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Very demanding customer

Hello, I am new to the livejournal and have had a problem with this customer. I will explain as best I can, however, my English is not good.

   During October, I start  take commissions for first time. I had replies and did a few artwork for them, it was very easy and many were happy. Then in first week of November, I am contact by a person name 'Rags' who is wanting a drawing. It is more elaborate than what is typical, with a painted background, but his description is understandable - it is commission involving five or six character, a specific setting, and a particular theme (which is of adult nature, I can explain if necessary). It is fine, I accept the project and have offered price of $50USD. This is low compare to what I would typically ask for such, however, it is a theme I am enjoy and can do easily. However, as I begin to draw this, he sends another e-mail with specific positions request. This is fine, I am okay with an elaboration. Hour later, he sends one more e-mail... it is list of 26 positions and scenes he would like in this drawing. This is much more than what we had discuss. I stop the drawing and ask for clarify, if he is wanting ALL of this in one picture! He is! I explain that there is no way to fit so many character and scenes into one picture, and offer idea.
 
   I say to him, if we take these scenes and divide into 26 individual drawing, all seperately, it is something i can do. He is agree, and we come to price of $25USD per drawing to be done over time. I have ask for a deposit, since it is very large project, and he has sent $75USD to start. I have to put aside the first drawing, it is not something he desired, and start on the first of new drawings. It is a rough drawing, I have offered it after scanning for his 'okay' for me to clean and finish. He does not understand, he thinks I am showing him finished drawing and gets angry. I explain that this is rough drawing, I would like approval before finishing. He says he wants it as a 'cartoonish' drawing, which is not my typical style, and then colour, which is also not my typical style. I try this, and colour it and upload it into my FurAffinity for his approval since it is closer to finish. He does not want this to appear on FurAffinity, and he is complaint about very small details in drawing which cannot be change since it is coloured. I am getting very frusterate, this is only the first drawing and it is already take almost a week and a half. He is begin to send me three and four e-mail a day, and then I have e-mail problem, and he is begin to send Notes everyday. I tell him, I am working on other artwork (there is six other commissions), and ask him for patience. He says he will be patient, and then sends more Notes! He is wanting everyday updates, however, does not enjoy any of this work and is very picky.

Finally, I am tired of this, and tell him i am offering refund. I do not have time for this, and do not enjoy five and six Notes on my FurAffinity everyday, and I will not complete this drawing time and time again only to be told it is not good enough! Not 26 times, I am not a desperate for money. He will not accept refund. He says he will be patient. However, I have 38 e-mails from him and 22 FurAffinity Notes since first week in November, which is not patient.

I do not know what else to do. I am taken many other commission since then, and many customer have been satisfied, but how do I solve this? I do not know if it is okay to post name of this man in here, but if it is not, I can remove.
Artist's beware has moved!
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Comments

( 73 comments — Leave a comment )
kayla_la
Dec. 1st, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
If I were you, I would forcefully send the refund back. Mail it back/paypal/whatever, and give a polite but firm note that you will not be finishing his commission, and ask him to please not contact you over this matter again.

If he sends it back.. well, you tried, I would probably take that money and put it in a charity in his name, and send him that. But I'd definitely try the first option first.
cassu_bean
Dec. 1st, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
I agree.

If he was the one that first asked for more than what you originally agreed on, you should be able to refund him.
(no subject) - kayla_la - Dec. 1st, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wishingponastar - Dec. 1st, 2007 06:42 am (UTC) - Expand
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edge_chan
Dec. 1st, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
In my opinion just give him the refund, so on that way he can't complain that you didn't and tell him that THAT's not the way that you work (specially with someone that have that "pacience").

Seriously, i command your pacience, i wouldn't have to resist to work with someone like that.

Also, isn't funny when someone asks to a "cartoony" style to someone who doesn't draw it, when there's like 241432 artist with that style?


Kudos to you <3
thrivis
Dec. 1st, 2007 05:56 am (UTC)
Wow, sorry the person is so "enthusiastic."

You should probably give up entirely on the work since it's clearly not worth anyone's time. Tell him you WILL NOT do any more work, say you need to send him the refund because it's impossible for you to do what he wants, and there is no option to continue. He needs to find someone else to draw for him that's quicker and to his liking. You need out of this contract!

