Adam Hughes Ceases Convention Commissions

It’s a not uncommon scenario. An artist, especially a popular one, creates a list of people asking for commissions and creates work, at a convention table, for everyone to watch. Then takes it away to work on independently for the next show. And then sees that person suddenly sell it for multiple times the price they paid on eBay.

On the Adam Hughes Yahoo group, the artist’s partner (and artist in her own right) Alison Sohn posted, having returned from the Boston Comic Con;

Thank the piece of shit that moaned and practically wept about needing his Wonder Woman sketch, and today it’s on eBay.

Here’s how things will work going forward. Adam was only able to get 3 sketches done this past weekend- and was was for the S.O.B. that turned around and eBayed it. So now Adam will eBay one sketch per convention day. If its a 2-day show, there will be 2 auctions. 3-day show, there will be three auctions. No more $200 and $400 sketches. Sorry. But if Adam has to kill himself drawing so that some lying slime ball can go home and make a profit off of his hard work, then forget
it.

Maybe it seems harsh, but here’s the reality. I can no longer remember who has a sketch, who has been waiting for one for years, and who is a flipper and who isn’t. I just can’t keep all your names and faces straight. And at a show when
there are 50+ names on the list, I challenge anyone else to do it and not screw up. And when we get home, and my failure in my ability to remember everyone and what their deal with drawings is, is rewarded with eBay flipping, It makes Adam angry and disappointed, and he doesn’t want to sketch at all. So the compromise is if eBay is where they will end up, then eBay is where they will start.

I’m sorry for all those people to whom we said “everyone gets one sooner or later”, because now that probably won’t be the case. But honestly, with the number of people that want art, there’s simply no way we can make everyone happy anymore. And its not worth it to me to see Adam miserable trying to make everyone happy anyway.

In further posts, Alison elaborated;

What bothers me most is how annoyingly persistent the guy was. He lingered, hovered, and made all sorts of stories up about how much he really wanted his sketch. Essentially, he lied and he lied a lot, at the expense of real fans. Adam could have spent that time drawing for someone on the list that really DID want the sketch. I hope this guy chokes.

Some art buyers asked about the rights of a commissioner to sell the work they’d gained. Alison clarified further.

I have always said selling art is the owner’s perogative. However, to set out to buy one of these pieces with the sole intention of selling it- that’s “flipping” and not “life happening”. A member of the Yahoo group here is selling his Black Queen sketch that he won as an guaranteed ebay Auction last year or the year before- life happens: he is getting married and wants to surprise his bride to¬† be with an amazing honeymoon trip. Heck- I myself have had to sell art in the past to make my rent. But I didn’t say to myself “If I buy this sketch that is
severely underpriced, I could take it home and sell it and pay my rent for four months”.

As for sketch cards: when we draw sketch cards, we know we are drawing them so that people can buy cases, break them, re-sell the cards and try and at least make their money back, and at best make a killing. We go into the deal knowing that- even Adam. When Adam does sketch cards, we know that a very small percentage of people actually keep their pulls. And knowing it, he chooses to still do sketch cards. That’s his choice. If people in line said “I’m going to buy this drawing to flip it” then Adam could make an educated decision about doing the drawing. But this is deceitful, where as sketch cards are all about trading and selling, and almost always have been.

Alison concluded;

this really was a “last straw” situation. The truth is, I’ve been saying for a couple of years now that Adam would soon have to stop sketching for fans. The lines are too long, and the amount of time it takes to complete the sketches gets longer and longer as people want to shake his hand, have 2 minutes to talk, get things signed, and in general be able to go home with that personal experience they came to the convention looking for. As Adam has been getting less sketching done, we have to ask ourselves- does Adam not say hi to fans, and take a few minutes to talk, maybe making hundreds of people happy, in favor of getting three drawings done and making a very small number of people happy? And when a third of your weekend’s work gets tossed on eBay without a care…. Well it makes it a little bit easier to make the tough decisions.

And that Wonder Woman sketch? As word amongst art fans got out that it may be Adam’s final convention sketch, suddenly there’s been a rush of bidders.

You couldn’t make it up, could you?

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