First of all, I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who sent me Happy Birthday wishes today. Despite a 90 minute wait at the restaurant for a table, everything’s gone pretty great today.
Now, I said last week that I’d begin to take new requests starting on the 4th. However, I’m having such a good time with this group shot I’m working on that I’ve decided to finish it up completely before starting anything else. That doesn’t mean that you can’t go ahead and send me your information. I’ll consider any and all requests that I get. I just won’t start on any for a while, until I can get this project squared away. I’ve already finished with 10 characters, but that’s probably only about 30% of the image, and there’s a lot more people per square inch as I move backwards through the crowd.
Before anyone starts sending in requests, I’d like to go over what I will and won’t do again, as well as provide some advice on how to make your request more likely to be chosen. First of all: these are requests, not commissions. You’re hoping to get free art, and I’m hoping to get some good practice and, hopefully, something that looks good that my watchers will enjoy, and that’ll help me get more watchers. As such, I’m not going to be beholden to any particular requester or request. I’ll try to contact you if I’m having difficulties, and work with you to make changes that’ll help me out, but when push comes to shove, if it’s not working out, I’m not going to force myself to finish it any more.
So, what can you do to make me more likely to finish your request? Well, making it a simple one is always appreciated. I’m not necessarily talking about character design here – complicated poses and backgrounds can be just as time-consuming. When I’m selecting a new request to work on, and have to choose between “Can you turn this selfie into a tiger?” and “Can you do my tiger OC, in full armor, posing heroically in a dragon’s cave surrounded by treasure?” I’m picking the first one every time – unless you can provide me with a photo of yourself in plate mail standing around in a cave. Now, don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to have a photo for me to work from in order to get a request. Just keep in mind that my ability to match the scene in your head is limited by the stock that I have available to work with. Especially when it comes to clothing, I might only be able to get roughly in the same ballpark, not exactly what you want. If you give me a list of the exact type and color of the clothes you want your character to be wearing, down to the colors of the thread used to attach the patches on your sleeves (don’t laugh – I’ve had ones that detailed before), you’re going to be disappointed.
Let’s look at some examples (and I’m not trying to call anyone out here for being a difficult requester. Just giving some examples of easy/time-consuming ones). All of these are ones that are relatively easy, that I can probably finish in a single sitting and wouldn’t have any problem accepting:
These ones all required some form of background replacement/more complicated techniques, but they were straight-forward enough that I wouldn’t mind doing similar ones. They wouldn’t be the first one’s I’d choose off the bat, though:
Third, we have the hard ones. All of these required lots of editing of both background and character, and often required me to spend several hours of extra time just looking for the appropriate stock. These are the ones I typically save to last, and are the ones at the highest risk of me not completing:
Finally, I want to go over what I will and won’t do when it comes to subject matter.
-Generic anthro animals in various poses (including non-natural color schemes)
-Transformations into an animal or character
-Non-natural species (dragons, griffons, Pokemon etc – note that there are some Pokemon that really don’t translate well to an anthro form. An anthro Koffing is probably a no-go, for example)
-Characters with multiple/extra body parts: limbs, heads, etc.
-Rubber/inflatable characters (I’ve only done one or two that I’ve thought were decent, but I’ve been asked about them recently, and I’m willing to keep trying my hand at them)
-Kids. I work in a photographic medium, and there’s enough rights and consent issues involving minors, especially when you consider that not all of my requesters live in the same country as me. I’m willing to do requests for people that young, but if you look under the age of about 16, I’m going to insist on using a stock photo of my choice, rather than one that you provide.
-Celebrity manips, or manips using other copywritten photos. I personally don’t have anything against it, and I’m not really afraid of them coming after me with a legal team or anything. However, deviantArt has rules about using non-“stock” photos without permission, and it’s not like I can really call up Taylor Swift or Megan Fox to get their okay. I’ve done them before, but I usually like to decide that sort of thing on a case-by-case basis, and it’s usually only as a favor for someone I’ve had a bit of a working relationship with. I typically can’t post them here, in any case, so it’s not something I want to encourage requests of. The same thing goes for using professional models, photos from clothing websites, etc. If it’s not something taken of you/by you, or from a dA stock account or Creative Commons-licensed provider, I’m not going to use it.
-Nude manips. Yes, I do them. Yes, I even post a few here, on rare occasion. No, I’m not going to do one of you. I might be willing to do one of your character, if I can select the stock for it myself, and if the pose/subject matter is something that I can post here. Otherwise, I’m sure there are multiple other artists you can go to for that.
-Completely human manips. I’m a furry artist. It’s what most of my watchers come here to see. However, I still get some requests for pure weight gain, shrinking, or clothing transformations. Again, there are other manippers here on dA and elsewhere that specialize in that sort of thing.
-Sequences. Sequences are hard. And time consuming. I’ve only done one in the last year that wasn’t specifically posed for by myself. I guess if you’ve got the photos ready to go, and would be willing to take more if needed, we can talk. But I won’t be doing any more if I have to find the stock myself.