I hope you can send back the money, and I hope he leaves you alone once you send it back. A week is not a long time to wait at all, and 5 notes/emails a day is way too many!
cassu_bean
Dec. 1st, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
I think you've done the right thing, you shouldn't continue the work.
Also, starting off 26 drawings doesn't sound like much, but it really, really is. I've seen many artists totally screwing themselves by accepting large commissions for such low prices. You don't want to burn yourself out over a commission, and by the sound of that buyer there's a large chance of that happening regardless.
hellebore
Dec. 1st, 2007 06:17 am (UTC)
ich habe leute von diesem mann gewarnt.
ich weiß, von wem sie sprechen

i warned people of him! he approached me as well, i denied it, because his whole project sounds scammy and he is very much NOT offering a fair deal.

refund him and get away from him, he's terrible.

artslavedotbiz
Dec. 1st, 2007 06:22 am (UTC)
Re: ich habe leute von diesem mann gewarnt.
Was ihr name ist? Nur "Rage"?
ransomdracalis
Dec. 1st, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
Send the money back, and if he continues to bother you, block him from your e-mail and FA page. At least that's what I would do in this situation.

Also, what is this person's name, so others can be aware of him?
schnee
Dec. 1st, 2007 09:49 am (UTC)
This is a tough one, I think. I can relate to how you feel, and I can understand why you don't want to bother anymore, but I'm also disappointed by the cavalier attitude the other commenters have shown so far, which seems to boil down to an artist having the right to decide to stop working on a commission whenever they feel like it, for any reason.

I don't think it's that easy. An agreement is an agreement; I'm sure none of these people feel happy if a customer just decided to bail out of a commission, either.

So in the end, I don't know what to do - but I've got a feeling that you've already decided to stop working on this commission and that you're mostly looking for validation of that decision, anyway. So I'll say that giving him a refund and stopping working on this is certainly *understandable*, but I don't think it's really *right*.

I'd probably do it myself as well since I think taking care of one's own sanity is also important, but I'd keep in mind that it's not the right thing to do, at least.

And also, I'd remove his name from this post since even though he was very annoying, he did not actually do anything *wrong*.
lilenth
Dec. 1st, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)

That's what kill fees are for.

However in this case the artist is in the right. The customer tried to alter the contract to get more than was agreed after they had already agreed on the commission.

Also this guy has made the artist do ONE image over 26 times if you read the post and he nitpicked each time it's been completed. To be honest, it reeks of a scam on the customers part. $75 doesn't cover endless redos, hell it barely covers the standard price for most artists to do just one piece never mind three.

Also the customer crossed the line into harassment apparently. Repeatedly mailing an artist pestering when you haven't given a deadline and are rejecting every sketch is harassment.

Also artists DO have the right to refuse service to anyone. Just because you offer money does not negate an artist's right to cancel the contract in event of client irregularities.
(no subject) - schnee - Dec. 1st, 2007 10:06 am (UTC) - Expand
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lilenth
Dec. 1st, 2007 10:07 am (UTC)

To be honest I'd just give him his money back and refuse to work with him further since he has apparently violated the contract and messed you around, legally you can keep a fee to cover expenses but in this case that may be more hassle than it's worth. Especially given that most likely the commissioner would badmouth you to other. I'd just refund his money and cut your losses at this point.

To be honest, if everything you've said here is correct it seems likely that this customer is trying to scam you.

Warning signs of scams include:

Commissioning an artist and expecting them to do a different style to their style without telling them prior to work starting.
Changing the contract after agreement and suddenly demanding a lot more work.
Endlessly nitpicking sketches. After all if they can keep you providing sketch after sketch then they get all that for free as well as their commission.

Also $25 USD is -extremely- low for an image, hell $50 is really low for a five or six character piece with background as you say was originally agreed upon.

To give you a comparison, you say he wants 26 images featuring various scenes? That would give it a comic like structure, basic pencils for comic books? $200 per page. Seriously, you are grossly undercharging for this and being hired does not include allowing yourself to be harassed by a picky customer, so I'd just put it down and walk away, you can get better payments from nicer customers generally.
thaily
Dec. 1st, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
People have serious issues with entitlement and he's no exception, sounds like you're going to have to teach him the meaning of the word "no".

Tell him to take the refund or you'll give it to charity, $25 bucks for a 6-character piece is laughably cheap and it's just insane that he's demanding you redraw it even once for that price.

Which is the next part of my advice, price your work realistically. State ahead of time to what extent you'll change things about the sketch and stick to that. Don't get guilted into giving discounts or let customers try and sneak in an additional character or they'll try and get another in, and another and another etc.
You have to put your foot down somewhere or you'll get walked all over.
furinari
Dec. 1st, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah I kind of got the feeling there were a few folks were here that are here just because they like to disagree and argue with other folks.

Now, to sound off on this issue...

Wow... you seem to be a very tolerant person. I would have pulled out the minute he started making unreasonable demands. Professional? By no means. Common sense? Absolutely.

You settled for a cheap price, and on top of that, he wanted to turn it into a huge project. That would not sit well with me, since that was not the original agreement.

See, the amount of payment doesn't simply match the size and work involved in the project, even if you did renegotiate the price.

