So I got this note from a guy on DA here asking me if I wanted to be on his team to colour stuff. He states his rate of $20.00 for full colour and background (a farcical amount so he lost me there straight off) and links his website. It's basically a girl on girl catfight art site with nudity, lesbian action, mega gore and ultra violence, all while using comic characters. Yeah... Great idea! /sarcasm
So I say no, and also mention his rate is probably far far far too low to get anybody to do what he wants (I hope everyone else he approached all said no as well just based on that). Obviously that got up his nose because he comes back to me saying I'm "unprofessional..."
Ok... So let's think about that for a bit.
I am very very selective about what I colour. Sexy is ok by me, but I try to avoid things with nudity or excessive violence in it. (I've done two pics with bare boobs and have taken all lengths possible to keep the non-censored versions off the net. Of course, that hasn't stopped the client from posting them, but at least it doesn't come from me. I've now decided outright that any nudity or over the top violence etc at all is an automatic rejection by me, no matter how good the picture is) This is mostly because I work as a teacher by day and the kiddies I teach don't need to see that sort of thing from me. Neither do I relish explaining myself to the Principal or education department. My wife and daughter are my best editors in fact. If they kick up over a picture then I'm undoubtedly in the wrong.
But it also goes further than that. I see professionalism as protecting your reputation overall for the big picture. I don't think the major comic publishers would necessarily want to use someone who is associated with that sort of thing as described above at the opening of this journal article. Just look at the storm of controversy over that recent Spider-Woman cover by Milo Manara... and that's just over a particular pose!
Besides this, anything of dubious content can come back to haunt you years after the event. A guy I'm aware of here on DA is still dogged by controversy and harassment for some dodgy art he did years and years ago. He's even tried changing his name to avoid it but people have made the connection and continue to hound him. To me this is both pointless and unnecessary as he's not doing that art anymore, but of course some people out there just get their jollies wherever they can find it.
So, with all that in mind, maybe it's worth thinking about when you're offered to colour, or draw, or ink, someone's art? What could be the long term ramifications of doing so? Maybe now when you're younger and looking to get paying work, any work with money sounds good. But what about when you're older? What might people think then or how might it affect your potential future commissioning opportunities?