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Cancelled commissions.

Hi all. First time posting here. :)
Recently someone commissioned me to draw them two cheshire type cats (I really hate being known for those but whatever o.o) for some little storefront thing they have on SecondLife. I said cool, gave them a VERY cheap price ($50 for two very detailed digital paintings), and got to work sketching. Showed her the sketches, she loved them, so I moved on to coloring. After I had flat colored, I was having some problems and didn't know how she wanted the colors to be, so I posted some versions on DA for her approval. Then I heard nothing from her, kept trying to contact through DA notes and e-mail, with no response. This was two, almost three weeks ago. She commissioned me probably, I dunno.. Over a month ago, I posted the sketches on 8/13. At any rate, she had sent me a couple e-mails prior to the color-approval versions, and was asking when they'd be done. I kept telling her, give me a date you'd LIKE them to be done by--I like to work under deadlines, it pushes me to get done. But she said "No, I don't need a deadline, just let me know when they will be done." Well I stopped working on them because she never responded to the color choices. What was I supposed to do, finish and then possibly have her hate the color scheme? >.< So anyway, finally I sent her one last e-mail last week, told her I was sorry but if she did not respond and/or pay me, I was cancelling her commission. Today I got her e-mail back, which stated, and I quote..

 " Hello, sorry I havent gotten back sooner.. I have been really busy with my store.
Unfortunatly im going to have to cancel, it just took too long... was a month before you had anything colored.
I had started talking to a friend about it and they had one done and colored in 2 days.
Again, sorry I havent gotten back to you sooner."

I'm livid. Absolutly livid. She didn't respond to me, did NOT respond to my color choices, didn't even tell me in a prompt manner that she had someone else do it. She also seems to think that detailed, hard work comes easy in a matter of days. Not to mention, she told me she "didn't care when they were done" as long as I could tell her when they'd be done. I recall saying "They'll be done within a week after you give me your color choices" in one of my e-mails trying to get ahold of her. But no. She just flat out stopped responding, and then tells me "It took too long."  So, am I supposed to just, RUSH my work and make it look terrible to fill people's needs? This is seriously the first time I've had someone tell me a few weeks was TOO LONG. It's just absurd. If she would have told me in the beginning she needed it by xx/xx date, I would've had it done. But no, she just kept saying it didn't matter as long as I could give her an estimated completion time.

Just. Livid. :|


EDIT.

I didn't include the name and such of this person. She is Intermishon on DA, and her name is... We'll just call her Heather, which is really the only way I know her. (removed e-mail)

I just recieived another e-mail from her (Oh NOW she's quick on the replies, how ironic!!) Completely insulting me.

"Ok well the attitude wasnt necessary... great art can be done in 2 days cause i have the proof of it. AND  it was a month... a MONTH before you even had any color schemes down for it. I think your very unprofessional. I waited a long time just to get a few sketches from you when i made it clear from the begining i needed them quickly.. and you said it was ok, and then i gave you a deadline and you couldnt do it. In yet you were posting doodles and misc drawing on deviant art... while what you were getting PAID for was being put aside. I wouldnt of cancelled if you had been more professional and not made me wait a MONTH cause your having rl issues, if you cant work because your boyfriend moves... then maybe you shouldnt ask people to give you work."

That is really some F*cked up stuff right there. :| She never paid me a penny, so why that is an arguing point, I DON'T KNOW. God. -.- Anyone that's looked at my DA in the past two months or so should know I had some serious problems in life, including my boyfriend moving away, losing my house, and various money issues.. Who else wouldn't put art and cruddy stuff aside to take care of those things? -___- Just. Grr.
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Comments

( 98 comments — Leave a comment )
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emlan
Sep. 29th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
So who is it we are supposed to look out for?
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Editing the post with that :)
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skulldog
Sep. 29th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
I'd be pissed too. Again, this is the sort of story that makes me glad that I only work on a payment up front deal. That way if commissioners pull funny crap like this, I only offer a partial refund for the work I DID do.

