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Hello there. I need some help!

Almost two months ago, I commissioned 2 different artists.

1st artist had a problem with their home situation and it sounded quite dire so I commissioned them for a colored sketch of a new character I had acquired.

Fast forward a month later, and I hear nothing back from them. On their profile, they've stated their turnaround time is 2 weeks so I had sent a message to check in. They didn't respond until a week later and they messaged me back saying that they had gotten out of the hospital and were going to be working on commissions.

Another month now, I haven't gotten anything from them and I had decided to let go a few characters I don't use anymore. It included the character I had asked them to draw. I messaged them asking if I could get a refund since I wouldn't be using the character anymore. I feel quite conflicted on this because I didn't want to make their situation worse but I also would have no use for the art I have not received. They haven't responded to my note, which has been over a week now.

They've been active on their twitter and I didn't want to message them there as I didn't want to make it a public thing. I thought it'd be unfair if I did so. I've messaged them on their toyhou.se with a similar message to my second note but I'm not very hopeful.

2nd artist had a cheap deal with buy 2 get 1 free, which I jumped on immediately as I thought it was a good deal at the time.

I requested if I could pay them when they started on my commission and they told me in private that they'd start my commission next so I could send the money right away, so I did so.

A month later, I saw they'd finished 2 other commissions but nothing about mine at all. I messaged them to ask if they had a queue like some other artists as looking at something like that reassures me that my commission would be done. They responded that they had nothing of the sort. They explained they had health issues, told me my commission was in the sketch process, and they would finish my commission next.

Now another month and another 2 other finished commissions later, I requested a refund for the same reason above. I was letting go of some of my characters and 2/3 characters I had requested were the ones I was letting go. They stated that no refunds were allowed and I could pick different characters, however, they don't have any examples of anthros (although they state that they can draw them in their journal) so I didn't have many people for them to draw.

I got frustrated and messaged them back (rudely unfortunately as I was frustrated) explaining to them that I wouldn't mind waiting longer normally but a complete lack of communications and how it felt like they had only told me they would work on my commission next so I would send the money. I wanted to know how far down my commission exactly was.

They messaged me back saying that they couldn't work on commissions due the fact "i'm constantly in the hospital" and pointed to a journal they've posted before taking my commission saying that their commission work would be slower. They stated they had medical issues that interfere with doing commissions and that they do their commissions randomly because it's more fun that way. (I can understand working on inspiration too but it was originally being told my commission would be done next that frustrated me)

I apologized a few notes later as I had not realized they were explaining their medical condition was the reason they forgot to do my commission next. (Despite telling me twice :T) They then sent me WIPs and said they would finish my commission that day. Maybe it's me being paranoid but I also noticed that an outfit one of my characters is wearing was an outfit I commissioned after they had told me the sketches were done. Their journal is also still open taking commissions.

It's been a week since then and I sent a note but they haven't replied since, it's just left unread.

I'm really not sure what to do and am I being too impatient? I've seen people wait much longer for art (especially on here!). I think I'm most frustrated because the wait time was much longer than projected and there's no communication telling me it would be later, via public journal or private notes.

Edit: I'd like to mention, this was in a course of over 2 months and I did not choose to sell the characters on a whim. I had expected the pieces to be finished well before this time as both of them are colored sketches. I was given the option by the 2nd artist to choose new characters, but I feel like it would take even longer on my commission and I don't want to deal with this artist any longer. I had agreed to let them finish the commission but now they've gone AWOL. The first artist never responded to me.

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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
poizenkat
Jul. 10th, 2017 08:43 pm (UTC)
for the first one i dont think so since they DID say their turnaround time is 2 weeks. i hope you get your refund soon

for the second one its harder to judge because they did take a few commissions and it doesnt sound like you were waiting too long since it does sound like they have a queue.
i do think its iffy on their side because they said they'd work on yours next but finished other commissions before that.
The no refunds issue is quite frustrating too. You definitely deserved that refund.
It DOES sound like they might have finished the sketches specifically to stop you from getting a refund and that doesn't sound okay.
So while i think the wait time isnt technically a lot, the fact that they said they would finish yours next but didnt makes your frustration more than understandable.

