Hey guys! It recently came to my attention that a company is offering a service to print stickers directly from Telegram, including packs I have made. I reached out to them to ask them to discontinue the printing of the Snow Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Lynx, Mountain Lion, Tiger, White Tiger, Cheetah, Otter, Salt Water Crocodile, Red Panda and Leopard packs.
I understand (and am flattered!) that people want physical prints of the stickers I make. I have been planning to make these myself for over a year - I am looking at both professional grade printing equipment as well as possible companies to work with, and am excited to be finally moving forward on it. It has been a bit of a slow process as I have been dedicating the entirety of my 8-hour work days, Monday to Friday, to art alone.
I love doing commissions, especially Telegram stickers - bringing life to people's characters and creating stickers that are able to be used on a daily basis is amazing, and I love that I am able to do this as a full-time job.
In my Terms of Service, it is clearly stated that I retain the copyright to all artwork I've created, as well as the rights to create products featuring my artwork to sell.
"I retain copyright to all the artwork I create unless rights to the art are otherwise discussed and paid for by the commissioner. I retain rights to post the artwork to promote my work or create products featuring my artwork to sell."
While I understand that the company claims to be offering a service, what they are actually offering is prints of my (and other artist's) artwork for a profit. They did not reach out to me to ask permission to print the stickers before offering the service, and I only discovered the printing after a customer reached out to me personally to ask if they had permission to do so after already ordering a large pack of stickers.
If this company were printing art from copyrighted works from larger companies, like Star Wars pictures/images or something similar, they would likely be met by legal action - because those companies own the intellectual property to that art and defend it, as it is how they make a profit.
Instead, they are printing art from independent artists, to which they do not own the intellectual property, but will not face legal recourse as we as independent artists do not have the resources to defend our intellectual property to that level.
As an artist, my assets are the art that I create - and ownership of those creations stays with me, unless "rights to the art are otherwise discussed and paid for by the commissioner," as per my ToS.
This is especially important to me as have had plans to make physical copies of these stickers for over a year, but have not had the time to dedicate to anything outside of commission work until recently.
In July, my partner joined me in my endeavors - they are now helping me color and finish telegram stickers and work on other projects, which has opened up a number of days per month for me to work on pursuing things like merchandise, sticker printing and comics. Just this week I was able to design a sticker sheet featuring the Snow Leopard and Lynx from the associated packs.
I am planning to offer these stickers in the near future on my site, with physical copies available for sale at Further Confusion 2020.
I am glad to know people enjoy my artwork and are enthusiastic about getting physical copies of my stickers - I'd love to receive some feedback on which stickers you'd like to see most so I can make them available as early as possible.
Thanks for reading this - I hope you can understand why I requested what I did, and will continue to commission me in the future :)
Hey all! I wanted to pop in and post about some upcoming commission stuff that will be changing :D As well as a general update!
First off, commissions this month will be opening on July 22nd (next Monday)! The date and time is posted in all the usual places and the actual opening will be working as it normally does.
Second, I'm changing the name of the "Shaded" sticker style to "Stylized"! The art and price is all staying the same, I just wanted a name that fit with everything else I offer. I currently have icons I offer done in the same style that have been under the "stylized" name for longer and I wanted them to match!
The last thing is kind of a big one - I'm going to be reworking how I do my scheduling month to month, and next month is going to be a trial to test the new scheduling system I've come up with.
Those who have worked with me in the past know I take a month's worth of work and schedule art to be finished every day, and that has been working, overall, pretty well! I work 40 hours a week (9-5 M-F) and still will be working that same time period, but I want to try something new to address some of the issues that do come with scheduling that way - including the difficulty of dealing with personal illness and a lack of time for other projects.
So next month, I will be taking about the same amount of work, but scheduling it differently. All the artwork will come with both a set WIP due date and a final due date for the completed art and you will still be able to find it on my Trello board. But instead of doing art from start to finish each day, I will be doing all the sketching the first week, followed by inking, followed by coloring, and then finally followed by finalizing and emailing everything the last week of the month. All the WIPs will go out at the end of the first week of the month. All the finished art will go out at the end of the month. So the biggest change for my commissioners will just be that your due dates will be a bit altered and everyone will get their finished art at the end of the month, rather than spread out throughout the month.
I'm doing this for a few reasons:
- I'm attempting to make more room in my schedule for artwork outside of commissions without sacrificing the amount of commissions I take. I really want to start offering some merchandise options and get some personal projects off the ground (including a Patreon)! The new schedule should help me make some useful time for these things without working overtime.
- I want an easier way to work in potential sick time into my schedule. With work due every day, it's really hard to take time off when I actually do get sick. Currently I have to work through it (ugh!) unless I absolutely need time off and it's not healthy to work. With the new system taking personal/sick time off when I need to should be much easier and won't ruin my scheduling.
- My partner is going to start stepping in to help me with some things here and there! I'm hoping that scheduling the new way will make that easier for us both.
So that's that! I've got everything worked out on my end and August is largely going to be a trial run of working this way for me. If I hate it or it doesn't work out, there's a chance I will switch back, but I at least want to try! If I do switch things up again, you'll hear about it in another journal, I'm sure. But I'm hoping things will work out!
Thank you all again for coming to me for art, I really love being able to do this and hope to be able to continue into the foreseeable future!