Monday, May 2, 2016

Fungoid Model and Render by Christen Borras

I recently talked about how an artist's work can be used in a less than ideal way, in my opinion for whatever that is worth. Today I would like to share how an artist's work can be used and transformed in a completely acceptable way... again in my opinion, but it is my work, so... whatever.

Over the weekend I was contacted by Christen Borras, who is a student. He wanted to let me know that he used my Fungoid concept and design as part of an assignment to model and render a character. Here is a look at my concept design and illustration of the Fungoid...

Fungoid miniature turnaround
Pencil on paper
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Fungoid
digital
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Here is a look at what Christen did with my design as he translated it to 3D. I think it turned out great and is extremely faithful to the original design. You can see more over on Christen's ArtStation gallery. It is really fun and exciting to see someone else interpret your ideas into a new medium, not to mention that your idea interested someone enough to go through the time and effort to make something new based on the original design. Great job Christen!
Fungoid Model and Render by Christen Borras
You can see more of his work as well as a cool 360 turnaround of the Fungoid over on his ArtStation gallery.

Not to labor the subject, but there are reasons why this usage of my work is so different from the usage I posted about a couple weeks ago. First, Christen contacted me to let me know about his usage of my design and offered me the opportunity to have him remove it from his gallery. Second, he gave credit with a link to me as the creator of the design. Third, he has transformed the designed and made something new, which he created from scratch. Fourth, he is a student and this is on a personal gallery as an example of his work - and really this is no different from any other artist who is given a style guide to follow or reference that needs to be matched. We all make original work that has elements that need to match a companies IP or established characters. Christen is showing that he can stick to the provided reference and produce a final piece... which is a real world working requirement.

Again, great job Christen! It looks great and and I hope you all the best with your studies!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, April 29, 2016

Looking back at "Why do we do this?"

I have been thinking about why I make art lately. Not in a reevaluating my life choices sort of way or a pondering the events that led me to it, but more of just thinking about the things that made me an artist and inspire me to continue to do it. Thinking and reflecting kind of stuff is what has been going on.

This all got me thinking about a series of blog posts I did a while back called, "Why do we do this?". It was a three part series where I asked a bunch of artists three questions about making art. Turns out these posts are five years old now. Looking back I am amazed at everyone who took part in this, it is also interesting to think if anyone's responses would be different now.

Looking back at "Why do we do this?" from 2011

I wanted to share these posts again in case you missed them the first time or if you took part you could reflect on something you said five years ago about making art. The three questions I asked everyone where:

1) What was the first thing in your life that made you think, "I want to be an artist"?

2) What do you like LEAST about being an artist?

3) What do you like MOST about being an artist?

Here are the links to the original posts:

Why do we do this? (Part 1) , Why do we do this? (Part 2), Why do we do this? (Part 3)

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RAWR! Celebration Sale! RAWR! Shirts and ALL Line Drawings Marked Down!

In celebration of my RAWR! logo getting trademarked I am running a sale for the next two weeks!

From now until May 11th all of my RAWR! shirts have been marked down to $15 and when you use discount code RAWR! you will get 25% off all of my black on white pencil drawings! That's right, I am offering up 25% off over 50 drawings currently available on my store when you use discount code RAWR! (make sure you include the exclamation point and that it is in all caps!).

http://christopher-burdett.myshopify.com/collections/line-art?page=3
Head on over to my Line Art gallery to see all the drawings that are eligible for 25% off when you use the discount code RAWR!
 
You will find a ton of drawings completed for Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Warhammer, personal pieces, and more! If you have been wanted to get some of my drawings, NOW is the time. Don't forget to use discount code RAWR! (make sure you include the exclamation point and that it is in all caps!).

All of my remaining RAWR! Shirts that I have are also marked down to $15, no code required. It is time for a new color and I am clearing out the remaining black shirts that I have in stock. They are selling out fast, so if you want to get one of the original RAWR! shirts, NOW is the time.

http://christopher-burdett.myshopify.com/collections/clothing/products/rawr-shirt-unisex-sizes-s-xl
Head on over to my RAWR! shirt gallery to get you very own RAWR! shirt!
All shirts are now only $15, no code required... but you will still need a code for the drawings!

Be the envy of your friends and enemies when you proudly wear your very on RAWR! shirt!

Join the growing RAWR! army with your very own RAWR! shirt!
Photo gallery courtesy Achsa Nute

As a reminder, now until May 11th use discount code RAWR! to get 25% off all my black on white drawings and all of my remaining RAWR! shirts are marked down to $15! Now is the time to get your RAWR! on!

