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Advice on characters you're not sure about?

I recently had someone approach me with a reference and during discussion they said that they wanted the character's name on the badge to be something other than what was on the reference sheet as "they'd had some art theives take her". I reverse image searched the ref and came up with two others, one being stolen (as there were a lot of "this belongs to so-and-so stop stealing" comments and the other being the original owner (not the artist, who had cleaned out their gallery).

The character though was a very generic black wolf with red eyes and emo hair so I wasn't too concerned, but what would you guys do in this situation? (Or if the character was more unique-looking?)

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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
timelapsedecay
Aug. 10th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
My rule of thumb in these situations is if it doesn't feel right, it's probably *not* right
If it were me I'd politely turn down the commission. I wouldn't supply a reason-- my ToS says I can turn down a commission at any time for any reason, and I don't personally think I (you) owe one. I feel it's up to you whether you want to address why though.
No matter what you do, it's a bit of a thorny one and I wish you luck!
talakestreal
Aug. 10th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
So the person that commissioned you...she's local to me. She's in a relationship with a good friend of mine. I'm ALSO working on a badge for her.

at the moment, I don't know what to think, because I've spoken to her in person, and she told me then that people have stolen her character before.

I think I'd have to have some proof before I believe that she's the one that stole the art.

Though...it doesn't bode well that the images she uses for ref are not higher resolution and are the exact size as the ones that are on DA where they're being accused of being a thief.

sleetfury
Aug. 10th, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC)
The Paypal that I was given actually belongs to a male sooo now I have no idea.
(no subject) - talakestreal - Aug. 10th, 2014 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sleetfury - Aug. 10th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - talakestreal - Aug. 10th, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mazz - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - talakestreal - Aug. 11th, 2014 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
kestral_kitsune
Aug. 10th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC)
I'm going to say yeah, if it doesn't feel right don't do it. better to be on the safe side.
drone_dragon
Aug. 10th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
Definitely decline.
If you've already accepted a form of payment. Refund with a decline.
This whole situation sounds like it can only go south from here and someone will end up getting hurt... and that shouldn't be your own reputation.
starcharmer
Aug. 10th, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
I don't even know what I'd do. I have the opposite problem of people putting my artist name "xainy" on badges instead of the character's name, so I probably wouldn't question it if someone requested a different name on their badge. :( It's thorny, especially since the character [like mine] is fairly generic.

When you reverse image searched and found the owner/not the artist, was it the same person who is now commissioning you? If yes, then I would do as they requested. If no, I would probably request the commissioner note/message me from the account where the character obviously originated. If they refused, I would refuse the commission.
sleetfury
Aug. 10th, 2014 10:41 pm (UTC)
I was approached via Facebook actually, so there wasn't any real way to cross-reference (other than going by typing styles.) I'm not even sure if they're active on the obvious owner account (I didn't check any login timestamps like a total dummy).
Probably should have asked them to message me via that account like everyone above recommended.
gatekat
Aug. 10th, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC)
Since you found a likely original owner for the ref, note them and ask if they are X on Facebook (or wherever). If they don't answer in a day or two, suggest that the person who contacted you for the commission check their notes on site where the art is. If they can't, well, that's your answer. They aren't the owner.

As for not showing you a higher rez ref, I can think of 2 legit reasons.
1. It's all the artist gave them. It's far more common than you might think.
2. Even more artists are psycho about distributing the non-web sized version for any reason. So even if the person had it, they might be scared/bound by TOS not to show it.
sleetfury
Aug. 11th, 2014 12:20 am (UTC)
Actually that's a good idea. Thanks!
(no subject) - gatekat - Aug. 11th, 2014 12:24 am (UTC) - Expand
cdemonkam
Aug. 11th, 2014 12:48 am (UTC)
I'd decline. While the character may be this or that, the reference they are using may not be theirs.
I'd note the owner in question as gatekat suggested.
(Screened comment)
yuki_fox_demon
Aug. 11th, 2014 01:06 am (UTC)
Whoa, now. I think you're definitely making this out to be way worse than it is. OP was simply seeking advice, he wasn't accusing anyone of anything. There is absolutely NO need for violent threats like that.
(Screened comment)
MOD POST - celestinaketzia - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mazz - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(Screened comment)
MOD POST - celestinaketzia - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mazz - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
duster
Aug. 11th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
Holy overreaction, Batman.

