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December 17th, 2018

Discussion: Keeping Originals

Hey again! I'm sorry about posting a new entry so soon, but I'm a little new to working as an artist and am not sure what to do about this in particular.

I do traditional art almost exclusively, and offer the option for commissioners to have the originals of their commissions shipped to them. For larger pieces people will almost always ask to have them shipped, but the smaller sketches and less involved pieces aren't usually asked for. I keep them in a folder in case I need to re scan them or update the files as I get better materials, but as I've moved I've lost a few pieces here and there.

Recently I flipped through my folder and realized I had quite a few pieces that were more than three years old. While I don't typically throw out artwork, I feel a little weird holding on to severely outdated pieces and have considered disposing of them. 

I wouldn't necessarily mind hanging on to some pieces, but a few are NSFW and I do feel a little anxious about having someone stumble onto them if they're in my workspace. Paranoid, I realize, as I keep things tucked away, but still.

Is this a bad idea / in poor taste? If you were a commissioner, would you want the artist to contact you and offer the original before disposing of it if you declined prior? Is disposal even an option? Should I just hang on to all my commissions and maybe start a filing system?


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