So the con is over. Has been a couple days. It was stressful, but very fun! Not a lot sales wise, but it's my first con and I was told to expect as much. I did learn a lot, though, that I'll be using the next time.
Just to run through a few things while I think of it, I MAY attend Toronto Comicon. I'm unsure yet. I'm debating it. I'll be talking with Joichiroll
to see what she thinks.
Also, for people who can't attend the cons but want to support Snowbound, I opened up a little online store where you can buy the same stuff I sell at conventions! Yay!lunarcomics.storenvy.com/
And finally, I have to end this rather fun and happy journal entry with some great rage because I don't take insults lightly. I recently had an issue with a deviantART group that I used to submit to. I've been submitting to this group for a couple years now, and they had accepted my work as by all respects I had legal right to submit the art; after all, I ONLY post my own characters and all the artwork is paid for.
However, it seems that within the past few months, since I made my last accepted submission in the summer, the owner of the club decided to change the rules without making any announcements. Despite being a club made for original characters drawn in an anime/manga style, they decided that they were no longer going to allow non-artists to submit artwork of their characters when drawn by another artist. Don't know what I mean? To describe it as easily as I can, it means I can no longer hire artists to draw my original characters, post them to my gallery (which is where they SHOULD be posted so that followers of my story only need to go to one gallery to see all the official art) and then submit to their group; it will be declined.
Under normal circumstances, I would've let this go. I've had this happen with groups before where I join them and try to submit, only to find out they don't allow me to submit and don't have it listed in their submission rules. I've come across groups that have it in the rules upfront before I even join. These instances, I won't complain about. They're a pre-set thing. However, there are two things that really got me with this instance, one of which is incredibly insulting to me.
First off, this change was never announced nor was it ever even discussed with members of the group. This particular group is large. Chances are I'm not the only person affected by this sudden, unannounced change. If this had been an rule from when the group was first established, I would've not bothered at all. However, it's not. It's a very recent rule, over three years into their existence. It's a new rule that should've included the opinions of their thousands of members before making it.
The second thing, though, is where this shit hits the fan for me. When I engaged in a conversation with the group owner about why I couldn't submit my work, I was told that what I was doing WASN'T FAIR to the artist and that I was "winning views" for myself off of their hard work; that the whole point of the rule was to support the original artists.
So how is this insulting? For starters, this implication that I'm treating the artists I work with unfairly. While I'm fully aware a lot of people out there treat the people they hire horribly, I pride myself in knowing I treat my artists fairly and I pay them to the best of my ability. I don't deny having been late with some payments due to financial squeezes, but I've always come through in the end. The point is, I do my best to treat my artists fairly; I pay them what they want me to pay them, I'll pay them extra if I have to make changes to something (this was something that happened in Snowbound and ended up costing me an additional $270), and even when the work is "made for hire" (Look up "work for hire" on google to learn more about this) I will credit the artist when I don't even legally have to. I'll even reply to comments from people who remotely suggest the idea that I made the art they're looking at and tell them that's not the case (If the post is on a specific piece, I'll say who made it. If the post is on my wall, I'll tell people to read the descriptions of each piece to see who made it). I make these replies for something as simple as "I love your art style!" To imply that I'm not treating my artists fairly is just insulting to me.
It's also insulting because of this implication that I'm trying to "win views." Yes, I'm submitting it so people can see it. This is why everyone submits artwork to groups. However, this person doesn't know me nor my reason for submitting. I submit artwork to groups to promote it, to find people who would be interested in my story projects so that they can follow me and, hopefully, one day become someone who supports the comic either by reading it or buying prints or books or whatever I'm selling SO I CAN KEEP HIRING THOSE ARTISTS AND LETTING THEM LIVE THEIR DREAMS. For me, views and followers means I can keep dedicating money to the artists I work with. They represent my ability to help another person make a career out of what they love, even when I'm currently not far enough along to make a career out of what I love.
And finally, the real kicker here... the implication that the only hard work involved in a commission of an original character comes solely from the artist. Now, don't get me wrong here. I know how hard artists work. I spent some time trying to learn how to draw, doing daily sketches, ALL FOR THE SAKE OF UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFICULTY ARTISTS GO THROUGH. I did this about two years ago, when a specific artist I was working with had to pull from a project because they'd been overworking themselves. I wanted to understand their struggle. So yes, I know how hard an artist works.
However, this in no way means I don't also work hard. For starters, I have to create the character. I have to create their personality. I have to create their story. Everything has to click together like a puzzle. When things don't click, I have to start over. To give an idea of what I mean, I wrote over 4 variations of Yukino's personality over a two month span before I felt like I was getting her where I wanted her to be. I was spending maybe an hour or two each day on average looking over her personality, usually following a string of writing when my creative mind was flowing. Creating a single character and making them a decent character takes a lot of hard work. This is before realizing that I also had to work a job. I had to make money to hire the artists, a job that had NOTHING to do with writing. It wasn't like I snapped my fingers and I had the character made or I had money in my hand. I had to do both of these.
The owner of this group managed to singlehandedly insult me by implying that I don't work hard as a writer, that I don't work hard to hire the artists I work with, that I'm just a lazy shit who is trying to profit off of someone else while treating them like crap.
They insulted me by implying I am and do the exact opposite of who I am and what I do, and that the things I do are worthless.
Let me note, I sent a reply to them pointing out how they're insulting me and they've not bothered to say anything. No apology, no trying to make amends. They're just leaving it as it, because they're not sorry.
That, my friends, is the epitome of a scumbag.
That, my friends, is why I ask ALL of you to no longer submit to the group known as Anime-Manga-OC
, to leave the group if you're part of it and to advise all of your friends to do so. When the owner of one of the largest groups for original characters can so easily insult me, or anyone that writes and hires artists to bring their work to life, I feel as though supporting that owner or that group is detrimental; it brings down the worth of all artists, not just writers.
If you're a member of Anime-Manga-OC
, please leave their group. Please let them know why you're leaving. Please implore your friends to do the same. I know that I cannot make you do this nor can I make you side with me. I know some of you may read this and feel I am wrong for calling them out like this, since it IS their group and they can do what they wish. However, I am still going to do so. I'm still going to ask you to do this. No one who works creatively, no matter what they do, should be made to feel as though what they do is considered worthless. Even when I dislike someone and don't like what they make, I will never view their work as something that is worthless when it's something they put effort into.