A Work in Futility: The WeLoveFine Experience
As many of you are well aware, WeLoveFine is a shirt company that boosts “T-Shirts designed by fans for fans” motto. Their slogan and idea is simple enough, hire fans/artists to work with their acquired licenses and selling those shirts to said fans/artists.
They hold design contests that allow them to gain a better idea of what will sell and in turn lead artists on with the promise that they may potentially be hire by WLF under their MightyFineArtist program - a program that would allow artists to submit their work whenever and to gain commission from their art rather than one fixed flat rate.
The MFA is invite only but WLF insists that if an artist holds enough contest wins under their belt that they may be admitted into the program. They claim that they treat their artists fairly however, this ultimately isn’t how it goes down over at WLF.
More under the cut:
For a while now I’ve been pretty agitated with WLF. Back when I entered the MLP contest probably 3 years ago, I got an email saying my entry was in the top ones (it’s still there) but I needed to sign a release form saying they could use it for whatever they wanted… before even letting me know how far I qualified.
As it turned out, I won… a 50 dollar gift certificate. That was not even enough to cover 2 shirts with shipping.
My previous experiences with shirts have been with threadless, where I collaborated with my friend Alice. I can’t even remember how much money we initially got for it (I think it was 500 each?), but every time our shirts are reprinted we each get 250. Also, they give store credit for making winning designs.
Not only does WLF not do that (the store credit thing), they don’t pay artists fairly for reprinting. How much money has my shirt made them? At the cost of… however much 2 shirts from them cost to print? They didn’t even pay to ship it. So they’ve literally made hundreds/thousands from my fucking shirt and I got… 50 dollar gift certificate. That’s it.
So take that into account for their many designs, and consider the very little the artists got in return.
It was pretty stupid of me to sign without finding out what I was going to receive in exchange, and so that’s a lesson learned, here. Please take from my lesson and shun these extremely shady “business” practices which treat fanart as not “Real” art deserving fair pay, despite the huge amount of money to be made from it.
I’m glad to see an actual post about the shit they’re pulling though, because I felt like my anecdote alone wasn’t really enough to make a post about.
TLDR fuck WLF for paying dismally and not giving a shit about the artists themselves or fair compensation.