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Would it be considered unethical to ask for a faceup 'touch up'?

Apr 8, 2012

    1. So, I know that many face-up artists will not entertain the notion of copying other people's work or doing duplicate face ups for different people, and this is fair enough. However, I was pondering - If an artist does a unique faceup on your doll which begins to fade over time, would it be considered unacceptable to ask that same artist to redo the faceup to the best of their ability or to 'touch up' the faded detail?

      Just to re-itterate, this would *not* be asking an artist to copy someone else's work or the work that they've done on somebody else's doll. The customer would of course be paying again.

      Thanks for your time!
    2. Why would this be "unethical"? If something is broken, you take it to get fixed by someone who can fix it. I don't see a moral dilemma here.
    3. Hmm, I see it more of a restoration, rather than a copy. I don't see anything wrong with it.
      But, I would see if the original artist is a available first. (since they can probably do it best).
    4. I agree I don't see why this would be unethical at all ?

      To be honest if it is a minor touch up I don't see an issue with doing it yourself or even asking a different faceup artist to do the touch up, in my opinion that's more like a repair rather than copying
    5. Unethical? Certainly not. You could ask if the same artist would do it. The answer may be 'no', but if you don't ask, the answer is ALWAYS 'no'.
    6. Face-ups are not TM or Copyright protected. Do what you need to do to fix up your doll and make it look good. Avoiding 100 percent copying other people's work is respectful and good practice in any hobby circle. But keep in mind that there is a fine line between being "inspired by" and copying, so use your best judgement. People should not be pointing fingers and calling out "copy" in the first place. Face up artists very likely don't copy out of respect for other peoples work and because it's flat out boring if you care about what your produce.

      Also, you can always find someone else to do the touch up. Just don't advertise the new touched up face up as the original artist's work unless they say it's ok.
    7. Not unethical, but if the damage is due to normal wear and tear, you should not expect the faceup artist to repair it for free.
    8. It seems that the terms 'ethical' and 'unethical' are thrown around too much. Usually, ethics tend to coincide with the law. In the counseling field, there are things you can and cannot do. Violating the code of ethics can get you in serious legal trouble, or at the very least have your license suspended or taken away.

      But more on the topic of BJDs: If I were a face up artist, if I was doing a unique face up, I would want to have a few photos taken of it, as well as a comprehensive list of colors and materials used, just in case someone wanted me to redo their face up. Not everyone is interested in having their doll's looks change over and over, and I'm sure many owners like their dolls unchanged.

      If you're going back to the face up artist who did your doll's face up, arranging and paying for it shouldn't be an issue. It might cost you less because it isn't a full face up, and it's a restorative job on one part of the head, but why would the original artist care that you were going back to them for more work?
    9. I don't see why it would be unethical. I mean, I've paid for it, if it fades during delivery it's not my fault! Maybe it isn't totally the make up artist's fault and she packed it well, but the fact is I paid for a perfect job and got something messy and I would like either a refund or a touch up for free. If it's done due to time or playing, I would pay the touch up (or the total renewal of the make up if needed). If I play with my doll for a year and the make up gets damaged and I still like it, I'd get the same artist re-do it for me (paying for it, of course!). It's not copying. I consider copying if I were asking for a make up this artist did for someone else's doll, but if it's my doll and I'm asking to have the same make up, who would I be copying? Myself? UXDDD It sounds weird, you know. Of course, one shouldn't expect the same finished look. Make up artists change style a lot from practise and what was done a week ago might not look totally the same than what is being done right now, so time matters and face ups won't be the same, but it's normal when it comes to handcrafted items, like face ups.
    10. Uh... if it fades over time, you can ask for a touch-up IF YOU PAY FOR IT. That shouldn't be a problem.
    11. This is such a weird question. Why on earth would it be unethical to ask an artist to redo or touch up something they painted on your doll? Would it be unethical to ask your tattoo artist to touch up faded lines if you were willing to pay them to do so? Quoting Rosslyn
      It's not a question of morals or anything else. It's very practical, because the person who did the faceup is probably going to be the best one to fix it. They painted it, they are in possession of the colours they originally used, presumably the have the photos they took after painting it , so they'd be the best one to repair or replicate the faceup.

