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About Digital Art / Professional Core Member StriderDen32/Male/Unknown Recent Activity
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Artist | Professional | Digital Art
"The opposite of Slave labor is not Wage labor. It's Emancipated labor."

A Guide for Commissions'n Supporters - XII - 2015

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 31, 2015, 9:08 PM
So, you find a nice gallery.
The Artist is skilled, the prices are affordable, the slots are open.
You contact him, send the references and the deal is done!

The piece looks very nice, but something is missing... Why is that?
Did the Artist work on your half-hearted? Was it just on a bad day? Didn't it enjoy working on my character?

Questions like this may arise when someone have a private commission done. And I believe it is more frequent than it may look. Sometimes that's true, the artist may be just bad and uninterested, but other times there are challenges on the request itself.

I'd like to use this space to talk a little about that, if you allow me!

Maybe it is a taboo on the Artist Sphere, as in a certain manner, we are all depending on you supporters. We have to measure each word and be careful all the time to not make a harsh criticism, otherwise we may ruin the relationship which in many cases, mean our survival. And don't get me wrong. 95% of the works turn out delightful! It's just like relationships. You get along with everyone in you class, but there's one person which ignores you that day. The one you'll keep thinking about, is that one.

I believe lots of artists may agree with what I will say here, but instead they keep it for themselves because of this kinda "Hostage Situation" where they can't say nothing, otherwise they'll kill their business.
So, I'd like to give the first step, and break the century tradition of  "The Customer is Always Right". I don't mean to discourage you supporters, but here it is:

We want the Same Thing!
The same way you want better quality Artworks, we want to make better quality Artworks!

What messes up things, is the "noise" generated by business-money relationship. And with the intent to overcome this barrier, I'd like to openly talk about that.
There are literally thousands of Guides all over the internet, tutorials of how to make Art, but none on how to get better commissions, and YES, it is possible!

So, come with me in this journey, where I'd like to use all my efforts so you can help me help you! There are some tips that can become useful when you are creating the character on your mind, and the more solid you have it there, the easier will be to the artist to translate it.

The Character Sheet dilemma:

You love your character. It is a manifestation of yourself.
You spent a hell lot of time describing it from the tip of the ear to the nails of the toes. And you busted your ass to pay the value of the commission. So, it sounds almost natural that you want all of this effort to channel through the one commission, and you want it to worth each penny.

That's one of the most common mistakes I've seen on commissions, which leaves the artist with the hands tied, unable to improve the commission. In the end, the piece ends up with an almost character-sheet pose, which shows everything about you described of your character, but doesn't contrast with the sea of pieces you see around.

You see, the part that the artist can't decide about the commission, is the purpose you want it for. And you can't have both. You want a cool scene, or you want to show the features of the character as much as possible?


If it is the first case, try to focus on the composition of the scene, not the details of the character. If it is the second, consider really asking for a character sheet. It is not a bad thing at all!
And if you can't decide, there's no practical reason to ask for both! When you're into commissions, it is hardly the case you'll ask for just that one single piece. It may take an year interval between each other, but having only one piece is quite rare.
Other than that, there are countless arrangements that can fit on your budget. You can ask for just the sketch/lineart for the  model sheet, and then have an action scene, for example.

Cameras, Close-ups and Details:

"If you try to highlight everything, you end up highlighting nothing."

On theaters, people use spotlights instead of ambient lights for a reason!
This one should be obvious, but still happens on the same lust-to-show the character mentioned above! The more you try to show the full features of your character, the more opportunities of showing some details you may spoil.

For example: Your character have a beautiful mark on the face, you want to show it up.
But you also want a full-body pose. In the end, the face will look so small, that the details of that mark would just disappear!


"Oh, but you can post a High Resolution image" - It is true that this may help to show more details, but the piece stops working as a whole.

So, don't be shy to take advantage of different cameras!

The Tail Problem:

Alright, tails. Everyone loves them! With reason, they're cool!
But at the same time, they represent a whole bunch of concerns you may start to have if you're striving for coherence.
A tail has mass and volume, and it will limit not only the range of poses you character may adopt before looking uncomfortable, it will limit the camera angles that may look good. Specially for kinky shots, the tail usually gets in the way.


So, if you're the kind of person that wants a specific pose, on a specific angle, consider that. Otherwise, you'll a lot of "Nice details, nice piece, but something looks weird and I don't know what!"

