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Portrait Adoption Membership

Why should I apply to be a member of Portrait Adoption?
I'm not in the US - can I still be a member?
How do I get my artwork on Portrait Adoption? - Newly updated.
What do you mean "submit work for acceptance"? How difficult is it to get work accepted?
Am I skilled enough to sell my work on Portrait Adoption?
Who sets the price for a piece?
What does Portrait Adoption charge for this service?
How or when do I get paid if my work sells?
Do I have any contact with the customer?
Will Portrait Adoption be offering a way to accept commissions?
Is there a time limit for how long a piece can be displayed without selling?
Is there a limit to how many portraits I can have on the site?
Is there a limit to how many portraits I can submit or upload at a time?
What if my work doesn't sell?
What if I break the Portrait Adoption rules?
Is there somewhere I can go to research popular character types to draw?
I still have questions!

About the Artwork

What sorts of artwork does Portrait Adoption accept?
What sorts of artwork won't Portrait Adoption accept?
Are there any media restrictions?
What about using Poser or some other 3-D rendering software to create portraits?
Can I submit work that is copied from photos?
What about nudity?
What exactly is a high-resolution image?
What is a 'clean' image?
What is the smallest image size you need to offer a portrait as an adoption?
What print sizes can I choose from?
Are landscape oriented portraits okay?

Images and the Internet

I have a lot of work I'd like to sell, but I have had them posted on my website. Can I sell those through Portrait Adoption?
What about "work in progress" images?
What about password protected or friends-locked sharing of an un-watermarked or larger image?
Can I display images of my Portrait Adoption pieces on my website or gallery?
Are there restrictions to displaying images of my Portrait Adoption pieces?
Why all the hassle over posting an image?

Selling Originals and Prints

Do I have to sell the original?
Can I sell originals on Portrait Adoption, instead of the single print?
Can I offer the piece on Portrait Adoption, and have the original for sale on my website at the same time and see which sells first?
Can I sell my own prints of a piece I have on Portrait Adoption?
I don't think that's fair. I should be able to sell prints if I want.
Can I make a print for myself under any circumstances?

Artist Rights

What if I want to sell cards or mousepads?
Can I grant rights to have the piece published professionally in a book at a later date?

Member Artist Questions

How long will it take for my paperwork to be processed?
I've sent in my membership agreement and received my login to the submission site, but I'm not listed on the main site as a Portrait Adoption artist. Why?
My work has been accepted and I've uploaded my high-res file, but my work hasn't shown up on the main page. When will it be added?
I'm on a dialup connection and don't want to wait a half-hour to upload a zipped tiff file. Can I upload a zipped jpeg image instead?
Why should I sign up for an account on the forums? Are they really important?

Portrait Adoption Membership

Why should I apply to be a member of Portrait Adoption?

It's free. You don't have to deal with picky customers. You draw what you want. If it sells you make money. If it doesn't sell, you lose nothing, except perhaps some pocket change for postage. The hassle of shipping, marketing and maintaining contact with the customer is taken care of for you. Also, because we are offering a variety of work from multiple artists, you'll get more exposure than you would just selling work from your website. We're also very nice people (except the Submitted Description Fairy - she sometimes bites).

I'm not in the US - can I still be a member?

Of course! We welcome artists from anywhere on the globe! (Restrictions may apply if you are off-world...)

How do I get my artwork on Portrait Adoption?

Portrait Adoption has recently gone paperless! Please use the EMG contact form to request instructions for joining.

~ Certificates: You are encouraged to send in copies of this signed adoption certificate - though they are not required for membership, they ARE required to put work up for standard adoption.

You do not have to use this file for your certificates, but any certificates you create must contain the same information. You do not have to use the logo. You may send certificates of a different size. Please note that anything larger than letter size (11") may be trimmed to fit in portrait packaging (Metric A4 size paper is longer than standard letter size!). It is strongly recommended that the certificate be on nice quality paper and sent flat, not folded, with stiffener to provide protection from unsightly bent corners. Sign and date the certificates, but do not title them. The date is the date you are agreeing to the terms, not the date the portrait is created or adopted, and the title is for the adopter to decide. Standard adoption is still the more popular option, as the adopter gets a spiffy print and a certificate with their new character portrait.