I WOULD say however from an artists perspective that having someone trade or sell characters AFTER commissioning you is incredibly frustrating and I hope you're more careful in the future. I'm assuming it doesnt happen often with you, either.
teekchan
Jul. 10th, 2017 08:49 pm (UTC)
I agree with the last part as well. I accept commissions based on the character provided, so changing the character part way through can make it so I can no longer draw the image, especially if it's already a WIP.
aeravaul
Jul. 10th, 2017 09:03 pm (UTC)
I understand! I feel kind of bad about it because I know it's unreasonable but I wouldn't even mind a partial refund for the work already done. In this case, I would just give the art as a gift to whoever bought the character.

Also, I was told I could rechoose characters drawn but I feel like it would delay my commission even more and to be honest, I just want to be done with this person.
aeravaul
Jul. 10th, 2017 08:53 pm (UTC)
Hello! Thank you for the response.

I'm feeling like I'm being run around and the truth is not being told to me which is making me more frustrated.

I do understand your point! It isn't something that happens commonly with me as I like to keep a small amount of characters and honestly, the only reason I've made the original decision to sell the characters mentioned is because I haven't used them at all after 2 months compared to my main few.
teekchan
Jul. 10th, 2017 08:48 pm (UTC)
I dont think you're being to impatient no. No refunds is a huge red flag and I would never commission anyone that has that in their terms. It's not legal, and it's just nor a moral thing either. (excluding down payments)

They didnt do your art, even though they made you pay because yours was next. Honestly sounds like they just wanted the money and had no intention of doing yours next, as well as the outfit thing making it seem as such.

Honestly, I would open claims for both. You can always cancel it AFTER you get your art (not before, not during, after its done. Do not cancel because you cannot reopen). If you cancel it, no extra fees will be charged either.

Although I am a bit confused on your wording for the second, you say they havent done the sketches, but you later say the artists claims they were done; "after they had told me the sketches were done"
But then you mention you still havet gotten them?
aeravaul
Jul. 10th, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking of giving them another month at most to respond since that's plenty of time before opening up a claim.

I think this is what you're referring to but please let me know if it's not.

They told me about a month ago that my commission was in my sketch phase but showed me no wips. When I asked for a refund and asked to see the wips, they then showed me the wips.

One of the characters that I had commissioned was wearing an outfit I had gotten commissioned weeks after they had told me that my commisisons were in the sketch phase.
bornesb
Jul. 10th, 2017 09:02 pm (UTC)
If it were me I would direct message the first artist on Twitter asking if they don't complete my art in X time frame that I would like a refund. Direct messages aren't public, they are private messages through twitter.

If they do not allow twitter direct messages I would submit a claim through paypal for a refund.

For the second artist, seems like you already compromised. If you like the WIP they gave you, keep waiting, otherwise if it were me I'd ask for a partial refund and the WIP to get it over with. I would mention that if they refuse to give me a partial refund I would go through paypal on X date.

Then the most important part: follow through and actually go through paypal on X date.

I have given sample emails in the past on how exactly to write these things, but really the point of the matter is you just need to be firm with what you want it and specific with when you want it by. And then if they don't deliver on those terms you actually follow up on the threat and don't let them walk all over you.

It is unfortunate they have been in the hospital (assuming it is the truth) but they are running a business and they are running it poorly. You are not their charity fund, you are a customer.

Edited at 2017-07-10 09:02 pm (UTC)
bornesb
Jul. 10th, 2017 09:05 pm (UTC)
Follow-up:

If these are commissions roughly $10 and under I wouldn't bother with any of this, and just eat the cost and never do business with either of them again. Lesson learned. Maybe submit an artists beware about them if I felt really vindictive that day.
aeravaul
Jul. 10th, 2017 09:15 pm (UTC)
One is 10 and another was over 10.

