suzaku_ou (suzaku_ou) wrote in artists_beware,

Advice on how to reject [free] project work...?

Around July, I requested to be an artists for a game project (that would commercial, but would have all the team members working on it for free and profits would be divided amongst them...I'm not sure how it would work, seeing as most of the members were minors anyway...), and was accepted.

I was eager to lend my art skills (however low they were) for a game project that seemed interesting.

However, now I am regretting my decision to work on any game artwork at all. Due to the content and nature of the game's premise, I thought that the group members would all be of legal age (or matured, at least), but I was wrong...

All of the team members are 18 and younger, and I'm the oldest member there. The atmosphere is very unsettling for me (I don't dislike minors, but it is awkward for me to work with people who are my niece's and nephew's ages, especially when the leader is directing me and he brings up irrelevant personal topics like religion and romance). The leader is also very demanding, and while I can sympathize with his vision for creating a professional game, I am not motivated enough to endure so-called 'critique' and go through 15+ edits of a simple CG (before AND after the CG completion) when my own commissioners only get 2 edits, tops--and they actually pay me.

For example, you don't say that you like someone's art style, have them draw you a sample, ask them to change the art style and then request 5+ edits on a base, and then even request 5+ edits on the full CG when everything has already been inked and colored. 

I don't want to seem like I'm money-grubbing, but along with working with many people much younger than me, working in a position where I have to change my art style and edit far too much for a simple figure CG, as well as dealing with frivolous personal topics, marketing, and other issues, I really don't see myself working with this group long-term.

I keep thinking that I was stupid to accept a position where I would be over-worked, especially during a time when my family was going through a financial crisis. I was even scolded for working on a free project when I could have been working to clear older commissions.

Plus, I really can't work with a person who can only think about profit. It's common sense, but I honestly can't work with a leader who only thinks of making back profit after he sells his game and the individual group members' work is yet to be factored into that.

i.e. "I really want to get this game done so that I can hurry up and sell it at a convention."
I don't think much can come out of a $10 digital download or a $3 demo disc when 14 people are working on it... But money isn't the reason why I want to quit.

As a college student who might graduate in the next year or so, I don't want to be bossed around by high school students for a job that I neither enjoy nor is beneficial for me in the long-run.

I've had many commissioners contact me only to ignore my replies when it came to project work, but this group was eager to take me in for free... However, after taking 1.5 month(s) to work on a single sprite, it made me realize that this was fruitless for me, and now, I could care less about getting 'exposure.' 

And it hurts me a little, because even though I'm not that good of an artist, I also like my ego getting stroked every once in a while, and I suppose that's what made me stay for a while. But I'm done now. They can find a better artist to work for free (even if they say otherwise). I'm grateful enough to have the time to work hard, try my best to improve and be commissioned by people who actually understand the value of an artist's effort.

I apologize if this next part is offensive... It also irks me a little when some people say, "I would love to hire you, but I am a high school student and cannot afford to pay you." I don't know how to respond to that because when I was a high school student, I would save up money until I was legal and had a paypal account to actually commission someone. I don't know if I should pity people who say that or not...especially when there are some skilled artists who do work for free... (not that I'm advertising this since I support freelance artists)

I really regret requesting to be part of this project but have no idea how to turn them down when I've already completed 1 sprite for them and even gave them the high-resolution file. I just don't want this guilt of avoiding them to be present anymore. I have commissions, a life and college coursework and don't want to deal with this other problem in my life, especially when family members and friends have suggested that I just quit working as the group's artist. 

I am an animu artist and love drawing but I just can't work for 'free' in these type of conditions. I've always just drawn free for friends and family, so doing it in such a demanding environment under people younger than me is awkward and draining in my opinion.

I also have a question on whether or not any artist should agree to this?
"I would consider that it's work for hire, and I retain full copyright of the work and have the right to use it anywhere I want without giving credit to you. And you can't use the work as your portfolio and to show it elsewhere.
If you agree to the term, and are able to do (3), then I would consider giving you a continuous work per month, where you will draw certain amount of images for me."

If anyone would like to give me advice on this (please be constructive), I will gladly listen. Thank you for reading my rant.
Tags: advice for artists
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