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Advice needed: Collaboration Gone Wrong

Hello everyone!

I apologize for any mistakes as this is my first time making a journal here but I am in a bit of a pickle.

I will not name names yet as this is not an artist beware but a question to help straighten some things out. I agreed to do a collaboration with another artist about 7-8 months ago. We had added each other on skype and they asked me to redo a pose they had in mind and could not draw themselves. I redid the sketch and gave it to them, we set up the auction. When the auction was over, they took the sketch to add in the details of the winners' characters. I did not receive the sketch until much later because I guess they had real life issues going on but at that time honestly I did not want to do it anymore but my fault for not saying it and thinking I was going to do it. I myself got busy and forgot about it.

A few days ago the other artist noted me saying the people were asking for a progress update. At that moment I told them "Actually I am choosing to refund the money once I get enough. I honestly cannot work with someone who has a problem with me and doesnt say anything but instead goes around talking trash about me. I do not appreciate it". To make a long story short, I found out they had a problem with me and was saying things about me. Apparently because I removed them from skype as I did not feel like we clicked, they took it the wrong way. I even said it was my fault as I do not talk to that many people on my skype, just close friends. I told them that they could reach me through notes if needed. They still believed I did them wrong. Which I am assuming led to them telling people how I treated them badly.

I researched and found who the auction winners were as I never knew. The other artist did not let me know and had took the auction down right after it was over. So I never got a chance but luckily with the reference sheets and some help I found them both. I noted them and let them know that I would not be collaborating with the other artist anymore. And I even refunded them both $50, as it has been so long and they did not really remember. I do recall receiving around 70 ish but I couldnt even recall myself but they both let me refund them and I apologized to them properly.

So here is where the dilemma comes in. The other artist still wants to do the picture as they do not want to refund. Alright that is their choice but I tell them that I am not giving them permission to use my sketch. They claimed the pose/idea was all them. I tell them they can claim the pose and idea but not use what I did. They tell me all I did was "refine" the sketch they gave me but I redrew it all together. And even if I "refined" it for them, it is still the work I put towards it. I told them if I worked off the sketch they gave me, then they need to use the original sketch that they did and not use any of the work I put towards it, as I do not give them permission. I am stuck here because they feel like they have every right to use what I did or as they say added. Is that true? I am still going through my files trying to see if I can find the sketch they said they gave me to work with. I just want to know your thoughts? And if I have any say?

Edit: Want to say this got solved, they said they have an original sketch on paper they did and will use that. I have not seen the sketch but I want to wash my hands of this matter!

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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
vauvakolibri
Mar. 25th, 2015 07:39 am (UTC)
Well, good that it got solved in the end. I think the only advice for future I could offer is to do collabs with people/friends you know you are comfortable to talk with issues you might have with the image and be fully transparent with all the details.
Honestly if I collaborated with someone who ended up not doing their part and removed me from Skype (depending on whether they explained their reasoning, unexplained removal while there was a business transaction going on would be a big red flag to me), I'd definitely have words to say about them too (though not publicly) but I also find it odd that they didn't disclose the winner of the auction to you, which to me feel less like a collaboration and more like you giving free redlines/critique (though I don't know how the image was supposed to proceed).
lurkerwisp
Mar. 25th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'd be pretty peeved if someone I was working with disabled the method we'd agreed to use for contact. That would be a major red flag.

In the future, if you're going to use Skype for a business purpose, don't remove your business partner from it until your work together is complete.
geekiking
Mar. 25th, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
We actually did not agree to do the business through skype. As I went back to the skype logs(as one can just search the name and see old messages) and saw it started most likely on fa but asked about on skype. Like when would I post the sketch for the auction. We added each other on skype to be friends but I felt like we did not click so I removed them.

But I do understand what you are saying.

Edited at 2015-03-25 02:47 pm (UTC)
lurkerwisp
Mar. 25th, 2015 06:29 pm (UTC)
All the same, from their point of view the chain of events was more like: you said you'd work with them, you did some work, they're waiting on you to finish your part, you cut off contact, you refuse to finish the work.

That would not look good.
bladespark
Mar. 25th, 2015 07:22 pm (UTC)
I think there's two sides to this, though. The appropriate reaction to "Hey, my business partner has cut off communication" is to open another line of communication first and ask if something is wrong, not to immediately start talking trash behind their back. This sounds like it was mishandled by both parties involved, tbh.
oceandezignz
Mar. 25th, 2015 08:02 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. If your first reaction to being cut off of skype is to start talking crap then the problem is with you just as much as it is with them...

Of course the you being used here is the general all around one, not referring to YOU Spark.
lurkerwisp
Mar. 25th, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC)
I agree that it's most likely the case that both sides mishandled things.
laughsatthunder
Mar. 25th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
That's what it sounded like to me, too. Skype may not have been the agreed messenger of choice but being un-added may have been a red flag to them.
geekiking
Mar. 25th, 2015 08:40 pm (UTC)
Right. Not denying it but I did put up a warning journal that I was removing people(the journal is still up on my page). They did ask about how we would continue and I told them through notes.

I know I am at fault too as I said. I did not realize it was a big deal.

Edited at 2015-03-25 08:43 pm (UTC)
likeshine
Mar. 26th, 2015 02:46 am (UTC)

I saw your journal about all of this. The artist and their white knight didn't exactly make themselves look good with their comments. Tough situation. I think you handled it as best you could given the circumstances.
thaily
Mar. 27th, 2015 10:45 am (UTC)
The first time you mention they were "talking trash around you" was when you had changed your mind and reneged on your business arrangement. Then you say you THINK they were speaking ill of you, AFTER you changed your mind and left them holding the bag, apparently after you'd already been paid for AND had already spent the money you received.

