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unpaid reference sheet

WHO: Rayd / Hytyle / Aprilycan

WHERE: fur affinity

WHAT: reference sheet

WHEN: July 21 to yesterday morning

EXPLAIN: user posted to FA forums in search of an artist for making a reference sheet. we agreed that I would be paid 60 during the process and remaining 40 upon completion. since being around 60% of the way through, I have been asking for partial payment; user has in response, acted like a victim by me asking for payment, suddenly reversing the affirming that my style works for them, that they like what I'm making, and claiming they hate it and therefore don't need to pay me. they have even said i'm witch hunting them, which is hilarious! since I've given up being paid the rent money i still need and have moved on to simply wanting to warn other people that this person is insincere and dishonest in their dealings.

at first it seemed like a good fit.
I gave them a choice of pose and got started.
I asked them for feedback about the quality of linework and style.
I started in on color and texture, adjusting when they had feedback, but the word "perfect" was thrown around a lot.
Created multiple versions for comparison and customer design choice.
Started in on the extra offers I included - poses with his outfit, offers to illustrate him using magic. Things people usually don't include in one reference sheet package.
Around this time I started asking for payment and realized they most likely weren't planning on paying me.
making a personal post to vent about what happened, they comment to harass me, while blocking me, meaning I technically can't reply to their weird victim posing.

all said, I think some people are just best avoided at times. I don't know what's going on with this person, but I'd glad a platform exists to warn fellow artists. am I sad? yes. can I pay the rent without this income? not yet. am I going to waste my time harassing this person like they're harassing me? definitely not. but now I know I can check for names here if someone I'm working for seems fishy, and hope everyone stays safe out there.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


Aug. 24th, 2018 06:54 am (UTC)
Sorry if I'm dragging, but I thought I'd also add this tid-bit.

I'm a little too nice for my own good, and become pressured to give a positive answer whenever asked for an opinion on a friend's creation. I know this is a bad habit and I take full responsibility for wasting the artist's time.

This inevitably more often than not carries over into my commissions, and I have had pieces (that were paid for) done for me that I was dissatisfied with, but have never said anything out of fear for the artist taking it the wrong way. Over time I wasn't sure if I could settle for the work that was made, given that I was spending a large amount of money doing so, and it happening to be my entire budget for the next week or so. So, that's when I backed out, and I was fearing for this exact thing happening, but I would not have done it if I thought it was wrong of me to do so or if we were too deep into the process.

Should I have been honest about my opinions from the start? Definitely, and I'll be sure to be more honest in the future to avoid issues like this. I also believe that if I had not said I couldn't pay (again, out of fear) and blocking him instead of being honest, that he would have been more lenient of handling this more peacefully, so I also take responsibility for that as well. Still, I do not believe I should be obligated to finish this project for the fact that I was mislead, accidental or not, and that I backed out as soon as I did. I'm firm in my belief that I shouldn't have to pay for a product if It's not what I asked for.

However I'm very open to the possibility that I may be in the wrong and that there's something I'm not taking into account, and will be monitoring this post for enlightenment.

Edited at 2018-08-24 08:18 am (UTC)
Aug. 24th, 2018 10:33 am (UTC)
You are 100% in the wrong. A whole host of excuses why you didn't stop him sooner when you were dissatisfied doesn't negate the fact that you owe for work done. Your response, as a client, solidifies that this is a beware well warranted.

Artists are not psychic, and waiting until colors are on to say you don't like something to avoid payment is theft of services.

Edit: And I also want to add on a few more points.

- As an artist I see little to no quality difference between the sketches and linework, so I'm not sure where you're saying there's a quality drop.

- If you intend to do speculative work (where payment is only rendered if the client likes it) with an artist you need to be 100% clear that is what you intend to do. There is a huge difference between speculative work as it's generally considered a scam, and a full blown commission.

- If you don't intend to do speculative work, then a better idea is to pay for commissions in each phase. Again, ensuring the artist knows this. That way if you aren't satisfied with the way a commission is shaping up, then you can stop it and have only paid up until where you stopped the process. Not liking a commission is not an excuse to bail on payment.

Edited at 2018-08-24 11:36 am (UTC)
Aug. 24th, 2018 10:34 am (UTC)
I do not believe anyone is saying you have an obligation to finish the project with the artist, but you did take up a good chunk of the artist's time. And you should pay for the time you took from them, especially consider that based on what you wrote it seemed you let the work drag on for a while after you had decided you were not going to go through with the transaction.

