24 June 2011

commissions and art trades

I absolutely hate commissions.
Usually I'll get requests on online communities or MMO forums. I would get paid in game currency or virtual commodities. In cases like these, no matter what shit I spew out, it's always "amazing" and perfect. The Selfy (TinierMe) I commissioned below was for PenguinPop's contest. Less than two hours of work, and I win first prize.
penguinpop art contest
But once it turns to real life currency, it all goes down the shit hole. They aren't willing to pay their initial offer unless they are 100% satisfied. Or they will nitpick at every detail and possibly change their desired theme every half hour, resulting in over 6-8 hours of work for an extremely low price. We are talking about the same people who are giving away their in-game items.

For those who have never been on communities such as TinierMe, Gaia Online, or even MMOs like Maple Story and FlyFF, here's how things work:
People will pay real money to purchase in-game items.
Then they will hold contests or requests commissions for artists in those communities, resulting in giving away those said items.
The amount of money I receive in the form of in-game items through a contest or commission is usually greater than the amount of money I would charge a 2hr commission.

What's even more messed up, is when I randomly create pieces in my own time or for school and then print them out, they sell for $10-$40 each print. These are not geared towards any specific audience, and was not intended to be sold. It just happened that I made them, I printed them out, and then people wanted them.
random art for school assignments
So the break down of this is as follows:
I CG something you request in -2 hours,
you throw at me $5-$10 worth of in-game items.
I CG something you request in 4+ hours,
you argue why $5-10 real life money is way too expensive.
I CG some random shit,
you throw at me $10-40 real life money and then offer more.

I do not understand commissions...
Alternatively, I love art trades and collaborations. To be able to share different styles and techniques - and sometimes merge it altogether into one piece - really opens up new areas to explore.

Speaking of which, I still have ::bell:: line-art up for grabs, since my collab partner for that got too busy to finish coloring it. I plan on redo-ing ::and yours:: and possibly looking for a collab buddy for that too. And although I've completed ::gaze:: for a dA contest last year, I feel like I should redo the environment as well. It was far too rushed, as I only remembered about the contest the day before the deadline.



18 June 2011


Let's talk about my first Adobe Photoshop piece. Ever.
2005/2006. Adobe Photoshop CS2. The only tools I knew how to use were brush, eraser, and smudge. I didn't know about layers, or opacity. The Orbis statue was created in one file, and the mage in another file. I then copied and pasted it into the Orbis statue file, and noticed the layers. At this point, I still had no clue how to use them, or how to create new ones. So the sky was a separate file, and then the clouds another (at which I discovered the effects. Twirl!!!)

That being the case, this turned out extremely well for my first piece. After, when I discovered how to (sort of) use layers, I changed the Maple Lama Staff to my own creation: the Cosmos Staff, which I submitted to the anniversary contest in honour of the best Maple Story guild ever!

While doing this piece, I was extremely frustrated, and I knew there had to be an easier way. But as stubborn as I was (and still am) I wanted the satisfaction of finishing it without the help of anything or anyone.

One thing that OCAD has taught me in my four years there, was to immediately Google search anything I want to achieve but don't necessarily know how to. Not that it's a terrible thing at all. It means access to knowledge and methods that I would not have known otherwise. On the other hand, I now lack that same eagerness and determination to complete a difficult (and perhaps impossible) task. Learning by trial and error became near non-existant.
This was one of the many points brought up in my thesis; a matter of disconnect, wired, and unwired. Not to say that it is "good" or "bad"... there is no such thing. Just a change in pace and lifestyle that may or may not be to my benefit.
And I would apply this to the general industrialized human population, but I'm sure I don't need to get into that for anyone who actually reads this shit.

13 June 2011

shameless self promotion

Click. Go to my dA. Give me pageviews. NAOS!