Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Artists Beware


When people ask me what it is like to be the artist for DC's Harley Quinn I tell people it is like drinking from the fire hose. Even though I've been drawing comics almost exclusively for a decade drawing Harley is different. Seemingly overnight I went from being the guy nobody pays attention to at conventions to being the guy who can't get away from his booth. Overall my experiences with fans, dealers and publishers has been positive and I am grateful to the majority of those interactions. However there have been a few instances where I wish I had a head's up. So, to you younger more talented guys out there who are about to make your big break; here are my two bits: There are people out there who don't see you as a human being but as a resource to exploit, and if you let them they will suck you dry. Never let your artwork or your art files out of your hands, and if you do make sure it is to someone you know and trust. If you are making sketchbooks or prints the only people who should have a copy is you and the printer. If you decide to let a dealer, or gallery owner, or agent have access to your art or your artwork files you had better trust them completely, otherwise there is nothing stopping them from ripping you off. You will be completely at their mercy when it comes to you getting paid. Learn to tell people "No". Flat out "NO". If someone invites you to a show or a signing but they can only do it if you "do something" for them (beyond signing books). Tell them "No". Basically you need to learn to be a little bit of a dick. Not to your fans, you owe your fans, but you don't owe users anything, Sometimes it hard to spot which is which.

To the uninitiated artist here are warning signs someone is trying to use you: They want you to sign more than 10 copies of the same book. They want to buy a lot of your stuff but only at a discount. They want more than one drawing or commission. They don't want commissions personalized. They want overly complex commissions for a miserly amount. They want to photograph your art. They want access to files or scans of your art. They want to sell your stuff for you. They want access to your original work. Get in the practice right now of just telling people "NO!" Don't waste your time and energy on trying to please users, focus on your real fans. When dealing with store owners, convention planners, art dealers. Talk to other artists and professionals find out who is honest and who isn't (it is a small industry), and just be on guard.

Best Wishes,

Chad.

P.S. I got a phone call from some people I work with who wanted to know if they did something to warrant this response and it occurred to me that there might be people speculating as to who caused this post. I'm not going to focus on the guilty party but here are a list of people who help me more than I deserve, and have my utmost praise: Scott Kress, Jacob Young, Jemma Martel Young, Steven Pulawa, Bryan Sharp, Jimmy Jay, Tiziano De Santis, Tushar S Vajir, Raymond Terrazas, and many many others. If this post caused any speculation to your character and your integrity I deeply and sincerely apologize.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Commissions UPDATE

Okay guys, here is what I'm doing about commissions. I'm only doing quick sketches, and I'm toying around with the idea of doing a commission lottery. Here is what I'm thinking: I'm only going to be doing them at conventions. THAT IS IT. I'm thinking if you buy a quick sketch on one of my sketchbooks for $60 US I enter your name in for the chance to win a copic duo-tone head-shot commission  FOR FREE! with the option to buy an upgrade to 11x17 or full-body or whatever but only if you win.  I usually do about 50 quick sketches a show so that's about a one in fifty chance.That way you still have a chance to get a commission but I don't kill myself trying to do one for everybody. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No More Commissions.

Hey guys I just got home from a great show in Calgary Canada, and I had a great time, but (here it comes) I stripped a gear. I probably did close to 100 commissions at the show. I tried raising the prices of my commissions earlier to see if that cut down on the amount of drawing I did. It didn't work. So I am officially pulling the plug. If I owe you a commission I will honor that commitment and get it done and to you as soon as humanly possible, but no more. Please don't ask, the answer is just no. I'm sorry. If someone tells you they can get me to do a commission call them a liar and tell them to go to hell.

To my loyal fans, please don't panic. I will have to figure out another way to make you happy, but right now the demand is just too much so please bear with me. We'll work it out somehow.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Teddy.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

― Theodore Roosevelt