      For the record, I actually have done this. I purchased a head from a fellow DoAer which had a faceup I loved (which was, incidentally, done by a more-or-less local artist). It ended up being damaged by a monocle I had on the head, and I attempted to repair the damage with matching pastel, but that didn't work. I wrote the original artist and explained what happened, asked her if she'd be willing to repaint the same faceup on him, and had it redone. (I paid for the new faceup, of course) I don't see how asking someone to repair or redo a faceup they'd previously done could be seen as unacceptable, as long as you are not expecting them to do so for free. I know that were I a commissionable artist, I would be flattered that someone I'd painted a facceup for had grown to like it so much they would want it repaired or redone so that they could enjoy it for even longer.
    12. No, no. I don't see an issue with this whatsoever.
    13. Not to mention, you're getting another commission, and you're being paid for it.
    14. I don't think it's unethical, in the end its the original artist's work, so it's not duplication, and as writerm said, it's really just another commission. I definitely think I would be flattered that someone wanted to keep their faceup enough that they'd ask for a restoration of it, of sorts.
    15. I definitely agree that that scenario would be perfectly fine, but what about this...

      What if you buy a doll on the 2nd hand market with a faceup from an artist. You contact said artist to get this faceup redone when you, yourself was not the one to commission it in the first place. How do you think this should be handled?

      And second scenario,

      What if you commission a faceup on a doll, and later sell that doll for whatever reason, lets say it doesn't fit the "character". You reshell the character into a different doll. Now you ask the faceup artist to redo the original faceup on doll #2. Meanwhile, doll #1 still has the original faceup.

      Sorry if this is considered thread hi-jacking, but I figured it's closely related enough not to warrant it's own thread.
    16. The same way as you would commission an artist to redo the face up if you were the original owner. There shouldn't be any difference. The first owner no longer owns that doll, and you like the pre-existing face up, so I don't think there would be an issue. I've never been a face up artist, but if I kept a record of what I did for a face up, and saw that the doll someone else had had that face up, I'd assume they bought it from the first owner. If the face up's already there, and I can tell it's my work, I'd just redo it and ask for payment. It's not my obligation to find out how this head went from owner 1 to owner 2. If it means that much that the face up artist know it, say so, but it shouldn't be an issue.

      At the very most, I'd assume they might try to pursuade you to change it - just to help you keep your doll a little bit more unique. Maybe they know the first owner is requesting the same face up. If they say so, they might suggest changing yours just so that you separate yourself from this other person. But I think they'd be doing it as a courtesy, because BJD owners like a certain degree of uniqueness, and not as a demand.

      Well then, two dolls have the same face up. I'm sure, try as they might, there are BJDs painted by the same artist that look similar to one another - almost to the point of being doppelgangers. That happens. The artist did your doll the first time, and they won't say anything if you want them to do it to a new doll. They were your dolls both times, so why should the artist refuse or want to change something the second go around?

      I've heard of people who will wipe their doll's face ups before selling, and won't keep the face up by request of the buyer because they believe that they are selling the doll, and not the character. Some people don't think that way because they have other ideas, or that they assume the face up is going to be wiped anyway. Neither is doing anything wrong.

      (Now, my only question is what do you do if your first face up comes from the company? I might post a thread if there isn't one already)
    17. writerm - Very good, valid points. As a faceup artist (which I am not), and a human (which I am), I would definitely try to persuade the person getting the same faceup that their doll may already have (or even that of one I already did) to change it up a little bit (ex. improvements they may have wanted), because I would know it would be insanely hard for me to duplicate something. I personally can't duplicate -anything- I do.

      I was mainly thinking, for the 2nd one, how is it different on you getting the "same" faceup from a doll you owned previously to a doll you own now, from picking a faceup the artist had done previously on someone elses' doll, and say "I want that faceup". Now I just want opinion, not that I agree it should be done, for my own reasons.

      Also, I was thinking about people who wipe their dolls' custom faceups before selling the doll -- but I've learned that sometimes it's because the character, or, also because if the previous owner sees the doll that they sold, it may sadden them for personal reasons (say they sold the doll they were closely bonded with because of some reason or other). Now would it be "unethical" to request that faceup be done -again- to the same doll from the same artist, even if the previous owner wiped it?

      I was also thinking about this yesterday, but forgot to include it with my questions/scenarios, because I was personally thinking about a doll I had whose company faceup, which I loved, started fading. I was thinking, "what if I contacted the company who did the faceup to do it again?" because they can obviously reproduce it if it's the default. But then I started thinking, well, if that's the case, I may as well get a custom one instead of the same default, because then this time he'll be /that/ much more unique than having another default. But I am curious to know if any companies would do such a thing?
    18. This doesn't sound like a question of "ethics" so much as a question of whether it is socially acceptable. And Yes... It is acceptable to ask for a touch up... it just might not be possible from a practical stand point.

