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This is just a question.

As an artist, what do you do when asked to draw a character that you KNOW does not belong to the person commissioning you?

I recently had a situation occur where a commissioner wanted me to draw a character that I know did not belong to them. I had seen this character recently myself (it was by a rather well-known artist), so I knew the context, I knew the character was created for a specific person, not the person wanting to commission me.

I politely declined the commission, stating that I was aware that the character did not belong to the person wishing to commission me, but I find myself wondering if I should alert the original artist that this commissioner is trying to commission art of their character.  In this case, the art that was going to be commissioned would not have been a SFW commission and would not have been anything even like 'fan art' of the character.

I don't like to stir drama, but I do find myself thinking that I should tell the original artist, given the context that the commissioner wanted the character drawn in.

I'd welcome some opinions on this though.

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Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
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kaelstra
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
I would just decline it and leave it at that.
slinkslowdown
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)
I'd decline it and inform the owner of the character. If it were someone doing that with a character of mine that I don't allow others to use/draw without my permission, I'd want to be told about it.
talakestreal
Aug. 29th, 2013 02:31 am (UTC)
Yeah...and I just saw that I'm not the only person they commissioned. There's at least 3 other people that have already done commissions of this character...so I'm making a note now to send to the original artist/creator of the character.
celestinaketzia
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Personally, my OC is a representation of me. I'd certainly like to know if someone was trying to commission adult material of them without my knowledge. I would tell the owner privately.
skittlewolf
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
This is my feelings on the subject as well.
(no subject) - casteddreams - Aug. 29th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sacch - Aug. 29th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - venatorrooc - Aug. 29th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dinogrrl - Aug. 29th, 2013 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - talakestreal - Aug. 29th, 2013 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zaulankris - Aug. 29th, 2013 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - talakestreal - Aug. 29th, 2013 02:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - talakestreal - Aug. 29th, 2013 04:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thistlewolf - Aug. 29th, 2013 04:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Aug. 29th, 2013 08:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Aug. 29th, 2013 10:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - funkicarus - Aug. 29th, 2013 11:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Aug. 29th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
gatekat
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:24 am (UTC)
Alert the artist? No.

Alert the person who owns the character? I probably would, but it depends on their public stance about fan art and NSFW of their chars. But I'm often considered a real ass and social undesirable too.

Do it by notes if you do? Absolutely.
talakestreal
Aug. 29th, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
I did go ahead and alert both. The artist created the character as a gift for the person that owns the character, so I felt in this case that both should be told. Particularly because I found out (from shouts on the commissioner's page) that he's been commissioning other artists for works of this character, and I felt like both the artist and the owner should know about this.
exo_formicidae
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
depends if the person claim the charas as their or not.
If they say me and *name*, then I will send a note to the other person regardless if they have permission or not. This have saved me before.

However, if they claim to own it, I would be a little rougher flat out decline based on that. In the second scenario I would most likely also send just a small neutral note to the one I thought was the original owner. - especially if it's nsfw
kerstin_orion
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:34 am (UTC)
If someone other than the character owner is commissioning me, I always require them to have the owner of the character send me a PM stating it is ok to draw their character (and specify that it's ok for an adult picture). For legitimate presents, it takes some of the surprise out, but I don't give out exact details of the pic so there is still some mystery for the receiver of the gift.

It may be above and beyond what an artist is legally required to do, but I feel that, as personal as some folks' characters can be for them, this is the safest route.
talakestreal
Aug. 29th, 2013 04:25 am (UTC)
Indeed. And as I've found out after a bit of digging, the person that was going to commission me has been commissioning other artists for art of this character as well.

I've spoken to the person that owns the character, she is understandably upset, and she is privately talking to the artists who were commissioned for art of this character.