:\
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Editing the post with updates. :)

Yeah, I tried to be nice at first saying payment is due upon receipt, to make myself work faster... but that is COMPETELY done with. :(
banka_flavored
Sep. 29th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
well that is just stupid of her. she missed out on a marvelous artists work, besides the fact she wouldnt even bother to properly communicate with you. what a peice of work, who is she by the way?
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Editing the post with updates. :)

Now she's insulting me and my happenings in real life. *eyeroll*
vogeldrache
Sep. 29th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
Who is this person? I like to avoid as many rude/stupid people as possible. :o
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Updating the post with that info :)
alcyione
Sep. 29th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Did you ask her if she ever got your email re: the color choices?

I've noticed that the worst commissioners tend to be vague while they have specific demands in mind. In a way, I think it's kind of behaviour used to try and get free art. e.e
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
I didn't, but I assume she did, I checked that all the notes I sent her on DA were in fact read.

Updating post with more stuff. :)
alaitallon
Sep. 29th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
Personally, I would still bill her for the amount of work done and say if she doesn't pay up, you'll have to start taking some more serious action. Because essentially, she has just stolen from you. She had you work on something, you started producing results, and then she cancelled so she could get it for free, and frankly, that's bullshit. You shouldn't have to put up with that and she sure as hell shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. She violated the terms of the contract you made when you agreed to do work for her in exchange for money.

*sends big hugs and knows this has to be super frustrating* It is for this exact reason that I always ask for pay up front before I draw a single line for them. As much as I would like to be able to trust people, I've just seen way too many people take the art and run (and unfortunately, way too many artists also take the money and run . . . It works both ways, unfortunately). :( Good luck with this. I think your work is lovely and you deserve way much more than you're even charging her for . . .
skulldog
Sep. 29th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
I have to agree with this. I feel far too many artists let themselves be used for art, then never paid if the commissioner 'changes their mind' or 'finds a different artist'.

In the art industry this is called a termination fee, and any good company will pay an artist a percentage of the commissions fee, EVEN IF they don't use the art done.
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m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but for the total amount of work I did, is probably only... 3-4 hours, so I dunno. I really don't know if it's worth trying to persue her for $20-30.
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amypeterson
Sep. 29th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
"I do not think that word means what you think it means"

She throws 'professional' around like it's candy. It goes both ways. Just because you're doing the artork doesn't mean she isn't a 'professional' either... a professional CUSTOMER.
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
I KNOW. *flails* Grrr, don't you just want to rip some people's heads off!? -.-

I find myself plenty professional, no matter what she says. :( I also got flamed awhile back on DA for not being 'professional' with my art. Wtf, I'm doing art for other artists, younger people (kids), and just regular people who want some stuff drawn, NOT a company or official industry. For jobs and interviews like that, I AM professional with portfolio and all that crud.. But JEEZE. @.@
spiffystuff
Sep. 29th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
Wait, uh, at first I was pissed at her but your edit's now confusing. Did the commissioner give you a deadline that you rejected, or is she just lying?

"Who else wouldn't put art and cruddy stuff aside to take care of those things?"

Yes, RL issues happen, but if that gets in the way of the commission then the commissioner isn't obligated to work around it.

Also, FYI, posting her RL name may be against LJ rules.
foxhack
Sep. 29th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
Posting her email is also bad form. She might get spammed a lot now.
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mazz
Sep. 29th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I hate when people do that kind of crap.
this is why I always pay up front even if the artist I'm commissioning doesn't take payment up front. I insist I pay them first so they have the money already and I can't forget or hit a rock with cash and rip them.
I hate customers who make the rest of us look bad.
I'm sorry you got basically ripped off by such a rude person. $50 for 2 detailed digital pieces is a good price and not worth getting mad when it takes a little while, especially when the customer doesn't reply.

*fumes* I don't do many commissions but I'll avoid this person.
kytheraen
Sep. 29th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
Hi... this is maybe off topic, but I saw on your DA gallery you had two commission slots still open, and was wondering if I could pinch one? :)
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
Sure, note me. ^^
semisonicstar
Sep. 29th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
Holy -crap- that's irritating, I'd be livid too. I don't even take commissions anymore but if I ever did, that'd definitely get her a spot on my blacklist =/
gmfuu
Sep. 29th, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
I'm inclined to disagree with you here, and that this whole thing fell apart due to some communication issues. We're only hearing your interpretation of events, so I'm cautious when I read these anecdotes. However, one thing I noticed is that if you really were having real-life issues, did you tell your commissioner that? Was she at anytime aware that the commission would take longer than expected due to extraneous circumstances? If not, than you owe it to her to tell her these things that will impede the progress of HER commissioned project. These are the sort of things that will get them to drop your commission and go elsewhere.

