Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is being ethical as an illustrator in today's market foolish?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is being ethical as an illustrator in today's market foolish?

    I've been mulling this over a lot recently. The comic convention and online markets are awash in unlicensed products.

    As an illustrator, are you being a fool by attempting to be ethical and not profit from copyrighted works?

    Just for example, head on over to. . .

    https://teespring.com/

    https://shirt.woot.com

    https://www.redbubble.com/

    https://www.teepublic.com/

    https://www.redbubble.com/

    https://teefury.com/

    . . . and do a search for "Deadpool".

    See what I mean?

    I'm pretty certain some of those "designs" are just manipulations of official art as well.

    That's just a glimpse. If you've been to any comic convetion recently, with working eyeballs; you'll see tons of unlicensed prints (and other merchandise) on sale in artist alley.

    So, is attempting to be ethical in <current year> leaving money on the table, even in the face of litigation?
    New and improved for 1996!
    Instagram: Pencilero

  • #2
    With your talent, you should create your own characters and draw a graphic novel. With the right idea, you can be rich
    The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.

    ---Malcolm Forbes

    My website

    Never .jpeg a .jpeg

    Comment


    • #3
      Pencilero, you seem interested in making money from individual drawings, when there is more money in the long run from putting together a 200 page graphic novel and getting it published.
      The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.

      ---Malcolm Forbes

      My website

      Never .jpeg a .jpeg

      Comment


      • #4
        I mean, no more or less foolish than in yesterday's market, you're still opening yourself up to the same risks and liabilities and taking the same chances.

        But if you're willing to bend your ethics enough to rip off existing properties, why not draw pornography instead? It's better practice and makes money honestly.
        ONLINE PORTFOLIO
        DevArt


        "If something's getting made, then someone's getting paid."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ace Corona View Post
          Pencilero, you seem interested in making money from individual drawings, when there is more money in the long run from putting together a 200 page graphic novel and getting it published.
          The goal at this point is simply, "Earn income via illustration."

          Once you get into the swing of things, you'll find that if you work a full time job, creating a 200 page comic, with no audience, and a massive investment of what little free time you have could be an incredibly sh*t return on investment.

          Sans hyperbole, look at the current comic book market. One person doing one aspect of creating a comic, in this case - the penciller, takes around a full month to produce 22 pages. One person. One full time job. A gear in a machine that produces comics.

          This is not to say it is impossible, but these dynamo creators are outliers. For every Fred Perry (writes, draws, colors - sometimes animates his own features, sometimes writes other books, and sometimes draws fill-ins while still getting his own book out on time), there are a dozen guys working at Marvel or DC just doing pencils.

          Get paid to draw. That's the destination.

          Originally posted by Inkthinker View Post
          I mean, no more or less foolish than in yesterday's market, you're still opening yourself up to the same risks and liabilities and taking the same chances.

          But if you're willing to bend your ethics enough to rip off existing properties, why not draw pornography instead? It's better practice and makes money honestly.
          Pornography of existing characters, or original pornography?

          I ask, because unfortunately the same rules seem to apply to the smut market as the casual market. More dorks want to see Black Cat naked than they do your goofy original character.
          New and improved for 1996!
          Instagram: Pencilero

          Comment


          • #6
            Being ethical is hardly foolish. At the end of the day, you have to live with yourself and the decisions you make.
            Check out Film Grouch!

            Wanna be uncool? Unhip? Unhung? Join the Monkey Revolution!

            Amadarwin's unauthorized, unscathing, unfinished biography.

            Comment


            • #7
              Getting paid to draw often means getting paid to draw what other people need, at their direction. I get paid to draw, not well enough to earn or save much but at least well enough to support a family.

              However, I am aware that the control I have over content is limited and my position extends only to the degree at which I remain useful to the pipeline. I don't really mind this very much, since I find a lot of fun exploring the spaces within those limits, and the very existence of rules and guidelines provides a basis upon which to work. I still feel I get to be satisfyingly creative and (while it took me a long time to get here) I feel like the projects I'm working on are fun and fulfilling.

              But not everyone wants to be a cog in a machine, or work at the behest of others. If being told "what to do" is bothersome, commercial art isn't the place to go.

              That's not to say your art can't be commercial, but you're setting yourself up to walk a different path, one in which you are self-guided but also ultimately responsible for handling many more aspects of the process than merely getting paid to draw. It's a hell of a lot more difficult, but it has the potential to be significantly more rewarding.
              ONLINE PORTFOLIO
              DevArt


              "If something's getting made, then someone's getting paid."

              Comment


              • #8
                Using licensed character with out payment can help build your fan base. Getting paid for using licensed character with out proper authorization is very much an underground thing. This is fast money that comes and goes but its not a long term solution.

                If you go downtown L.A. You'll see store shops with t-shirts using licensed character dressed like rappers. These shops sales other items as well. Not sure what they can do if there hit with a lawsuit.

