Presenting Another Artist’s Work When Asking for Commissions

Cosplayer and recent podcast guest, Luna Lady of Light, writes about etiquette when it comes to cosplay commissions.


 
Recently there have been growing incidents of people asking for someone to exactly replicate another artist’s work for less money. I wanted to explain exactly why most commissioners/artists will give a bristly response on this subject.

When you see a print you like in the artist alley, but you don’t want to pay $20 for it, would you go to another artist, point out the print and ask them to copy it for less? Basically the same principal with items, they’re just another medium. I see a lot of people posting Etsy listings in commission forums/groups and asking for those items to be made for less. If you can’t afford it, SAVE UP, and support the original artist/creator.

I recently saw someone asking for an item that they’d seen on Etsy but they wanted someone else to make it to save about $6. Chances are that product is that price because that seller has a mold for that item already, or has experience making them a certain way that has product consistency. Asking someone to make it new and without the same experience will not yield the same product. Each cosplayer/commissioner/prop maker has experience, and some of them have even attended schooling for their skills. You are paying for that experience and skill as well.

I get this often with wigs. I don’t mind if you want to use someone else’s style for inspiration, say “I like how these colors look,” or “this styling on this part is great, can you do something similar.” But please do not ask me to make that exact item for you. The same goes with eBay/sweatshop costumes. If you’ve already contacted them, and they’ve told you their price, chances are mine isn’t going to be much less. In the case of eBay/sweatshop costumes, my price will be more. Also keep in mind that while this community is growing, a number of us knows each other. Many commissioners will say no to replicating a friend’s work out of respect for that person.

If you want someone to make you a costume, please send us images of that character. If you want to incorporate elements from someone else’s costume because you like it that’s fine, but we are not going to make you an exact replica. Cosplay is about individual touches, I will interpret something differently than my friend on the West Coast, and she will interpret something differently than our friend in Denver. That doesn’t make any of us wrong, that makes our work individual, an expression of our love for the character and the art form.

Keep in mind that cosplay is a learned art form. Nuances are gained through experience and most cosplayers are willing to answer specific questions about their work. Don’t ask “how did you make your *insert item here*,” instead be direct, ask “The extra highlights in your wig, did you have to combine colored wefts, dye, or did you find a wig like that?” We are very open to dialogue with other cosplayers, and are always glad to make new friends. Many experienced cosplayers have tutorials available as well, watch or read their tutorial a couple times and then ask a direct question like “could you clarify step 4? Do I do A or B first?”

I’m writing this to inform those seeking commissions and explain why asking for a cheaper, exact replica of someone else’s item will often receive an awkward response. I am open to questions on this matter, but keep in mind this is my opinion. I’m sure there are people out there who have no problem trying to copy something, but there are also many more who will not on principal. I hope that I was able to clear up some of the questions I have seen floating around the internet.

Recently there have been growing incidents of people asking for someone to exactly replicate another artist’s work for less money. I wanted to explain exactly why most commissioners/artists will give a bristly response on this subject.

 

When you see a print you like in the artist alley, but you don’t want to pay $20 for it, would you go to another artist, point out the print and ask them to copy it for less? Basically the same principal with items, they’re just another medium. I see a lot of people posting Etsy listings in commission forums/groups and asking for those items to be made for less. If you can’t afford it, SAVE UP, and support the original artist/creator.

I recently saw someone asking for an item that they’d seen on Etsy but they wanted someone else to make it to save about $6. Chances are that product is that price because that seller has a mold for that item already, or has experience making them a certain way that has product consistency. Asking someone to make it new and without the same experience will not yield the same product. Each cosplayer/commissioner/prop maker has experience, and some of them have even attended schooling for their skills. You are paying for that experience and skill as well.

I get this often with wigs. I don’t mind if you want to use someone else’s style for inspiration, say “I like how these colors look,” or “this styling on this part is great, can you do something similar.” But please do not ask me to make that exact item for you. The same goes with eBay/sweatshop costumes. If you’ve already contacted them, and they’ve told you their price, chances are mine isn’t going to be much less. In the case of eBay/sweatshop costumes, my price will be more. Also keep in mind that while this community is growing, a number of us knows each other. Many commissioners will say no to replicating a friend’s work out of respect for that person.

If you want someone to make you a costume, please send us images of that character. If you want to incorporate elements from someone else’s costume because you like it that’s fine, but we are not going to make you an exact replica. Cosplay is about individual touches, I will interpret something differently than my friend on the West Coast, and she will interpret something differently than our friend in Denver. That doesn’t make any of us wrong, that makes our work individual, an expression of our love for the character and the art form.

Keep in mind that cosplay is a learned art form. Nuances are gained through experience and most cosplayers are willing to answer specific questions about their work. Don’t ask “how did you make your *insert item here*,” instead be direct, ask “The extra highlights in your wig, did you have to combine colored wefts, dye, or did you find a wig like that?” We are very open to dialogue with other cosplayers, and are always glad to make new friends. Many experienced cosplayers have tutorials available as well, watch or read their tutorial a couple times and then ask a direct question like “could you clarify step 4? Do I do A or B first?”

I’m writing this to inform those seeking commissions and explain why asking for a cheaper, exact replica of someone else’s item will often receive an awkward response. I am open to questions on this matter, but keep in mind this is my opinion. I’m sure there are people out there who have no problem trying to copy something, but there are also many more who will not on principal. I hope that I was able to clear up some of the questions I have seen floating around the internet.

Original Tumblr Post: http://lunaladyoflight.tumblr.com/post/56274429140/presenting-another-artists-work-when-asking-for

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Official Website: http://www.lunaladyoflight.net/

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S is cosplay veteran. He has won numerous performance awards with his friends over the years. He has staffed conventions in the past, ran panels, judged a couple of masquerades, a jack of all trades. He's worked dealer's room too! Running this site is his way of giving back to the cosplay community. He feels that it's his turn to give a future cosplayer their fifteen minutes of fame.

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