Friday May 09, 2014
Recently, we decided to start featuring some of the great Sonic fan art out there. We announced Fan Art Friday earlier this week, and we’ve seen hundreds of art submissions already. A lot of them have been truly amazing, and I can’t wait to show them to you in the weeks and months to come. One of the things we specified in that original announcement and call for artwork is that the pieces should be your own original work. Unfortunately, right out of the gate, that wasn’t what happened.
To be totally honest, we were concerned about doing Fan Art Friday, and this is why. There’s some amazing artwork out there, but how could we ever know for sure that the artwork someone submitted was their own original art? Trying to find the original source for something on the internet is kind of like having a bowl full of different ice cream flavors and trying to pick out just one of them. You can just never know for sure.
But ultimately, the benefits outweighed the risks. We have a long history of posting Sonic fan art, from way back in the Sonic Central days. There’s great Sonic fan art out there. We want to recognize the dedicated Sonic fans who make this. We thought about just posting artwork, without going through the risk of putting a name to it. But that wouldn’t be giving credit to the fans we’re trying to honor with this. Nope, the best way to do this was to be specific that people needed to submit their own original works of art. And then just hope that people were honest enough to do that, and not try to get attention for work they didn’t do.
The first piece of artwork we featured today was submitted by someone named Francine Rosales, via our Facebook page. It was one of the first submissions we received, and it’s really great artwork. I had personally not seen it before, and Francine’s name was in the bottom right corner of the artwork. I selected it to lead off Fan Art Fridays.
Unfortunately, this was not Francine’s original work. Many fans alerted us to the fact that this was Evan Stanley’s artwork. We quickly updated the text on Facebook, and issued a correction tweet with a link to Evan’s artwork. We also replied to everyone who took the time to alert us of the issue. This doesn’t undo the damage that was done, though.
There’s a lot of Sonic fan art out there. We’ve seen a lot of it, but we can’t be expected to see it all. Let alone to know the original artist for all of it. It’s very difficult to find the original source of something on the internet. With the hundreds of submissions that we receive, and the time it takes to look at, evaluate, organize, upload, and schedule them all, we couldn’t do Fan Art Friday if we had to individually research each piece of art that was submitted. So we clearly stated that all submitted art should be your own original work, and left it at that.
In this case, Francine intentionally tried to pass off someone else’s artwork as her own. Right down to changing the signature in the bottom right corner to reflect her own name. We didn’t know this, or we never would have posted it. We’ll do our best to better evaluate the artwork in the future, but sometimes mistakes happen. We’ll always apologize and credit the original artist when they do. If you see that we’ve posted artwork by someone other than the person named, please let us know.
TL;DR – Please only submit your own original artwork for Fan Art Fridays. Passing someone else’s artwork off as your own hurts us all.
If you have submitted artwork for Fan Art Fridays that wasn’t your own original work, please let us know. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (with Fan Art Friday in the subject line), you can send us a message on our Facebook page, or you can send us a tweet. We won’t chastise you, and we won’t tell anyone. We’ll simply remove your submission from the queue.
We really, honestly, want to celebrate the fan art and fan artists in the Sonic community. Thanks for helping us do that.
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