                I would avoid Disney's main characters.
                My twitter!
                Tumblr blog
                Got a Facebook
                My portfolio

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, Disney love to sue. And they own half the world. So beware of Disney stuff.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pencilero View Post
                    Get paid to draw. That's the destination.
                    Pencilero, if I had the solution to your dilemma I would be doing it myself. Like you, I work a real job and draw in my spare time. With that said, swinging a pencil across a page is not sufficient. You will have to branch out into other areas if income is your desire.

                    Adam Warren does his Empowered book without inking, but he still writes and takes on other tasks as well. I kind of think of comic book production much like automobile production. Normally it takes a full crew to assemble cars. That's if you want to assemble many thousands of cars over a given period. There are guys out there that create one-of-a-kind vehicles. Those vehicles cost MUCH more than an assembly line item, yet they still get made and paid for. The key is finding your market! Image seems to be the publisher of choice at first glance: however, you might be able to find a small market for non-porn related comics.

                    If not, what have you really lost? I've been drawing for decades, with the exception of a long period of time when I was working too much to squeeze in my art. I'm back it now, though! I've expanded a lot since returning. I write, pencil, ink, color and letter. With luck I will have a proposal for Image comics soon. Then I have another problem: how do I finish the thing while working a full-time job and giving time to my family? One bridge at a time. Let's just get the proposal in first. Worry about finishing later. Worry about profit after that!


                    More dorks want to see Black Cat naked than they do your goofy original character.
                    Is it really Black Cat or just any big-chested chick? If it's specifically Black Cat, then those guys need some help that you can't provide them with. What does Black Cat look like when naked other than a big-chested chick with platinum blond hair?

                    CyberLord
                    Smashing 37 arch-villains into raisins with his bare-hands since 1971!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, and this was the part I was hazy on. Are we looking to get paid to draw, regardless of the content? Or are we looking to get paid to draw particular content, at our own direction? Or are we looking to get paid to draw whatever we please (more or less)?

                      Because I can make suggestions for all three, but they're very different paths. I took the first path. I have some experience with the second, and I have associates who have found success with the last. But I think it's important to know what it is that you're actually wanting to do before you strategize a way to do it.
                      ONLINE PORTFOLIO
                      DevArt


                      "If something's getting made, then someone's getting paid."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Inkthinker View Post
                        Getting paid to draw often means getting paid to draw what other people need, at their direction. I get paid to draw, not well enough to earn or save much but at least well enough to support a family.
                        And that Inky, is all that matters. Not only do you support a family, but as long as I've known you by way of Penciljack, I believe the path you're on has enabled you to move at least twice to pursue this goal. That's great man!

                        I'm looking at this from my life perspective, the people I grew up with, and the people I socialize with. I don't know anybody who is rolling in the dough, nor do I know anybody who is stacking cash as it were.

                        I do however know a lot of people making ends meet, and working multiple jobs to stay afloat.

                        So the foolish rhetoric the adults around me parroted 38 years ago of, "You can't get rich drawing!" goes right out the window.

                        As a five year old child, I didn't have experience or reason to counter adults. I was also raised in the era of children being seen, not heard, and I was an unplanned pregnancy - so the intellectual dice were loaded against me. It wasn't a particularly bad childhood, but the impetus to get this thing to 18 years of age and off our hands was there.

                        I'm sure for every kid like myself, there is a Dorian Vallejo - born of two wildly successful fantasy artists; who is fearlessly assisted down a path of following the family legacy. However, culturally - we tend to ignore family legacies and prefer egalitarian mythology, and pin our hopes on outliers.

                        Sure, you could succeed with the odds against you, but if you can walk down a well tread path - it's better for you in the long run.

                        However, I am aware that the control I have over content is limited and my position extends only to the degree at which I remain useful to the pipeline. I don't really mind this very much, since I find a lot of fun exploring the spaces within those limits, and the very existence of rules and guidelines provides a basis upon which to work. I still feel I get to be satisfyingly creative and (while it took me a long time to get here) I feel like the projects I'm working on are fun and fulfilling.

                        But not everyone wants to be a cog in a machine, or work at the behest of others. If being told "what to do" is bothersome, commercial art isn't the place to go.

                        That's not to say your art can't be commercial, but you're setting yourself up to walk a different path, one in which you are self-guided but also ultimately responsible for handling many more aspects of the process than merely getting paid to draw. It's a hell of a lot more difficult, but it has the potential to be significantly more rewarding.
                        I've bolded the salient bits I'd like to focus on in the reply.

                        That's solid advice, and we would all do well to heed it.

                        Taking from the Scott Adams systems, not goals thinking - this is ideal. Yes, you may not be drawing what you want 24/7, but are you drawing? Yes. Okay, that's good.

                        It's the difference between being a fish in a naturally occurring body of water, versus being a fish in a tank. Being in a tank may not be ideal - but you're still in water. That's the important part.

                        Ultimately, most people will end up being mere cogs in a machine.

