Monday, July 26, 2010

Answering questions about Cutepet turning members-only

The following is in response to an e-mail I received from a fan (name withheld to respect his privacy). As he brings up some points that I'm sure other people are wondering about as well, I decided to share my response here on the blog. His comments are in blue.

I can remember years ago when I first happened upon this site.  If memory serves me I believe it was a picture depicting Zelda and Link making love in a rather...."interesting" fashion. From that moment on, I was hooked. To me it was more then just "Porn", it had a particular style and feel...That "jen es se qua" that most other erotic art, especially western art was lacking, I found here at this site.

It's always good to hear from a longtime fan. I'll do my best to address your areas of concern and explain our position on them.

"What an interesting business model" I thought, "they do the some pictures for free and work on tips...making up the difference with special orders and commissions.". A business model that is now becoming even more popular with the times. Which is why...this change confuses me... why would anyone change a business model that was perfectly suited for such an economic environment?

If the commissions and donations business model worked for us, we wouldn't have changed it.

Let's say a commission image costs $300. If a high quality image takes 40 hours to produce, that comes out to only $7.50 an hour. I may as well be working at McDonald's. At the same time, $300 is understandably a lot to ask out of an individual. To make an income that actually pays the bills, I would have to raise my commission prices even higher, but they are already at a point that is beyond most people's means.

Now look at the members-site business model. For $19.99, an individual gets access to weekly picture updates, plus our ten year catalog of art and comics. That's already a better value than a single image for $300. Plus, we hold weekly polls to allow our members to guide the direction of the new content. Basically, the members-site format splits the cost of image creation among an entire community. It allows individuals to be a patron of our artistic endeavors in a way that doesn't break anyone's wallet.

Further more, taking the names of the real artists off the art...Or was this a take over?? Even the Web-blog has gone derelict... ______________*, predominant Voice actor, prefers not to talk about her Hentai days, but she still at least acknowledges them...

(*To respect her privacy, I've removed the name of the voice actress in question.)

No, this is not a takeover. We're still the same two artists who have always updated and created the artwork on Cutepet.

That's really interesting about ________. I didn't know she used to do hentai voice acting. Funny though - I browsed around her website and wiki and couldn't find any reference whatsoever to any sort of adult roles. She may acknowledge her "hentai days" if her fans ask (if someone asks me, I do, too), but I doubt she flaunts it, because it could very well cause her to lose a job. I'll tell you why. Unfortunately, like it or not, porn is NOT favorably viewed upon by everyone. Some employers do not want to hire an artist who has worked on adult content (they honestly fear that the artist might sneak some sex into an assignment, or something 9_9). I can tell you for a fact that an artist can be both interested in creating hentai works and general audience works, just as you probably appreciate both hentai art and general art. Unfortunately, that is difficult for some people to understand, which is why pennames are necessary.

As for not maintaining the web blog, our new site format allows me to offer the same amount of in-depth coverage on our artwork that I was previously doing on the blog. If you enjoyed the work-in-progress imagery on the blog, then you'll love what we've been doing with the new images on the member's site.

Art cannot thrive in a scenario where money is the primary motivation, since money does not do much for inspiration.

Do you feel that way about all professional artists, musicians, writers, etc? I suppose you have this picture in your head of the starving artist who suffers for their artwork, and has to work a job on the side that isn't art-related so that their art remains "pure"? It IS possible for professional artists to be both passionate about their work, and be paid for it. Money does not taint artwork - it allows me to focus on creating good pictures instead of worrying about how I'm going to afford food and a roof over my head. And believe me, if I wasn't passionate about art, I would have quit this profession a long time ago. There's a lot of other far easier and more lucrative ways out there to make a living.

Furthermore, the members-site model allows me to be more artistically free than ever before. Every picture I now create consists of my own unique ideas (guided by member feedback, of course), as opposed to the ideas dictated by a commission client. Plus, knowing that people are paying for my work drives me to continuously push what I'm capable of doing.

P.S. You may want to flog whom ever wrote/approved the "info" section on the main page... For one, it's got grammar issues galore.

As I mentioned earlier, everything on the website is written and created by us, info section blurb included. I proofread everything, but I know I'm not perfect. I would very much appreciate it if you could be kind enough to point out to me those grammatical issues so that I may fix them.

Secondly, its kinda sexist..."box of tissues" implies male you really think only men enjoy this sort of art?? Bad form...

That was more of a tongue-in-cheek comment than anything. On the topic though, as a woman, I'd love for there to be more women who enjoy this sort of artwork, but honestly, a large majority of our fan base is indeed male--that's not sexist, just a fact.

Thanks for your e-mail. I hope I helped better explain our reasoning for the change in our website format.

Best regards,


  1. Did he mention "grammar issues" but misspell "je ne sais quoi"?

  2. Those are well-reasoned points. Still, as a devotee who stumbled upon the "glories" of your site way back in 2002, I feel I have to say that The Change comes as a heavy blow (sort of) for your non-North American fanbase, especially those of, er, "modest" ways and means.

