Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 50

Thread: How can anybody ask for an unpaid map?

  1. #1
      a2area is offline
    Professional Artist a2area's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    181

    Default How can anybody ask for an unpaid map?

    (... gets on soap box)
    Even I, with no dough to spare.. would at least put up a token $10 or $20 for a map, even if I was a just a teenager with an allowance. Even the homeless have time to scrape up returnable cans for their liquor. One just wonders how badly these people really need/want these maps?! I have donated the use of one of my maps for an inner city group but they didn't actually ask me to take time to make the map for free... there's a difference. Anyhow, I'm not trying to offend... i'm sure some could have a truly reasonable explanation (?).. it just today struck me as odd.
    Last edited by a2area; 04-26-2010 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #2
      torstan is offline
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    4,142

    Default

    I think that as long as people are willing to provide maps for free (and there are many such generous souls right here) then there will be requests for free maps. Sometimes people just fancy it, or are having some trouble with inspiration for maps of their own. And there are people for whom that $10 or $20 is a lot. Also, as soon as you make it a paid commission, for however little that may be, the relationship between the person asking for the map and the person providing it changes. I think they are two different things.
    Fantasy Map Blog | My food illustration
    Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread.

  3. #3
      Sigurd is offline
    Guild Artisan Sigurd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    880

    Default

    I wish I could impress on most requesters that it is probably in their own best interest to learn to love an existing map with a generous license or generous artist. It takes the request from the lazy to the flattering. "I really liked ..... do you mind if I use it privately".

    I think it is one thing to be asked about a finished work but a completely different thing to undergo making a new work. And there are so many good maps here of tremendous quality.

    If you don't think you have the ability to make your own map, have the patience to look through the hundreds of maps here and ask permission of the cartographer respectfully. Very often it will get you the use of a map in short order. It may create a friendship with the creator who _might_ modify it or future maps to suit, and it gives you something concrete to talk about.

    Failing that there are numerous projects that develop a shared map. You might genuinely enjoy contributing your writing for a larger project. Likely, you could use the project for your private game or whatever and have the satisfaction of contributing to something larger than yourself.

    The Cooperative World Building Project has lots of maps designed to be shared and they need developers, writers, artists and anything else that inspires.... The more people a project benefits the more likely you will get contributions.

    Too many map requests are really creators looking for recognition for their own work. "I have this great world but it doesn't have a map.". The subtext seems to be that the requester's world is so great that it's an inspiration to make a map, and a kindness to let the cartographer do it. That premise locks the cartographer out of genuine collaboration - the map is an imperfect copy of a hard to describe idea - and it simply isn't much fun. The idea\request should change with the map, as it would if the author did it themselves.

    Time fulfilling a request is taken from other activities\family members\needs. I would urge requesters to start with the cartographer's inspiration, recognize their vision and collaborate with a piece whose work is already done. Its much less frustrating to talk from a concrete example and its much more fun for the cartographer to see their own work come to life rather than be some sort of poor prosthetic for someone without the faith, talent, or will to make their own maps. So the city is too far north. It has one too many mountains. There's a lake, river, continent you didn't expect. Adapt! There is a false impression that fantasy maps must be perfect and that stories don't, in part, adapt to maps.

    My advice, especially if you are not going to recompense the artist, get permission to use a map that has been already made. If possible change things in your story to adapt to the map. Your flexibility will give you more choice and better relations. It boils down to how you treat volunteers. If you're paying for a map set your goals and ask if they can be reached for the agreed price. If you are offering no incentive, try to make it as much fun for everyone as you can. Always attribute the work and a little praise never hurts.
    Last edited by Sigurd; 04-26-2010 at 04:39 PM.


    Dollhouse Syndrome = The temptation to turn a map into a picture, obscuring the goal of the image with the appeal of cute, or simply available, parts. Maps have clarity through simplification.

    --- Sigurd

  4. #4
      Ramah is offline
    Guild Expert Ramah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Nottinghamshire
    Posts
    1,326
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Well that post just seems like a whole lot of sense.

    Great post, Sigurd. Well thought out points and well written.
    Last edited by Ramah; 04-26-2010 at 04:41 PM.
    Royal: I'm very sorry for your loss, your mother was a terribly attractive woman.


    My Cartographer's Guild maps: Finished Maps


    More maps viewable at my DeviantArt page: Ramah-Palmer DeviantArt

  5. #5
      Ascension is offline
    Community Leader Ascension's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    St. Charles, MO
    Posts
    8,216

    Default

    Siggie always has been, and always will be, the most insightful member here...much respect. As for the free stuff, well, I look at it like this...it gives me a chance to learn new things, experiment even more (muhahahah), and hone my skills. I've done about three or four free things, four or five paid things, and a whole lot of my own stuff. So while the pros will overlook the unpaid stuff, we amateurs get a chance to practice. Heck, the paid stuff is often quite small when compared to the labor that goes into it. I'll put 40 hours into a map for $50 and in my stained glass I'll put 40 hours into it for, well, a whole lot more than that In the end, I have no beef with free stuff at all...I just wish more requests got filled by folks willing to learn and hone their skills.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  6. #6
      a2area is offline
    Professional Artist a2area's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Very sensible, Sigurd.... I agree totally. Having a background in graphic design, whose talents are often notoriously taken advantage of (free spec-ads, ideas, campaigns etc), probably made me sensitive to the issue. The fact that graphic designers bow to this expectation continues to devalue the demand... perhaps it is not quite the same thing (apples-to-oranges?). Still the idea did happen to conjure up a slight feeling of insult in me.. for some reason just today-too much coffee?

