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Regarding the Artist KankaKanka

This is unfortunately my first time posting to this community...I was really hoping I wouldn't have to since the artist seemed happy to take my business, maybe they were a little too happy to take my money for art..

The artist I'm referring to is KankaKanka on deviantART.

On November 11, 2007, I commissioned her for three pieces. In all they were $75, I have only paid $37.50 of it (which is exactly half of the full amount). The first piece was finished by 11/17/07.

That was pretty quick compared to other artists I commissioned before, so I figured I'd get my other two pieces done within the same speed. She told me she'd show me sketches before she worked on those two.

About a month came and went, and I sent her a note on 12/23 asking if she'd be able to send me the sketches she promised, or if she had even gotten them sketched out. A couple days past, and I checked to see if the note was even read, it was read but I had not received a reply.

January 11th came, I sent another note inquiring about those two sketches. Note was read with no reply to it.

Since the completion of the first piece on 11/17/07 she has uploaded 19 pieces, most of which have been personal work.

I sent her a note today, after getting really annoyed seeing her upload more and more personal pieces.

This was my note today:

"I'm kinda of getting annoyed now. This is the first time I've ever been annoyed with someone I am currently working with for a commission.

I paid you half of the $75 for three pieces, which was $37.50. You did one piece so far, and half of the payment for the 2nd piece has been paid off. You told me you would give me sketch updates for the last two before you worked on them, I haven't gotten those sketches. You've even read my previous notes that I have sent to you and never replied.

Are you trying to avoid me or something?

What annoys me even more is that you have uploaded 19 pieces (most of which was personal artwork) since the completion of my Oiseau piece on November 17 of last year.

Can you please reply to this note and give me an update?


I have never worked with someone like this...someone that just ignores your notes without update.

Sure, I've only spent $37.50 on her..But I haven't even received my first piece in the mail. If you're not even going to touch the other two, at least send me the first one..right?

-sigh- I dunno. Am I a little too persistent? Has anyone else had trouble working with this person before?
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( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 23rd, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
Delays are very understandable, they happen. Sometimes even working on your own stuff is understandable (though I have a hard time understanding it myself, really) but refusing to respond and even give an apology or excuse isn't understandable or excusable. You have every right to complain.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
Well, even without knowing what the image looked like, you should have your money’s worth already with just one image. Very cheap commissions! But if three was agreed, then three is what you should have received.
I don’t think given the time frame that she has been slow. We had Christmas and New Year which is very busy for us all. But there really is no need to ignore your notes. Simple acknowledgment is all you needed. Her final response was very immature.
I could dump myself in it and say don’t commission minors, even though it won’t guarantee professionalism. But if I said that I might get mauled.
Oh wait =O
Jan. 23rd, 2008 05:15 am (UTC)
Haha yah, I'd probably have to maul you for saying not to commission minors xD. I'm a minor well.. just out of minor-hood..... 8( and I consider myself to be very prompt with my commissions and I make sure to keep in good contact. I do find that a lot of minors though do tend to pull the ignore-notes gag and do take forever while updating their gallery with various personal pieces. I've had this happen to me many times before with rather 'popular' but immature artists when I commission them. But grouping bad people together and then saying that all minors cannot handle taking commissions may be going too far (I think there was drama here about someone who said not to commission foreign artists, same thing really with a little more logic to it). :C I do need the business after all and I try my best to keep the customer happy and pleased especially with the outcome of the piece. I usually don't take commissions unless I'm sure I can get them done in a few days to a few weeks. The most I made someone wait for a commission was about... 3 months I think, and I sent an apology with the offer of a free sketch.

