This double standard is wrong. They are artist too, just in a different medium.
I know many of you are thinking. "What brought this up?"
So here is what brought it to my attention. Recently someone posted on a Anime Fandom group that s/he was willing to sell there skills as a writer to write custom made to order fiction (note here not FAN fiction, just fiction). They don't mention fan fiction until they list what they are comfortable doing.
They then post one of the already short fan fictions that they wrote in that anime fandom genre to show off there skills in writing. There was also a mention that they love this show and would really enjoy writing fan fiction in it.
Now here is where I came in. The add meant little to me originally, it was a standard. "Look at me and what I can do for you for a small fee" advertisement. I have written many of them in my life showing off my own art and my ability to draw on command.
I was going to let it be when one of the fans decided that they would point out, rudely I might add, that this is illegal. Your right selling other peoples property is illegal, and down right wrong. But as I am an artist and I draw fan art and sell commission as well this got me thinking, are we really selling the characters or our skills? It is not there characters we are selling it is our skill set that you are buying! We don't care if you ask for Joe Blow from Idaho (if there is a Joe Blow in Idaho, I apologize, but it is one of my more favorite sayings I use! I love you man!) or some famous character from some famous show. We are selling you our style, our skills, our time, not the character. You have no right to call that character your own. I want to mention I prefer to draw original characters they are fun and creative.
So what is the true difference for paying $1.00 for 100 words, or $10.00 for a sketch? Honestly nothing is different aside from the artistic skills needed.
What you order is your choice, not ours. We just give you what you wanted! So really be it a writer, or a artist that draws there is NO difference in us selling commissions.
In fact I am truly sad that more and more writers don't take commissions. I would love to give a few writers some of the plot bunnies running round in my head! I don't have room with them, with the photo gremlins I deal with!
As an end note I also wanted to mention, I said this earlier "selling other peoples property is illegal, and down right wrong. " Yes I also said I do sell fan art! Here is the thing, as a customer I want to buy what I know! So I want to buy my favorite characters. It is proven again and again.
Also many companies allow it now as long as we are not making enough to make a living off of it fully. I am allowed to sell the print I made of character XYZ as long as I am covering just the cost of me making that product. So that is the hard part, making money but not making a profit.
And a small mention of this. Did you know a lot of the product you buy online that is "official" merchandise, often is not! =^_~= Things you learn when you do the research for a store you worked for. I often was the one responsible for bringing in new merchandise, it is not always official, so many knock offs that look real.
Just a bit of food for thought. Tomorrows article will be something a bit more fun!