Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

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LiveTurkey
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Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#1 Post by LiveTurkey » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:17 pm

I'm creating a game and I'm commissioning an artist.

Should I disallow my artist to publish the works I ordered from him on public sites like deviant art or tumblr.

It will take a while for the game to actually release so people might think that I stole the art when they see finally see it or someone else might steal the art while it sits on the deviant art page.

Or am I being paranoid?

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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#2 Post by mitoky » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:28 pm

I think there is no problem with posting them. If the artist draws CG's which appear later in the game, it might be maybe better to tell them to not post these (for spoiler reasons) but for the artist to post 1-2 artworks of the game earlier in the game/general, i see no problem. In fact, the artist could maybe link to the game thread/mentention what it is for since thats what i would do. And thats not a bad thing as it promotes your game.

So, simply put, maybe just ask them to link to the game thread or credit the game, that should be no problem.
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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#3 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:29 pm

The general practice is to allow the artist to display the piece in their portfolio, but it is also standard practice to include a provision in the agreement that they can only do that after the game ships. As an artist, it does kind of suck to have to sit on a great art piece because a game is having a protracted development cycle, but most artists are very understanding about not spoiling a game by revealing info ahead of release.

As to being afraid someone is going to steal the art from an artists portfolio? Yes, that's paranoid. It's a copyright violation if anyone does that, and the artist is going to go after the person - but it is super, insanely, rare that it happens at all. So do NOT worry about that particular scenario.

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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#4 Post by Natalie » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:44 pm

If you are worried, tell the artist to put a watermark on the work, or maybe only upload a lower resolution version.

Otherwise, there's really no reason not to let them post the artwork, it's precious additional publicity! For example, here's the title screen CG for my game posted on the artist's Deviantart account. That's 10000 views lost if I didn't allow her to post it publicly!
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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#5 Post by LiveTurkey » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:54 pm

Okay got it. Another question.

Do I need some formal document that acts as a contract that I have to send over that specifies that all right are transferred to me and blah blah blah or are the messages we have between each other (stored on either fiverrs servers or deviantart servers) enough?

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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#6 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:12 pm

LiveTurkey wrote:Okay got it. Another question.

Do I need some formal document that acts as a contract that I have to send over that specifies that all right are transferred to me and blah blah blah or are the messages we have between each other (stored on either fiverrs servers or deviantart servers) enough?
You don't need anything super formal like a contract, but it is good to at least have it all in writing in say an email that you both agree to, that way the agreements are all in one place for future reference.

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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#7 Post by noeinan » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:18 pm

As an artist, I generally won't take jobs that will disallow me from ever posting my art in my portfolio. I retain the rights to my art and give the commissioner rights to use my art in their game. (And if they want to use it in merchandise, etc. that needs to be negotiated separately.)

Asking folks to wait to post art until a month after the game has been out (for spoilers and whatnot) is pretty common + reasonable. I will usually put a clause in that like, if the game dev disappears and I don't have contact with them for X time (like 6 months or whatever) then I am allowed to post the art. In the indie scene, it's pretty common for devs to drop off the side of the earth, and then the game never finishes, and it really, really sucks to have art that will never be in a game *and* you aren't allowed to post because you agreed to a month after release.

Formal contracts aren't necessary, but having some kind of written conversation about things like rights, timelines, and crediting is a good idea so that you can reference it later. (Even if it's just an email.)
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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#8 Post by Sleepy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:25 pm

We've had art commissioned and we haven't had any problems with them using the work they've done for us for their portfolio. As daikiraikimi said, artists retain rights to their work and it's unfair to tell them they can't use it for their own purposes at all. The only thing I'd ask is to clarify which images there would be issues posting before the game's release (like a big spoiler) and that's it.

Plus, publicity and exposure was invaluable (since it's one of the hardest things to get), especially before a game's release, so it's something that doesn't really hurt anyone to do.
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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#9 Post by SundownKid » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:10 am

I most certainly do. It's the least I can do to help. The exception being if it's too spoilery to put in public.

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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#10 Post by papillon » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:31 am

I usually put in the contracts the right to display a certain percentage of art, with requests that they avoid certain things that are spoilery. I mean, why wouldn't I want you to post a few pictures? It will probably advertise my game anyway! I just don't want them to dump the entire image set or spoil any big surprises.

I generally also specify that artists can sell prints and t-shirts of that art if they want to, because *I'm* not going to so why shouldn't they?

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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#11 Post by Banana » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:24 am

papillon wrote: I generally also specify that artists can sell prints and t-shirts of that art if they want to, because *I'm* not going to so why shouldn't they?
Would you be able to sell prints/shirts of the art even if you wanted to? Like, does the art still belong the artist for those purposes, or...?

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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#12 Post by trooper6 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:29 am

Banana wrote:
papillon wrote: I generally also specify that artists can sell prints and t-shirts of that art if they want to, because *I'm* not going to so why shouldn't they?
Would you be able to sell prints/shirts of the art even if you wanted to? Like, does the art still belong the artist for those purposes, or...?
That depends on the contract you work out with the artist.
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Re: Do you let your artists publish your commissioned art?

#13 Post by Frullo » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:56 am

I was skeptical about sprites of the characters being published despite having no deadline for the VN yet, but frankly the good feedback they received was a nice motivational boost. The fact that my artist has a fairly decent visibility on social networks was helpful in this way.

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