The Wings Problem:

Same deal as the tails. But wings are usually HUGE and can easily steal the show. Specially if you like the pieces where you show the full length of them. Your character start to look lost and alone in the center of the piece, while wings drag your eyes out of what you wanted to show.


You like mature works? Oh, if with tails are complicated, you can imagine what it is with wings. That's why birds mating are not as elegant as humans. With two (or more) characters in the scene, there's a high chance one character will be blocking the other!


A creative solution I see some people using, is having two versions of the character: the Winged Feral, and the non-winged Anthro.

Wings ARE beautiful, and nice to fly, but a pain for everything else.
That's why Illidan have to change form to use it, and all characters on "Aion Online" have them retractile!

The Kinky Pieces:

While mature pieces are not really a problem for me (Mostly a hell lot of fun working on them) it again brings the question of the focus. Sex content is very powerful, so even if the artist makes a beautifully detailed character for you, on a kinky work the viewer's eye will be dragged to other parts of the Art.

The more is not always the better:

One strong feeling that I have when navigating through galleries, is massive struggle for individuality and authenticity.
You want to make your character as unique as yourself, and as interesting as possible.
What you do to stand out of the crowd?
Create a character with 2 tails, 4 wings, 6 arms and 8 boobs. Believe me, it is a very cliché trick. And it doesn't work.

Firstly, because as it is a very common resort people try, it ends-up like everyone else. Using a Orange-Pink shirt on an Orange-Pink crowd won't do nothing.
And secondly, because of our brains. We are designed to detect patterns and intuitive readings of images. So, if you're on a sea of thumbnails, and you don't understand what is going on a piece because there are so many arms and wings on every direction and the piece looks so crowded, it is more likely that the viewer will ignore that piece and jump to another more easily readable.


The most adorable characters I've seen on FA, have an easy readable design, with something, a small detail that makes it unique. More than on FA, we can look at games and movies, with creatures we LOVE at the first glance. They're clean, direct, but highly detailed nevertheless.

An important side note:
Please, keep in mind that I'm NOT saying that your character looks bad -because- it has a tail, or -because- it has wings, or -because- it has four arms.
I'm saying you have to be aware that once you decide for a certain shape to your character, you're not in full control anymore, and the character itself imposes some limitations when it comes to good angles, and good pieces. If of course, you're striving for coherence.

Pushing one artist through another:

This is kind of rare, but sometimes happen and never works. If there's something that I'd put on a DO NOT list, it is this item. It is guaranteed hurt feelings for BOTH sides.
In some occasions, a person really really enjoys a specific artist, but it is financially out of reach. So, what the person do?
Find a cheaper artist, overload it with references of your beloved artist, and on every review you reply with "try to make it more like that artist".

Every artist has its own style, and doesn't matter how you insist, it's very VERY hard to erase your own personality on a piece.
That's why a forger is a very specific kind of artist. It demands a specific set of skills.

So, if you catch yourself considering doing this kind of stuff, think twice, save a bit more money, and hire the artist you wanted at first.

Art Knowledge:

Even if you don't want to be an Artist, some art knowledge doesn't hurt, and with the advent of technology, it doesn't consume much time to learn some basics that will not only help you by the time you ask for a commission, it will make you a far less gullible customer. You won't fall for dirty tricks.

What I think it would help, is studying a bit of composition, values and color harmony.
Every element of the image is there for a reason, or at least it should. This will allow you to understand why  the artist is using some specific solutions, and  sometimes why after a review, a piece started to look worse even though that detail is now the way you wanted. Usually it is because the harmony of the piece was broken.

A quick glance at the topics:




And that's it! I really hope it helps, and again, I don't mean to discourage anyone!!!
I'd like to build a different relationship with you supporters. A worker-employee relationship is too shallow, impersonal. It may work for celphones, but not for Artworks.

Many many thanks!
If you are a commission person, leave your feedback and let me know if anything helped, or if anything didn't sound agreeable.
And if you're an Artist, and feels it may help to improve your relationship with your customers, let me also know it!


  • Watching: IFSC World Cup
  • Playing: Factorio
  • Drinking: Coffee


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creepsome Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
Happy Birthday :iconspinningcakeplz::iconpresentplz:
StriderDen Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
lil-puppy23 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
StriderDen Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
La la la la 
shadowlord19 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday.
StriderDen Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Jakeukalane Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday :) !
StriderDen Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Many thanks!
Jakeukalane Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D really welcome
WaffIeWolf Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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