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Edit: For everyone telling me to refund, i have previously stated that there was no transaction of funds due to me not having all the information. I wasnt going to send an invoice until I had everything i needed first.

So I gad a friend come to me wanting a $90 commission of their character and their GF's character. Sadly, their girlfriend lacks a reference sheet, and is making things very difficult for my friend to get artwork done by me as a result.

My friend was given information that was lacking major important details (namely color information and pattern details, they only inclyded body shape and breast size but didn't provide anything else that was of real importance such as a color pallet, fyr design, hair style, ect...) that he relayed back to me, and in an attempt to make it easier on my friend and save money, I offered to make his partner a reference sheet for the $90 instead. She refused but still wants art drawn of her character and to have her bf pay for it.

I personally dont like the idea of having to charge my friend a fee for not having a reference sheet (it's listed in my ToS to have one or be fined a $5 fee) because his partner refuses to get one made. I want to draw the art because he wants to make it a gift for his partner, but his partner is making it both difficult for him in the sense of giving inproper information/facts about the character to relay back to me, and myself on the matter of "I dont want to be held respobsible for drawing a character wrong because she lacks a reference sheet."

I was trying to be nice and offer an easy alternative that will not only help me, but furture artists who are tasked with drawing this character as well who like reference sheets and make it easier on my friend in the long run.

My problem now that i need advice on, is what do i do when a client wants art of x-character as a gift but their partner is making it extreemly difficult for my client and myself on getting a proper transaction and order to be made? Do I step away and decline the offer and miss a chance on making a sale, or do I try to draw the art and risk an unhappy client as a result of improper information? I've expressed my concerns that this person is making it very difficult on my friend and i, but im ultimately at a loss on what else to do. I've never had to deal with this sort of problem before in a long time if at all where a client wants art but their partner is making a normally easy process suddenly very difficult.

Advice is very much appreciated.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2018 09:36 pm (UTC)
If I were you, I would politely refuse the commission until she can either provide you a reference sheet or allow you to make one for her. I don't accept any commissions without visual reference - sure, it does dwindle the client pool a little, but it makes things endlessly easier on you as an artist and you're never risking client dissatisfaction because of it. Unless you're otherwise usually pretty confident when given a description only (since it mostly seems like she's just being difficult with giving you descriptors) it may be worth considering adding a "visual reference required" rule to your ToS to avoid things like this happening in the future.
Jul. 16th, 2018 10:48 pm (UTC)
I do have in my TOS a reference sheet ( gave examples of what i would accept as a refference sheet) is required or be fined $5 if all the person has is multiples of pre-drawn images by other artists.
Jul. 16th, 2018 11:46 pm (UTC)
Whoops, missed that part in your original post! The fee is a great idea!
Jul. 16th, 2018 09:39 pm (UTC)

Cancel the commission and back away now. (and refund the full amount)

Alternatively, you could give your friend (and/or their partner) links to free reference sheet line arts (a lot of them I've listed in an FA journal here: http://lines.khat.us )

Tell them to color it themselves and only when they get back to you with it, will you be okay with continuing the commission. If they refuse to do this compromise, just back away from the commission and issue a refund.

Me personally, I would just back away because if the partner is hard to deal with now then it is very likely they will not be happy with the resulting finished artwork, no matter what you do.

But it is your choice.
Jul. 16th, 2018 09:52 pm (UTC)
This is good advice. If you continue trying to work blind, then you risk harming your friendship if their partner isn't happy.
Jul. 16th, 2018 09:54 pm (UTC)
There was so far no tranaction made of exchanging funds. I didnt want to charge my friend until proper information was provided.

I told my friend that i will be giving him a forum to give to his gf to fill out. If sge does not fill it out correctly I cannoy draw art of het character. I said i can draw art of his character and other characters but stated:

"You're my friend first, and I don't like the idea of making you pay for someone else's choices. It doesn't settle right with me."
Jul. 16th, 2018 10:12 pm (UTC)
IMO that's a good way to handle it.
Jul. 17th, 2018 01:07 am (UTC)
I came here to post p. much this entirely.
OP, if their partner isn't willing to even fill in a free ref/template[there are free programs like GIMP or trial versions of larger programs], then you should just refund ASAP.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 16th, 2018 10:01 pm (UTC)
In response to #1: I did ask this and all she gave her BF just lackluster level of information.
Jul. 16th, 2018 10:55 pm (UTC)
You should back off from this one.

When a client gives you artistic freedom to create their character that's cool, you just fill in the gaps with what you like or feel the client would like... but in this case the creation is not for your client, and the owner of the character to be made is not cooperating, it's not gonna work well for anyone.

If anything your friend is risking the relationship with you for asking you to work for him under such conditions. So, yeah, better back off and try to keep things good with your friend without involving money in this one case.

Edited at 2018-07-16 10:59 pm (UTC)
Jul. 16th, 2018 11:48 pm (UTC)
Maybe create a small form for them to fill out, something that provides an easy list of the information you need. If it's organized, one item at a time on the list and all that, it may make the process of her getting you what you need, more easy.
Jul. 17th, 2018 12:25 am (UTC)
Yeah i-m going to give that to my friend to give to her. If she refuses to fill it out then meh.
Jul. 17th, 2018 01:11 am (UTC)
I'd already expressed my agreement to a comment posted previously, but I also wanted to add that, unless both parties are willing to pay for edits in order to get their partner's character depicted accurately and they[the partner] won't provide a detailed reference, either through a form/text description or a free template, I would absolutely refund the commission in full.

there comes a point where you can only do so much work that is essentially is pro bono, before you end up working at a loss. and if they provide a rough or text reference, I strongly advise charging for edits beyond the first two or three.
Jul. 18th, 2018 08:01 pm (UTC)
This is a bit late and may not help you now, but may help in the future.

I'm not sure I'd decline the commission just yet. To me, it sounds like someone who isn't an artist, or very new, and just doesn't understand what information is important. Most people don't tell me their characters eye colour, for example. They don't realize it's an important detail. Plus ya, they may be uncertain about what they want.

When someone doesn't have a ref, I do two things:
- I make a little form to fill out
- I tell them to find as many example images as they can, and request them if they don't. They may not have any character refs, but they should be able to find photos/art of the hairstyle and body type they want, for example. Even markings should be available in art, and I encourage people to mix and match: "Body type from x image, but chest size from x".

Small example form:
- Gender:
- Species:
- Body type (add photo):
- Hairstyle and colour (photo, etc).

And so on. This way the client knows what you want, and it's easier for people to fill out a form to give you info, vs just thinking it all up. It's easier for you to read too, compared to a description.

Like aerospiritual mentioned, I think cases like this it's important to explain that after x amount of edits you will need to charge for it. It's also good in these cases to make sure to send a sketch and inks to approve.

I'd only decline if the client isn't answering my questions (for some reason, sometimes people only answer some and ignore others?) or if I simply can't understand them/don't understand the description, since there's not much I can do then.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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