I just think that this was a case of someone trying to take advantage of someone else. Maybe he got the vibe that you're a nice/easygoing person, and then he tried to screw you, as so many people try to do to people like that.

In any case, if he wanted to turn up the heat like that I would have definitely jacked up the price. What was once a simple picture became a project, and projects eat up time, and

time=money (T=m) So... makes sense. It's all based on how much you wish to reimbursed for your time. If he thinks your price is too high, then refund his money and tell him to find someone else more in his price range who's willing to do the work.

I managed to catch an artist at a good time when he was having a sale to buy an XBox 360, I managed to commission a comic at $5 a page. Probably the shrewdest and best commission I ever made.

When I read this post I was like "this is a joke, right?" Sadly I know it isn't.
(Deleted comment)
thaily
Dec. 1st, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
OMG, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog :(
anjel_kitty
Dec. 1st, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to reiterate what all the other artists here say but I think you can take from this experience that you should make up a list of rules for commissions in the future in both your native language (German) and English.
Make a point of saying that you will only alter the picture a certain number of times before asking for more money to proceed and other things like that.
thaily actually did a decent write up about this earlier in the community. But yeah having rules and stipulations is always good so if the commissioners try to be too picky you can just be like "OH Wait you violated my rules for commissioners, see here"

allykat
Feb. 20th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
Here here. This was my first thought and I was scrolling down through all the comments to see if anyone got there before me.

With ANY commission the ultimate safety net is to have a very detailed agreement typed up ahead of time that covers your ass against this sort of thing. For large things I operate using a 3-2-1 scheme. I offer three fixes in the super super rough/gesture stage, two in the sketch stage, and one and one only in the finished stage (which is only ink for me since I do collaborative work commission wise.)

With independent low cost sketch commissions, it's only 1 fix.

Finally, make it clear what the consequence of not following this is. If it goes sour during roughs maybe a refund is in order, but if you're involved in more detailed sketches you might want to make it clear that you'll be retaining some or all of the deposit.

EDIT: Oh good lord. I got linked here in a new post and didn't realize how old this post was as I got caught up in reading. Forgive me for beating a very dead horse. XD

Edited at 2008-02-20 04:41 am (UTC)
acrothdragon
Dec. 1st, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
I understand doing a rough sketch for him, no since putting hours of work into a piece and it not being what the customer wanted, he should realize that. Also I think you did good in offering a refund after explaining to him your feeling rushed of having to give him everyday updates, thats very rude on the customers part to believe even though he/she asked for a long line of commissions he has to know he's not the only your doing works for.

If he simply can't treat you with the respect you deserve then you have every right to cancel the commission and refund him. You deserve to be given respect and be treated politely by the people that commission you.

It's not always is the buyer is always right, if your treating people right then its your right to be treated the same way and to be compensated at a fair and decent rate. Like some out there I find alot of artists and writers out there are not nearly compensated enough especially those that do this for a living to justify the hours they put into there works. Most people are decent to work with but there is always a few that just have this stance of "Dammit do what I tell you right now and your art is always too high priced attitude that is truly a negative.
fyphfoko
Dec. 1st, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
i have a new spin
, i think

i've never actualy done comissons myself because for a number of reasons including that i don't want my art to upset anyone or or to end up like this

what i mean by saying this is that i have no experience of legal contract and stuff, in fact they confuse me, but what my new spin is is that maybe you can offer him a deal

either; refund the guy as is stated by one or two folk above or do them, but in your own style and to only a limited number of reworks, if any of this makes sense

funnily enough i was on the other side of the fence once, kind of. i only comished one piece for £20, about $10, and the woman i comished is someone who i hold as a friend

but i was never totely 100% happy with the charictor. i am more then happy with the pic but not the charictor. the thing is this is a digital piece, she had the background and the charictor seperate. i just wasn't happy with the coloring, so if she had given me the background on its own and a version of the chaictor, i would have been happy

she wanted to re work it herself, and she re worked and re worked and in te end, she just posted the pic somewhere and declared it finished. i spotted it, coppied it into my art program and saved to my comish folder, and i believe we were both happy at that. i was i do know that

also, it may seem obvious now, but allot of comishes i've seen state very assertively what there process is, how many re works there willing to do, exactly how much they are willing to negotiate in the way of style, medium, size, number of charictors ect, and i guess this helps both you and the commissioner know where you stand. i talk mostly of furbid and fa profiles, i don't know how you advertise if at all

well, hope all this didn't sound to thick ;~}
doc_moreau
Dec. 1st, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
You're the one doing the art... and there are no legal contracts or rules about having to do anything (aside from returning his money, that's probably a good idea) - you're quite free to tell this guy to shove it if you want to.
I would.
The small amount of money is not worth your happiness...
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