For everyone who saw our post regarding AK Interactive’s use of our models in their book: First and foremost, I must issue a complete and utter apology to both Fernando (the President of AK Interactive), and the company itself. Last night it was brought to my attention that our models were being used on the cover of a book being published by the company. As I was not contacted about their use, I of course reacted swiftly and harshly on social media before attempting to contact them. It is not an excuse, but after three days of being under Hurricane Dorian, I was loopy to say the least.
In any evert, it turns out that the photos which were used by AK Interactive were provided (unbeknownst to us) by one of our painters. AK Interactive had NO KNOWLEDGE that the models were not produced by the painter, but rather by Garage Kits.US. This was horrible series of misunderstandings, and they in way no way acted in bad faith. As a matter of fact, I myself spoke with Fernando the President of the company and cleared the whole situation up personally. Also, Jim Capone who provided the pictures to AK Interactive, has issued the following statement: “I need to get this out. This whole situation with AK is my doing. They contacted me about using examples of my paint-ups in a book they were planning on the use of color and color theory. I was flattered and interested in the concept. Before I agreed to anything, I sent the following:
“It looks wonderful and addresses an issue I am constantly asked about. I would be pleased to be a part of the book. I do feel you should look over my work and let me know which pieces you would like to use. I must also tell you that most of the paint I use is GK.Kits US Colors. I do a lot of paint-ups for them and they promote the fact that I use their colors. Because of that I feel I could only be use as examples of color selection, use, and grouping, and not for product promotion. If this is a problem I completely understand.”
They replied: “No problem about the colors you use , we will show as examples of how to work in different colors, just for inspiration, and I will send you the final layout in order you give the ok or recommend me to use in a way or another”
I told them to give me a list of what they thought would work with the articles. I received a list of about 30-40, which would be divided among colors (some for red, blue, green, etc). Many, not all, were pieces I’ve done for Jesse. I also told them that I wanted credit for my work. They misunderstood and sent me a store credit which I never intend to use. I wasn’t after any money, I wanted to be sure readers knew who did the work. I liked the theme and thought it would be good exposure for me and for Jesse kits. I sent Jesse a link to the book expecting him to be excited, but it obviously had the complete opposite effect. Unfortunately, I never considered how it would affect him or how he would view the project. I now understand his concern. I now see that the proximity of the photos could lead people to believe they were done with other products. I am sorry about this whole mess. I’m sorry for the grief it has caused him, and AK Interactive who worked in good faith with me.”
I wish to extend my apologies to both Fernando and AK Interactive for any insinuation assumed that they “stole” anything: THEY DID NOT. As I stated, this was a horrible series of misunderstandings all around, and they should in NO WAY be held accountable.
AK Interactive has actually accommodating GKUS, by crediting us in further printings of the book, as well as letting people know where they can purchase the kits featured in it, which is very much appreciated by us.
As discussed with Fernando, in future we will be asking all our freelance artists to sign contracts with GKUS, properly outlining the specifications of our working relationships, so something like this doesn’t happen again.
It’s been a long week, and it’s only Wednesday!
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