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, April 25, 2016

RAWR! - TRADEMARKED!

Finally, at long last, I can announce that I completed a big step to secure my branding that I use everywhere when talking about my monsters... RAWR! I started the paperwork back in October of last year and after months of waiting, additional correspondence, and corrections my trademark was published last week. So when it comes to RAWR!, this is MY RAWR!...

TRADEMARKED! RAWR!

Big thanks to Dear Wife for pusing me to do this and to Chris Seaman for giving me that extra push to get it done as well as answering questions at the very beginning.

It ended up being a whole lot easier and a whole lot harder then I expected, but I used legalzoom.com to get me through the process. If you are planning on acquiring a trademark of your own you will need to expect to pay several hundred dollars and wait months for the process to be completed - with no guarantee that the trademark will be granted. For the record so you know what to expect, my trademark cost me around $450, but it is mine now and I can protect my RAWR!. This is probably not for everybody, but with as much as I use RAWR! and the fact I use this logo everywhere, including on shirts, it was in my best interests to move forward with getting it trademarked. As a side not, it is actually better off for you if you are already using the brand that you want to trademark before you start trademarking procedures. You will also want to be able to document when you first used your brand. Thankfully since I have everything time stamped by the blog I was able to easily pull up all that information.

Be sure to check by on Wednesday when I will announce a celebratory RAWR! event... that is as yet to be determined... RAWR!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, April 22, 2016

Flootternootter - Scribblings on Paper

Today I have for you something I managed to scribble on throughout the week. A little here and a little there will get the monster drawn. I present you with the Flootternootter...

Flootternootter
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

It has been rather difficult as of late to find or to make the time to work on any of my own stuff. To combat this I have been sneaking in little monsters where I can. Some of them are a little... silly. I imagine this one to have been drawn at 100% life size. So it fits in a 9 x 12 space. Perfect for your purse or on your shoulder. Did I mention it makes little chirping noises? Soon, everyone will be wanting their own Flootternootter. That is until the Flootternootter Plague breaks out...

That is all for another exciting Friday on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I didn't work on that... why is my art being used?

I really don't know where to even begin with this, but I will stumble through it all the same. I am not sure if I will come to any conclusions or deliver any answers, but maybe I can get a(nother) conversation going. This is something that has been around forever(?) and will likely be with us indefinitely. It goes by many names: borrowing, incorporating, appropriating, stealing...

This is not an easy subject and everyone has an opinion and draws their own lines on what is allowed and what it too far. There are also SO many different ways these acts are committed. Sometimes art is used and is unchanged, sometimes art is used unchanged with a new persons name attributed to it, sometimes the art is modified to some degree, sometimes the art is recreated so that the heart and soul of the original is still there but the details are changes, and sometimes the ideas or creations of two or more things are just shoved together to make a 'new' thing. To me, these are all interchangeable.

An article popped up on my Facebook feed and I was a little curious. The article centered around a fan made set of Star Wars themed Magic the Gathering cards. I figured all of the art had to be swiped since the lead in graphic was obviously from another Star Wars project. I poked around the article and the cards a little and quickly found not only my art being used but many other pieces that I recognized as friend's work or work used on projects I had worked on or knew of.

Article in question. Not going to link to it, but I am sure you can find it.

Okay, let's get some things out of the way... "They are not making any money from it, how are they hurting anyone?" "This is the highest compliment!" "They are just fans making something for themselves and fans." "They are making something NEW and are not at fault." Nope, nope, nope, and nope. At worst they are thieves and at the least they are severally taking advantage of MANY people and the COUNTLESS hours of time and effort that went into creating the original artwork. And not just the hours of time of the artist, but all those involved in the production of the original. The art directors, writers, game designers, etc are all tied into these types of actions.

Looking at this through the lens of just me and my two pieces that are involved with this, let's break this all down. First, something that is RARELY, if at all, done was that I and the rest of the artists were credited. This in and of itself is an miracle, and I wonder if the original MtG cards had not always included the artist names if the names would have ever been included. So, one good thing, I guess. Now for the rest...

My Salacious B. Crumb painting that I originally created for the Fantasy Flight Games release of the Star Wars Card Game now is being used on a custom made and distributed Star Wars themed Magic the Gathering Card. I am 100% sure that no one that owns that art was contacted about this usage.

