Very Artistic Plagiarism

, , , , , | Learning | October 16, 2018

(While I am enrolled in university, I do art commissions on the side. Another student at the university contacts me to do a painting for him, and we meet in a common area. He’s got a poster roll with him, which I initially don’t think odd. After introductions, we get to business, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see he’s already got a good idea of how large he wants the piece to be, some of the blocking, even a bit of the style. Then we hit a snag:)

Student: “…and I don’t want you overcharging me for supplies, so I bought them for you.”

(This isn’t itself unusual, even if rudely stated. Plenty of my prior customers had specific paint colors in mind, and bought them for me in advance. I look over the paints and canvas, and I’m relieved to find they’re quality — I’d been worried he had bought basic poster paint and cardboard.)

Me: “Well, this should be more than enough, yes. I can definitely discount you for them.”

Student: “Discount?”

Me: “Yes. From your description, I won’t even need all the paint, so I can return the leftovers, or buy them off you if I find them intriguing.”

Student: “Why only a discount? I bought everything you need!”

(He’s getting more than huffy at this point, almost pouting.)

Me: “I do need a little bit more than this, but most of it’s going to be due to how much time I need to complete the work. Don’t worry; my rates are [reasonable price for my skill and the complexity of the piece].”

Student: “But I bought everything! Why should I pay more on top of that?”

Me: “Because you didn’t buy any of it from me? I’ve still got my own bills to pay, too.”

(He snatches back the materials.)

Student: “You’re just being greedy! I already put out [slightly high price for the quality of the paints and canvas]; that should be enough!”

Me: “If you’ve got a budget, you might want to hit up some of the first-year students. I know that one of the professors assigns work very similar to your request, so they may be willing to do it for you in exchange for the materials.”

(He walked off at this point, swearing under his breath. I was surprised someone who knew enough to outline the commission so well would also try to talk his way out of paying for it, but I forgot him for a while. Later on, I found out that not only did he commission one of the professor’s first-year students, like I suggested, he himself was one. He’d tried to buy someone else’s work, pass it off as his own, and got called out by the professor when she noticed he’d tried to sign the piece over the real artist’s signature. This plagiarism counted as cheating, and he was expelled.)

Getting Established Is Lightning In A Bottle

, , , , , | Related | October 11, 2018

(I’m on vacation with my grandparents. My grandpa and I are having a drink with my uncle and his girlfriend who are staying for a few days at the house we’re staying in. We are talking about how I’ve been doing graphic design commissions the past few months. My grandpa asks my uncle if he has any tips for me since he is an established artist, known for putting popular people in pink clothing in his paintings.)

Grandpa: “Do you have any advice for him to get himself out there at all?”

Uncle: *to me* “You said you were advertising on Twitter and stuff, right?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Uncle: *to my grandpa, chuckling* “Yeah, I got nothing. He’s actually already doing more than me.”

Swan Lake It Isn’t…

, , , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2018

(I am fifteen. A friend’s dad gets free tickets to a ballet, and offers them to my friend and me. It is a production about Merlin, so we decide to dress up and go. We get handed programs, sit down, read them, and wait for the show to start. It starts with dancing and leaping and so many other amazing moves that I cannot begin to do justice to with words. According to that part of the program, the story goes that a beautiful woman comes to a clearing and dances with glee, then is accosted by a demon, is chased, and becomes pregnant with Merlin. We get to a point where Merlin’s mother is lying on the ground, while the demon keeps walking back and forth above her. I’m wondering if this is some kind of metaphorical thing, because he is stepping over her body the whole time, and lean over to my friend and whisper to ask her opinion.)

Me: “Do you think he’s already—”

(Right as I say this, the “demon” gets down on all fours, lies on top of her, and arches his back.)

Me: *pause* “Never mind.”

I’ll Pencil You In For Never

, , , , , , | Right | September 5, 2018

(I produce very fine pencil drawings of city views, done in psychedelic colour schemes. I also sell ink drawings of those same views, which resemble colouring book pages. Customers sometimes ask if it’s okay for them to colour them in, and it is, since it doesn’t affect me. This woman is a lot less polite about it, though.)

Girl: “Ooh, these look nice, Mum.”

Woman: “Yes, they look okay. How much are they?”

Me: “The colour prints are £40, black and white £20, and the originals are about £250.”

Woman: “What?! You’re charging £250 for pencil drawings!”

Me: *taken aback* “Well, they’re each nearly a month’s work and done in very fine detail.”

Woman: “I’m not paying that. I could do this!”

Girl: “Oh, but I really like them.”

Woman: “Fine.”

(She decides to buy one of the black and white prints.)

Woman: “Mind if I take a photo?”

Me: “That’s fine.”

Woman: *to her daughter* “Now we can copy it, and sell our own for £250.” *smiles smugly and leaves*

Me: “It’s your money.”

Another Visitor: “Aren’t you worried about her?”

Me: “It took 300 pencils to do these. A lot of the patterns are in very tiny spaces and done on a whim. Computers have trouble scanning them, and I couldn’t copy them, even with all the pencils to hand. Even if she does succeed, she’ll have to invest a few hundred getting her own art business set up. That’s money I haven’t made back yet. She is not going to make this £20 back.”

It Would Be Nude To Not Ask

, , , , , | Friendly | April 13, 2018

(I’m at the park, sketching random people as they walk by. One guy comes up to me and sees what I’m doing.)

Guy: “Hey, that’s pretty good.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Guy: “So, do you artists also draw, like…. naked people?”

Me: “Uh… Occasionally. For study and stuff.”

Guy: “Cool. Can you draw me?”

(Before I could answer, he began stripping right in front of me, in full view of everyone. I grabbed my things and ran off. It’s been years, and I’ve yet to go back to that area in fear I’ll run into him again.)

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