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A question

I hope that this is the apporiate place to ask such a question, but I was wondering does the "things happens" rule guideline or whatever apply to commissioners as well as artist? What I mean is that, we know artist can run into trouble be it artblock, something along those lines or maybe something related to their real life.  So we cut them slack. However can that be applied to a commissioner? Life happens to them too right? even with the colateral of not being shown said artwork until paid.  should they be written off as a con artist and a bad commissioner? I hope you were able to understand my inane babbling and I thank anyone in advance for commenting ^^
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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Artists can get artists block, unexpected family issues, as well as various things that aren't really expected. I would hope the same applies to commissioners as well.

Commissioners should be expected to pay a artist within a timely manner for a commission - and artists should be expected to put out a piece of artwork within a reasonable time frame in return. Both have that responsibility - and there are times where both sides do not come out with things as soon as one would expect - for whatever that reason is. It doesn't hurt for each side to give the other a little bit of time.

As an example - I'm still waiting on a con badge from Further Confusion in January. I contacted them once and they asked for a little more time as college studies were hectic, etc. That was a couple months or so ago. I haven't bothered them since because I hate to be a bother - though I am hoping it will be done by FC. I don't like that it is taking this long because I even tip people I commission conbadges from an extra 5-15$ I do understand that things happen though - so I'm willing to wait and jes' hope that I haven't been forgotten. :o)
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
It's one reason to never do art for someone unless cash is in hand. Even well-meaning people can plan to pay and then get hit financially, and the commission falls to the wayside because of more important things, like bills or unexpected expenses. And then there are people that constantly have new issues (read: excuses) cropping up every time you ask, and you have to wonder how they ever thought they could pay you in the first place...

It's a case-by-case, really. If the person does this to you repeatedly, or refuses to pay with no reasonable excuse, or if they blow off your payment but you find out they are actively paying or commissioning others, THEN it's a good time to write about them here.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC)
As a commisioner my main thing is communication.

If I commission someone and the deadline passes for whatever reason I dont mind waiting longer time frames as long as Im kept up to date. I would say the same for the paying side, As long as they stay in good contact with you and that they are truely wanting to pay they just cant for whatever reason may have arose I would not see a problem waiting longer in a sense for payment/art.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
Things can happen to a customer yes.

It sucks but the degree of suckage is determined by how the customer handles it. Are they going to tell the artist as soon as they realize they won't be able to complete their half of the transaction (the monetary side) or are they going to wait either in the hopes that they'll get a free sketch or because just they're slackers?

I get it if something happens which makes the customer unable to follow through with the agreement and I wouldn't mind if they made an effort to minimize the inconvenience it causes to me.

I'm less sympathetic and will warn others for him if said customer tries to get a sketch out of it or just can't be bothered to inform the artist of the fact they're having a problem or if they want a full refund after part of the work has been completed.

So in short, if you're honest and considerate I don't think you have to worry about being written up as a bad customer. Artists don't have to know the details of your personal life, but they do want to know what to expect in terms of their transaction.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
That's some really great advice, there. I think a big determination factor - whether a commissioner taking too long or an artist taking too long - is if either side makes the effort to notify the other if things are coming up. Communication and all that, as another entry said. Well said.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
I have this problem on more than one occasion, that my client suddenly can't pay, even though days before they were all set to send payment.

As the artist, I really have no choice but to wait it out and see if I will be paid for my work, or for the work that has yet to be finished. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is fine, but if the wait goes on more than two or three weeks, it becomes something of a bother. This is why a lot of artists demand payment up front.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I realized I didn't really answer your question :3

I don't think someone should be written off because they 'suddenly couldn't pay' and sent late payment. However, if there are repeated reports of this happening, I would think twice before taking that person on as a client.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)

It really depends how it's done.

I don't mind if something major pops up and they're maybe a week or two late paying but if it's been six months and they still haven't paid up then yeah, they're a bad commissioner.

Given that artwork is a luxury item, nobody should be commissioning artists unless they have the money in hand really.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
True enough, but sometimes you can't predict life right?
Jul. 23rd, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)

Well you can't expect banks, plumbers or any other thing that needs paying to wait around forever. Artists aren't any different from a plumber or a bank. If someone's agreed to pay us, we should be paid. That said most will allow commissioners a little wiggle room, that said, there's a point where wiggle room becomes completely unacceptable.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Things do happen.

But I am also a very firm believer that you should NOT purchase luxury items (things that you don't need to survive and carry on life, such as art or collectibles) unless you can afford it. This means having the cash on hand or being able to pay via credit card, etc.

I understand not everyone likes to pay total cost up front. That's okay. But that still means that you should have the full amount in hand and ready to pay once you get your completed art. Either stick the rest of the payment in a book where you won't use it, or set it aside somehow. Pretend it doesn't exist until you are ready to finish paying for the commission. This requires self control!

If an emergency arises and you need to use the money, you probably shouldn't have bought a commission in the first place, because it means you have no spare money for emergencies. Budget yourself to have spare emergency money that you do NOT tap into for fun or luxury items. Be realistic about your budget and what would happen to yourself financially if sudden unexpected expenses come up.

Late payments, if dealt with in a reasonable amount of time, do happen and I will not berate nor blacklist someone for it. Continued, long term excuses are not reasonable, and that person needs to step back and either get their finances in gear before buying more art, or they genuinely are someone that rips folks off.
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
I think as long as both the artist and the commissioner communicate on a regular basis most issues get resolved automatically... Saying you need an extra week until you get paid at the end of the month to pay for a commission is fair enough I believe especially if you have told them in advance of such a situation, a week isn't really that long a time period to wait in terms of commissions anyway... However if it was several weeks and excuses later (or a general lack of excuses) and you still hadn't paid after the artwork was completed then that'd be something which would get you a bad reputation... =3
Jul. 25th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
I think it's mainly about the communication. I'm fine with an artist taking longer to finish things, or with a commisioner taking longer to pay, so long as they tell me what is going on, suggest a deadline, and keep me updated. The worst thing is when there's no contact for months, and you sit and wonder what's gone wrong.
Jul. 26th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)
It's true that both sides can have life problems. That's part of being human. But really..

How hard is it for a commissioner to hit the "send" button on PayPal? That takes a hell of a lot less effort than churning out a new piece of art that could take several hours. x.x
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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