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Hallo :la:

There's a new feature called premium content that allows users to make file downloads available for a charge. This seems to be something with a vast range of different possibilities that range from quite nice to to quite lame. Of course we are all always against commercialization and sell-outs and everything and don't want things to change but there are some interesting options here.

Obviously everyone is going to know whether or not this is something he or she could use and how much sense it's going to make for what you do specifically but there's two points I want to adress.

I always thought it was lame when people sell stuff like brushes or psd files. This is probably just my personal opinion and many will certainly disagree for valid reasons, but I think, if you make some brushes, and you ask money for something as tiny as that, you are lame. Sorry. Actually, the point here is not that it will kill someone to pay like one buck for something tiny, it's just that it changes the entire conversation from "Here, have this, if it helps you I'm happy" to "Before I will share this with you you will have to transfer some of your property to me." Just... no. It's a dick move and, to me, on the same level as charging hundreds of moniez to let people watch you draw something and describe what you're doing on a workshop. Or asking people to pay you for critiques or paintovers or feedback. I think it's dishonest and I don't like it. The "but my time has value" excuse doesn't really work here either - because then you should be charging ACTUAL rates, which a normal person can't (and shouldn't) pay.
For this reason, I kindly ask all my peers, especially those who already make a living with their work anyways, to not be dickwads and ask money from kids who are learning. It lowers you in my eyes and if you do it then I don't want to talk to you anymore. If you need money, do contract work. Corporations have a shitload of money, so that's where you should make a living. Leave the kids alone. It goes without saying that my stuff, files, and tutorials will stay free.

Back to the premium content feature, a perspective I personally really like would be something akin to crowdfunding/name your price/flattr kind of thing: You'd just be doing normal stuff and uploading it like usual and if someone decides he or she likes it there's an option to give you moniez (a matter of choice). Especially for people who do webcomics or other stuff that relies on a vibe and a connection with watchers or readers while not being something that you could probably make a living off by doing it for hire this would be good. Everyone could read it, those who have some money left over can support it, those who have a bit more can give a bit more if they want. I actually hope to see a lot more like that, I read a ton of webcomics and always feel bad since it's so hard to support these people if they're not selling a book or something. But, and here's a big but, 20% is a huge cut that dA is taking, so this is probably not going to replace kickstarter or direct donations.

Anyways, here's a tiny thing to end this entry. Something that'd probably be somewhat of a dream or at least a goal of a lot of artists would be to make a living off their work indirectly - that is, through royalties, prints, donations etc as opposed to rates you charge for jobs, and then to have more time on their hands to produce more work, which in turn would support them again. After all if you work freelance, on second thought about what I said above, the money you get from the corporations indirectly comes from the kids just as well, minus what the CEOs take. So, for the future what I hope for in this field is that we see more growth in the independent sector, more selfpublished graphic novels, more webcomics that sell books and stickers themselves, more indie games, more people being creative and more people supporting them in return for what they do - basically the middle class producing, innovating and trading between each other like they should be in a healthy economy. Especially in the field of comics/manga/graphic novels there's a lot of room for improvement. I'm not even gonna mention the music sector here since we all are oh so against record companies. I just wish there was a platform that would finance itself through advertising rather than taking a percentage. But then again, the money that comes from corporations who pay to advertise is money that you paid at some point just as well. So the question is how do we get the most direct (and most financially lossless) connection from the consumer to the creator.

So in summary my point is, whatever! Do what you like and try not to starve! Cheers!
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hatefree Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Student Digital Artist
i would if i have the money, somehow i'm learning through what i see in your gallery, and other 'pros' gallery the thing is i ask my self "why is this and why is that (definitely not "how's that"? because that question's just for privates jumping into the battlefield with their naked feet)" well if i can't afford it then there's nothing i can do about it. i saw the slide's progress (the one you published) and i guess its more than enough to feed this man, hungry with ideas..
calleena Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it's just like when someone charges a kid $$$ to draw their favourite pokemon ==" and not as a full size paiting but simple sketches and half-assed shading
LastGen Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012
That's why I like the exploding rate of livestreams. It's free, it's close to the audience/the fans/the viewers and it's fun.

btw, I think PayPal offers a donation button which can be implemented in any website or blog, doesn't it? I rarely see that, but when someone offers something for free this might be a very honorable way to do.
vitellan Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012
Great thoughts. I think it's just all part of DeviantArt's attempt to make money off everything (it is rather like a business disguised as an art community), but it's by no means a unique effort, as you've pointed out by comparing it to pseudo-workshops with big-name artists. Thank goodness you and other artists do not buy into it.
Phenix-Black Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Professional General Artist
To answer your question : "So the question is how do we get the most direct (and most financially lossless) connection from the consumer to the creator."

