Occasionally people contact us to ask to make stuff based on our designs. We love anything and everything like this: we consider it fan art, and you don't need our permission to do it!
Sometimes, they have the idea to sell the stuff they make too, and it then becomes something a bit different, because this is how we make a living.
At that point, we start talking about it as a commission, or licensing. We create a design for you to use, like a Custombot, and you pay a bit extra to use it on something you sell. We've done this for our friends @PiWarsRobotics and a couple of others.
We want to be clear that we love collaboration and we love people being inspired by our designs, but we also believe that artists should be paid for their work! Whenever we work with other people, we offer payment too.
We're only saying this because very, very occasionally, someone will get a bit weird when we switch from benevolent creator chatting to a gushing fan into hard-nosed businessbot who won't let you use their branding for free.
When you want to make money from our labour, we expect some sort of cut. It's just how it works. We'll help out, we'll facilitate, we'll collaborate and cross-promote, but we don't work for exposure and it's not our job to give you exposure either.
We're at the point now where, generally, a potential partner will get more out of us promoting them than vice versa (short of a TV producer or something contacting us). We will always help out other creators, as we have been helped out by them, but there are limits.
This might sound a bit harsh, but it is what it is, and we don't want anyone to get offended in our DMs when we don't jump at the chance to work with you for nothing. More often than not, that's a transaction that would benefit you far more than us!
You can use almost anything we've done if you ask us tbh. You just can't modify it, or sell derivative works based on it, and we expect credit. Plenty of people use our (non-Custombot) drawings on their profiles and stuff. There are even tattoos out there.
We're not mean about it. You just gotta pay us if you make money off our work.
Our career-based nightmare scenario is someone innocently making something small robots related, selling it, and it becoming more successful than anything we've done (which wouldn't be that hard).
We're protective of our IP because our profit margin is wafer thin. We *just* make a living out of this.
We look like a big account but this is very much not some successful creative endeavour!
And let that be a lesson as well: whatever target you set for your creative work, be it a certain number of followers (10K was always our big milestone...), getting a book published, etc., you will *not* see it translate smoothly into income.
We make enough that we don't have to have a day job, and that's still pretty amazing to us, but we're not living anything like how we used to when we had a steady wage.
Anyway, the message here is don't get all weird if we tell you that you'll have to pay us to use our stuff for anything that makes *you* money.

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More from @smolrobots

18 Oct
The most successful sci-fi franchise of all time is set in a post-scarcity society that has abolished suffering.
Like, DS9 and stuff showed the compromises required to make the Federation work, but it never shied away from showing that, for normal people, it was basically paradise.
DS9 is dark at times, but the good guys do win.
Read 32 tweets
17 Oct
Just because a word ends in an 's', doesn't mean it loses the additional possessive 's', either in written or spoken English. You're thinking of plurals.
Look, our name ends in an s. If you're talking about something that belongs to us, you don't just say our name and the thing. It's "Thomas's stuff" not "Thomas' stuff".
If you say the latter, you're actually making the sentence harder to understand in pursuit of a non-existent grammatical rule.
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17 Oct
We would like, just one time, for the right to feel the need to tack towards the centre to gain popular support instead of just trying every possible means to supress voting.
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They never even consider that the manifest unpopularity of their creed is somehow an indication that it might be wrong. It's always the democratic process that lets them down.
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Oh, Jennifer Arcuri and Carrie Symonds are different people?
Having never paid much attention to Johnson's serial philandering, we'd somehow just conflated them in our mind.
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"Fine, then we'll just have no deal!"
"Okay, if that's what you want."
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Tories have an incredibly warped view of the power dynamic in this situation. It's like reading tweets from Bizarro World.
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1291) Sunrisebot. Just enjoys a lovely sunrise each day. A spherical robot with band...
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patreon.com/posts/42288514
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