What do you mean "submit work for acceptance"? How difficult is it to get work accepted?

We do have a screening process for the artwork that goes up on portrait adoption. The moderators will check the work to make sure it is character portrait related, and to make sure it meets our quality standards. Artwork needs to be PG-13 with no fanart or copyright violations. We will not accept bad scans or work that has quality problems, such as being drawn on lined paper. If we think it has a chance of selling, we will accept it.

Am I skilled enough to sell my work on Portrait Adoption?

That's a tough one. Consider these questions:

Do you have strangers requesting permission to use your work as their character portrait?
Do you get emails from strangers asking for requests (free artwork), or art trades, or commissions?

Chances are if strangers are requesting your work, you're skilled enough to sell it. You may also want to take a look at the current PA member artists to get a feel for the overall skill level. If you think your work is up to par with what we have posted, then by all means apply.

Who sets the price for a piece?

The artist does. We charge a reasonable set fee based on the dollar amount you want to charge for the piece, but anything on top of that is the profit you make. You are free to set your price as high or as low as you like.

What does Portrait Adoption charge for this service?

First, there is a percentage taken from the sale price - this goes to cover transaction fees and other PA operating costs:

$5 - $25, 11%.
$26 - $50, 10%.
$55 - $100, 9%.
$105 - $200, 8%.
$225 - $300, 7%.
$325 and up, 6%.

Then, if they have selected standard adoption, the cost of the print is subtracted from your total. This cost is based on current print service pricing. Don't worry, when you input a portrait, it will calculate your profit so that you can adjust your sale price so you get what you want for your portrait.

How or when do I get paid if my work sells?

You will receive notification that credits have been added to your account if a piece sells. You may cash out these credits at any time by contacting Ellen! There is no fee for a Paypal transfer (though Paypal may charge you!). There is a $2 fee to receive a check by mail, anywhere in the world. This will be a check in US funds, drawn on a US bank. If you live overseas, your bank may charge you fees to cash this check.

Do I have any contact with the customer?

If you choose, you can list your email and website at Portrait Adoption, and clients may contact you privately about commissions, purchasing originals, etc. Otherwise, Portrait Adoption handles the money transfer, answers all adoption questions and deals with all printing and shipping concerns. If you receive an email that you believe is better handled by Portrait Adoption, please send it to Ellen.

Will Portrait Adoption be offering a way to accept commissions?

We gave submitted descriptions available, which are hybrid commissions open to all member artists. Customers are also encouraged to contact you directly or visit your webpage for information about commissions. If you wish to go through Portrait Adoption to print a character portrait and/or accept money from a client, that is also available. Commissions that go through Portrait Adoption in this fashion are elligible for display in your Portrait Adoption gallery.

Is there a time limit for how long a piece can be displayed without selling?

Not currently. As the artist, you have full control over how long you wish to leave work up. If the site become crowded, we may change this policy to cycle out work at a reasonable rate, but there will be a lot of discussion about such a move before it happens.

Is there a limit to how many portraits I can have on the site?

Not currently. We may introduce a reasonable limit when the site becomes more popular, but for now we'd love to have as much of a variety as possible.

Is there a limit to how many portraits I can submit or upload at a time?

No, though the moderators MAY choose to spread out publication of your work if you upload a big chunk at once.

What if my work doesn't sell?

That's up to you! At any time you choose, you can take your work down from Portrait Adoption. Once a piece is no longer affiliated with Portrait Adoption, you are free to create prints, sell the original, and display images as you see fit.

What if I break the Portrait Adoption rules?

If you break the rules and violate the terms of your membership, your membership may be revoked. Your work can be taken down from the website, and we may no longer offer any> of your work for adoption. If your customer(s) are upset about your breech of contract, it will be your responsibility to deal with them and they may be informed about grievous transactions. I am not an ogre, and if there is a misunderstanding, we will of course discuss it before membership is yanked away from you.