The hard way, and don't use a middle man. Anyone has to get paid for their services. So if you want to export less work to others, you have to do it yourself. The less people you involve in creating your project from creative work, to putting out the finished product, to marketing, the less money you spend on just that. Then it's only fair you'd ask for the amount you would have spent hiring the above services.
Helioth Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
not starving is good, you can be manipulated by not having food.

you cant love what you do if youve been manipulated into doing what someone else wants you to do.

Cheers algenpfleger, cheers.
algenpfleger Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
No no no, just that I need food to live doesn't mean someone else made it so I do v

Therefore my desire for food is innate and natural, just as my desire to roll around on the floor is.
Helioth Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
i think you miss innerstand me.

i was saying, great job becoming independent, you are free this way, to do what you love, eat the food you want.

not having food and not doing what you love are negative spirals which collapse into one another.

of course it is innate and natural, the more natural the better.
CoalBanana Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Professional Artist
gute einstellung!
Asterisks Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You are such a sweetheart Hannes! I think it's great that you see things this way. Although I'm sure many capitalist would disagree.

But like a friend of mine just recently told me; if you received that helping hand when starting out, then once you're a successful and established artist it's your responsibility to lend out your hand to those at the bottom just starting out. Because eventually that person you helped out will probably have a chance to help you out when you might need it.

And personally I always favor the artist who are helpful and friendly to their audience. I still remember the time you helped me out with a painting in the WIP section at Pixelbrush. It's good seeing that you're still that nice guy from way back.
RockHurtz Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Wow I get tired of this attitude some artists have towards other artists...

If you're not willing to pay another artist for their work... how can you possibly expect anyone else to pay you for your work?

It's like telling someone that comes to mow your lawn that they should do it for free just because you know how to mow the lawn as well. If you know how to bake bread do you go to the baker and say that you can have their bread for free because you know how to make bread?

If you want something for free... you need to do the work yourself, that's how the real world works.

As far as doing things for free because kids are going to be the main source of income from that project... why don't you tell that to "Cartoon Network", or "Mattel", or anyone that sells products that are primarily used by "kids"...

I know you will think that everything I have said in this comment is wrong, and you will more than likely respond to it with some kind of unappreciative banter... but you would be better off accepting these things and respecting people that comment on your stuff, rather than putting people off of looking at your work.
algenpfleger Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist

deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
RockHurtz Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
well so long as we don't need to pay for it...
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
Tomahawk-Monkey Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Too true, very good read and good points. I myself have been back and forth on the whole, never do anything for free or just helping people to help.

I love to help people and will share any and all of my techniques but so many people keep saying, never do anything for free and everything comes with a price and what not that I started to take on those views and this article helped snap me back in the right.

Thanks Algen
Skaera Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love what you've written so much. Have a cookie. :cookie:
enonea Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Professional
uuuuh, what webcomics are you reading?
Nokadota Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
Agreed, on all accounts. I feel like dA is trying to be like Envato's ThemeForest. Those guys are horrible and uninspired.
RebeccaProp Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Well said! :D
Fyrrea Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Vespimar Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
The thing that sucks and that I can sort of see actually happening is, when you mentioned the idea of selling brushes. Now, as a young artist who just got his first wacom tablet I was all into that. Had to have every brush because that's now digital art is made right? Grass brush, building turned painting into automation as if there was a trick. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who did that as I always see "WHAT PROGRAM" or "CAN YOU GIVE ME YOUR BRUSHES" usually on someones page or video of a speed painting. Most younger artists don't understand that everything you need to paint is basically an eraser and the default round brush. Those other brushes are there for when you understand how to actually paint and draw and now it's a golden opportunity for jackass's to make a quick buck off of uninformed young artists by selling that trash. Sh*t...I just gave them ideas.