So, the situation is being taken care of by the person most affected, but I'm wondering I should make another artist-beware post just so the commissioner's theft of the character is publicly known.
(no subject) - kerstin_orion - Sep. 11th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
takesu
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
If they are claiming the character is their's, I would notify the rightful owner. It would not hurt to send a courtesy PM if you suspect something is wrong.
houndofloki
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
If the commissioner is claiming to own the character, I would definitely inform the actual owner.

If the commissioner did not claim to own it, I'd check the owner's profile first just to see if this is one of those people who's a-ok with NSFW art being done of their character. If their profile doesn't explicitly that they are, I'd let them know.

I hope that sense. It does in my head, but I think it came out convoluted (lol).
tartii
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
You should absolutely, 100% notify the original owner of the character that somebody has attempted to get adult material of their own character.

Unfortunately there was a severe case of someone commissioning artwork of another in the past right after that person had struggled to get out of the relationship. The 'commissioner' was continuously buying adult material of this character against the owner's wishes, causing a lot of mental strain.

I will not go beyond that, but it is definitely something that needs to be brought to their attention. That way, the owner can be aware, and if they so choose, take action.
kestral_kitsune
Aug. 29th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
that sounds familiar
i had a friend do that to one of my characters but told the artist he paid that it was his, and got a porn commission of him,apparently the artist felt that something wasn't right and did some digging. she let me know, refunded him and never finished the picture. I know I was not a happy camper about this going on.

but I'd let the person owning the character know that they're asking about commissioning art of their character.
dilario
Aug. 29th, 2013 03:10 am (UTC)
this actually happened to me recently; amazingly, I actually had drawn the character's original reference sheet, so I knew it wasn't theirs. I talked to the person about it (nicely, it went along the lines of "I'm confused because I've drawn this character before, but it was for (other user)?") and I also talked to the original owner of the character. Luckily it turned out alright for me, but even if it hadn't I would have wanted to alert the original owner to the theft.
magedragonfire
Aug. 29th, 2013 03:21 am (UTC)
A question kind of related to this, to any artist-folk who want to answer - if a commissioner approaches yon artists with a NSFW request of two characters, one of which doesn't belong to the commissioner (and you know this by the commissioner's own admission or by knowing the character from somewhere else), do you check to see if the piece has been okayed with the second party?

What about SFW pictures of either someone else's character or a pair/group of characters together?
funkicarus
Aug. 29th, 2013 11:28 am (UTC)
i'd say Yes and Yes. just cause i've been on the receiving end of "surprise" nsfw art which was actually a grudge piece for banning the commissioner from a chat (his behavior was hella inappropriate).

the artist never told me, and i guess he had her convinced he had permission or we were "good friends, it's a surprise" but the end result was that the artist felt bad for being dragged into someone else's grudge and being paid to draw revenge-rape art.

even a SFW picture can make people feel uncomfortable if the person commissioning it is an...unwanted admirer. it's just best to check.
timelapsedecay
Aug. 29th, 2013 04:14 am (UTC)
Echoing others I guess but I just wanna point out that it should not matter whether it's adult material or not (Unless specified by the owner somewhere that one is allowed, but the other isn't)
If the owner doesn't want their character drawn by others, it should encompass all artwork of that character until otherwise specified.

I happen to be someone who owns a "do not draw" character. I don't even like SFW gift art of my fursona.

Edited at 2013-08-29 04:16 am (UTC)
mistresswolf
Aug. 29th, 2013 05:34 am (UTC)
Personally, I would like to know if someone was trying to commission art of my character.
thaily
Aug. 29th, 2013 08:08 am (UTC)
"I politely declined the commission, stating that I was aware that the character did not belong to the person wishing to commission me, but I find myself wondering if I should alert the original artist that this commissioner is trying to commission art of their character."

Approaching it from the other side; If I was the character's owner I for one would very much appreciate it if people would let me know when someone is trying to abuse my characters.
That way I could:
- Approach the person trying to abuse the character.
- Make a public note, sans names, letting people know I wasn't okay with it and asking people to keep an eye out for me.
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