I think it is time to shed some light on Artist/Client relationships and etiquette.
My friend commissioned an artist to draw his OC.
Paid in full.
Then the artist altered the colours on my friend's commission to make another "version" of it. Not a redraw, not even a proper recolour. The artist just changed the hue settings. This artist then released my friend's commission AGAIN as a "canon" character to his gallery to gain page views and popularity??
Um, no son. That is NOT how Artist/Client relationships work. Artist/Client relationships are meant to be a Symbiotic Relationship.
Not a Parasitic one.
A commission is a piece of work that is bought and paid for by the client and should be respected as one. Commissions are meant to be personal, individual and unique. Something special to the Client.
A commission is NOT an "artist free-for-all" and the moment an Artist treats it like one and makes cheap knock-offs of it, that commission is automatically diminished in value and originality.
Do your research people. Yes the artist still has rights to the work, but guess what. So does the Commissioner.
For Example: A commissioner can commission an artist for a piece of art. They bought it, they own it - but only to an extent. The Client cannot take that artist's work to another artist and pay them to alter it or draw over it or tamper with it in any way (Unless they receive specific permission from the original artist). Also, the client cannot alter, edit or change the artwork themselves, neither can they remove the artists watermark or signature.
Likewise, the artist cannot take a client's commission and make a cheap "alternate" version of it (For example: the same image but with tampered hue settings) and then pass it off as an original piece of a canon character for popularity or personal gain. The artist cannot resell another Client's commission. That is called "Exploiting the Client" which NO artist should do, the same way no Commissioner should try to cheat a hired artist.
It's just in poor taste and low-key, kinda illegal. There are laws set in place for that kind of shit and I wish commissioners and artists actually paid attention to them and educated themselves before taking commissions or ordering them.
My friend basically got cheated out of his OC and his commission because this artist wanted to exploit my friend's ideas and not only get paid for it, but get popularity too. What's worse is this artist has done this three times to my friend already. (And he released a lewd version on another site.) Altering his Client's commissions for personal gain. Releasing them as "original pieces" of a canon character, but neglecting to post the -ORIGINAL- commission entirely.
I want to point out that there was no "Inspiration" involved here. There is a difference between inspiration and opportunity.
For the sake of clarity, lets look at the literal definition of the word INSPIRATION:
No where does it say "Copy" or "alter" or "Edit" or "tamper" with an original work. Inspiration is, as stated above, the process of being mentally and emotionally stimulated to create something new, as is evident by the word "Originality."
Inspiration is a quality in a piece of work that offers just that - it inspires one to create something new. True inspiration leads one to genuine originality, creativity, and appreciation for that which sparked inspiration in the first place. It leads to making that appreciation known, whether through references or direct credit to the original source and artist/writer/creator.
Inspiration does not lead one to cut corners, copy, or alter original works.
Even if the original work was done by the same creator, if the original work is a commissioned piece for a client, it is the intellectual product of that client as well, and should be treated as such.
In other words, an artist should not tamper around with a Client's commission after it has been bought and paid for, and try to pass it off as something else.
If this were a case of inspiration, the artist would not have simply altered the hue settings on my friend's commissions, he would have drawn something new entirely but perhaps with the same settings and atmosphere. (Which was not the case here.) An artist should draw a client's original character with that exact quality - originality. They should not treat their client's original character as an opportunity to turn it into a popular canon character for personal gain AFTER the client has paid and received their commission.
That is in very poor taste.
A true artist is able to draw a popular canon character and an OC side by side and display distinct and obvious differences. And they should never, I repeat; NEVER use or exploit a client's OC as a base for popular canon characters for personal gain, page views, favourites, or popularity.
It paints the rest of us commissioned artists in a VERY bad light.
1 - ARTISTS: DO NOT EVER EXPLOIT YOUR CLIENT'S COMMISSIONS!
2 - COMMISSIONERS: DO NOT EVER TRY TO CHEAT YOUR ARTISTS!
3 - Please, just educate yourselves before you enter the business of commissions, as either Clients or Artists.
--> Here is a pretty good place to start. LINK