Joined: 02/09/2008 21:03:21
It's fall. It's the time of the year where people are the most tired due to the time and light change. It's also a time to think about our decision.
There's been something that has been bothering me. Seeing a similar post elsewhere gave food for my thought. We could say I have 2 jobs: my real life job and the Shadowlord website.
The first one, I work 40 hours a week in average, sometime more. My achievement are rewarded bi-monthly by a check.
The Shadowlord website, I wish I could put the time I spend on it. Lets try to put some average number. Looking for show, normally a Monday to Saturday job, spending about 2-3 hours a day looking what the PVR recorded. Sometime more, sometime less. Then come the week-end. 2-3 hours preparing which clips to upload, normalizing them since the old site and starting the upload before heading out. Then on Sunday, it's the actual update. I think I spend 4 hours on that last one, since there was new clips and I needed to redo the thumbs for the old show. In total, lets give a round number of 15 hours a week.
Contrarily to my work job, this one give me zero benefit. It's all on my arm.
So what has been bothering me... Is it wrong for me to want fanart / gift art for all my work? Practically all of the personal artworks I have are commission. I can count gifts fan arts with both hands. I spend a lot of time weekly on the community site. The 700 average monthly downloads (from 400 to 1200) shows there's people using it. Yet, I practically get no real support. I'm a sucker for transformation of myself and Dragoniade arts. Anyone who saw me at a con knows that from my sketchbooks. But people seem not to consider it's worth contributing.
What's the most frustrating is I often see people on Deviant art posting the request they've done. LOTS of request to some TF fan. Some which are know to be real pest at requesting stuff. Why can people doing NOTHING other than begging for art get something, while I, who work that much for it, get nothing? It's even more infuriating when some of them message you and brag how they got more commissions (read requests) than you, then say they can't pay because they're just kids...
Not only that, but I've got my share of being burned for helping people in the community. I'll wash my dirty laundry there with some of the enraging case.
* Mr K2, Mr B, Mr S and Mr R both transformation artists, needed help on a website. Since I was a friend with B and Stonegate knew K2, I offered myself to code the back end of their art gallery, in exchange for a color drawing from each tenant. That was in 2002 or so and I coded their website, adding a new feature from time to time as they asked. Mr S and Mr R did their part and drew me a picture each. Mr K2 denied owning me any drawing while Mr B only gave me an unfinished sketch, only half of it inked. To this day, no word from any of those 2.
* Mr J and Mr K live together and are fan of transformation and cartoon. Mr K contact me saying he's a fan of TF and that he would be interested in seeing some clips to help Mr J with character references, poses and transformation. I agreed and sent him a good chunk of file. In thanks, he did a drawing for me. After that, he asked for a few more reference, asked for some money for help and for a commission, which I accepted since I usually support those that supported me. After 6 years, I have yet to see those drawings, only getting excuses like 'the dog ate the first sketch', 'Mr J is trying a new technique, you'll be the next one to try it', 'We're moving', 'Mr J's not in the mood'. and so on. Another TF artists I helped and that went bad to me.
* Mr. L is a transformation writer. Back in 2004, he needed a new PC. Since he was a friend and I could get a custom PC build for cheap, we sort of made a deal. I would bring him a new PC and he would pay me at the next con. At the con, I gave him the PC, and he gave me half the cost, saying he would pay me the remaining with the money he would make at the con... Well, I never saw that money again. After 2 years, I agreed to take some commission from him to lower the money he was owing me.
At one point, he offered to sell me a commission he was stuck with, one at 160$. Out of charity, and knowing I wouldn't see the money anyway, I accepted. Only to learn afterward the artist in question, a professional one, would only discuss commission work on the phone or in person. Since he live in California and I in Canada, I was stuck. It took 3 years of back and forth before I could get the commission done. And if I could get back in time, I would have said no to it. Not only I don't think it's worth 160$, all I got to this day is a low quality camera shot of 3 pages, Mr L being too cheap to send me the original. To this day, that person still owe me 200$ in commission plus that 160$ commission. All for helping a TF writer who I thought was a friend.
* Mr T, Mr T2 and Mr S were trolling me for ages. With time however, they sort of realize they were wrong and that they may have gone too far. They sent an apologies email, but when replied back asking for more information and maybe a chat to make official the truce, no reply at all. More likely, those email weren't truthful.
* Me K2, an artist, get some clips from me. Mr E, an artist too, learn that and ask Mr K2 to have them too. Mr E reward Mr K2 with an art trade, while he could have asked me.
* Mr N receive his email for donating to the site. He contact me back saying how a fan he is, that he's been watching the site for years and that he want to give something back. A transformation drawing of me would be an interesting drawing, since he's an artist. After 18 months, not a single words back.
So, is it worth all this? Every two weeks, I get paid for what I do at work, the good and the bad. With the community, no matter what I do, no matter who I help, I always end up losing. I see people getting gifts left and right, I see TF artists trading with each other in a sign of support. I'm in my corner, working, being told to shut up if I dare ask for some support.
Is it too much to ask fan/gift art? Why is my work belittled compared to other? Tanuke thought Naga 10th anniversary was worth mentioning, but not our 10th anniversary? Arania is worth getting monthly donation but I don't? Werechu and SSBdave can get all the gifts and requests they ask but I should just be working and shut up?
All I get are broken promises or excuses. "I'll draw you something to support you". "If I had knew it was your birthday, I would have done something"
In the end, it's a dark November like this where I update the site, with a feeling of wasted time. Feeling I'm just giving away my time for nothing, not even a feeling of accomplishment, now that 36 GB and more than 6000 files has been uploaded.
Why are artists give to other artists, writer to other writer, and vice-versa, but an archiver like me, is considered to be not worth anything. I had that feeling back in 2004, when Stonegate and I were shunned by 3 artists we thought were good friends.
I'm more likely going to move to a monthly update now. Bi weekly update were too much work and people were just re-posting clips on You Tube. Weekly update bring me back nothing and just lower my mood. I'll have to make my mind.
Seeing another birthday go by with nothing but apologizes was not to add any re-comfort either. With that, big thanks to Metamorpher and Lukery, the only two persons who thought about me for my birthday and gave me a present.
I'll probably take a break for a month, going back at coding stuff rather than working on clips that goes unnoticed. Probably gonna try to make a video of what it take to maintain the site and bring new contents. This site sure is no Transfur in that aspect.
Until then, if anyone feel like giving it a try, I'm all welcome to gift / fan art of me.
I'm a sucker for self transformation artworks. Just do a search on Deviantart for 'Dragoniade' and you should see some. I have even 3 in my scrap section in Deviantart. http://dragoniade.deviantart.com/gallery/#_browse/scraps I had more but they were all deleted by some power tripping moderator.
I like animal transformation or any good physical change. I like anatomically correct drawing and anatomically correct Transformation too. References : http://www.shadowlordinc.com/character.view?Character.Id=7737 for both me and Dragoniade, with more images under the thumbnail.
Any question, feel free to drop by on AIM, Yahoo (Dragoniade), MSN (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by email at this same address.