If you are missing from the artist list and wondering why, it may be because your work was not moved from the old site to the new one. No new artists are added to the list until they have work to display in their gallery! If there are any problems, get in touch with me, we'll figure things out!

Is there somewhere I can go to research popular character types to draw?

Many gaming websites have forums, and somewhere in there will be a forum for art. Here is an example of such a forum, catering to D&D games. Many of the posts are from people looking for character art, so there are a number of descriptions to read.

RPG Gateway is an excellent springboard site for finding more sites about gaming.
Hall of Heroes is a directory of D&D RPG characters - plenty of descriptions to browse!

I still have questions!

Please feel free to ask Ellen!

About the Artwork

What sorts of artwork does Portrait Adoption accept?

Any original character portrait related artwork that has not been previously published (either online or in hard copy format). We accept artwork in anime and manga styles. We accept anthros. If the piece can be interpreted as a character portrait, it has a shot at being accepted. Considering the wide variety of roleplaying systems available, plenty of artwork can be interpreted as character portrait related. Our genre of concentration is fantasy and science fiction - you will have the best luck providing work in those themes. You must to be able to provide a clean, quality image of the piece. An image of 1000 pixels on the long side is the minimum necessary for web adoption only, and larger pieces are much prefered.

What sorts of artwork won't Portrait Adoption accept?

Anything non-portrait related, like landscapes or still lifes of inanimate objects. We cannot accept fanart (work that includes recognizable, published characters, worlds or distinctive characteristics). We cannot accept "copies" of another artist's work, or work derived from a previously existing piece - including photographs. If it might violate a copyright, please do not submit it. Also, we will not accept work that has had previous public exposure. If you have already posted a scan of an image online, available publicly either at your personal website or gallery, it is not eligible for portrait adoption. We also will reject badly scanned work, or work with very grievous technical flaws.

Are there any media restrictions?

As long as you can get a good high resolution scan of the work, we will accept any media. We will accept oil and acrylic paintings, pencil pieces, pastels, all the way to pure digital work.

What about using Poser or some other 3-D rendering software to create portraits?

We do accept digital work, but we may require that you don't use the same model over and over. If you submit 5 pieces of the exact same model in different poses – same coloring and clothing – you may find some of your submissions rejected because they are not “unique” characters. You must not use filters, textures or elements that are not licensed to you for specific commercial use. Please state that you understand this particular specification when you submit your 3-D rendered work. I do specifically follow up on 3-D and photographic work to make sure you understand the copyright applications of the sources you use, and you can save us both time by simply stating this with your submission.

Can I submit work that is copied from photos, or work that includes photo elements?

Work that is copied from photographs or incorporates photographs must be from photos that you personally own the copyrights to, or have commercial license to. You may be asked to provide a model permission form. Work can be referenced from other sources. Not sure about the difference? A single element of a photograph - for example, a pose - is referenced. Once you begin to copy more than one element - for example, the pose and the lighting, or the pose and the clothing - you are copying. Generally, if we can recognize the source, you are taking too many elements from one piece, and you must be in ownership of the photograph copyrights to sell your work here. We err on the side of caution, because this is a for-profit site. If you are in doubt, do not submit it, or submit it with a link to your source photograph and we will make the decision for you. I do specifically follow up on 3-D and photographic work to make sure you understand the copyright applications of the sources you use, and you can save us both time by simply stating this with your submission.

What about nudity?

Please keep the work PG-13 rated. We don't mind a little skin, but keep it tasteful. Excessively sexual pieces will not be accepted. Consider us nipple-nazis. No exposed nipples or nipple-bits are allowed, nor genitals.

What exactly is a high-resolution image?

We require a tiff image that has been scanned at 300 dpi and will fill up the printable area of the print size you select. So, for example, for a 8.5 x 11 in print, the printable area is about 8 x 10, and your image needs to be 2400 x 3000 pixels. (This is the most popular size, but larger can always be shrunk down, and the opposite is not true.

What is a 'clean' image?

