) Get over it. As I said... there's a ton of unknowns wanting to get on a sketch card set. Go hire them.
As for shit artistry... I've seen some of the artists that get on sketch card sets and if you want to talk about mailing in work, or being a shit artist... I've seen em... but my name isn't on the cards I'm talking about.
There's more but I've spent an hour typing as it is and I'm busy with sequentials for comic books...
All of you that want to continue your drama, do it WITHOUT me.
Enjoy your $3.00 a card (or less depending on how much time you spend on a card) and enjoy your drama.
This piece of shit artist who's lazy, has more important things to deal with.
THIS IS MY FINAL EXPRESSION ON THIS SUBJECT.
Listening to: Snow Patrol
Reading: Criminal Macabre
Playing: MOH (for the PS3)