    I'm a Filipino, living in the Philippines, away from its metropolitan centers. I can only dream of making enough money to regain access to your works (US$1 = 45 Philippine Pesos at last count), and that's US$19.99 off my family's tight budget. The notion that those wonderful pictures are forever barred to me sometimes makes me want to throw more money in our national lotteries hoping for the elusive big break.

    Okay, maybe as a Third-World fan with zero Dollar purchasing power, I would be insignificant to the overall picture now. I guess I just wanted you to know that I'm ..... gosh I can't describe how I'm feeling without coming across as a cheapskate (by circumstances beyond control). While there's nothing more I can do about it anymore, the "pay first or you only get thumbnails" rule saddens me so.

    It looks like there's nothing left for me to say now except thank you very much for nearly a decade of providing me with uniquely tasteful NSFW viewing material, but my wallet and (non-existent) CCs can only get me so far. Farewell Ms. Bunni Harper (my most favorite of all your creations, dunno why) and the rest of SCP. My journey with you.....ends..........

  3. -That was more of a tongue-in-cheek comment than anything. On the topic though, as a woman, I'd love for there to be more women who enjoy this sort of artwork, but honestly, a large majority of our fan base is indeed male--that's not sexist, just a fact.-

    Still, you've got some female fans coming here :) Might as well be inviting all around.

  4. Hi Claude-Kenny,

    I apologize for the long delay in replying to your post.

    You've brought up an interesting issue that I haven't thought about previously. It never occurred to me that the website's price-of-entry would act as a barrier to all but First Worlders.

    There are a number of factors for why monthly membership is set to $19.99 USD, but that's beside the point. Enumerating all the reasons for the price won't change your point that Cutepet membership is beyond reasonable means for someone living the Philippines.

    I'm unsure what to tell you, Claude-Kenny. As an artist, I want everyone who has interest in my work to be able to see it. On one hand, money is the fuel that allows me to produce the art. On the other hand, there are people in the world who are interested in viewing my work, but cannot afford the same price of entry that's appropriate for someone living in a wealthy nation, like the US or the UK.
    How can I serve both groups of people? I personally find the idea that because you have zero buying power on the US market, and therefore cannot see the work, as problematic and unfortunate. But I cannot figure out an economic model that makes sense.

    I'm interested in knowing if you have any ideas that can aid me in serving a Third World marketplace. I'm not interested in giving the content away for free. My art is my livelihood, and selling it is the only way I can justify making it in the first place. I want to figure out a business model that works in your part of the world. Any ideas? Are there any examples of a similar business that works in the Philippines?

    As I've seen with many Cutepet fans, you guys sense the passion we put into the work, and approach us with that same sense of passion. I appreciate that. Even if we can't figure out how to make Cutepet work on the Third Would stage, I'd like to do something for you, so at least you're able to access the artwork you enjoy. Aside from the exchange of money, is there anything that you can to help me with Cutepet? Are you a writer, or a web programmer, etc.? Is there some sort of skill set you can put to work for the site? If so, I'd be happy to give you access in return. On a grander scale, could you help me create a Cutepet targeted at your part of the world? (Is that even possible?) If so, please let me know.

    Mr. エッチ (Ecchi)

    Studio Cutepet

  5. Whoa, a reply! I wasn't even expecting one, as I feel my comment was more a formal farewell than a letter of complaint that wanted something to be done. Since I am well aware of the business side to the Cutepet keikaku (^_^) so there's no real animosity on my part because everybody has to make a living.

    Still, what you said towards the end suddenly feels like a glimmer of hope(?). Mind you, I'm no business grad so I can't suggest something feasible for my country's economy. But the part about my contributing skills to actually contribute to the site in return for access.....Right now I really wish I stuck to my original Computer Science course back in college. Being an Arts Major in Mass Communication sorely limits the kind of jobs I'm qualified to do; at present I'm looking for new opportunities after a previous spotty work record at a business-process-outsourcing outfit. Then there's the writing thing. I wrote news and features for my high school and college papers (even got to enter a national competition during the former), and recently I've dabbled in manga/anime/videogame fanfiction, though I only have one published work (a collaboration at that, so it's not my name there). I suppose that would be the only thing/s I have to offer, and even then, there's the matter of regularity. I only visit cafes to go online; my home hasn't been wire ever since 2004, and my old work PC bit it early this year. I know, the fates hate me. But at least a new computer may/will be coming any day now, so there's only the matter of renewing my family's internet connection. Let me think upon this further. And now that you found my Facebook, future communication ought to be a tad easier, eheheh.

    Thank you for telling me this.


    ccbill has regional billing options

    but I notice your join page you're with the people who run jigglygirls & etc so you probably don't have direct access to the billing admin