The nature of Gifts and Giving.

My entire career, I’ve given away free sketches at every convention I appear at.  You get a fairly swift (usually about five minutes) sketch and a few words of conversation, and we move on to the next guy.  I give ’em out for free because a) the fans deserve it; they pay my rent the rest of the year…and 2) I feel like a jackass charging people twenty bucks for a con sketch…

My ONE stipulation is that they are not for sale on ebay the next day.  I see that, and I get furious.   I’m giving somebody a  “gift”, and if they turn around and try to make a quick twenty bucks off of it, I feel they need a quick  shove into a pit full of feces.

The sketch to the right, and the one at the bottom of the page, are examples of what you get fer yer five minutes and no money.  And these examples were given to fine con goers who held onto them after they got ’em.  Bless their hearts.

HOWEVER…there’s another asshole attempting to sell my sketches on ebay.  I don’t know what he looks like, but I’d really like to…so, if anyone reading this can help me find out who this guy is, I’d appreciate it.  Here’s a link to his ebay page, and his ebay name is  E Maxwell.  It’s dickwits like this guy that cause other artists to charge for their sketches.  The next time someone asks you for fifty bucks for a sketch, you can blame this E. Maxwell ass.  He’s the one costing you money and goodwill.

He’s local Ontario, so I’ll recognize him if I could see a photo.  And perhaps the next time I see him, a quick fecal shove.

Ty the Guy.  Still happy to do free sketches.  But happy to put the boot in, as well.

6 responses to “The nature of Gifts and Giving.

  1. If you want to spend about $8 you can buy the cheapest item the guy sells, and get the return address when he ships. Of course if he’s reading this he may stop doing that. But then buy something that he sells with a guarantee and return it to get his address.

    However, since he seems to be a dealer, it’s quite possible he is buying these things from fans that you drew them for, and as such the fans are breaking the covenant, not him. So before you ruin him or give him negative e-bay reputation, you may want to find out the truth on that. Negative ebay reputation is quite scary to any person who is an ebay dealer, it can ruin their business there. But it’s not fair to give it for something other than the transaction at hand. So somebody who buys your sketch from him, finding it was sold in violation of the deal with you, might fairly file a complaint and leave a negative reputation.

    • Keiren has an eBay acct so I had her send a comment to say that if someone sold it to him, they deserve to be kicked in the head; if it was him, well…

      A lot of artists charge for sketches now and even then, have a long list of qualifications: only in a sketch book, and they add the person’s name. I’m trying to avoid going that route, but every time I find a con sketch on eBay, it makes me angry.

      • In the US and Canada there is a law doctrine called “first sale” which gives people the power to resell copyrighted works. It’s hard to forbid though an explicit contract should be able to do it. This is an odd one because for a contract they have to give you something, and promising not to sell what they got is an odd something to give.

        In the USA (but not as clearly in Canada) the person selling can put up the thumbnail photo in order to sell it, but in Canada it might be a copyright violation to do that. Pissy to use that part of the law for this, though.

  2. Oh yeah, Ty, here’s another idea. When you do a sketch at a con, when you are done insist that you can now take a digital photo of the fan holding the picture. No picture, no sketch. Not bad to take a picture of the sketch as well, you own the copyright to it after all.

    Anyway, if somebody then starts selling the sketches you will know exactly who it is who broke the covenant, even if it is sold by somebody else like a dealer.

  3. The other responses sound so rational. Me, I discovered that there are no E. Maxwell’s in Courtice, though there are two people with that last name. Also, there is one E. Maxwell in Oshawa, which Courtice is just outside of. Wow. Y’know, I should take up stalking. I scare me.

    • Oh, and there are no E. Maxwell’s working at comic stores in that area, at least that I found. Yep. I need to develop an evil laugh. I think that’s the next step.

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