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 :)