Imagine if it was something more physical and tangible than art. If you hired someone to landscape your yard, and they showed up and worked for hours a day over multiple days. Do you think you could just cancel the contract with them before the yard was 100% done and expect to not pay them for the hours they already worked?

From screencaps it looks like the artist was well into colouring and had already lined multiple full bodies with clothes included. That is a lot of work. I don't know how much more was expected, but for a typical reference sheet this is beyond 50% done.
Aug. 24th, 2018 11:48 am (UTC)
You don't need to "finish the project". Literally nobody is demanding you do that.

You do need to pay the artist for work done. Plain and simple.

Also, this "exact thing" is probably happening because you dropped a rambling paragraph of text telling the artist that you were secretly unhappy with the work the whole time, telling them their quality of work was low, telling them you are just not going to pay them for the work done, and then literally blocking them before they ever had a chance to even discuss any of this with you on, according them, every platform of communication, only to then apparently unblock them long enough to accuse them of defaming you for literally explaining the literal things you literally did.

But okay. It's admirable that you're "open to the possibility" that you "may be in the wrong".

Take this as a chance to learn a lesson and walk away from this a better person. You know, after paying the artist for what work they've done.
Aug. 24th, 2018 01:03 pm (UTC)
If it's of help, a common way of resolving an issue of an artist doing the work but the client not feeling it's suitable is to agree to pay a percentage. Doing 50% is considered fair (i.e 50% of $60 = $30) though the exact percentage can be negotiable. Yes, receiving art that you feel you can't use sucks, but doing a load of work in good faith and then not getting paid also sucks.
Aug. 25th, 2018 02:21 pm (UTC)
* addition- I missed that it was a two stage payment for $100 total, not $60 so yeah, the 50% should have been $50 there.
Aug. 24th, 2018 04:44 pm (UTC)
"I shouldn't be obligated to pay even though I didn't even want what they made in the first place."

Yeah, you're obligated to pay for work already done. You led the artist to believe that you liked it and were happy with everything (AKA - making it seem as if you wanted it in the first place) - right up until the second they asked for payment. Then, suddenly, it's 'Oh no, I didn't like it'. That's believable...

"I'm a little too nice for my own good, and become pressured to give a positive answer whenever asked for an opinion on a friend's creation. I know this is a bad habit and I take full responsibility for wasting the artist's time."

There's nobody on earth that would think you're in the right because 'Oops, I accidentally said that it looked awesome, but I actually don't like it, and the artist should not only know but accept that, while also taking the hit for lost time/money'.

You owe the artist for whatever time of theirs you used up by 'being too polite' (in reality, wasting their time because they thought you liked where it was going).

Finishing the commission? Maybe not, if you're truly dissatisfied, and the artist can go on to do their own thing without wasting more time and you can save the rest of your cash.

You don't have a leg to stand on.

Edited at 2018-08-24 04:50 pm (UTC)
Aug. 24th, 2018 07:32 pm (UTC)
This wasn't gift art between friends, this was a business transaction. You should never feel that an artist (essentially your employee while you commission them) won't accept negative feedback when they ask for your honest opinion on the work done so far.

Also, you've gone back and forth between stating you had the money and didn't want to pay because of lack of quality and stating you literally didn't have the money. That alone is all the red flag I personally need. Your further attitude and responses here while trying to garner sympathy and support by stating incomplete facts to others just adds a few extra pounds of red icing on the cake.
Aug. 24th, 2018 08:53 pm (UTC)
I've had clients just like you before who were too afraid to speak out about their dissatisfaction. They waited till the very end to say that they're unhappy, but by that time nothing can be changed. I can somewhat sympathize with how you feel but if you plan to continue buy commissions, you seriously need to speak up. This is your money that you are paying so the product should make you happy.

You have no obligation to finish the commission but the artist needs to be compensated for their time.
Your behavior is unacceptable as well as your response to this situation. Blocking the artist directly after saying you won't be paying says poorly on you even if your anxieties kicked in. If you want to make this right, get back to the artist and discuss paying them for the work rendered.

I have no clue how you think you weren't wrong. You need to take another look at this situation again...seriously.


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