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Old 03-13-2023, 10:14 PM   #1
Sailor Moon
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Curious about your thoughts in asking an inker to make changes to original pencils

The short story...

I don't know artist-etiquette, and I tried asking other professional artists about this. And they all mostly gave grey-area answers about you not being wrong paying inkers to make changes to original art if you wanted it. But then they would also say that it's not something they would enthusiastically do themselves. So, it took me awhile to even get the confidence to ask inkers if they were willing to try and "fix" one of my original art pieces (let alone me trying to find someone talented enough to do the specific change I had in mind). And after a year of looking, I found a guy who did a great job. But now I'm not sure if by doing this if I've ruffled any feathers the wrong way... Does anyone here have an opinion on if making changes to original art with inks is considered wrong or, "in bad taste?"

The long story...

So, I commissioned Lady Death's current interior artist, Diego Bernard, to do an homage piece to J Scott Campbell's Sleeping Beauty with some specific instructions to "fix" what I think Scott had done wrong in his original art (he drew her leg sticking out through a hole in the sheets because he also drew them pulling up into her butt and not folded around it like a leg poking out would). But in any case - Diego was all good with my idea of making sure Lady Death wouldn't have that problem, and he drew the homage piece the way I wanted


He created a new mistake (again, in my eyes) that bothered the living crap out of me. He forgot to draw her right arm. And my eyes could never be satisfied with the idea of, "it's just hidden," because of how close he drew her to the coffin wall (a coffin that I didn't know he was gonna draw when we originally discussed layouts). To me, her arm just can possibly (comfortably) be under her hair, or down her side under the sheet, or anywhere else where it could possible be living out of site. So, I came up with four possible arm position ideas and looked for an inker who would be willing to ink in an entire arm into place based on those ideas. The guy I eventually found did a fantastic job. But now I'm worried I might have offended Diego, or Diego followers, or Lady Death fans, or art fans in general who might think that by changing the original pencils that I'm being super disrespectful to art in general. I was (and kinda still am) so worried that I did make sure to ask for the inks to be done digitally so I could preserve the original pencils as they are. But even then, are the inks themselves just blasphemous in some way?

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Old 03-13-2023, 10:19 PM   #2
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artists are often an emotional lot, but i think it looks so much better with the arm. this is a piece you envisioned and commissioned so i think your happiness supersedes the artists potential pride being hurt.
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Old 03-13-2023, 11:49 PM   #3
The Spirit
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I like both. I feel her arm could be naturally not visible the way she is lying, but the inked one also looks good. I have one where the girl has 6 digits on her hand, so there's that.
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Old 03-14-2023, 01:36 PM   #4
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I made an account solely to give my opinion on this

I think your friends are right, it is a grey area. Though as an artist myself by hobby but also someone who has done creative work professionally in the past, I think that a true professional has to sometimes set their ego aside and go with what the client says. I think you are right here. I think that it is better, objectively speaking. I know this is ultimately a matter of opinion but I think you were very reasonable here and way more sensitive to the artist than most clients. Personally I don't feel that you have done anything wrong ethically or even personally. Like others have said, artists can be very sensitive folks (for good reason, we put our literal life into our art) but if you are an artist doing paid work then you have to at least hear what the client has to say.
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Old 03-14-2023, 02:23 PM   #5
Beta Ray BIll
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Inkers make their own changes period.

You are the commissioner, editor (non-)"publisher", and owner.
All the pros had to learn early on to accept critiques and changes to their work by people that can't even draw stick figures. Even Jim Lee and J.Scott Campbell have been been told "no change it this way" in their careers.

Only disrespect is if you were crediting the inked piece as Diego's entire work or not crediting the inker. You and everyone else paying for him to draw what they ask is the very thing that enables him to do it for a living.
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Old 03-14-2023, 02:35 PM   #6
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I remember this piece when you first got it! You were beyond bothered then, so if it were me - I'd ask the inker to fix it. It's YOUR piece of art and YOU have to like it. Have you posted up what it looks like inked? I don't recall seeing it.

Inkers and colorists have changed pieces on printed pages at the request of publishers. I've also heard tales of them making changes because they noticed something missing or thought a piece looked better with a little tweak. You're request isn't a total overhaul of the piece so IMO you're fine. You also have both versions so there is that.
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