Attention fellow illustrators…grow up.

I go home and I think about you, and I laugh

I saw a blurb on my Facebook feed the other night that makes my opportunities to slither out of this industry into larger mediums all the more satisfying.  If nothing else I won’t be in the same field as crackpots like this–

Jimmy Palmiotti

42 mins · Safety Harbor, FL ·

Why Amanda can no longer do free sketches at cons. Happens every single con. ps: do not ever pay this much for this. Ever.

( the link is to an ebay auction for a sketch cover done by  Amanda…and yes, you would have to be a complete MORON to post the link to an auction you don’t want people to partake in…but slow down..I can only deal with one type of stupid at a time).

This is a specific incident, but it mirrors a gripe by illustrators I see very often.   Allow me to explain something to Jimmy and every other “professional” in the industry who is stuck in wide eyed childhood naivety and often cry “foul!” when their artwork is resold.  Someone pays you for a sketch, or asks for a free sketch…and you do the sketch and hand it to them…it is now their possession and they can do whatever the hell they want with it.  This goes for purchases , freebee’s , donations, ect.  For those of you new to the industry, you have been warned now by me…you can spend the rest of your waking moments drawing sketches for “charity”, that doesn’t mean for one second, that you have any say on what happens to it once you hand it over.  It is on YOU to make with the due diligence, and if you don’t you have only yourself to blame.  Unless they stole it out of your hands, it is theirs to do with whatever they wish.  Same as if it was a piece of jewelry, or a used car. You are giving them an illustration not handing over your first born to be looked after while you are away.    Furthermore who the hell do you think you are to tell someone else how to spend their money?

Since you are so oblivious to the ways of commerce, allow me to further explain that you not only benefit from this practice but create its very market.  The person who sells your artwork for a profit has taken a risk, a risk of money or time or both, that the artwork they have acquired will give them a net profit and not a lose.  They are getting a tidy sum, not for the artwork itself, but for providing a service.  They are providing the artwork to people who are unable to get tickets, or travel, or make time to stand in line to get the art themselves.  Tickets to Comic-con International, for example, are costly and hard to get, and any time spent at the few days that show goes on is valuable…as in having quantifiable worth.  You have the naivety and nerve to tell some guy in Nebraska, who will never get the chance to go to that show, that he shouldn’t spend his money to have a souvenir from it?  Someone out there is such a fan that they will pay top dollar to have an illustration, but they should not have it?   They should sit there without it because they couldn’t go get it on their own?  They should ignore the opportunity to spend their money the way they want and have something they will cherish…because why?  Who the hell do you think you are?  What exactly do you think you are handing out? It’s an illustration not an Ebola vaccine.  You want this practice to stop?  Then you, Amanda, or anyone else whose work holds value to others, can sit and draw all day long until everyone who wants an illustration can have one for free.  Do that many sketches until your work no longer has any value in the world of supply and demand, and you no longer are a coveted exhibitor via the rules of that world. Don’t want to do that huh?  Your time is too valuable?  You need to make money and pay bills with your skills and time?  Guess what, so do the people who buy and flip artwork.

Take it for the compliment that it is, that someone is willing to risk their cash and/or time on your work…and more so that someone is willing to spend their hard earned cash to buy it from a third party…or from you , when you have the time to spare illustrating something that is not for direct publication.   This happens to all of us.  I sell some art, or do a sketch and give someone a deal on it…and see it on ebay or find out it was sold for profit.  My personal thought it “good for them”.   I made a few bucks, UPS made a few bucks, ebay made a few bucks, the third party made a few bucks and a fan got what he or she wanted.  Everybody’s happy, that’s how I look at it, but I’m a grown up.  And I’m in this business to make some money and entertain some people, so as long as that happens I don’t see a problem.  I’m not a ten year old who thinks he’s handing over the Holy Grail and its power should only be used for the good of mankind as I determine it.  What a ridiculous notion you have Jimmy, that you or anyone else should hold sway over what you have willingly given over to someone else.  Perhaps you would also like to decide where in the house it is displayed, or what kind of frame it is put in?  Well, you can’t.  You can either hand over the illustrations and signatures…or refuse to do so and be of no worth to anyone or show whatsoever, beyond the thrill your very personality provides.  Which based on this blurb, is not a route I would recommend for you specifically.

***follow up blog here, with the buyers side of the story

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