    Hobby map-making is not the same as graphic design, but it is undeniably an artform... and it is nice to have a little challenge to keep improving your skills. AND, i really do think it's a refreshing rarity to be able to get something of quality for free... but on the flip-side.. it almost hurts to think that some of these things go for free when the creator may actually need money themselves. I just hope people actually realize what talent and effort can go into these maps and what a gift they are getting. That's all.


    It isn't the "doing" that I wonder about.. it's more the Asking and receiving and how that actually impacts commissions, if at all. It's obviously up to you to accept the request or not so I don't want to make too much of this "argument", I'm just sayin'. I'm not even saying I wouldn't do one (0: if the timing and request were right.

    Case in point.. i had to fish around here to figure out what to charge for some commissions i just picked up.. and let me say.. woah.. very low indeed considering the potential effort.. but it's $. I guess it's all about balancing the effort with the pay-off.. which like anything is partially experience.. but many often get paid for that regardless.
    Last edited by a2area; 04-26-2010 at 05:24 PM.

  7. #7
      Coyotemax is offline
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default

    *applause to everyone who's posted so far, especially Sigurd*

    I'll take on requests for unpaid work, though the bulk of my work lately has been paid commissions. As Ascension points out, it gives me a chance to hone skills and experiment in manners I might not with a paid map - at that point my time is better used by working with techniques that I've become familiar with (while working on unpaid maps, no less). I may not get the paid commissions I do without that unpaid work as well - it's how I built up my portfolio, along with maps I created for no other reason to create them. And if I'm looking to work in a new style, why not experiment on something that has a focus to it? Personally I find myself a better artist when I have someone saying "Would it be possible to do this or this?". I find I do better work when there's direction. And if I don't have anything else going on at the moment, why not? I've already made one great friendship from an unpaid request, and it's lead into a multitude of other opportunities for which I am grateful - and this never would have happened if I had not said "Sure, I'll give that a try".

    (Another thing I like about taking on unpaid maps - it gives you a bit more chance to practice relations with the client without the pressure of money attached There's a lot less worry about "will i say the wrong thing and lose the commission" along with learning what to ask and how to ask it when discussing needs.)

    So that's my own thoughts on the matter.
    (and a quick apology to people who've known me to be a lot more verbose on the forums previously, over the last month or two there's been a lot of personal issues and some commissions that take away my time from reading and responding, and there's been days where I could have spent the entire day doing nothing but going through the forum when I see 4 pages of new posts! I'm still here and I still skim, obviously )

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  8. #8
      a2area is offline
    Professional Artist a2area's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    181

    Default

    I like your signature coyotemax.. it's funny how many people don't think about drawing something by hand to get that "drawn by hand" look! I once had a client that wanted a picture that looked like it was drawn by a child. So i drew a picture and had my nephew copy it. Voila.. only cost me a hot fudge sundae (0:

  9. #9
      arsheesh is offline
    Community Leader arsheesh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,166

    Default

    Here's another point worth considering, if you happen to be among the "generous souls who offer their services for free" crowd. There are several professional artists within the guild who derive their livelihood from their art. In addition, there are likely others here who would like to learn how to derive some residual income from the hobby they love, and perhaps even become professional artists themselves. Map commissions present an opportunity for such guild members. Yet if other members of the guild are willing to take on unpaid map commissions-particularly if those members happen to be amongst the more talented of the guild-this would seem to serve as a disincentive for those requesting maps to offer financial compensation for the work that they are requesting. Why would someone pay a journeyman cartographer, a guild artisan, or even a professional artist to create a map that they could just as easily have had a guild community leader create for them for free? So by offering to take on unpaid commissions, these guild members may be inadvertently stifling important financial prospects for other guild members. I'm sure that this is not what is intended, but it might nevertheless be an unanticipated consequence of offering one's services for free.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

  10. #10
      a2area is offline
    Professional Artist a2area's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    181

    Default

    That's kinda what i was getting at Arsheesh.. i have a way of not getting to the point (0:

    It's not that I'm saying "this must stop!" either.. i see that there are benefits to artisans that otherwise wouldn't present themselves with quite the same challenge that arises... but even still... if that same [Unpaid] came with even a $10 donation (still what a deal), and maybe some of them do donate (i'll call it a donation so that they aren't technically a client).. it might pay for one of us not so starving artists to fuel up at the gas station.. get some well deserved starbucks that we might not otherwise buy... or even go toward paying off that student loan (boring). Every dollar adds up...

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •