Redrawing a commission 14 years later?

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Og
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Redrawing a commission 14 years later?

Post by Og » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:00 am

Question for all you pros out there...

14 years ago, I was asked to draw a little caricature of a woman who was leaving her job. I used watercolours, coloured pencils, and Alvin Penstix (my preferred inking method). I believe the company who contracted me paid me $100 to do this, and I believe as a starving artist just starting out, I was glad to have it.

It's decent sized, about 2x3 feet, and if I remember correctly, features the woman and a co-worker in a canoe going down a river as several woodland creatures look on.

Now, 14 years later, she has resurfaced. She's found me online and informs me that the caricature has faded. She'd like me to "see what I can do" to fix it up, especially redraw the inklines which have particularly faded (curse you, Alvin Penstix and your not-so-India-ink India ink) and see if I can "brighten up the colours".

My question:

If it were you, would you redraw it in the spirit of standing behind your work? Would you charge her? Would you just eat it as a cost of doing business? Would you ignore her and hope she just went away?
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megrar
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Post by megrar » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:22 am

mm. i'm by no means a pro illustrator, but i wouldn't start a habit of "eating it as business costs," unless you gave her some bogus "garunted will last forever!" agreement. i wouldn't necessarily re-draw it either. she clearly likes THAT piece, and people often get attachments to particular images. if you re-draw it now, years after, you might lose part of what she found so charming about the original.

if it has to be mailed, i'd ask her to foot the bill for mailing, and like, ten (or more) dollars for work time. and then just do as she's asked--a touch up, and this time with materials that won't fade.

i mean, i think it would be ok to charge her more, or offer to redraw, but you have a life outside touching up 14 year old work (and hopefully she understands that).

ignoring her, however, would be pretty bad.

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Og
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Post by Og » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:27 am

Thanks, Megrar.

Oh, to be clear, I'm not redrawing it. At best, I'm re-tracing my old inklines.

It is interesting to note that in 25 years as a professional artist, this is the first drawing to ever come back for a repair... which is why on one hand, I don't know what to do, and on another hand, I feel it would probably be nice of me to repair it.

However, I offered no guarantee against fading, and certainly no fix-it-for-free-forever service. And as you point out, I do have a life outside of fixing all my old drawings...

What to do, what to do.
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Phil
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Post by Phil » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:00 pm

Personally, I'd want to do something nice, especially since she apparently appreciates the drawing so much.

However, I'd be afraid to touch the actual art, which could be ruined, and then the picture she's saved for 14 years would be lost. You never know how old materials will respond to new ink, paint, etc...

I would suggest scanning the image and touching it up in Photoshop. You can darken the blacks and brighten the colors. Then print it out on the same type of paper used for the original. She can keep it framed and looking nice, and save the original in a drawer somewhere (or framed in a different room or something.)

Just what I'd probably wanna do...

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dik pose
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Post by dik pose » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:24 pm

I agree with Phil. Dont mess with the original, bad stuff can happen, then no one is happy.

And just messing in photoshop will go alot faster than trying to trace lines or touch up colors.

Print it on some nice textured paper, and its good to go.

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chasecorbeau
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Post by chasecorbeau » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:59 pm

I agree with Photoshopping it if at all possible. If you should mess up the original, then what? Do you want to start all over again?
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Phil
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Post by Phil » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:30 pm

And hey, Pose--you best get offa my turf! :mrgreen:

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Post by Phil » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:31 pm

And here's an extra post to put my numbers over the top. 8)

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Og
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Post by Og » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:31 pm

heh. Battle of the 1490s.

Those of us in the mid 200s will sit this one out.
Last edited by Og on Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dik pose
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Post by dik pose » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:29 pm

Good old fashion turf war! I'll bring the chains!

Oh, and Phil.... all tied up! 1491!!

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Post by Vince » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:01 pm

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Og
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Post by Og » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:26 pm

OK, everybody. Thanks for your input.

Off I go to decide now.

As for the Battle of the 1490s - good luck with that.

Phil, watch it. The gorilla's got quite a reach. ;)
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