When it comes to custom canvases I have one rule: NO EXISTING CHARACTERS/LOGOS
Mainly because there are copyright issues when recreating (and selling) character items – in fact if you’re selling things you also have to be careful of which ‘tag words’ you use…. (did you know “Onesie” is a copyrighted word??) There have been many Etsy sellers ‘shut down’ due to recreating Frozen items or using the wrong tags in their listings.
Of course there are loopholes, some can be put under the “fan art” category or tagged as ‘mermaid’ rather than ‘The Little Mermaid‘ but I don’t really understand that or feel the need to learn more about it. It seems to be luck-of-the-draw as one quick search on Etsy will usually bring up plenty of other stores selling the same copyrighted things …and they don’t get caught BUT I choose not to roll the dice and keep anything like that off of my Etsy site.
The other reason I don’t like to do it is because I’m not that confident drawing. If I’m drawing a random cartoon cat then that’s fine, I can make it up as I go along but if asked to COPY one…. who knows what it will look like in the end.
There is ONE exception to my rule and that is friends and family. If I’m making it for someone I care about I will break my own rule and go for it without listing it on my Etsy page as something anyone can order. The frustrating thing about that is that some of my favourite items have to be kept under the radar so I thought today I would share them on here 🙂
The first one I did was a ‘Trash Pack’ themed canvas for my little man. ‘Trashies’ are grim little critters or creatures you would find in the bin or associated with rubbish i.e. “stink bug” or “putrid pretzel” There are hundreds of these little rubber things to collect and my son was crazy about them so I made this for his bedroom and it followed us across the pond. He’s now into his spider man themed room so I’ve started painting over this to transform it into his newest obsession (I’ll show you when I’m done)
Second was a present for little mans best friend who has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed bedroom – he loves it 🙂
I did another for an Xbox Gamer….
Most recently my sister asked me to do a ‘Superhero” themed canvas for her boyfriend and insisted I use real images instead of just hints of his favourite heroes so this is the first time I have EVER traced an image (or 4) for one of my canvases. I’m happy with it and so is her boyfriend.
These canvases make me feel like I’ve dipped my toe into some sort of dark, criminal world BUT I love them and I’m proud of them. I think as long as I’m not mass producing or blatantly selling them I’m ok with bending my own rules slightly from time to time 🙂