Thursday, September 5, 2013

The end of my Teddy K story

Okay, I have put this off long enough so I may as well finish it now. Better late than never and all.

In earlier posts I had related the tale of a decade overdue commission from Danish artist Teddy Kristiansen and how I finally got the piece in the mail just before NYCC 2012 after telling a few industry folks that I would be there to meet Teddy and I was eager to settle the score.

And how I hated the art immediately.

I mean, when I got the package you may call me a fool but I was actually excited after all this time to get the piece. It was to be The Shade and Teddy's distinctive style would allow for some fairly wild possibilities artwise, and that was the reason I had chosen the character for Teddy in the first place.

I was expecting something strongly stylized. Highly stylistic in fact, stretched and slightly distorted preferred.

I got a straightforward character piece.

I was expecting black and white, india ink more likely than not. I ordered black and white and wanted a stark piece to go with the shadowy aspects of the character.

I got a painted character piece, with color. Albeit not much. but a surprise nonetheless.

In fact I was a bit angry that I got a piece so different from what I ordered all those years ago. After all that time Teddy had chosen to try and make it up to me I guess. I was not able to come up with any other possible motivation for so drastic a change. I got a painting, one done with care and delicacy, with careful and deliberate use of color.

I don;t know, perhaps I am being hard on the piece and hard on teddy. After ten years of thinking what the commission could possibly have been I may have become impossible to please after all this time. I certainly was stunned when I looked at The Shade by Teddy Kristiansen for the first time, and I still honestly do not care for the piece as I look at it now. It is not horrible, it is just there.

I wanted something from this guy darnit!

DC Comics SOLO Teddy Kristiansen issue cover

That is a fantastic take on Deadman! That is the type of look I wanted on ol' Dickie Swift, The Shade! So I hated it immediately and filed it away in the Itoya to see the light of day upon my demise (hopefully 11/29/2066).

Then something odd happened.

Teddy emailed and asked if I got the art and what I thought. So I told him, briefly, I got it. Thanks.

Then he emailed again. I may have ignored that one, or a later one, but he emailed again maybe 5 times in a day or three. I suddenly couldn't get rid of my new best friend.

I was not rude or anything, just curt. And definitely not flattering the art, in fact I stayed away from commenting on the piece at best as possible. Just...I got it, thanks. Good Luck. Have a good time in NYC. End of story. But around the third or so email teddy said something like "I will give you the money back if you don't like it" because it had been a bit overdue. Like, ten freaking years! I ignored that statement at first but he made it again and the next time or the time after my reply was little more than my paypal address. It was clear he wanted me to say it was okay and we were clear but other than accept the art he was not going to get anything from me at this point other than common courtesy. Ten years with 2-3 replies to 25 email sent, always courteously asking if my art was finished.

So he sent me my money back.

I took it.

I didn't suggest it and I didn't ever ask for it. But when he emailed me more in the week after sending the art than he had in the ten years he dodged me I got tired of him quickly.

And if he wanted to send me my money, well who am I to refuse such a generous and kind person?

The art remains buried in my profolios. I guess I will sell it or something soon enough.

Or maybe I will keep it in the shadows, where it rightfully belongs.


Jim S. said...

That is too bad that that commission was a bad experience, but I am wondering what the final art looks like? :)

fedres said...

Sorry, I should have linked to it. I posted about it a while ago, so you may not have seen it. Here is the link to that blog post - Take care Jim! - Sean