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Watch out for the insane writer types

Obscure writers who want a series of illustrations from artists are often insane. Or maybe I'm just a magnet for crazies. I can tell they're insane because they get upset over the slightest things. Critique their grammar or English a little bit and they get all pissed off at you. It makes about as much sense as when my dad starts yelling at me because I made fun of a television commercial. I don't even comment on the ideas of these writers. I stick to commenting on their writing, and still they get angry at me. I mean, I understand if you've got a mental problem and you don't want me to comment on the mental problem of your protagonist. I understand if it's a tender love poem between you and some lover of yours. That's exactly the kind of thing I'd refrain from making comments on. What I fail to understand is how someone can get so defensive about a piece of video game fan fiction? From reading what they wrote, I can tell damn well they didn't put that much time into it. Or children's poetry. Did the child die? Was this poetry to be published in honor of the dead child? Why in the hell else would these people get so offended by me merely suggesting a few changes in sentence structure?
I see a strong trend running through all of this: the obscure writer, whoever the hell it is, doesn't know how to write good prose or poetry, so they're leaning on the artist like a crutch.
"My writing is perfect as it is. I don't want to change it to sound better. I just want you to draw a picture that will make all my bad writing look good." It's like disguising a turd with gift wrap in hopes that nobody will notice it's a turd.
Along with this type of mentality, there is another. "Oh, I don't want you to actually read the writing, I just want you to read my mind and draw a picture of what I'm thinking of, because I'm such a bad writer that I can't put those images to paper myself!"
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 4th, 2004 10:56 am (UTC)
.... Was there someone specifically you wanted to warn the community about? I was under the understanding that the community was more for warning other Artists about specific individuals rather than generalized rants.
Oct. 6th, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
Ah. I guess it pays to read the guidelines section.
But on the plus side, I got some valuable advice about this sort of thing.
Oct. 4th, 2004 11:06 am (UTC)
To be honest, unless they paid you to edit their work it's really not your responsibility. If you don't want your work to be associated with bad fanfiction then don't do the work for them, but otherwise it's really not in the best interest of good customer service to make comments about the client's work.

Also, judging by how you've worded your complaints here, could it be possible that you are being less constructive and more along the lines of ridiculing their work?

Of course it's your decision in the end how you want to act towards your clients. From personal experience I just find the best way to act towards clients who can be eccentric is to be polite and professional and to keep non-commission comments to a minimum, even if they ask for my opinion.
Oct. 4th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC)
I have been in exactly the same position you are speaking of.

But my official stance is, because I want NOTHING to do with fan fiction, I will not do fan fiction commissions. At all. Ever.

They almost always want it in a peticular style [never mine] which is usually anime. They want they're characters drawn in that style, and they want other people's copyrighted characters drawn in that style. They want FF characters when I know absolutely nothing about Final Fantasy. They want Sonic The Hedgehog or some obscure anime I've never heard of and do a horrible job of describing it to me in that by the time I'm done the sketch I've already realized what was so apparent all along:

It's not worth the money.
Oct. 4th, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC)
Simple Rule
If the story is not actually going to be published, I decline to illustrate it.
Oct. 4th, 2004 09:14 pm (UTC)

Now you have learned about the biggest problem most artist's face in fandom in general- (Its not furry specific- every fandom has this same issue....)
Basically, most writers send you something to fish for praise.

And if its not praise-fishing, they tend to act as if you, the artist, is no more than a life support system for a pencil...
A machine they can tell what to draw for them, and you are magically expected to know EXACTLY what they want; to the very pencil stroke and last hash of inked shading.....

These writers usually have invested tremendous amounts of personal emotion in what they have written; and because they are so close it it, they can't stand any sort of criticism of it because its too close to you criticising them personally.
(A BIG part of the reason I refuse to give critiques of writing or art.)

My advice is to simply not accept commissions from someone who sends you a story in its entirety and wants an opinion- even if they also talk about wanting illos for it.

Unless you already know the person in question; and they are emotionally mature enough that you know they won't make your life miserable over the whole thing.

And make sure they know fromt he beginning that it won't be free art, that it will be in your style and not someone else's, and that if they insist on changes while its being drawn that any changes MUST be fully and clearly described in writing.
And no more than one, or at most two changes- NONE after inks are laid down!

I've done plenty of that sort of commission way back when, and I don't do them anymore for anyone I do not know already for good reason....


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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