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Adoptables info?

As I've been a bit out of the loop for months, I was wondering if I could get a bit more information on these adoptables that I'm seeing everywhere.  The majority are of the template variety, with mostly identical lineart and different colors/hair/markings.  The descriptions usually say something along the lines of "$5 each, tell me which you want, they are only female!" 

From an adopter standpoint, I'm confused as to what the purpose of "adopting" is and what can be done after adopting.  Are you buying rights to a character design or just a pre-drawn picture (that virtually anyone can save off the website)?  Please also give any other information or experience you have from this side.

I'd also like more information from the artist side.  Is this a viable form of income?  Is this what you would consider an honest form of income?  Is this worth looking into for me as an artist, or this likely a fad that will soon blow over?

I admit I'm sick of seeing them fill my inbox, but not really knowing how it started and not understanding them only makes me more annoyed, and curious.  This is my first time posting in this community, so if this is too off-topic, I apologize.

 PS Mods please tag, thank you =3

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( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 17th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
I stopped using Deviantart, like, three years ago, but I'm under the impression the fad really started there with sparkle dog artists, designing characters and offering the design to other for a nominal fee. I'm under the impression one is selling the 1. species and 2. design/colors of the creature, for the purchaser to use however they'd like.

I'm not a big fan of them, frankly. They all seem to be done in what I'd call new-sparkledog style, that simplistic style with super thin limbs, tiny hands/feet, wispy linework, big hair and humanoid faces. It's not a bad or unappealing style, it just seems like 90% of them are drawn like that.

Then again, whatever people will buy, I suppose! I just don't see the appeal (and bluntly, if I were a less scrupulous person, if I saw a color pattern on an adoptable I liked I could just, you know... copy it). Some of the species can be creative, but they're all pretty generic to me and I personally have fun creating my own characters c:

To each their own, I guess!
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
I don't know if I can offer much insight other than I don't get it either. It seems that they are making you pay for something that you could other wise get free on other sites, like chicken smoothie or Neopets. The only appeal I suppose is "owning" the sprite, and it being one of a kind, until (touching on what shadowedyoshii said) someone just copy's it and tweaks it enough to get away with it.
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
Heh. I haven't gotten into selling these just because I would honestly feel like a scammer if I did. The idea is that you're selling the "character" but since there's really no such thing as copyrighting a character (only trademarking, or copyrighting a specific artwork) you're pretty much selling nothing.

I know a lot of people enjoy buying them, and feel they're getting something worthwhile for their money, so if an artist wants to sell them, more power to them, I'm not trying to in any way put down those who make them. But for me, no, I just wouldn't be comfortable doing it.
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
I think purchasable adoptables are more to support the artist than a money making scheme. Essentially, people are paying a designer for her/his designs.

Adoptables have been around for as long as I can remember. They aren't a new trend, though they suddenly seem to be cropping up on FA way more than DA.
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:25 am (UTC)
I think I might have some insight in there!

The adoptables you pay for are primarily just the graphics. There's a little overlap in the RP (if applicable) as only the adopter could RP that particular beastie. Similarly, if the little animals have any sort of breeding system (yellow girl + blue boy = green offspring), only the owner is allow to request a breeding that 'animal' or give permission for it. In essence what you 'buy' is the graphic that you can see on the website for display (and you could potentially save without permission) and the exclusive use of that character in any game.

As for a source of income... I'd say they're good for practice, but the chances of getting a real income off them is slim. Different people will run them different ways, some will have reused artwork, others will do unique art. I'd say they might be worth it for either experimentation, quickie warm-up drawings, boredom doodles, or if you're on a website with a virtual currency (a la Gaia - that seems like they work well there). The other possibility is trying to sell your lineart for someone else to color (and potentially profit from) as an adoptable.
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
"The adoptables you pay for are primarily just the graphics. There's a little overlap in the RP (if applicable) as only the adopter could RP that particular beastie. "

Actually (least I've noticed on FA and DA), you're buying a 'blank slate' of a character from most people I've seen offering them. This means you pay however much they ask for the design, and the character itself (personality, etc.) is yours to create and tweak. Heck, people even get commissions done of them if the character is one they like enough.
(no subject) - celarania - Aug. 17th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teahound - Aug. 17th, 2010 07:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Aug. 17th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sushidragon - Aug. 17th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Aug. 17th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC)
People create a template design, make a set of them with various markings, some name them and/or give them backgrounds whereas others dont. The designs are sold, thus that person 'adopts' the character and takes it as one of their own.

I've seen really ridiculous terms and conditions some artists tried to impose on this, like you have to draw the bought character within 24 hours of buying them or else they'll sell it to someone else. X:
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
Why would someone buy an adoptable if they could draw themselves anyway?
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Aug. 17th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Aug. 17th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - isteillia - Aug. 17th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Aug. 17th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teahound - Aug. 17th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 17th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
I snagged free ones out being a jerk to other people. I never use them for anything.

You're just paying for their design, you do the rest. Paying for it means you get to do whatever the heck you want with it.