I believe that she didn't give you a specific deadline; however, that doesn't mean you can just take as long as you wish on to get it done. That long pause in the production, I believe you attribute to her not confirming with you the color scheme, which is a totally legitimate concern. Although I think someone brought up this fact earlier:

>>Did you ask her if she ever got your email re: the color choices?
>>"I didn't, but I assume she did, I checked that all the notes I sent her on DA were in fact read."

This is where I think you dropped the ball. When clients (and especially money) is involved, you have to hammer these things until you're sure that they're received (especially if you're not sure if they received it and it's impeding progress). When my client's aren't responding to my e-mails, I call them. I know this isn't quite the same (you don't want to call people you meet over the internet), but the work ethic still applies.

Also, sad to say, but if the commissioner does not use your art in any way whatsoever, they're not entitled to pay you anything. This varies from company to company, but if the reason they refuse to use your work is dissatisfaction, you don't have much of a chance of getting anything for it.

Rather than becomming upset with the situation (it's not like they were trying to weasel out free art, since I don't believe they intend to use your work), take it as a lesson in what went wrong (which in my mind, is the lack of communication). Keep that in mind for the future so that your next commission doesn't end as sour as this one did.
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
>>However, one thing I noticed is that if you really were having real-life issues, did you tell your commissioner that?

I did in the fact that, I tell all my commissioners to keep an eye on my DA journal--I post important info there regarding work and time, etc. Events didn't have a super huge impact on my work--I still continued to work on art through them. So I don't think that it was a huge issue to personally tell each of my commissioners. I did send her SEVERAL e-mails and notes, regarding "hey did you get this?" "What do you think about the colors?" "I need to know this stuff before I continue working." I know that the DA notes were read, because you can check that stuff. So how could she not have read it, when the note showed up to me as having been read? I did 'hammer', I sent her... *counts...* ...five notes, and four e-mails within a 3 week span. Couldn't have called of course, so I tried to contact any way I knew how, which was only DA and e-mail. The ONLY reply I got was what's posted above, where she finally told me she didn't want it anymore and went to someone else. =/

I'm upset because a) She basically insulted me, when she is very much at fault here, as well as me, b) she never told me anything as far as deadlines, or the moment she decided to go to someone else. If that had been the case, I would defininitely not be upset. And lastly, as someone else mentioned, she accuses me of being 'unprofessional', when it surely goes both ways here, and she did not act professionally at all. =/

This is the first time I've seriously taken commissions, loaded up on them I guess. And this is the first time I've ever encountered this problem. I keep up with people, (most) people pay me promptly, and there are really no issues. I don't see how I'm at fault except for the fact that I apparently didn't finish "in two days" like she would have wanted--where again, she did not give me a deadline when I kept asking. *shrugs*
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badkitty
Sep. 29th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
okay, i'm nowhere near your skill level, but MAN $50 is CHEAP for the detail YOU put into your art.
i would have cancelled the commission sooner if she wasn't willing to pay up. did she just want the free sketches?
did you let her know about your RL issues (which almost the _exact_ same things happened to me- except *i* got kicked out of my house and my art computer was reformatted.)?
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 29th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I quoted her the $50 before I set up an official pricelist. So it was really a part favor in the beginning. =/

I have a post waiting to be reviewed for here.. but the artist she went to to get her commission used almost the exact same pose. v.v

I let her know about my issues in the fact that, I tell all my commissioners to check my DA journal because I post important info about commissions there. I posted that I was having problems, however they weren't affecting commissions THAT much, so it really wasn't something I think I should have personally mentioned to any of my clients. =/
zyleeth
Sep. 30th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
Holy crap. :( You were awesome when I commissioned you, what a jerk that person was. I'm sorry you had to deal with that, I'll log her name away in my mind as someone not to do business with!

Also, I didn't realize you had an LJ until you responded on artistrecommend! I hope it doesn't creep you out if I friend you. :)
m4ck3nzi3
Sep. 30th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
Friend away, I don't mind. :)
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