If they gave you the pose and you reworked the sketch, then yes, the pose is still theirs. And then you kicked up a fuss when they actually wanted to use what little work you DID do, even though you hadn't given a full refund yet.

You're awfully flaky, I'd suggest you give it a few more years before you attempt another commission, much less a collab. If you're being paid for it, it's work. You can't just change your mind on a whim and then gripe when problems arise from your poor work ethic.

Edited at 2015-03-27 10:46 am (UTC)
geekiking
Mar. 27th, 2015 12:49 pm (UTC)
Where do I say I think they were speaking ill of me? Maybe I did not word it right?

And we still dont know if they did give the sketch or not as there is still no evidence but I just took their word for it as I wanted it over.

I already take commissions and have done a few successful collabs already. The problems wasnt how I work but mostly how I communicated. I just see it as, if a person has a problem with someone why work with them? Too me that is using the person. Which why I wanted to know if they had a say in using the sketch I drew.



Edited at 2015-03-27 12:52 pm (UTC)
thaily
Mar. 27th, 2015 06:45 pm (UTC)
"A few days ago the other artist noted me saying the people were asking for a progress update. At that moment I told them "Actually I am choosing to refund the money once I get enough. I honestly cannot work with someone who has a problem with me and doesnt say anything but instead goes around talking trash about me. I do not appreciate it". To make a long story short, I found out they had a problem with me and was saying things about me. Apparently because I removed them from skype as I did not feel like we clicked, they took it the wrong way. I even said it was my fault as I do not talk to that many people on my skype, just close friends. I told them that they could reach me through notes if needed. They still believed I did them wrong. Which I am assuming led to them telling people how I treated them badly."

It looks as though they didn't have a problem with you until after you cancelled, in which case taking issue is a perfectly normal response. You just flaked out in the middle of a business arrangement, that's pretty immature and makes me wonder if this is typical of how you treat customers as well; most of those don't complain if they get a refund at least, but this artist had to explain to the customer why the commission couldn't go through as planned. That's a shitty position to put someone in.
geekiking
Mar. 27th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
No they been had a problem with me as I was told beforehand by another person. It just so happen they noted me maybe a week or so afterwards telling me one of the commissoners asked for progress. And as I said I forgot about the auction as time went on. And they did not have to explain anything as they told me to note them myself, which is why I had to research and find out who the two people were. I treat a person as they treat me. If you have a problem with me and I have to find out from another person, then when I ask you about it and you say I treated you badly and say I told you I do not like you with no evidence(as I asked them to show me) then yeah I probably will not treat you the best after that. But I have our skype logs and notes. I was never once mean to them as they say. Which got me confused. You can believe I am the worst artist to deal with, that is all fine and dandy as you are entitled to your opinion. I know I have people who think otherwise and that is all that matters.

Edited at 2015-03-27 07:17 pm (UTC)
thaily
Mar. 27th, 2015 08:28 pm (UTC)
So when you hear person A. is saying bad things about you from person B. this doesn't remind you of business you had with person A. and just tell them "Hey, I heard you said X, could I get your side of the story? What does this mean for our collab? I think we should cancel it."
You forgot about a collab-commission 'till the most inconvenient moment to cancel and do so because you heard rumors, and then you're confused why person A. is upset and has to scramble to try and make the customers happy after you left them hanging.
Really I can't see how anything you've said in this post can be interpenetrated as anything but unprofessional.
geekiking
Mar. 28th, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
It was not a rumor as they had shown me evidence. I just did not post screenshots and all that jazz because I do not think it is worth going that far as all I wanted to know is if I had a say in the matter.

I was confused why they felt like I treated them badly when I never said anything ill about them before this happened. They can get upset after I cancelled our collab as it is justified.

I agree, I would say how you broke it down and told me how they could possibly feel as I did not really think about it because I was angry and upset led me to be unprofessional in this situation.
mortymaxwell
Mar. 28th, 2015 12:42 am (UTC)
The part that gets to me is you never contacted the other artist while they were adding the client's character detail. Then would have been the time to call off the collab and figure out how to resolve this; not waiting until they came back to you with the sketch.

I looked at your FA page and found the journal where you posted about removing people from Skype. I can understand why the other artist was frustrated about this. First, you cut off a source of communication with them. Then, you tell them to use notes, which, in that journal entry, you say you don't check often.

"There are still other ways of communicating with me. Which are notes(can't say I check those a lot either but hey why not try?)."

The rest of how I feel about this situation... Thaily voiced pretty well.


mortymaxwell
Mar. 27th, 2015 01:30 pm (UTC)
My problem with the way you handled it was you didn't tell anyone you didn't want to do the auction anymore and let things lie in limbo for seven to eight months. I feel like you strung the other artist and the client along.

Communication is an important part of a commissioning experience to me.

Edited at 2015-03-27 01:31 pm (UTC)
geekiking
Mar. 27th, 2015 02:02 pm (UTC)
It started 7-8 months ago. It took the other artist a few months to get the sketch back to me, as they added the details of the winners' ocs to my sketch. Then I let it sit for a few months. I would say we both were bad about our turn around with the art.
spytdragonfyre
Mar. 27th, 2015 10:53 pm (UTC)
I feel that "bad" is a bit light on the situation. Editting a sketch, especially a preposed one, should not take a few months. If I had a collab partner who took that long for the first phase I'd be poking them to see what the hold up is. Letting that finished sketch then slip is also not cool. Procrastinating on a normal collab isn't really that great (and I'm guilty of that), but the image was a paid for drawing for other people.

I'd be wary of both parties if either thought letting a collabed commission sit for months was ok without either a good reason or some contact.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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