Early this morning, I was in a conversation in a private chat room, and the topic commissioned art came up. One of the other authors in the chat pointed out that I have never commissioned art before, and in fact, all of the art I have was either gifted to me, or commissioned for me).
It is true, I do not commission art. I prefer to make my own, mostly for personal reasons, and more specifically, so others who may be involved do not attempt simply steamroll over anything I say with their own views. I enjoyed working with JaiJai to receive the artwork I have from them, and I am grateful for the art I have received from my master Achiga and friend Tensu, but it is just not something that I would do myself.
As a result of this, two others pressed me to say why I do not commission artwork–or anything for that matter–from other creators. Another brought up the fact that I had mentioned wanting to build my own fursuit, and even eventually make my own clothes, rather than commissioning people for them.
I will say now what I said to them: It is a matter of ownership, and a matter of personal preference. When you commission artwork from a majority artists within the furry fandom, the artist retains majority rights to the work (unless otherwise specified), and therefore, anything regarding the work itself is subject to their decisions. Unlike work-for-hire, you are not buying a good or service from the artist or writer, but instead paying them for the ability to have artistic direction in a work which they create.
I do not want to pay an artist to make something I want. I would rather see them make personal art that would make them happy, even if I were to pay for it.
If I do pay an artist to make something for me, I would rather make it a work-for-hire project where, despite paying far more for that piece, I would retain majority rights. I would also make sure that the terms of the sale would include the irrevocable right for the artist to post the piece anywhere and use it for their portfolio. That should be ingrained in the morals of such a purchase, in my opinion.
Additionally, I am very much a do-it-yourself type of person. If I need something, and I have the ability to do so, I would rather take care of that need myself, whether it involves building something, buying something, or otherwise. This is something that actually seems to outright annoy one of my mates, and my master seems to become annoyed if I do not come to him when I need art.
It is why I am trying hard to write stories to sell, as I would like to take over my part of the bills (especially the Office365 subscription). It is just rather difficult when I have little chance to write without distractions…or feeling guilt because it seems like I am ignoring everyone. That sort of guilt actually halts my desire to write, as do the distractions.
(Aside: Admittedly, other issues are also weighing on my mind right now, and it is making it difficult for me to write as a result.)
I apologize for the venting, but I want to get this out there, for future reference.