lisa | sepp | astrid (sepp) wrote in artists_beware,
lisa | sepp | astrid

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Advertising advice?

This is my first post here, and I do not have caps right now, but I can get them when I get back home if they are indeed needed.

This isn't a beware, but I would like some advice in a situation and I feel this community is the best place to go.

I was contacted by someone (I'll withhold the name for now) over the span of 2009 for five separate commissioned drawings. I had known him previously from a toy forum we mutually use. These said commissions were technically trades - they were 'paid' for in toys of equivalent value. (He runs a website that sells these toys and was using the forum to gain business and clients)
I finished all five of the drawings and mailed them to this person and in return received my toys no problems.

A short time after this, he mailed me a t-shirt with one of my drawings on it advertising his website. I was angry because he had edited my drawing. Originally, the drawing was of myself hugging a tyrannosaurus. Since it was a self portrait, I had drawn a tattoo I have on my arm on my illustrated self. For the shirt, he erased the tattoo and somewhat sloppily added a line on the back of the arm that made it appear the arm started further up the shoulder. He used a brown colour for his added line as opposed to the black colour I'd used in my original drawing. I said nothing, at this time, because I did not want confrontation.

However in December 2010 he contacted me again, asking if he could use the very same drawing that he used on this shirt, but instead in an advertisement. He hadn't asked to use it on the shirt so I saw this as a good sign - so I said sure, just so long as he did not make any major edits without my permission, and if he did want an edit to please let me do it myself. He obliged, I erased that tattoo on the arm myself. The advertisement was published in a magazine this month advertising his website.

Since then I've had family and friends reprimanding me for letting him use my artwork without some sort of fee, or without buying the rights to the drawing.

He emailed me again last night saying he wanted to use another of the drawings he commissioned for another advertisement in the next issue of this magazine.

My question is this: He did not buy these drawings technically, he traded for them. Also he did not buy the rights to them - should I be charging him a fee for using my drawings in the ads for his website? What would be a reasonable fee to charge? The magazine is published four times a year, and he doesn't appear to be selling the shirts by themselves but I do believe he sends them with an order if the order reaches above a certain cost. I would also like to note that I am credited as the "Graphic Artist" on his "About Us" page on his website, with a link to my own website.

I don't know where to begin with this, I'm really hoping all of you in this community can hand me some advice! I would really appreciate it very much.

If there are any details that need clearing up at all, please let me know and I'll do my best! And again, if caps are wanted please let me know. Any caps from 2009 are long gone however, since I did not archive them in my Gmail account and we never spoke via instant messenger. If anyone needs to know the name of the forum, the magazine, or his name and website I'll edit this entry, but if I could I hope to keep this only about the situation I need advice on, and not about who the situation entails.

Thank you all in advance for any help you may have!
Tags: advice for artists

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