I don't think it's really an honest thing to do, selling them. Especially when you don't put effort into them, instead you just copy and paste the lines, tweak a thing or two then splash on color. It's kind of like you're buying what the artist wadded up and threw in the trash bin.
Aug. 17th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
hahah, I used to do a bunch of them but stopped due to the inevitable drama that comes with them, lol!

Basically I like adoptables because I like to make cutely designed characters, but sometimes other people will come up with a design that I never would have thought of or that I'm really attracted to. I'm pretty picky about them (I think buying them is a little silly, I have never sold any except for "custom" ones - people tell me what colors or characteristics they'd like). Some people just somehow make color schemes or patterns that really appeal to me that I wouldn't have come up with on my own, you know?

I like to make them just because I like to mess around with designs and colors so much. :x I don't post anything like that any more because it got way too crazy, I'd post a sheet of 6 and get upwards of 100 comments sometimes...
Aug. 17th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
You know, I'm always tempted to draw these adoptables without paying for them, juuuust to see what would happen. Maybe changing things up just enough that I can pretend that I had thought of it myself. :P It would be hilarious.
Aug. 17th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Actually somebody on Sparklesnark actually did that, and it was drama city. XD
Aug. 17th, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)
I've 'adopted' characters before but the ones I was involved in were a case of 'whoever draws this character first gets them! and fill out this form with some details' I believe it's a case of you then 'own' the design and are able to do what you want.

But at the same time 'adoptables' to me made me think of something else, as I'm on a My Little Pony collecting forum 'adoptables' are little graphics made by members that are then coloured in to look like a character you pick.
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:09 pm (UTC)
Are you on the MLP Arena, too?
(no subject) - starryssketches - Aug. 17th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moonfeather - Aug. 18th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 17th, 2010 11:20 am (UTC)
From what I understood at least in the Lion King community, when you adopted a character you basically adopted the character design, and the name if it had one. The character became "yours", though if you wanted you could turn around and put it back up for adoption, which was always a bit odd to me. I used to design characters for people of a made-up species, though I never used a template. Once you created a character for someone, it was understood to be theirs.. more a good faith thing than any particular legal standing. I personally don't see anything wrong with selling character designs even as a template. I think it's still a creative or intellectual property you can sell, even if it's just the idea of particular colors and markings.
Aug. 18th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
Hello :) I was on that TLK community and was around when you did your adopts, I did some too then. All were drawn originals, no coloured linearts back then.
Aug. 17th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
I think adoptables are kinda strange, but I actually did them when I played on Pony Island, and they were so extremely popular there that it was kinda unbelievable! This site was mostly comprised of adults, since it was a pay to play site, so people were spending real money on these. Usually 5-10 dollars however.

BUT! There was one called Lupines, which became SO popular, that people were literally paying hundreds of dollars for them. They had to hire an actual staff to keep up with demand.

I do believe though that the reason it became that way was the closed nature of the site. I think on FA and DA, due to just the nature of the sites, (they are open, mostly free sites) that it doesn't gather people with money, so less money is to be made there. Just my two cents however!
Aug. 18th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
Yea, I do think adoptables means something very different on PI. I have a very very rare seedpony on there...I haven't played PI in 3 years and STILL have people contact me about it. >_
Aug. 17th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
I adopted one once, but it was a free adoption, so I don't care haha.

But I really don't like how people will go crazy on a design (and if often looks really bad) and be like U WANT IT? 10BUX O AND U HAF 2 DRAW IT.

What's stopping me from making a character all inspired by it? I mean if it were a unique species and I got to pick the coloration, sure, if I liked the artist enough. But if someone is gonna try to sell some crazy spaggled nuclear waste biohazard dawg that looks like any 14 year old angst ridden hot topic frequenter drew, then you're out of your goddamn mind.

It's like when JessKitt wasa trying to sell like 40-something fursuit designs and I kid you not, one of them was an all white dog.

COME ON!!!! People have design sense too you know. :/
Aug. 17th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
It all started with DeviantART Points.

Some people started charging Points for their adoptables and after that took off some people decided they'd see if they could get actual money from them and started selling them for $ instead of points.

Frankly, I don't really like the ones for actual money. It just seems ... wrong, somehow.
Virtual money however, like dA Points, doesn't seem so bad.

Seeing as you can buy 400 points for like, $4 and most adoptables don't go above 10-15 points each it doesn't seem as bad.

I have to say I'm planning on having a go myself just to see how popular they really are. >>
Even though I refuse to make sparkly puke ones and will only do more naturally coloured designs.. meh.
Aug. 17th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
As I've seen on FA, an adoptable is someone else making a character design and once you claim or purchase that design you can do anything you want with it. Some have rules and some do not.

On FA they're much more expensive than on deviant art. Personally I've only claimed one that was free.

I'd say its as honest as any other form of selling character designs, really. I know one person on my watchlist has been VERY successful, she sold one and then the guy commish'd another one to match it AND commish'd multiple pics of the two. But then I also have some people on my watchlist who keep reposting them and getting no sales or very few sales.

I do not think its something I personally would do since my art is all traditional and it'd be futile to even try making three or more identical linearts to color differently. I prefer to design characters for myself, as well.

However, that being said, I don't look down on anyone who does do it (obvious, since I have one myself) its just not something that'd fit as well in a traditional style.
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