We require good, clean scans of your work to make a high quality print. A clean image is an image that has no scanner burn (darkness caused by the paper not being pressed against the glass), no strange markings, no visible hairs or fuzz caught on the image, no weird specks, etc. Once you've scanned your image, make sure you look at it carefully in your imaging program and remove any of these problems that may occur. If we find that your image does not meet our quality standards, we will refuse it and ask for a new scan. Whatever you see, zoomed in at 100%, WILL show up on a print. For some additional notes on cleaning up files, see this article. For additional information on what 'dpi' and other terms mean, see this article.

What is the smallest image size you need to offer a portrait as an adoption?

We need a minimum of a 1000 pixel image (on the long side) for a web adoption (no print). For a standard adoption with the smallest print size, 5.5 x 8.5 inches (about A5 size), we need an image that is at least 2000 x 1200 pixels.

What print sizes can I choose from?

Prints can be produced at 5.5 x 8.5 (about A5 size), 8.5 x 11 (about A4 size), 11 x 14 inches, 13 x 19 inches (about B3 size) and 17 x 22 inches.

Are landscape oriented portraits (pieces that are wider than they are tall) okay?

Yes!

Images and the Internet

I have a lot of work I'd like to sell, but I have had them posted on my website. Can I sell those through Portrait Adoption?

No. We require pieces that have not been publicly published - that is, not posted on a website or online gallery or in hardcopy format accessible to the public before. It is possible that if the image has been offered online, someone has taken your image without your permission and is using it as their portrait. We don't want to offer "exclusive" artwork to customers, only to have them find out that someone else is using their portrait online. To guarantee our claim of exclusive character artwork, we can only accept unpublished pieces, unless they have been posted according to our strict size and watermarking rules.

What about "work in progress" images?

If you have only posted "work in progress" images that look significantly different from the original, the piece is still eligible for Portrait Adoption. We would ask that if you continue to post the "work in progress" images that you keep them under 500 pixels high or wide and that they are clearly marked with your copyright information. We also ask that you do not include any closeups or detail images that might be attractive for someone to use as a character portrait without purchasing your work.

What about password protected or "friends-locked" sharing of an un-watermarked or larger image?

Sharing the image with three of your closest friends is fine, if you trust they won't run off with copies and share them around. Sharing the image with a locked community of three hundred is not fine. Use your best judgment. When you become a member, you'll also have access to our private group at Facebook, which is a safe place for sharing or getting critiques on your Portrait Adoption work.

Can I display images of my Portrait Adoption pieces on my website or gallery, or at other art galleries online?

Yes - with conditions. When we receive your high resolution file, images used on the Portrait Adoption website are created. The largest of those will have a height or width dimension not exceeding 500 pixels, and it will have the artist's name, copyright info and contact information on it. It will also have a Portrait Adoption watermark. As soon as you submit, you'll see these images. You are free to copy these and post them in your gallery, your personal website, and anywhere else you like. We encourage you to display your work available on Portrait Adoption with a link to Portrait Adoption so a potential customer can find (and hopefully buy!) your work. You are able to display additional detail shots of your choice. These must be no more than 300 x 300 pixels, contain the portrait adoption address and have a watermark across any 'juicy' areas. The whole point is that PA pieces are exclusive, so don't let unscrupulous browsers get a chance to steal the 'good bits.'

Are there restrictions to displaying images of my Portrait Adoption pieces?

We ask that you only use the image generated by Portrait Adoption for posting online. We do not want larger images or images without the watermark displayed, so the image is attractive to image thieves or people who want to use the portrait without purchasing it. You are free to make your own thumbnails, but please make them from the Portrait Adoption provided image. Do not post any "closeup" or "detail" images of your Portrait Adoption pieces without watermarks. Stick with posting the Portrait Adoption provided images and you'll be fine.

Why all the hassle over posting an image?

The hassle is meant to protect you, the artist. Maybe it's a little strict, but we are also guaranteeing that someone won't want to use your Portrait Adoption piece as a portrait online without purchasing it and getting a clean, larger image. This will also make our customers happy, because they know that they are purchasing something truly exclusive and rare - they aren't going to run into Joe Shmoe using "their" portrait online, or have "their" portrait printed up and hanging on the wall. People are willing to pay more for this, and you may find you can set your prices higher because of it. In the end this benefits you, the artist, so it's worth it.