My art seen here was created for the Fantasy Flight Games release of the Star Wars Card Game. FFG / LFL / Disney own the art and all usage rights. I am allowed to use it for promotional purposes and that is the beginning and end of it. DONE. This person has taken card art I did for a company and used it unchanged, save for cropping off my watermarks, copyright info, and most of my signature and is now using it as a card illustration. There is no evolution here, there is no transformation, the art is being used in the way it was originally intended.

As far as the 'not making any money' argument, when someone illegally downloads music to listen to, they are not making any money from it. They are enjoying it for what it is and doing so without the creator or owner being rightfully compensated. Once that person has that illegally obtained music they can pass it around, for free, harming the creator even more. No money is being made, but there is still a victim. We are fooling ourselves if we want to draw distinctions between a song and a piece of art. If it is taken and used without the creator / owner being compensated for their time and effort then it is equally wrong.

My Arcona Rumor Monger, also created for the FFG Star Wars Card Game. Again seen here unchanged except for the removal of watermarks, copyright, and signature.

Obviously time and effort went into writing and working out the cards and their mechanics. That goes to whomever put this all together, they made that. They did not make the art and I am 100% confident that the time they devoted to making the stats for the cards is a drop in the bucket compared to the time and energy of the artists. Not to mention that the card template, icons, etc are all trademarked or copyrighted by Wizards of the Coast. Just because someone worked really hard to make something new and then used the property of someone else, in no way justifies it.

'This is made by a fan for fans' ... and your point is? Why do we make excuses for something that is wrong? If the art is so important to the finished product then you REALLY need to be an adult / professional / thoughtful person and either do what has to be done to make / buy / license the artwork or you go without. Or in the least, NO NOT POST IT ONLINE FOR ALL TO SEE.

I know we live in a time where Google offers up images without limits and that we share things online. BUT the rules have never changed, it is just so much easier to take without penalty and share without consequences. I am sure these people would feel a lot differently if they were the victim, but maybe they wouldn't. Maybe they don't value their time and effort, maybe they think they have done right by everyone, maybe they would never imagine that they have done anything wrong. I have dealt with plenty in the past that feel justified to take whatever they want and attack any that question them. I really feel sorry for them, but it does not grant them immunity or justification.

These are my two cents, for what they are worth.

*EDIT* I have had some additional thoughts after this post originally went up:

These pieces were work for hire, the client hired me to make the work, payment for services rendered. They own it and have the copyright. It is their fight if this would ever escalate to a legal matter. They would have to send the cease and desist, they would have get their lawyers involved, it is their dog in the race. For better or for worse, this did not involve a piece of my own art. I can not act on this unapproved usage of my these painting.

That said, I have still been harmed. They stole my time and a part of my life. I spent a part of my life to make these paintings. While I was compensated for the work, the payment in no way actually comes close to compensating me for the time and effort that I spent on these paintings. I do some of these pieces because I want to, because they mean something to me, as a way to better my skill set at the same time I get a little money and a published piece, etc. By these pieces getting used without compensation to me they are taking advantage of that time I invested in making them. I could have used that time to do any number of things and I chose to make a painting for a client and this person(s) has come along and taken that from me. A part of my life that I will never get back. I think this get to the heart of what angers me so much about these types of behavior. These people leech off my time and effort, and the effort, time, and money of the client, without any consideration or compensation.

Say you are waiting in a restaurant for your meal. You are very hungry. As the waiter brings you your food some other person comes by and eats it all before it get to you. You of course will not have to pay for that meal and another will be made for you, but you have been wronged all the same. This might not be the best analogy, but I think it gets the point across. The major victim is the restaurant, but you needed that food and now you lost the time that had already passed to make it. NO ONE would be okay with being the hungry person in the scenario. Yet music, art, games, and more is constantly being stolen without thought or concern.

Okay... I think I am done now.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you have here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, April 18, 2016

Come see me at Free Comic Book Day!

I am happy to announce that I will be appearing at Fallout Comics once again as part of their Free Comic Book celebrations on May 7th! You might remember that I took part in their FCBD festivities last year. I had a ton of fun so I am really looking forward to returning. If you are in the Tallahassee area I really hope to see you there! Here are all the details for Fallout Comics...

Fallout Comics • 1484 Apalachee Parkway • Tallahassee, Fl. 32301

In anticipation of FCBD I picked up a blank cover copy of C-3PO over the weekend. I hope to have an original drawing on it by the time May 7th arrives. No promises, but that is the plan! More on this as it happens...

If goes to plan this will have a drawing on it by the time Free Comic Book Day rolls around on May 7th!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com