From The Sketch Book

March 23, 2015

Freelance Rip Off. It happens

Filed under: Uncategorized — scottnelson @ 8:47 pm

Although it does not happen often, occasionally a customer will short you.  Sadly it’s part of the freelance world. I can still recall the first time it happened back in 1987.  It still stings.   Outside of demanding deposits every step of the way though there isn’t much you can do to prevent it. Or is there?

Two years ago I was approached by an advertising firm who spotted my artwork on line (see color image) and wanted me to render a bear character on top of a rocket instead of a surf board.  The rocket would be inside a crashing ocean wave and the entire image would then be used as part of the signage at a new water park ride.  How fun!  Who doesn’t like water parks? The character would then be used on shirts and various advertising. So the character  and the eventual branding would eventually pay very well.

Surfing Bear Wave medium

The customer simply asked me to pencil up some quick sketches (over night if possible) and he’d have and he’d let me know the next day at a meeting what changes would need to be made and so forth.  Pretty easy and straight forward.

I drew the attached bears sent it out a few hours later but as fate would have the next morning my email service crashed when I turned on the computer due to storm that night.  The back up on my P.C. address book didn’t cover the time frame I had sent the art but I knew the message had gone through. It was only lost addresses not lost emails. Although the contact email was gone I figured it wasn’t a big deal.  I simply waited to be called or emailed back that day as promised. That was two years ago.

Aqua Rocket 2   Aqua Rocket 3    Aqua Rocket 1

During the following days and weeks I hunted the internet and looked for the original contact name. When I couldn’t find said client I then sent emails to the firm he said represented.  I then called the firm. Nobody responded and nobody called me back. No kill fee.  No explanation. No nothing.

So the story should end here right?  Well with the help the internet I’m hoping to find out what happened?  Has anyone been to a water park and seen the Aqua Rocket ride featuring a bear character? Once I find out what park is using that name I can then hunt for the people who eventually did the branding that is used.  Even if it’s not my art is the one they used like mine?

Now this isn’t sour grapes so much as every now and then you’re approached by someone whose soul intent is to rip you off.   It’s my hope that said customer will have long forgot about me but suddenly I’ll be back in his life.  Remember me???   To put a stop to my illustration efforts is fine but to totally disregard me and how I provide for my family is mean spirited and ridiculous.

Help me out internet?   Aqua Rocket.   Heard of it?  J


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