Speaks for itself, I think.
Just a reminder: I don’t do many reblogs on the shadradraws tumblr (most you see were by accident!). I do most of my reblogging/commenting/etc on shadraquarium
I will probably be deleting my accidental reblogs from this page in a bit and reblogging them from my loltumblr blog. Sorry for the confusion!
Illustration for a short story I wrote, to be published in my school lit magazine The Final Draft
FireAlpaca and Photoshop
The DA point system is a horrible, irritating scam that pisses me off to no end.
Let’s think about it this way.
Sure, you can go to the store and buy, with real money, a copy of monopoly. Within that game comes a whole bunch of fake money… and, because that money is fake, there are ridiculously high amounts of it at an inflated price. It really LOOKS like a lot of money, and you can use it to buy things in monopoly! Which is cool and fun! But if you take it anywhere outside of monopoly you’re screwed. Who kept your real money that you paid for this? The company who produced the game… sure, you could try to get your money back by exchanging it for money, but you won’t get as much and, honestly, isn’t it kind of too much trouble?
now, this is all well and good because that’s a game. and what you got out of it is what you paid for: fun…. now here’s what DA points do.
They basically tell people it’s okay to actually PAY artists with monopoly money.
And because DA points are relatively cheap (it adds up, DA is making mint off of this shit don’t even think they aren’t) for such a high amount, suddenly even reasonable or undercharged (yes, even undercharged) artist commission prices look absolutely OUTRAGEOUS in this fake monopoly money and the buyer starts to demand a cheaper price.
cheaper prices so they can keep more of their pretend money
becasue it looks like a LOT of pretend money.
and it isn’t.
This is… ungodly, exceedingly harmful to artists. it breeds a mentality that is terrible. It basically outright says your time and effort aren’t even worth real money and, worst of all, DeviantART is using it as a means to keep all of the money for as little loss as possible. They are basically ripping off all of their (sometimes paying!) customers (I know I have a sub account).
What DeviantART is doing is the equivalent in paying your employees with monopoly money. It is shameful, it is harmful and it is childish. It is belittling and every time I am asked if I can accept points for commissions, only to decline and give a real price, I am treated like I’m asking for something outrageous.
what makes me the angriest about this is how people have given into it and bought into it as okay, the norm, etc.
They treat work, HARD WORK, like the equivalent of a go-gaia paper doll exchange.
Commission artists already GROSSLY undercharge for what is actual, real freelance or professional prices, and this is doing nothing more than wiping that out even further. Have you seen these 50 point commissions? Think about how lthat looks like a big number.
wow, 50 dollars could get me at least a nice solid drawing or even a lineart from some artists! hell, some artists even charge 50 for nice rendered stuff (which also makes me cry but… ok)
how muchmoney is 50 points, really, if it’s 80 points to a dollar?
how wrong is it to ask someone to work/design for you for LESS than a dollar?
THAT is why DA points are a scam.
(made rebloggable upon request)
The artists can deny taking points for commissions or what not. They can just say in their commission info that they only take Paypal and the like. It’s not like anyone is holding a gun to their head to only take points. :P I like the point system to reward people who fav a deviation of mine, or to give to members of my main clubs. I see how it could be annoying to artists that don’t want to be paid that way, but they can just not accept being paid that way.
Thank you. Yeah it’s a sucky system but no one is being force to use it as far as I know.
*sigh* the POINT this person is trying to make is that even if you don’t use it, people get mad at you because the point system is making it seem like you are charging some kind of outrageous price. If you really like an artist, why would you want to pay them in fake money? That is just rude. It undervalues all the work they put into what they made, which as stated is already underpriced. Even if nobody is being forced, it’s still affecting them and what they can charge in the community for their hard work, which is fucking dispicable.
wow, I thought I explained that pretty clearly and yet people are still trying to defend that bullshit system.
it has hurt my business and i’ve never taken point commissions. but then again i’ve lost my faith in people’s ability to read and logically process a situation based on how the outcome of a broken system can effect many even if they don’t participate.
points is a broken, BS system and there’s no reason at all to defend it. It absolutely hurts artists even if they don’t take it.
Here are some more reasons this is just an insanely bad idea:
A) Art is already undervalued in our society. People trying to make a living off of their art are now having to face with a new generation of budding consumers who have zero idea of the actual value of the things they buy— we already see a lot of this with other trades where goods that are made overseas, where labor is cheaper, drive down the price of goods here and drive people out of business.
B) DA is just making money off of your hard work. They are doing absolutely nothing to earn it, either— they are taking 20 cents off of every dollar with their conversion of 1 USD to 80 DA points (similar to the USD to the Japanese Yen), and apparently they also take points from each transaction, futher diminishing what the artist gets for their work. People compare it to paypal’s fees, but paypal is actually providing a legitimate, regulated service and convenience— people have been commissioning other people on DA for YEARS without this widget.
C) As soon as DA has your money, they are able to make more money off of it. They can get interest, they can invest it— even if you COULD get your money back by converting DA points to USD, the time spent where DA had your money earned them interest— if you keep your money, YOU earn that interest. It’s yours.
D) YOU CANNOT CONVERT YOUR POINTS BACK INTO REAL MONEY. This is -really important- guys. DA is an EXTREMELY limited market, however big it might seem, and the products being ‘sold’ on it are extremely specialized. If you put your liquid assets into a solid state, like buying jewelry or gold, you can wait for the market to change to get maybe a better deal selling it, and for items like that, you can expect that you can ALWAYS sell it to someone, because they’re universally valuable. DA points are not— you can ONLY use them on DA, for art.
E) On top of this, by subjecting yourself to DA’s limited market, you lose even more control over market values, and surrender yourself to the possibility that DA can (and probably will) artificially inflate the market. Over time, those points may start being worth less and less— I promise you, they will never go /up/ in value, because it’s not like DA is a real economy with trade, imports, or exports.
F) Aside from the things I’ve mentioned and Pu has mentioned, which is financial logic that I really hope people will read, if you’re going to take one thing away from this, it’s the following:
Your art is worth real money.
Your time, your effort, your practice, your struggling, your skills have a real, honest to goodness market value. In a world where artists already struggle to be understood, struggle to feel validated (pageviews/popularity angst, anyone?), struggle to find people who think that art -is- real work, a real job, a real valuable life pursuit… you suddenly have DA turning it into a game, saying it’s ‘just for fun’ and not worth real money.
This is completely demeaning and insulting to any artist, hobby or professional. From experience, let me tell you this: Being able to do art, or even just having basic drawing skills and understanding art and how it works is a HUGE asset in the job market. Art is everywhere, art is needed everywhere, and it’s the one thing that I know gives me a leg up in this bad economy when it comes to looking for work opportunities.
I value my time and my skills, and I value yours, no matter whether you are a beginner or have been drawing for years.
Your art is worth real money. Don’t let anybody EVER tell you otherwise.
I devote this picture to acid reflux.
Or, well, I blame it on it, anyway. Can’t sleep, acid will eat me.
Ravi and Shane from GateMUSH.