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Commission questions and confusion.

lostfoxeh

No! I must Dance
I have a few things I am wondering about commissions.

When someone commissions another artist, how is it typically looked on if that artist sells prints of the commission he was paid to do to other people?

When a traditional artist makes a commission (canvas painting or other high quality medium, not notebook paper sketches) does the artist give the commissioner the original?

Looking at other artist that arn't furry I notice they keep a lot of the rights to their artwork even when commissioned. An example would be Frank Frazetta. He always made sure the company that commissioned his work returned the original to him. He also sells prints of the work he was commissioned for. Is this in the furry fandom as well? How do most furs feel about this?
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
I'm not hugely experienced in this area, but I believe that so long as you outline up front what rights are whose, you shouldn't have any issue in either case. I've seen examples of traditional artists saying up front that only a scan will be sent to the commissioner, and that's understood up front before any commission is actually made. It varies wildly between individuals and circumstances.

Personally, I feel that as long as that's all said up front and there's no false assumptions, I'm totally fine with whatever an artist chooses to do. They're offering a service, and it's up to them to decide what's appropriate and fair to everyone involved. Some artists prefer to think of the art they do as theirs, while others think of their art as something like a product that's manufactured (sort of like if you commissioned a clay figurine or other craft). In my case, since all of my art is digital, the only thing I have to worry about is the former question of whether or not I'm entitled to sell prints of the commissions I do. Since I haven't actually finished a commission yet, I think I'll adopt a policy of simply asking if it's alright. That said, I do give an SVG of the final product to requesters/commissioners, so really, if they wanted to make their own prints, they totally could unless I specifically said no.
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
Usually, an artist will still have the rights to their own work, unless the commissioner pays extra to buy the rights to do what they want with it. Which means if the artist wants to make prints, they have the right to. Most will ask first, just to be nice, but if they don't ask, it's not illegal or anything.

I find that most artists around these parts will ship traditional pieces to the commissioners, but traditional pieces will usually be a higher price to make up for materials, paying to own the piece, etc.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
Hmm this wasn't the response I got when I last asked about prints for commissioned work. The last time I asked, I got a resounding "don't do it". Have things changed?
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
Hmm this wasn't the response I got when I last asked about prints for commissioned work. The last time I asked, I got a resounding "don't do it". Have things changed?

like I said technically it's legal but it's way way rude to not ask the person commissioning it. Like Runefox said, as long as you got an understanding then it's cool. But otherwise if they're unaware... I wouldn't do it myself. It has the ability to become sticky.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I was writing a long response to this last night and my computer crashed. Let's see if it'll let me respond today.

Like Zydala says, unless you have a contract stating otherwise the artist retains all legal rights to the artwork and can do whatever they want with it. Commissioners do not have legal rights to make and sell prints unless they've paid for those rights. My commission terms state that I reserve the right to decide to make prints of any commissioned pieces, just to pre-empt drama because most furries don't understand this, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have the legal right anyway.

Regarding the physical product of a traditional commission, your confusion comes from mixing up corporate commissions and private commissions. I've got a beautiful cutout acrylic (I think) painting on plywood of my horse, that my parents commissioned from a local-ish artist for me for my birthday a few years back. She couldn't waltz in and take it, because what you pay for with private commissions is the physical product to display in your own home.

A corporate commission, on the other hand, isn't usually about a painting to put in a room at the corporate offices, but about getting artwork to use in flyers, on websites, on promotional postcards, whatever. The corporation isn't interested in the physical media, they're interested in the visual image, which they then reproduce in some fashion (after paying for the appropriate rights). Does that make it a bit clearer?
 

lostfoxeh

No! I must Dance
I was writing a long response to this last night and my computer crashed. Let's see if it'll let me respond today.

Like Zydala says, unless you have a contract stating otherwise the artist retains all legal rights to the artwork and can do whatever they want with it. Commissioners do not have legal rights to make and sell prints unless they've paid for those rights. My commission terms state that I reserve the right to decide to make prints of any commissioned pieces, just to pre-empt drama because most furries don't understand this, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have the legal right anyway.

