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Aug. 12th, 2005

Hi all,

I was wondering if I could get some insight on a problem I’m having. I’m wondering what I should do regarding two commissions with the same person called “Daemon”. There’s a little backstory here, so I’ll try to sum it up quickly.

Last year I was at the Caine convention (a White Wolf Larp con) and I had placed two auctions up for bid in the charity auction. The first was a werewolf sculpture which sold quickly, the second was to do a free custom sculpture of a person’s character to the winning bidder. I say “free” as the people bid and the winners bids goes to a local charity. (they raised 5k+ that year) Before the custom sculpture auction I had stated what the winner would get (size, painted, etc) and stated what I would need from them. I had expected the werewolf players to bid as they were a large size that year, but a vampire player named Daemon ended up winning. No problem there though, I'm better at animals but I can do humans. To him I stated that I would need at least 1 large full sized photo and at least one close-up of his face and any specific details he wanted. This is where the problem begins.

A while after starting the sculpture, he had commissioned me to do a colored pencil drawing of himself as well. I had received a small full-length photo of himself and was still waiting for the close-up photo of him, so I had agreed since I was assuming he’d send me more photos shortly. To this day despite multiple emails specifically requesting larger photos and a close-up, he has continued to avoid the question. It’s very difficult to sculpt a person accurately from a miniscule photo, let alone draw him.

Actual sized photo he sent, not edited

Also, after accepting the colored pencil drawing, in one of his replies (still ignoring the sending of a close-up), he mentioned that he was going to possibly use the drawing for his next book cover. (I didn’t know there was a first, but he released one last month or so, he gave me the link) That annoyed me. Had I known he wanted the drawing for a book cover, I would not have charged him what I had. (I suppose he knew that though…sneaky) and would have said I wouldn’t do it without a close-up for accuracy. (I’m not going to draw shoddy work for someone ever, let alone for a book cover) I keep telling him that there is no way I can accurately draw a large drawing of him from the picture he sent me and he still ignores the requests for a close-up. I’ve been having trouble casting the sculpt and have apologized to him for taking so long. (apologies also to anyone that has commissioned me and I took longer than I should have) Some time ago I had even mentioned that I’d give him some of his money back (out of my pocket) as an apology for such a long wait, but he didn’t even respond to that either.

I don’t know, I’m at the point that I just want to finish the sculpture and send him his money back for the drawing and tell him he’ll have to find someone else. (he immediately paypal-ed it to me when I initially said yes) Does anyone have any suggestions on this? All comments are welcome, even ones telling me I’m an idiot for getting myself in this mess. :P Thanks guys.

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


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 12th, 2005 03:59 am (UTC)
Wow, I say make sure you save the emails you send. so you have proof you sent them. Have you ant other way to contact him besides email?
Aug. 19th, 2005 02:43 am (UTC)
I thought I had, but looking through my files, I can't find the replies I sent nor some of the earlier emails from him (thus no shipping addy). I usually do save all commission emails (to and from) in a specific folder until completion, so I don't know where they got to (mind you my computer is super glitchy now and needs reformating desperately). I do have the latest one I sent after posting here that is a good description of me telling him I need a bigger picture, and his reply yet again avoiding talking about sending a photo. Grr. I don't have another way to contact him other than email. Gah. I'm ready to just give up on the drawing and give him his money back if he won't co-operate. ;P

Thanks for your reply!
-Tigrr Wildcat-
Aug. 12th, 2005 04:12 am (UTC)
Well, in a way, you can claim that HE broke twhatever contract was in place. You stated ahead of time what you would need in order to do the work, and he didn't give it to you. If you fail to do the piece correctly - or at all - you can point at that statement, and your multiple requests afterwards for the information. If he gets upset at poor quality or non-delivery, then just shrug and tell him, truthfully, it's his own fault.

Also, while I don't know the legalities, I'd guess that using a picture you sold him for a purpose other than that which you sold it to him - say, a commission as a bookcover - you could demand greater money or a cease and desist, as he is breaking copyright. You gave him the rights to use it for X Y and Z, and he's using it for A and B which would demand higher prices.
Aug. 19th, 2005 02:59 am (UTC)
Very true, he did technically break the original contract of what I stated. Yep, if he doesn't like the result, I had warned him. ;) I also don't know the legalities per say, but I would have demanding greater money originally had I known what his plans had been for it. ;)

Thanks for replying!
-Tigrr Wildcat-
Aug. 12th, 2005 06:14 am (UTC)
You might also try contacting the people who ran the charity auction, just to let them know what's going on, in case the guy tries later to say you reneged on your commitment. It never hurts to cover all bases.
Aug. 19th, 2005 03:06 am (UTC)
Good idea! The problem is finding the email as we (our Moncton group) had quit the Camarilla (The worldwide larp) shortly after due to major problems with other players in other cities and such and have since gone independant. They immediately bumped us off of the contact and mailing lists as we were no longer paying members. (ohnoes, no $15 bucks for them *snicker*) I can try and find a contact somewhere somehow though, just a matter of searching hard as most Camarilla info is on restricted listings/websites.

Thanks for your suggestion!
-Tigrr Wildcat-
Aug. 12th, 2005 12:16 pm (UTC)
Technically, if he uses any drawing you produce for the cover of his book, that is unlawful reproduction, since you assigned rights to the original image and did not make it public domain. In that instance, he could use it--but he would either have to pay you a fair and reasonable price to publish a book with your image, or you could elect for a percentage of the book profits (if any).

Best of luck!
Aug. 19th, 2005 03:09 am (UTC)
Good point! I would have asked for a more reasonable price. My brother had illustrated a book for someone a few years ago and went the root of a half-decent price for the art and a percentage of sales. Since the book ended up not selling well, he didn't come out all that great, could have been worse though.

Thanks for your help!
-Tigrr Wildcat-
Aug. 12th, 2005 07:14 pm (UTC)
I'd contact the publishers of the book, and let them know that the artwork has not been paid for, let alone given permission to use.
Aug. 19th, 2005 03:13 am (UTC)
You've got a good point. If I had completed the artwork this would be a good route to take. Right now I've gotten nowhere on the drawing since he hasn't given me proper photos and so he has no art to use yet, so I'm not out. (*phew*)

Thank you for your suggestion!
-Tigrr Wildcat-
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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