I will just take this post as an unintentional beware. If the client is going to flip out and start insulting, swearing, and threatening people with physical harm, I think it's best to refund and block, regardless of the character kerfluffle.
(Screened comment)
MOD POST - celestinaketzia - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC) - Expand
celestinaketzia
Aug. 11th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
MOD POST
Given that this is an advice post, we are screening the comments from the person whom this post is about.
mazz
Aug. 11th, 2014 01:45 am (UTC)
Re: MOD POST
I'd suggest the OP to make a beware post, the user in question shelled out so many abusive insults and violence I think a beware is well warranted for everyone to just steer clear.
Re: MOD POST - frisket17 - Aug. 11th, 2014 01:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: MOD POST - tealmoonxiv - Aug. 11th, 2014 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
tylociraptor
Aug. 11th, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
As an artist, it isn't my job to go hunting for what characters may or may not be "stolen". It's my job to just draw what I'm paid to, and move on to the next customer. If there's a problem with the character, that can be sorted out between the people involved.

If you take on a commission and are later told that the character was "stolen" or whatever else, all you need to do is tell the inquirer that that is none of your business, you were only paid to draw the image, and you can't help them.
yuki_fox_demon
Aug. 11th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
I think it really depends. If my character was stolen, I would obviously not want art of it commissioned by the thief, but I'd understand if the artist had no idea. I agree that it's not their responsibility to check every single character they're commissioned to draw.

However, if they're given a probable reason to believe the commissioner does not own said character and are uncomfortable continuing the transaction, it's best to err on the side of caution and either decline the commission or try to confirm ownership. To go ahead with the art under such circumstances seems pretty unprofessional, and as the owner of the stolen character, I'd definitely hold the artist partly accountable.

Edited at 2014-08-11 03:39 am (UTC)
(no subject) - tylociraptor - Aug. 11th, 2014 03:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kattotang - Aug. 11th, 2014 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yuki_fox_demon - Aug. 11th, 2014 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - matsiwolf - Aug. 18th, 2014 11:09 am (UTC) - Expand
thaily
Aug. 11th, 2014 11:06 am (UTC)
It's not the artist's job to play detective, but I do a courtesy background check when people commission me; I wouldn't want other people taking liberties with my characters, I wouldn't want to be the enabler for other people to take liberties with other people's characters.

I think the OP did a good job sussing this little thief out. And over an emo wolf character even, how hard is it to devise your own? :/

Edited at 2014-08-11 11:06 am (UTC)
niimou
Aug. 11th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
Pretty much my sentiments as well. I'd also want to avoid being dragged into a conflict over a character as much as possible, and google searches aren't that hard.
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(no subject) - mazz - Aug. 11th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sleetfury - Aug. 11th, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Screened comment)
sleetfury
Aug. 11th, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah that's the person that I found that I assumed owned it, judging by the comments all over a few of the reposts.
celestinaketzia
Aug. 11th, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
MOD POST
Hi folks!

We aren't normally up for screening so much on any kind of post, but please keep in mind that it's not kosher to out individuals in advice posts. Please take this to PMs or a more appropriate venue.
frisket17
Aug. 11th, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC)
Re: MOD POST
While definitely not arguing with the policy, just curious if it applies since they outted themselves by reply (even if is now currently screened)?
Re: MOD POST - celestinaketzia - Aug. 11th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: MOD POST - frisket17 - Aug. 11th, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: MOD POST - arphalia - Aug. 11th, 2014 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: MOD POST - mazz - Aug. 11th, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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