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Uhm... help? ^^

I got a mail this morning and I am not quite sure what really to make of it... sould I take it as somebody trying to snatch my art for little money or might this actually be the chance to come close to one of my personal dreams?

I have little... well, no experience with business of that kind... Has anybody ever recieved a mail from this guy or knows him or knows the project he's working for? I'd really appreciate your help! 8o

Hi -

My name is Jim O'Connor. I was impressed by your artwork that I saw online on bloodhound-omega.deviantart.com and wanted to contact you.

My business partner and I have developed a collectible card game based on a very popular, public domain property.

We will be paying a percentage of our net profits for each final piece of artwork used on each card. Although we are only asking 1-3 pieces of each artist, there is no limit on how many you can do. And you will be paid for each one used in the game. You will retain your original art and have all rights to your art except for printing/publishing rights related to the game. You'll be free to sell your original pieces, just not in conjunction with artwork from or the name of the game.

Some artists will set the standard appearance of individual characters, races, and creatures that other artists will have to follow. Some images will have specific requirements, while others will allow you to stretch your imagination without limit.

We are looking for color fully-rendered style art. No light-wash water color, grey-scale, cartoons, graffiti, tattoos, roto-scoping, retouched photos, nor comics. Images will need to be painted (medium sized canvas) in gauche, acrylics, oils, pastels, water colors, or computer-rendered (high resolution at certain sizes). To get a better understanding of the quality and style we need, please look at the images at http://www.wizards.com/magic/ This is the official web site of Magic the Gathering, which is the original collectible card game and the standard to which all others are judged.

I would like to email you non-disclosure agreement. Once that's signed I can give you full details on the game and see if you're interested. You need to be 18 or older.

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
I do sometimes get random --and legitimate-- offers.
Overall I don't see anything alarming in this; Personally, I would go for it (if I had the time) *if they paid me an acceptable amount up front for the image*.
Basically, "percentage of net profits" translates as "nothing" (or, possibly, a few bucks, probably less than 10). Assume this. Base your decision on what they will pay up front, and/or what having some art on a card game is worth to you.
Oct. 1st, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
I agree. Don't take less than what you'd normally charge for a picture of that quality. Seen way too many "you'll get x% off of each card/game/picture we sell" or the whole "we'll pay you when it starts making money" situations, with the artist losing out every time.
Oct. 1st, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
I got that too, I offered to take a look at the agreement, even thought I pretty much work 100% on a commissions basis, and never 'royalty fee' type work.

Seems legit enough so far.
Oct. 1st, 2007 09:14 am (UTC)
"We are looking for color fully-rendered style art. No light-wash water color, grey-scale, cartoons, graffiti, tattoos, roto-scoping,"

Yeah, because rotoscoping is a HUGE thing amongst 2D artists right? :P

"Images will need to be painted (medium sized canvas) in gauche, acrylics, oils, pastels, water colors, or computer-rendered (high resolution at certain sizes)."

We know what we're talking about! Honest! :P

I'm not impressed, it sounds like it won't pay much and that you might end up creating artwork they won't pay for at all. They don't list their homepage or any credentials, they sound like the average 16 year old who think he can create the next MtG cardgame & collecting craze, preferably for as little start-up money as possible?

I doubt it's even worth the time of responding.
Oct. 1st, 2007 10:53 am (UTC)

Percentage of net profits? Basically translates as if it doesn't sell well? You don't get paid.

oconnornewmedia.com leads back to a page showing a tacky website creation/desktop publishing business that hasn't been updated since september 1st 2004, so over three years?

Personally I wouldn't touch this one with a forty thousand foot barge pool. It looks like their last business went down so we may be talking someone here with big dream and no money to finance them.

If you're even going to entertain getting into it ask for more information such as who is working on the project, what their advertising budget is, if they don't have one? Definitely forget it, you will never get paid, these things need to be advertised to sell. Magic sells well on the strength of it's reputation, all the other card games sell well on the strength of the cartoons they're attached to. Without a advertising budget, any new card game would be dead from the start.

Projects like these? Need investors, they need people putting down money to succeed, if they've got that then they can afford to pay you properly for your art. If they haven't got investors then they're not worth your time.
Oct. 1st, 2007 11:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, like others have said, if you decide to do this work it'll be freebies. If the percentage you get is of the net profit then they subtract any and all expenses from it before hand (this could include trips to conventions where they try to sell it) before calculating your cut. They also seem to be asking for a large number of submittions which they will then choose from, but will only actually *pay* for the ones they choose.

To be honest, if you want to get into this field then doing this kind of commission will probably not help much. Like roleplaying and video games, most start up dev companies like this one bomb in their first year, and if that happens your artwork won't get out and be seen by other companies who might commission you to do artwork for them (which would probably be your main reason for wanting to do this).

It might be worth getting some more information on, but it would be unlikely to lead to anything in the long run.
Oct. 1st, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
I would not. I really suggest to avoid this.

I'm coming from the POV of someone who has worked in the gaming industry at various jobs over the years and have a bunch of buddies who work for various gaming companies both freelance and employed by.

Card games are one of the hardest start-ups there is. The market is saturated to a point of absurdity for every Magic or 5 rings you have 100 games that went nowhere fast. If they really like your work then they would want to use you AFTER they get this card game up and running.

If you want to do it to expand your portfolio then just know going in that you are probably not going to see a dime.

The buzz words that have me concerned are developed a collectible card game based on a very popular, public domain property which means any Tom, Dick or Harry could do the same thing.
Oct. 1st, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
My business partner and I have developed a collectible card game based on a very popular, public domain property.

This line is what sets my alarm bells off. "We can't come up with an original idea of our own, so we'll use someone else's."
Oct. 1st, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Re the "net profits"- please understand that it has been years since any movie has technically made any profit at all. This is so they don't have to pay anyone a part of any profits, since the contracts say "net profits." I believe the recording industry does the same with musicians.

So- there will be no "net profits" in all likelihood, even if the thing is a huge success- which it doesn't sound probable to me.
Oct. 3rd, 2007 02:57 am (UTC)
Been there, done that.

Specifically the exact same offer, and trust me: Avoid it. Just avoid it.
Oct. 3rd, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
Got the same one. Hmmm...
Oct. 5th, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
same here
I just got that same email too, and by typing in "oconnornewmedia" on a google search ran into this LJ post. I was looking for some reassurance about this as well, and I'm leaning towards it being bad. The fact that there is no official website/call for submissions/competition type thing is disconcerting. (It seems to me that good projects come with hard work, gallery shows and submissions to publishers... rarely from random people emailing you about a possible project that may or may not make money.) They should at least have enough start up money to make a good web presentation and to offer a set rate of pay (in addition to their possible % royalties.)

I just don't trust this sort of offer enough to send high resolution scans. Especially without a signed contract for a set $ amount or a last name to go with "Jim" and his company info... And if there are plans for publication, usually people will tell you which publisher is interested in the project. Very rarely will self published projects turn a great enough profit to benefit the artists that participate.
Oct. 6th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
Thats really strange. I received the same email about I'd say two-three years ago. I remember talking to him on via MSN concerning his email for awhile but I never went with the agreement.

( Sorry lurker here ^_^; )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 10th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC)
Re: Oh Snap!
Yupp, he is. And I will certainly contact him about an own homepage and other involved artists etc. etc.

It seems fishy to me, that so far he kept avoiding answering my direct questions and feeding me with general information. O.o
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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