And to be honest...I'm pretty proficient with Photoshop...making a brush is pretty darn easy and to actually charge for it...get real, find a real job instead of ripping people off for what took you probably thirty seconds.
algenpfleger Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Damn straight! :iconfkingnoiceplz:
yakkingyetis Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
you're just too noble hearted : )
Xero-Cosplay Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you're right that artists should not be charging other artists fees who are still just trying to learn. Honestly, we're ALL still learning and even the best artist will say that they have yet to master a certain skill or quality. The important thing is to keep growing. Any artist, unless they grew up in a bubble, needed a teacher or someone else to show them how to manipulate materials, observe light on an object, or even use an editing program. Once we start creating a cost for the developing artist to learn, it hinders the desire to learn. I would hate to be taxed every time I was curious about another artist's process. We need to keep the lines of communication open and treat our profession like a community, even if it is still our business to make money from it. I hope more people on here feel like you do and follow your lead. I think you're on the right track.
lithriel Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Do you believe it's right to charge for higher education in other fields then, or are you just discriminatory against art? I spent thousands on my art education so I could be a professional. My professors deserved to make money teaching me and I feel it was 100% beneficial for both sides. Just curious what your thoughts are then.
Xero-Cosplay Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I apologize, my response seems to be a little confusing; it sounds as if I meant to say that no artist should ever make a buck on their knowledge or skills. What I was trying to convey is that we shouldn't be charging each other in informal situations like community art websites.

College professors should be making money on their skills and expertise just as any other professional artist in advertising, illustration, interior decorating, etc. We all have bills to pay, after all. But when it comes to websites like DeviantArt, it's a different situation because it's an informal place to share work in an art community. It's created by artists /for/ artists, unlike an art class in a for-profit college or public school. I believe artists should try to help each other because we are part of a community much more than any other profession. If artists would like to make a direct buck demonstrating what they do, there are a lot of community centers out there who will hire artists to teach classes.

Also, it would be awesome to see a time where higher education wouldn't cost the student anything to participate. I think people would be more willing to try new things if they didn't have to worry about financial restraints. If this situation were real, the teachers would be paid and the students would be free to learn what they like. And I don't just hold that to art-related majors, I mean that for all majors. This is coming from a tapped graduate who still owes $36k in college loans. I would have loved to take more advance classes but it wouldn't fit into the budget. Free higher education exists in places like Nevada but that's the only one I can think of off hand.
lithriel Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I see what you are saying about community places, but I overall disagree. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing tips and such with people learning to get off the ground, but I don't think it should be expected- just appreciated.
Krissi001 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
Well nobody is forced to buy/sell something. ;D

I like the idea of the Premium Content platform! It's kinda like the extras/special features on dvds. I wouldn't buy something if it's just a slightly better version of the deviation, I would buy it if the deviant offers sketches, early/abandoned versions, the painting process (if they record it :P) and a high res. version of the painting. I love to see stuff like that. xD

And hey I think that 80% is better than nothing especially because I think it's easier to reach others on dA than anywhere else. Of course you could create an Account on a different site where you can earn more or you could even create your own website to sell things but it might be more difficult to reach so many people.

For me it's just an additional gimmick, I am not sure if I will offer something, since i am just an Emoticonist and I can't think of something that somebody would buy from me. And I am stuck with points anyway, so it might be better/easier for me to open a donation pool. :slow:
mckadesinsanity Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Hi Hannes! :sun: I hope things are going well for you lately!

I always enjoy reading about your opinions on the matters at hand ;)
Well said here, and its pretty thought provoking- so I've been debating with myself on it. I've been commissioned to do tutorials for magazines on occasion and I hope that I can continue to do so, its a great job and lots of fun. And as a freelancer, it is a primary source of income for me. The way I viewed it, isn't that pretty much what the Premium Content is, just available to an online audience? I know I have paid money for tutorial mags myself before (and still do if its something I really want to read about, as I still have much to learn! :la:) Anyway.. ;P

Big hugs :tighthug:
tsheva Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And I will say this, whatever this is, is disguised to look like a bonus for the artist but it's also a big bonus for those in charge of DA. I don't know enough about it, haven't read the thingy in my inbox but, hopefully people won't go crazy and start charge huge amounts of money just because they can. Very few people on DA actually make a living at art so the rest are learning and/or hobbyists.

This, will be interesting...

I'll give them this, DA is NEVER boring :D
tsheva Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you need money, do contract work. Corporations have a shitload of money, so that's where you should make a living. Leave the kids alone. It goes without saying that my stuff, files, and tutorials will stay free.