      A small nick or scuff might be easy to repair. If a faceup fades over a period of time (e.g. 2-3 years) it is due to the environment and being handled - dirt and the oils from peoples' hands. Even if you gently washed the head without damaging the faceup, there's no guarantee that the surface would be clean enough to get good results (the older, degraded sealant could cause the new sealant to flake). As a faceup artist, if the faceup is that old, I would rather start fresh and try to do a *similar* faceup rather than paint over the existing one. Even when trying to edit a new faceup, there are some things I don't like to do... like sealing over an area that had gloss on it and trying to add more color. It just doesn't go on as nicely.

      ("Similar" because even if you re-commissioned the same artist, the hand-done element guarantees that you won't get exactly the same faceup twice and it's not unusual for an artist's style to improve or change over time. Also... if I've improved A LOT since I did the original faceup, I would just want to start over as a matter of artistic pride.)

      It depends, IMO, on what else the new owner does to the doll... it could just mean the new owner likes that style of faceup on that doll. If there are really specific details, like tattoos or something like that, it would be a little tacky, especially if the previous owner specifically wiped the faceup. And, as a faceup artist, I would refuse to duplicate anything that was character specific - but would offer to work out something conceptually similar but unique instead. (The exception being a doll that is supposed to represent a widely known character - e.g. from an anime or game, especially if it's a MNM. Artistic integrity or not, I can't really tell someone they can't make their doll into a popular character.)

      Angell-Studio is the only company that I have run across that takes faceup/aesthetics/modding commissions on dolls that they didn't manufacture. The presence of other company's dolls in their gallery makes me think that they do, anyway; I don't know anyone who has actually sent them a non-AS doll for a commission. If you look in their gallery of One Off Faceups, you will find a Luts Shiwoo, and a DE Soo, as well as a few others.
    19. Now, what would you deem as an acceptable answer if someone asked you to duplicate a faceup in that scenario, since you say it depends on what else they do? Do you mean if they went out and got the same eyes/wig/clothes/etc to have the doll be identical to what the previous owner had it as before? I do have to agree that it would be tacky to go out and get everything identical, especially if it was previously wiped, partially because I think at that point, if you're putting that much money, time, and energy into making this doll look the same, you might as well try to think of some way to make the doll unique and your own -- not someone else's vision (not speaking in terms of specific characters, though).

      Wow! I honestly never would have thought to send (or even ask!) a company to do a faceup on a doll that wasn't their own. I find this very interesting, actually.
    20. Yeah... that's kind of what I was thinking. There are a lot of dolls who have similar/same styles or archetypes (punk rocker, princess, etc. or even full-sets), so I think whether or not it was tacky would come down to a lot of the fine details, like keeping the name or the characterization the previous owner gave their doll. I wouldn't do something like that unless I knew the previous owner was OK with it.

      I agree. I do get wanting to buy a doll because you specifically like the character that doll embodies; there are a couple of sculpts that I ended up liking just because of characters I've seen in photostories, but I would only keep the doll as is if the original owner was OK with me buying the doll for the character.

      I guess my answer in that situation would depend on how obvious the customer was being about wanting to create a carbon copy of the previous owner's look, if they even bother to mention that this doll is one that I had worked on previously (I'm not going stalk my customers or their dolls). I wouldn't want to copy another owner's doll, but some things with a faceup, IMO, do tend to be kind of general - 2 dark, Goth-y faceups are going to have some things in common, especially if you asked the same artist to do it. (Comes down to fine details and character again.)

      I reserve the right to refuse a commission if a customer asks me to to copy previous work for a different customer... but I think in most cases I'm not going to have enough information to determine that it would be the case unless the customer specifically says so. Principles - all well and good on paper... harder in real life.

      And one more thing! I would get really bored if I had 10 people with the same sculpt asking me for the exact same style of faceup. So keep it interesting and ask me for something different.

      The only other explanation I can think of for the non-AS dolls on their site would be dolls from their own personal collections. But... It wouldn't surprise me if AS did take outside commissions. They seem to offer a lot of services that most companies do not (e.g. subtractive mods and custom resin matching).