                        What we need to do is find a machine that isn't a gristmill. At the very least, you want to be the mill itself, and not the grain being milled.

                        Currently my impediment to finding employment is zero experience with relevant Adobe Software. I need to take some classes for Illustrator, and then pad my experience with Photoshop. I used to be proficient with PS, but the skill set has atrophied since dropping it years ago due to unwillingness to pirate the software.

                        Getting back to that ethical conundrum cage I tend to find myself in.

                        I'd like to insert myself into an employer making ends meet drawing, as opposed to explaining to Boomers and late generation Gen-Xers (my generation) what the f*ck a web browser is, or being trapped in a Kobayashi Maru scenario where my department head who has zero technology training refuses to implement technology policies and standards for the facility, so if a grown ass adult cannot remember the password for their PERSONAL (non work related) accounts - I can cut them loose. Instead of being stuck in an unwinning position of needing to stress out over a GROWN ASS ADULT who cannot answer security questions to retrieve THEIR PERSONAL ACCOUNT INFORMATION.

                        I mean, I'm willing to waterboard them to get the answers.

                        I don't expect I'd get the answers, but it would probably help with the level of stress I need to tolerate in the work day. ^_^
                        Last edited by Pencilero; 09-09-2018, 04:06 PM. Reason: Spelling errors.
                        New and improved for 1996!
                        Instagram: Pencilero

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pencilero View Post
                          I'm sure for every kid like myself, there is a Dorian Vallejo - born of two wildly successful fantasy artists; who is fearlessly assisted down a path of following the family legacy. However, culturally - we tend to ignore family legacies and prefer egalitarian mythology, and pin our hopes on outliers.

                          Sure, you could succeed with the odds against you, but if you can walk down a well tread path - it's better for you in the long run.
                          That is one thing they told me in elementary school was that nepotism did not run our country like it does in Europe.

                          Originally posted by Pencilero
                          Currently my impediment to finding employment is zero experience with relevant Adobe Software. I need to take some classes for Illustrator, and then pad my experience with Photoshop. I used to be proficient with PS, but the skill set has atrophied since dropping it years ago due to unwillingness to pirate the software.

                          Getting back to that ethical conundrum cage I tend to find myself in.
                          Just head over to your local collage and update yourself with night classes. You will see allot of people in these classes that just got off of work. I find them to be down to earth, mature, and easygoing. Can't say that for the other collage students.




                          My twitter!
                          Tumblr blog
                          Got a Facebook
                          My portfolio

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't see how collage could help with educational attainment. It's not even a homophone, which is a common stumbling block for folks around here.

                            Come on George, I know we fancy ourselves illustrators around here - that's no reason to allow the language and writing skills to atrophy.
                            New and improved for 1996!
                            Instagram: Pencilero

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ehhhh, nepotism still has lots of advantages in the good ol' USA. If you have family connections or wealth it makes a huge difference in allowing you to achieve your desires rather than just doing whatever you can to keep going.

                              I wrestle daily with pushing to the next stage in McCloud's steps, I do feel I need to create something out of my own little ideas. I could probably at least join the throngs of other storyboard artists and animators who self-publish at least one or two graphic novels.

                              My struggle there (aside from the full recognition of the daunting task and labors required) is deciding if I have anything to actually "say", some thematic purpose to drive the work, or if I just want to do a story where I rely upon my mad skillz as a pictchure-drawerer to carry it along. There's nothing wrong with doing the latter, but I feel like I ought to try and do more.

                              But something is better than nothing, and thinking about it ain't doing it.

                              I've actually moved three times to chase the job, and nowadays I drag a wife and two kids along so it's getting to be quite the logistical challenge.Last move took me up into Canada, and here I still am because here the work be (also my boy was born here and has some special needs. In Canada he is well-provided for, in the States this care would be... less ensured). I wouldn't chalk it up as a positive aspect of the commercial career, but I cannot deny that higher-paying commercial work is significantly easier to obtain when you live in or near a major urban center. As long as I was trapped in Tampa Bay, I was limited in my options even with the mediating advantages of the internet. I could do okay as an illustrator (after 10 years of building up) but my career in animation and media production overall was pretty much stuck. Thankfully I got out, but I know what it is to be stuck.

                              Yes, if you want to work commercially you need a working knowledge of Photoshop and a general knowledge of image editing, file formatting and even a little networking (at least, it's helpful to know how to set up an FTP client so that you can interact with client servers or host content). Those are pretty basic skills now and it's very difficult to operate even a basic freelance business without them.

                              Thankfully you don't need to learn EVERYTHING about Photoshop. I still don't know what 3/4 of the image editing tools do, and I never need them. And if you're gonna keep drawing with physical media (hey, resale value is a real thing) then really all you need is the basics of import, cleanup, formatting and scaling.
                              ONLINE PORTFOLIO
                              DevArt


                              "If something's getting made, then someone's getting paid."

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X