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Thread: How can anybody ask for an unpaid map?

  1. #21
      Redrobes is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverhead View Post
    In unpaid maps you can't complain about quality, because you're not paying them (though I'd understand that you did if the quality is really horrible)...
    Id say there is never grounds to complain on a free map that's the very pointed difference. No matter how bad it is you have no moral right to complain about it if its free. If a dollar then you can complain but not at zilch. Anything more than a void is a bonus. They don't like it - you give em a full refund

  2. #22
      a2area is offline
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    As i have said.. i can see both sides and how having an outside inspiration can get ones mind going in new directions.. which is great. Obviously, us map freaks are making maps for free all of the time just for enjoyment. Mostly, I was just momentarily struck with the seemingly bold idea of actually asking for the production and use of something anywhere near the baseline of quality that i continue to see at cartographers guild for free and thought i'd pose the question on the forum.

    The "Karma" rule may also be at play behind the scenes.. plus relationship building.. you never know how one favor may repay another in the long run. Anyhow, I thought it was worth the asking.. even if the post title was a little harsh it reflected the spur of the moment feeling I had but there is obviously a lot more to the mechanism than simply doing stuff for free. As long as the talent here is truly appreciated, then I am happy!

    OUCH, low blow Ravells! (-: Shamefully, I am a non-donor as of yet (hangs head).. haha.. as soon as I actually get a check from one of my commissions and my pin is reflected on Redrobe's member location map I will most definitely donate (0:

  3. #23
      ravells is offline
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    Seriously a2area, it wasn't meant to be. I know that that the vast majority of regular posters here are good people and you're one of them. The fact that they haven't donated to the site speaks more of their ability to donate than their will...and that's fine! We are good to each other, we help each other, we make better maps. All for free. Money isn't everything.

  4. #24
      a2area is offline
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    I know, I was just joking with you anyway. The site and community is well worth a donation and I've been here about long enough to where i can say it is of definite value to me.

  5. #25
      arsheesh is offline
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    I totally agree aZarea. In fact, my conscious has been on me for some time about not having donated yet (though I do plan to do so at some point). And I see your point Ravells about the Guild being a place for map enthusiasts and hobiests to help each other out. I love that in fact. I also realize that the average (non-commercial) private map commission is going to yield a very low return given the ratio between time and effort spent on a project and received payment for that project. That said, "the worker is worth his wages." It seems to me that, friends, family and charitable contributions aside, some degree of compensation is in order for any commissioned piece of work, particularly if there is a substantial investment of time and effort. I get the fact that not everyone can afford to pay the commissioned artist what his work is really worth, however to not offer any compensation at all for that work strikes me as insulting. As others have mentioned, it is one thing for a person to ask the artist's permission to use an already existing piece of work for a private (non-commercial) function e.g. D&D campaign, but it is something else entirely to ask that artist to create something entirely new for them without offering some form of payment. Likewise, it is one thing for an artist to voluntarily offer some of his work free of use to the public domain-I myself as a novice have tried to do that for fellow Gamers at my own Obsidian Portal site-and something entirely different for this to become an expectation of artists (regardless of how politely that expectation is expressed).

    I also worry about the precedence that this sets. I agree Ravelles that there is no way of knowing for sure what the impact of taking on free commissions will be (it may in fact attract the attention of those willing to pay), but I have found that the world is full of moochers always looking for a free lunch. Hence, taking on free commissions might just attract more of the same kind of crowd. In writing this I should point out that I am neither a professional artist, nor do I currently plan on pursuing such a career. Nevertheless I feel that those that are part of this profession deserve to be treated with a bit more professional respect To those who cannot afford to pay what the artist's work is worth, I would recommend at the very least offering the fairest payment that you can afford. Also, just an aside, I do not mean to offend those who have volunteered their time and talents to create maps for others free of charge. You are all to be commended for your generosity. Like aZarea, I am more concerned with the attitudes of expectation that the recipients of your work may have.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

    P.S. And I think with that my conscious has finally won me over.

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  7. #27
      Diamond is offline
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    I've done several free maps for folks on alternatehistory.com over the years, with returns that were, at best, diminishing. Once I did a couple free maps, word got around, and I got flooded with requests. A couple of years or so ago, I stopped doing 'em for free because I simply had no time to work on them, and people got all whiny and the requests dried up. Recently that has started to change as people discover my DA site and offer to pay. I've done a regional map for a guy in South Africa's RPG group, and he paid me very fairly for it. Since then I've done two more and have made (I think) a reasonable amount of money for them considering the time involved. I don't plan to become a professional artist (my goal is professional writer ), and I do this pretty much strictly as a hobby. Having said that, it IS nice to have people approach me and offer to pay for what my services are worth.

  8. #28
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Also bear in mind that cash is not the only way to pay for something. Ravells & I collaborated on a project for blandine some time ago where I got paid with an original piece of music. I don't know if or how ravs was compensated, but I was quite happy with the arrangement.

    If you happen to know that a requester has a skill you could make use of, you might ask if they're willing to trade favors.

    It would be wonderful to raise the perceived value of fantasy cartography to the point where people could make some significant money from it. I have no idea what the real pros make, but I doubt it's anywhere close to what they're worth (in my opinion). Commercial artists in general tend to have this problem. "You love making art, so you should make my logo/poster/map for free! I'm doing you a favor!" Yeah, I like making art, but I'm also fond of eating.

    Another issue to consider is that the artist has some degree of leverage in licensing. If no money or goods are changing hands, then the artist should retain copyright. If the map is used in a manner outside of the license granted to the client, then the artist can pursue damages. That is, if someone asks for a map for their personal RPG campaign then turns around and publishes it, the artist has recourse to get compensation after the fact.

    You know, perhaps there should be a thread somewhere to talk about licensing and contract issues. We've touched on it a time or two in the past, but it would be nice to have a central resource.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  9. #29
      arsheesh is offline
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    I think you've hit on some excellent points Midgard, and I would be curious to learn about licensing and contractual issues anyway, just so that I feel well informed. I will probably pursue looking into these issues on my own, but it would be helpful to have a thread posted on the matter.

  10. #30
      Jaxilon is offline
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    I was just looking around on DA and came across a tutorial about putting hidden watermarks on your art and how you can unlock the watermark if you ever need to prove it was a stolen piece. I couldn't figure out how to read the tutorial so I have no idea how to do this but it might be useful in certain situations like what Midgardsormr was talking about.

    All in all, I'm still going to do the art even if I don't get paid for it. I would probably do MORE art if I was compensated in some way but I enjoy entering challenges here for a critique, a pat on the back and maybe an ata-boy badge. Even if I never make a dime I'll be at it as much as I can. In a way it reminds me of something Napoleon Bonaparte once said: "I've discovered something fascinating: Men will die for ribbons".

    I also think it is part of our nature to want to share and help others. After all, "There is more happiness is giving than in receiving." Unfortunately, there are many in the world who take advantage of this so we find ourselves having conversations like the one we are having now.

    Reality can be such a pain in the butt! <-- This is probably why half of us enjoy making maps of fantasy.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

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