Regarding the physical product of a traditional commission, your confusion comes from mixing up corporate commissions and private commissions. I've got a beautiful cutout acrylic (I think) painting on plywood of my horse, that my parents commissioned from a local-ish artist for me for my birthday a few years back. She couldn't waltz in and take it, because what you pay for with private commissions is the physical product to display in your own home.

A corporate commission, on the other hand, isn't usually about a painting to put in a room at the corporate offices, but about getting artwork to use in flyers, on websites, on promotional postcards, whatever. The corporation isn't interested in the physical media, they're interested in the visual image, which they then reproduce in some fashion (after paying for the appropriate rights). Does that make it a bit clearer?

Yeah that helps a lot. Where did you learn all this stuff? There there a website that tells the rights of artist and such?
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
Yeah that helps a lot. Where did you learn all this stuff? There there a website that tells the rights of artist and such?
I'm sure there is. I'm a trained sequential artist, though, so I got most of that through the business portion of our curriculum.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Yeah that helps a lot. Where did you learn all this stuff? There there a website that tells the rights of artist and such?

Copyright.gov

Doing research. Google, and actually learning this in class.

Now the thing about corporate commissions is a bit funny. For example, stuff like this actually wasn't considered until artists like Frank Frazetta (moreover his wife Ellie) had to fight for rights. Basically, your work was turned over to the company and printed in whatever media they wanted it for (book covers, advertising etc...) Well the companies would then turn an additional profit by taking your original and re-selling it. Frank was kind about some of it at first too by kindly giving originals away, but then when Ellie saw the people turning it over for profits, she had demanded the originals back and now you have that Frazetta Museum. (Dunno what is going on now that both are passed though and the kids are squabbling over the inheritance :/ )
 

lostfoxeh

No! I must Dance
Copyright.gov

Doing research. Google, and actually learning this in class.

Now the thing about corporate commissions is a bit funny. For example, stuff like this actually wasn't considered until artists like Frank Frazetta (moreover his wife Ellie) had to fight for rights. Basically, your work was turned over to the company and printed in whatever media they wanted it for (book covers, advertising etc...) Well the companies would then turn an additional profit by taking your original and re-selling it. Frank was kind about some of it at first too by kindly giving originals away, but then when Ellie saw the people turning it over for profits, she had demanded the originals back and now you have that Frazetta Museum. (Dunno what is going on now that both are passed though and the kids are squabbling over the inheritance :/ )

Yeah it was Frank Frazetta that got me to wonder about commissions and the copy right issue. My class touched on the subject but didn't go into any detail other than to say it's a pain.
 

Calypte

gryphon extrodinaire
I personally don't really feel comfortable selling prints of commissioned artwork. I don't even really feel comfortable selling prints of my own character, although there's absolutely no reason for me to feel that way. It's an integrity thing, I guess.

If I do a work in a traditional media I always send the original to the commissioner. That's what they paid you for, so they deserve to receive the final product.
 

Grendel

A modern monster
When someone commissions another artist, how is it typically looked on if that artist sells prints of the commission he was paid to do to other people?
The artist has all the rights to the art. They can reproduce and distribute it as they please, as such you the commissioner can not and must ask permission to post the art anywhere.

When a traditional artist makes a commission (canvas painting or other high quality medium, not notebook paper sketches) does the artist give the commissioner the original?
Usually, unless the commissioner refuses to pay shipping.

Looking at other artist that arn't furry I notice they keep a lot of the rights to their artwork even when commissioned. An example would be Frank Frazetta. He always made sure the company that commissioned his work returned the original to him. He also sells prints of the work he was commissioned for. Is this in the furry fandom as well? How do most furs feel about this?
All artists maintain all the rights to their art. Unless you specifically write a contract buying the rights of the art from the artist, then the rights belong solely to them. Now remember too that the rights to a piece of art are FAR more expensive than the piece itself.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
holy necro batman
 
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