I feel I should apologize for sounding a little brash. I deeply care about my own craft, as well as the craft of my fellow artists, and maybe I got a bit TOO passionate. Recently, I noticed two artists I follow are actually using Teespring, and I feel like I'm going against my ethic; as I say towards the end of my rant, I'm not trying to sabotage an artist's business. That I stand by, and that is why I'm sorry for my emotions getting to me.
However, I'm not fully
redacting my original statement - I'm still rather skeptical of Teespring with the rampant art theft I keep seeing hosted on their site, and their report functions are not incredibly useful. But if you're following an artist (or you ARE an artist) plugging work via some place like Teespring, by all means, support your artists
My original point stands unchanged - a lot of Facebook groups keep advertising works that are not theirs to sell, and people shouldn't be tossing their money at something so willy nilly just because it panders to something they like. The old saying goes, "A fool and their money are soon parted". Don't be a fool, do a little research, and part with your money wisely.
And I recommend you follow/support these artists.Krooked Glasses - twitter.com/Krooked_Glasses/st…
Andrew Dickman - awdplace.tumblr.com/post/17274…
To any peeps who use Facebook, I'm gonna ask a favor of you on behalf of everyone who dares call themselves an artist:
PLEASE EXERCISE PRUDENCE WHEN PURCHASING ART-RELATED GOODS.
I'm calling Godzilla 2017
and Villains Community 2
out by name. There are more, but these two frequent my feed quite a bit, despite them blocking me from commenting.
THESE ARE THIEVES. DO NOT BUY FROM THEM.
It hasn't happened to me personally (that I'm aware of), but I'm sick of seeing blatant theft happening to artists, especially people I know, including but not limited to Matt Frank (KaijuSamurai)
and Frank Parr (Kaijuverse)
. These gentlemen have very clearly stated that they are in no way affiliated with these groups, much less getting any kind of sales commission from them. I can only image how many other artists these groups are stealing from as well.
And don't worry, you don't have to do all kinds of research to see if it's stolen or not. Here are some easy ways to tell if the group is nothing but a conniving snake oil peddler:
- No mention of the artist or anything about the art itself. A legit collaboration would flat-out say so. Don't assume the artist wants to remain anonymous. And there would at least be some talk of the art itself. There's a story behind every drawing, so don't assume someone snapped their fingers and made it appear out of fat air (trust me, I know from experience).
- The "art" is a stock image or is cobbled from various stock images found on Google. There's a big difference between an artist and someone who can put a Photoshop filter on something (which is usually done to hide the low-res quality). In a way, I still consider it theft, not just because they technically are using images they didn't create, but because they pollute the waters for artists trying to get their unique flavor out there. Let me paint a little picture for you: Your purchase from an artist does more than get you a drawing. The artist will use that money for bills, food, maybe even -gasp- art supplies to make more art. It's not just about where your money goes, it's what your money DOES. So just ask yourself this question before you open your wallet: do I want my money going to some shmuck who crapped THIS WRETCHED THING out in five minutes, or do I want to see more work from an artist who makes their work from scratch over the course of hours/days?
And before you say, "But they made it themselves!" they still have blatant theft under their belt, and they take no issue in doing it again. They can kiss my ass.
Oh, and for the record, THIS WRETCHED THING makes every fiber of my physical being scream in agony every time I see it.
- Any variation of the phrases "For the fans!" and "This will sell out!" These are disgustingly hollow words that try to seem profound. Of course it's "for fans". People who like Transformers/My Little Pony/He-Man/Legend of Zelda/Disney/Muppets/Godzilla/etc will like something that's related to it by default. And saying the stock will sell out? An arrogant assumption, if you ask me. The only time I've ever heard legitimate artists say that is when orders have a cutoff date, and it will never be produced again. These groups don't have cutoffs. They say that to pressure you into buying it, especially before they get called out by the artist and their followers.
Hell, I remember one saying "These are expensive, but you'll buy it anyway!" Do I even need to point out what's wrong with that sales pitch?
- The comment section is an echo chamber. What I mean by that is there aren't really any negative comments. They'll end up deleting comments (or mark them as spam) for calling them out. Several of us have been blocked for badgering them about the thefts. There have also been negative comments about the quality of the printing itself being poor, being cheap iron-on prints (for apparel, anyway) that usually get destroyed after a single wash cycle, and their source is a lo-res image they found on Google or even here on DeviantART. Public viewing does not automatically mean it is public domain. Not to plug my own store, but I can assure you my designs on TeePublic are made with hi-res files, and TeePublic has some info on their good-quality printing process (spoiler: it's not iron-on printing).
To wrap this up, I'm not trying to sabotage competition. I would never do this to an artist. I look out for my own. These are parasites. I would CHEER if I saw these cretins and their "business" crash and burn (if it did so literally, I would hold a freakin' parade). If you feel like I'm attacking you, you're either one of them, or you're a good egg in the wrong basket.
The best thing you can do is spread the word like wildfire. Calling them out for art theft should be more of a warning to potential fools; these sleazes know what they're doing is wrong, and they don't lose sleep over it. Hound their posts. Report them. Inform people to not give them money. If it damages their sales, GOOD.
Also, don't be "that guy" who is all, "But the artist isn't selling it themselves, so I'm gonna buy it here." An artist has every right to not monetize a piece, let alone as a specific item. Respect that the same way you don't share pics/info someone considers private. You're better off buying something they do have available. Again, it's more than where the money goes, but what it can do.
Thank you for your time, and thank you for supporting an artist.