The LOTR Commission _ Keep calm, guys, I didn’t fly away with your money !

I have to respond to this thread on EB. Here’s my side of the story.

The beginning

Last September, I was contacted by Jeffrey, who offered to hire me for a film poster commission.
In November, the project really took shape : I had to make 2 LOTR actor-likeness posters, in around 7 colours, one with the good characters and the other with the bad characters.
50 members were found, and they could talk together about the project in a Facebook private group. I didn’t be invited into this group and thought it was good : so, the members could speak freely, and Jeffrey forwarded me their ideas/comments about my daily WIP.

I was very excited to start this commission. Indeed, I really love the LOTR’s atmosphere. Moreover, it was the first time I worked on this kind of project : I am used to draw gigposters, and to print my pics in 3 or 4 colors in my silkscreen printing workshop.

The project

On 7 December, Jeffrey sent me the list of the characters that members would like to see on the posters:

Evil :

1 Sauron
2 Gollum
3 Saruman
4 Natzgul
5 Lurtz


1 Gandolf
2 Frodon
3 Aragorn
4 Arwen
5 Treebeard

Here’s the answer I mailed him (I even kept the mispelled words, my English is really bad).

« For me it’s not a problem the charcaters, 5 I think it’s a good idea, it’s good compisition, but not more because this will be « overloaded » and usualy I put some more graphic elements (In my style). »

Here’s the first sketches. From these, I anticipated to work about 2 months on the two around-7-colors artworks.


The Result

On the end of March, the final « Evil » poster was done. Here’s the result.


Nothing special here, only minor modifications from the initial project : addition of the Mordor and clouds in the background, addition of Arachne, 10 colors (7 in the initial project).
And… OK, I admit that I didn’t anticipate such a delay, but at this moment, I still felt very happy to work on this project.

Now, one (essential) question is : how the « good characters » project changed from this :


to this ?


I gradually accepted lots of modifications, in order to please people who asked for it, and because I was very excited about the project. But I was like boiling frog : when I realized I had become a « performer », rather than a creative  artist, it was too late : the project was already at an advanced stage.

Clearly, on that point, I am aware of my share of responsability : I should never have accepted to draw more than 5 characters on this poster, especially as « likeness » is obviously not my strong suit.

In May, Jeffrey asked me to go into the Facebook private group, because lots of people were unhappy, and he thought that I should talk to the unhappy members.
I couln’t believe my eyes when I saw the mess in this group ! Some members already spoke about making a legal complaint against me, because they considered I had gotten rid of the contract. For these people, I wasn’t working on the project anymore, and it took a very long time, because I did’nt care about the project, but was only interested in stealing their money !

From this moment, I fully participated in the Facebook group, and directly made all the modifications that people asked me for, without Jeffrey’s mediation. In fact, I litterally followed their instructions.

In the group, the atmosphere seemed to be better. No more threat, I even had compliments about the artwork… until Jeffrey posted the final version on EB. I feel particularly sad for the guys who thank me one day, and ask for a refund the day after, just because they saw bad reviews on EB.

So, I can hear criticisms about the pic, that’s not the point.
But there are some words I can’t let being said, especially on public forum and on my Facebook wall. I’m not lazy, I’m not a thief, I am even not so interested in money : I always work on projects because I like them, and the first months, I really liked this one.

Here are some facts

I didn’t accept any other work from the beginning to the end of the LOTR project. The only time I stopped sharing daily WIP is during the Glowsun’s tour, wich was planned for a long time. So, I really spent 1000 hours on the whole project (the 2 posters + the variants + the design of the typos).

Before May, I never thought the delay was a real problem. Jeffrey always told me to take my time, in order to make a good artwork. I fully agreed with his point of view : as I already said, I don’t really care about financial gain, so, spending lots of time in a cool project didn’t bother me at all.

You want to talk about money ? Let’s talk about money ! I received 30 % of my fee at the beginning of the project, and should be full paid after the printer’s validates the files. So, actually, I didn’t receive all the money. No complaint about this. This is a normal deal, and I am used to live with little money : that’s OK for me. This information is just key to understand why some accusations are bullshit : I didn’t fly away with members’ money. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t.

And now ?

Now you know my side of the story. I hope you have a better idea of the real situation, which is, in my opinion, essential to be able to talk together.

Cause I don’t bite,
Cause bashing people on public forum never resolves any conflict,

If you want to talk about it, you can send me a private message via the « contact » page of this website or via Facebook. We could also discuss this in the Facebook private group (if someone can invite me again, cause I left the group).

Thanks for reading.


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