I'm considering dropping the 10 & submitting a beware and then filing a claim on the other one.
aeravaul
Jul. 10th, 2017 09:07 pm (UTC)
I tried DMs but their DM is private. I'm going to wait at least another week - month before submitting a claim as I'm not near to approaching the max amount of time. Their toyhou.se and FA are the only things they have connected so it's my last ditch effort.

For the second artist, they did not give me an option for a partial refund and I haven't been able to contact them since. They have no other ways of contacting them on their profile so if again, they don't respond in a month, I think I will have to go through paypal.

Thank you for the advice! I don't want to be rude or have to come to that point but I don't really know what else to do.
leongon
Jul. 10th, 2017 10:09 pm (UTC)
I think a week for communication it's the maximum acceptable, over that is red flag.

For completion that varies a lot between artists, some take huge long linsts and take months to get to yours. Some take 2 or 3 at a time and you get it done within a month or even a week. Id say up to three months it's acceptable if communication is good.

I think more than crappy artist practices, the problem is that you are not being picky with your professional, and only looking for low prices. Dunno, I think you're alright in patience, just analize the artists a little and make sure they are trusty and avoid immediatly anyone who is taking commissions on a rush, no matter how much charity you want to do, it's not charity if you expected something in return.
aeravaul
Jul. 10th, 2017 10:37 pm (UTC)
I do tend to go for lower pieces to be honest.
I prefer a sketchier style most of the time and find it particularly hard to drop a huge amount of money on a piece at times.

I've had artists who've owed me art take anywhere from like a day to several months. For the artists who take longer, being told about their situation or them showing me a queue helps me see where I'm at so I don't particularly mind waiting.

I think you're right though. I really need to take a second look at some artists work ethic and what not but at times it can be hard to tell without any review system.

I need to get into that mindset too. To stop buying pieces to help others because at the end of the day, I'm purchasing a product instead.

Thank you for the advice! It's all stuff I will take into consideration for the future.
snowhawk
Jul. 10th, 2017 10:58 pm (UTC)
Some advice from someone who has had service jobs for basically all of her working career...

When it comes to art, it's not a product that you're purchasing, it's a service.

When you have someone charging substantially lower prices for their art than what they should be, a lot of times, you're going to have people who aren't super professional, and don't treat it as a business transaction. You'll also have artists who tend to take on a huge workload, get overwhelmed, and shut down or flat out forget, then ignore their clients.

There's nothing wrong with artists opening for emergency commissions, but see how many time they've done this, and if they at least have a public queue.
aeravaul
Jul. 11th, 2017 03:46 am (UTC)
I've noticed a pattern especially with the second one! I'm endeavoring to be more careful about the artists I commission in the future.

There are a few who have been very good to me and going through this experience, I really appreciate their dedication more than ever.
(Deleted comment)
aeravaul
Jul. 11th, 2017 03:49 am (UTC)
I will most likely end up doing that. I'm still trying to contact the first artist and am going to try her tumblr next but at the same time, I feel like I shouldn't have to jump through these hurdles to get a simple response.

As for the second artist, yes, that's the part I'm most upset about. I wish I wasn't told that if it wasn't the case. I've looked more at the commissions and she's done the same person's commission two differing times since stating she would work on my commission.

This isn't counting any personal art she's done either as I know a lot of artists do it to wind down.
kaiiju
Jul. 11th, 2017 09:41 am (UTC)
I don't think you're being impatient, no. Your concerns are valid with both artists in question here.
I do have to say, though, personally I find cancelling commissions that you've already paid an artist for just because you decided to rehome a character a bit ... unprofessional/uncool? It's not really fair to the artist/not their problem that you no longer want the character you paid them to draw, and asking them to draw a different character could have sufficed instead of asking for a refund (though I DO understand wanting a refund for the long wait times).
aeravaul
Jul. 11th, 2017 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your answer!

As I've stated in another comment, I didn't wish to change characters as I no longer want to commission these artists due to the experience I've had. I feel like if I asked them to draw another few characters I have, it'd take even longer especially since the 2nd artist hasn't given me any sort of option for a refund (no partial refund for work done).

It's something I will attempt to be more careful about in the future though!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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