OK, so I admit, the idea of having a "rules" page seems a bit ugly. Unfortunately it is necessary, because not everyone in this world is fair and honest, and those wingnuts are the ones who dork things up for everyone else. I've been commissioning artists for a few years now, and have found them by and large to be great to work with. The rules on this page are really nothing more than what should be common sense and good courtesy, and for the 99% of artists who actually get those concepts, we'll have no problems. But for the remaining 1%, well, if you aren't willing to abide by these terms, then please just decline my commission now and save us both a lot of pain in the end.
Rule 1: This is supposed to be FUN for both of us. Basically, I want artists to have FUN drawing my characters. I'll give you a general guideline of what I want, and a very minimum set of "required" elements. Beyond that, I'll get out of your way and let you have some creative rein. I'll certainly collaborate as much as you want, but I'm not here to micromanage. My guides on this site pretty much set forth what is "hard and fast" about my characters. Please, don't be afraid to discuss your ideas with me. I'm pretty open to suggestions! (I might add that communication is the key here. If you come up with something different than what I originally ask for... please discuss it with me. This is supposed to be fun, after all, so I see no reason we can't kick ideas around.)
Rule 2: Absolutely no adult situations. Let me make that abundantly clear. I enjoy a good yiffy story, and even write a bit of erotica sometimes. I also enjoy some adult artwork. But that does not mean that I want to wake up one morning and see one of my characters doing the nasty. If you draw my characters, you MUST keep it clean. Properly clothed, no genitalia showing, no sexual acts. Breaking this rule is a sure-fire way to draw the sort of wrath that you really, really do not wish to endure. I like being a nice person. Please don't make me show you my not-so-nice side.
Rule 3: I respect the rights of artists, and ask that you respect mine in return. I own my characters, as described in the Copyrights and Trademarks section. As an artist, you own the copyright in any artwork you create. This is a longstanding provision of copyright law.
However, as the owner of the characters, please kindly remember that I have rights too. I reserve the right to post your artwork of my character(s) in my online galleries (including, but not limited to, FurAffinity and similar sites) and on my own web sites. Credit will be given to you as the artist for any such use online. You understand that I may offer items for sale on my web sites, such as writing commissions. I also reserve the right to print your artwork for my own personal use. That could mean, for example, displaying it in my home, printing it on an article of clothing like a cap or T-shirt for my own personal wear at conventions, or even printing it on personal postcards to be mailed. Basically, I reserve the right to use or display your art of my characters in any not-for-profit way that I wish, since I've commissioned you to create that artwork for me. If I want to use your art in a way that directly makes a profit for me, I will ask you first and we will set up a proper legal contract, including fair compensation. (For example: I may post your drawing on my website as part of the site décor, even if that website offers services for hire, because your artwork is not directly tied to a profit motive but rather is intended to showcase your talent with full credit, while also adding beauty to my site. On the other paw, if I were to offer T-shirts for sale which featured your artwork as part of the design, that would require a legal contract with fair compensation to you.)
Rule 4: You are absolutely welcome to display art you create for me. Please just credit me as the owner of the character(s). Seriously, you just busted hump to create this awesome piece of artwork for me, you think I'm gonna tell you not to show it off? That's just not going to happen.
You are absolutely welcome to post any art you produce of my characters in your own personal portfolio, con booth, web site, or gallery -- but please remember to credit me as the owner of the character(s). As stated elsewhere, you may not use artwork of my character(s) for profit unless we have a written agreement. And please don't SELL artwork of my characters to anyone but me (more on that later).
Rule 5: You need my permission to use my characters in your own art works. Though I'll probably be pretty flattered that you asked. Whoa, wait, you like my characters so much that you want to draw them on your own, and it's not even my commission? Cool!
All I ask, is that if you want to use my characters in your own works, please (1) ASK ME FIRST, and (2) send me a copy so I can post it in my own gallery (with credit to you). And oh, yeah, please re-read that rule about yiffy art up above. I'm sure your nine-tailed blue kitsune is a total cutie, but I really don't want him sleeping with my characters. *wink*
Rule 6: You may not make a profit from my characters without my written permission, or sell originals/prints of my characters to anyone but me. This probably goes without saying... but if you plan to use my character(s) in one of your works for profit, you'll need to have my written permission in the form of a legal contract. But then again, if you're publishing work for profit, you probably already know that, right?
Even though you create a picture of my character (and thus own a copyright in that particular picture), my characters are my property and are protected by both copyright and trademark. You therefore may not sell the original, a print, or any derivative work of my character to anyone other than me. If you do, you are violating my rights as the owner of the character(s). If you plan to make a profit off of my characters, you must have my written permission in the form of a legal contract... and that includes selling originals or prints.
Every once in a while I hear an artist insist that they have the right to do anything they want to with an art work they create, even if it means selling prints of someone else's character to other people without consent. If you are one of those artists, then I ask that you please politely decline to accept my commission and we just end the deal on a friendly note. I mean, after all, you're an ARTIST. You have a great imagination. So you can conjure up any character you want without having to use mine, right? Please create your own characters to put on your con-booth table or website for sale, and leave mine off the market. Again, I have no problem with you DISPLAYING my characters (so long as you give me credit) but any artwork of my characters is not for sale to anyone but me, at any price.
Rule 7: Sorry, writers, but I'd rather you not write about my characters. At this time I do not wish to allow my characters to be used by other writers. I have invested tremendous time and energy into developing these characters, and I know them better than anyone. It's a fairly simple matter to draw a character and still remain faithful to the reference specs; there's room for some artistic variation but in the end, it either looks like the character, or it doesn't. It's another matter entirely to accurately portray someone else's character using the complex nuances of the written word. If I know you well, I may agree to collaborate with you on a written work, but I don't see myself giving anyone else free rein to write about my characters. And really, you're a writer. Be creative and invent your own characters. :-)
This also means please do not use my characters in so-called "fan fics." I am a published author and for legal reasons I have to protect my rights in my characters. Please respect my wishes on this. I'm not a mean person, but lawyers can be. I'm sure we'd both like to avoid that unpleasantness.
Rule 8: I usually welcome new artists, and I really don't bite, so if you'd like to draw for me, by all means please ask! Want me to consider commissioning you? Please let me know! I am happy to consider new artists to draw my characters, if I feel that your style suits them. I also cheerfully accept gift art (who doesn't?) and will consider trades on a case by case basis, but just remember I'm primarily a writer and photographer, and just starting out as a visual artist.
And please... remember to ask me first. The only exception is gift art, such as a commission of my characters paid for by someone else as a surprise. (Awwwwww!)
Your agreement: By creating artwork of my character(s), whether for payment, trade, or gift, you are expressly indicating your acceptance of these terms and agreeing to be bound by them.
Seriously, everything in here is pretty much common courtesy, right? I'm not a mean person and I wish this page were not even necessary, but there's always that one person that the only way to get their attention is with a sledgehammer. Sadly, because of those people, I've had to create this page to protect myself.
Thanks for reading -- and please, don't hesitate to ask questions! If you really do want to work with me but you feel that one of these rules isn't a good fit... would you please TELL me? I may be willing to negotiate something different if I know in advance.