I like this journal.
isdira Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
rodmendez Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I couldn't say better. I totally agree with your point.
Fresh-H Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
*I'm standing up and applauding*...... The best Journal Ive ever read!
Zasshu Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
You pretty much hit it dead on, Hannes. Cynical monetization is poison to creativity. It's sad to see skilled artists who would have no trouble pulling in good cash without exploiting people take the low road anyway, just because they can.

If you've learned how to make magic shoot out of your fingers, that's awesome! Pros, please share your awesomeness and invite rather than demand people to pay you for being awesome. Respect yourself and all the aspiring artists peering at you through incredible electronic windows all around the world by deciding that you won't prostitute your knowledge. Because it's dumb to turn the joy and excitement of artistic expression into a tenpenny sideshow, and it's worse than dumb to squander your chance to be a positive influence on thousands of people. Especially when there's nothing to prevent a generous attitude from being repaid with equally generous donations.
RuxandraLache Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with this so much! It's like you've picked my brain and phrased it better than I ever could have. Thanks so much for writing this.
People are free to commercialise whatever they want and I'm sure this new feature will be helpful to some, but I agree with you when it comes to tutorials and brushes. Since I also learn new things whenever I paint, the idea of charging money on a tutorial or a brush I used just seems wrong to me.
BlackMonk13 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
danke hannes, dass du diese interessanten gedanken formuliert hast. kann dir nur vollends zustimmen :D.
Melmee Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
no I totally agree with you.. commercialising stuff like that.. it's kinda cheap :<
and I can't say I really like it. You really put tutorials up to help fellow artists, no? Rather than for the "money"..
isso09 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You're a very smart guy, but I think you could be more successful if you were kinder to people who disagree with you.
algenpfleger Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist

Juuuust kidding, I don't actually mean it that way when I say it as strongly as above. Don't worry :3
isso09 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'm sure I'm not alone in reading it the "wrong" way. I'm just trying to help, brough. :)
tshuki Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Student General Artist
I'm not going to use this feature either and I would also like to have a system, where artists could live off of royalities and small donations from lots of people.
I shall also do my best to always keep things like tutorials and my own books free and available for everyone. //That's why I'm learning to get a job in a different area, that pays hopefully enough, for me to not die.//
thomasVanDijk Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012
Making website themes for Content Management Systems such as Drupal and WordPress are probably the only way I could make money out of this system, and even then, I think deviantART has the wrong audience for that.
Anmaril Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for sharing, I agree with it. In my case, I wouldn't be where I stand right now without the opporunities and help from dA. Hopefully the payment system don't destroy it.
algenpfleger Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Same goes for me! There were many free resources that helped me a lot when I started. So now asking money to do the same thing would just be such a dick move.
fox-orian Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I felt the same way when I saw this pop up in our inboxes. "Uh oh, here comes a lot of seriously unspecial things that people are going to want money for in return to just download." -- like a flashlight app on Android that costs $2.99 when there are already 72 identical others for free.

I've never ONCE thought about monetizing my tutorials or other assets. It's just something I can't conceivably bring myself to do. I can't tell you how many people tell me "Hey man, you should take all your tutorials and publish them in a big book or something!" -- yeah, and who would buy that when they're already available for free online??? (The closest thing I'll ever do to that is produce an eBook and distribute it for free on Kindle or whatever other services.) About a year or two ago I used to have "Please Donate!" links in the descriptions of all my tutorials and my brush set and stuff. After so long, (and honestly many kind donations from users,) I couldn't respectably keep those requests up any longer. It made me feel like even asking for a donation was insincere in my efforts to provide what little knowledge I know completely free of charge, no strings attached.

I feel like we're artists, and should act like artists -- not waiters who want a tip upfront.
algenpfleger Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Will also lead to much vicarious embarassment :I

And wow dude I love your attitude! I'm an avid reader of your tutorials as well so I'm glad they're still free *////* Hahaha. We should hang out more anyways, I think we've been going into similar directions in our work recently. Well, not that I'd have any recent work, but like, the uh, general direction.
feavre Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012   Digital Artist
Theres gonna be a lot of stuff that would have been free, but now people will see a way to make a buck.
thomaswievegg Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Zeeeeiitgeeeeist :la:
Selphia Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I like your post. Simple and honest.

Some workshops promote hopes and dreams.
Like certain cosmetic ads with beautiful model, great lighting and photoshopped to death. The advertised product doesn't do all that in real life.
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