Selling Originals and Prints

Do I have to sell the original?

No. In fact, all Portrait Adoption transactions involve a single print made from the original. You keep the original and send us a high resolution scan you have made from the piece. It doesn't matter if you have to make digital adjustments or if the original, traditionaly-made piece is a little different than the Potrait Adoption piece.

Can I sell originals on Portrait Adoption, instead of the single print?

No. We do not sell originals for several reasons, most importantly due to the logistics of shipping and storing original work... but this option may be available in the future.

Can I sell my own prints of a piece I have on Portrait Adoption?

No. Portrait Adoption must be the only source for any print of the pieces offered on the Portrait Adoption site. One of the conditions of membership is that you relinquish your print rights to the piece and agree to never produce prints, or to have anyone else produce prints. This ensures that the exclusive print sold on Portrait Adoption is and will be the only print available for sale. The only case where creating a print of a Portrait Adoption piece is acceptable is for the purpose of including it in your personal portfolio, but those prints must remain your property and cannot be sold. (You can send them to publishers, that's okay!)

I don't think that's fair. I should be able to sell prints if I want.

If you want to mass produce prints of a certain piece, don't put it on Portrait Adoption. Generally, a good character portrait is something that won't appeal to many people - something that you wouldn't be able to sell multiple prints of, but might be special for one person. A character portrait bought on Portrait Adoption should be special, and we ensure that by making sure more prints are not produced.

Can I make a print for myself under any circumstances?

You may make a print of a Portrait Adoption piece for the purpose of including it in your personal portfolio, but it must remain your property and cannot be sold. This is the only exception. Ellen can even make that print for you!

Artist Rights

What if I want to sell cards or mousepads?

You are welcome to sell or license anything with the piece on it, as long as it isn't a print. If you want to sell t-shirts, cards, mugs, mousepads, etc., feel free to do so. Just no prints. HOWEVER, please be careful about the images that will be published on the Internet. Many print services require that you show large, unwatermarked images that will violate the rules of Portrait Adoption. For the most part, a good character portrait isn't the same format as a piece that makes good merchandise.

Can I grant rights to have the piece published professionally in a book at a later date?

Yes, with caveats. As always, use your best judgement when approving use of your work in published projects. For example, it should never be used as an illustration to a story or as a character portrait in a book unless it has been adopted as that character. It should never be available in a general free-for-all character portrait book. It should never be published with a character name that it has not been adopted to be. You are welcome to use it in a book such as Spectrum with a generic name that would not conflict with the name an adopter would give it, should it be adopted. You are welcome to use it in a calendar or as a magazine cover, however, the use of it should never conflict with the idea that it may become someone else's character. Be wary about sending your print file to an unreputable publisher, or someone that may only be seeking to part you from your file. Be cautious about submitting to a venture that may allow large, unwatermarked images to be posted online!

Member Artist Questions

I've registered as an artist, but I'm not listed on the main site as a Portrait Adoption artist. Why?

Your name will only show up on the main site after you have submitted work and had it accepted. This is to prevent empty galleries, which are no fun to look at.

I'm on a dialup connection and don't want to wait a half-hour to upload a zipped tiff file. Can I upload a zipped jpeg image instead?

Jpegs are acceptable but ONLY if they are very high quality. We will reject your image if there are any jpg compression artifacts visible, and you will have to go through the hassle of rescanning and reuploading a suitable image. If you don't know how to save a jpeg at a high quality level, or what that means, do not send jpgs. Tiffs have no compression whatsoever, which makes them very high quality and there are no settings to fiddle with. This makes them the easiest option for people who aren't comfortable with different image file types and settings. If in doubt, send a tiff. It's easier for everyone, even though you may have to wait a bit to upload it. If your connection will not handle the file size you are working with, you are welcome to use snail mail to send a CD with the files on it.


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