I didn't think I'd ever officially talk about it anywhere on my blog, but it really peeves me that most people buy into this stupid borderline scam.
Yeah, pretty hard accusation against what is a huge bulk of artists who make a living through online means. Most artists, especially furry artists, turn to this method of quick cash to get their rent paid off on time. Artists make a quick buck, and their followers get what they came for. So, what's the harm right?
Let me try to relate this to something happening now, like the rise of web 3.0. NFTs.
I don't really care about the discussion around environmental damage more than I am invested in how tangible or sentimental NFTs and art are in general. I feel as though regular people who aren't enticed by immense price tags or the appeal of Sonic art are the first to recognize what makes NFTs and adoptables ridiculous in the first place by asking this: why would you buy this piece of artwork? If it really is about the art, what sort of sentimental value drew you to buy this piece of artwork? Mind you, who is anyone to judge what you put your next paycheck on.
Most people are incentivized to buy art from artists for all sorts of sentimental ground; you can get art of your beloved family dog, or get a piece of work done for an existing original character. These are some valid ways for artists to make money that I have no opposition to, seriously.
Adoptables just simply aren't created for a specific person, they're usually just bundles of color swap doggies whose color wheels were about as well-picked as throwing darts at a target blindfolded. Adoptables seem to encourage alot of vapid unoriginality for a mere hundred just because all the popular artists do it, and I say that's insulting to my intelligence.
Something else that gets me is how value is synonymous if "the art just looks nice" and not the actual blueprint of the character's design.
Some artist TOS's state that any rules broken can result in the buyer's right to a design being taken away. So ermm... I guess its not even really your character, it would still be the artist's character because they drew it first. How lame would it be to finally claim artistic liberties to a character print which they can take away at any time. They would technically still be able to even sell it again without your knowledge if they hardblocked you for breaking their conditions. What's stopping someone from just basing a new character off of an adoptable design? At that point I'd just make my own characters to avoid the legal ties of adoptables. That's the fun part of making characters anyway, right?
Artists, please just offer commissions. Please.
Related Anon Response
Below is a copy-paste of an e-mail from a reader who pretty much just parrots what I said. They sent it around May and I didn't know how to respond, so in exchange I'll feature it. I think calling adoptables a "status symbol" is on point, plus I like how it rolls off the tongue:
Hey there! I wanted to send some appreciation for your adoptables blog post as it is a topic I rarely see getting called out. I feel like digital art has been an absolute hell hole where artists are pushed in potentially lucrative communities where collecting OCs is the status sysmbol.
I've been pretty active on a site about a closed species which is a bonkers concept as that if you ask me. I mostly stick around because it has turned into more of a pet site, yet adoptables and MYO slots are what keeps the thing running. Adoptables go for hundreds of dollars over there. While you get to customize those adoptables and give them more flesh and more of a purpose, a majority of those artworks just sits there with its price tag on display. Imagine an incredibly detailed sea monster with uniquely defined features, incredible water details, everything put together in an amazing way by the owner of the site. Here this little trophy sits with a price tag of over 500$ for over a year with the only thing added to it being the name Bubbles.
Especially when you think about the personal concerns people might get with NFTs, users find themselves questioning whether they should get in on the trend. Should I buy an adoptable because it's what everyone goes for? Do I get it as trade fodder or does it just look nice? Can I make a profit when I don't want it anymore? Is it even mine and what should I even do with it? It's disheartening to see the similarities to Web3.0 schemes especially for kids who are just coming into furry fandoms while exploring the internet. It paints digital artists as money makers while most people just want to express themselves. From the very first day I found toyhouse to be the most toxic place for digital artists to set foot in. We honestly should have stuck to free mini pixel adoptables, lol.
If you want your letters featured or removed, anonymous or onymous, let me know.