PS: Nah I wasn't offended by what you said don't worry c: just threw in my opinion. Hope it wasn't too off topic D:
Jan. 23rd, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you have your head screwed on. I wasn’t out to group all minors into one ugly do-not-commission bracket. But when under 18s are offering quick pics to fund their pocket money during school, they tend to lose interest shortly after they have that money in said pocket! And that doesn’t always mean you have your image. Unlike older people who may well be in it for the long-term and so are less likely to mess you around from fear of a bad rep.
But you’re quite right that popular does not equal mature. And 18+ does not always equate to a professional. I like to scout about myself and get a feel for the artist. I buy art from people who run things in the same time-frame and manner that I run my own commissions. Rather like you do ;)
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:59 am (UTC)
"Very cheap commissions!"
- agreed. Not trying to use it to excuse the artist, because she must have set her prices, but with the exchange rate the way it is, that works out at, what, a smidge over a tenner per full coloured piece? And I note from her dA journal she doesn't take commissions any more - maybe she's realised it's quite hard to stay motivated to do them...?

No excuse for ignoring notes, but maybe she's just nervous, especially if you're annoyed at her. And it might be unintentional - I know *I* take a while to reply to notes sometimes because I just plain forget - I quickly check my dA and go "aha, note, but bah, end of lunch hour, no time to answer, I'll answer when I get home later" (and of course, the note loses its notification in the control panel) - then a week later "oops, yeah, note, I better answer." But then I don't often GET notes, so eh.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Tenner sounds about right. I thought I was pretty cheap at around £50 a go, but that includes proper customer service!
Jan. 23rd, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
I've never had any troubles with commissions from her. Sorry to hear that you're having issues.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 03:42 am (UTC)
She seemed to be a good person to commission from what I've noticed, it's a shame that she seems to be ignoring you. I hope she get back to you with something soon. :\
Jan. 23rd, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
There's really no excuse to do almost 19 complete personal pieces when you have someone's paid work waiting to be done.

If she can churn her own stuff out that fast, she ought to be able to churn out your two commissions.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
Well I do sympathize with you, I am a little irritated at one thing I hear clients say over and over again:

"They're uploading their own stuff without having finished mine!"

Now. Let me tell you something in all honesty - These could be old pictures, these could be new pictures. These could have been done at any time. These are not an excuse for her to be so late on your work (Did you give a deadline?) but to complain about how many personal pictures she's uploading seems very...well...like a cop out. To just assume that she's spending all her time on them is a little ignorant. (Unless she's saying when she did them)

I don't think that complaint makes your case more valid. But I DO think you should continue to note her and prod her gently about your commission. I, and other artists I'm sure, need a push. But if you're too threatening, it could scare them off.

I do personal art aside commissions, granted not 19 of them, 1 or 2 to keep my sanity. But I do get upset if a client is angry because I uploaded a picture to Da that wasn't theirs, before one of my own.

Just thought I'd play devil's advocate.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 05:51 am (UTC)
I was about to say this. I don't know of many artists who can ONLY do commission work and not go insane (although 19 is a lot, but personally the time frame's been so short that I wouldn't worry about it too much). Now, if she was uploading work she's done for other people when she should have been working on your commissions, then yes, you'd have every right to say "are you working on my stuff?"

Three pieces is a lot. Personally, it would take me at least two months to do three finished pieces for someone, if not longer. Maybe she's just taking her time with it, maybe she's hit an artist's block. Maybe she's getting out of the Christmas/New Year's holiday rush and, if she's still in school, classes have started again as well. It's a difficult time to be doing art for other people.

However, it IS bad form to just not reply to notes like that. Again, maybe she's been very busy and hasn't been able to reply. I usually give someone at least three notes/emails before deciding if they're ignoring me or if they're just busy.

I know this is frustrating, but my advice would be to give this a bit more time, and also to give her a deadline by which you want to see a sketch before taking any steps to end the commission deal or whatever.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 06:37 am (UTC)
I definitely see your point. What makes me think it isn't the case for Kankakanka, though, is the wording in her descriptions: the way she writes about having just colored things in/wanting to try x technique/etc. makes it sound like the stuff she's been uploading is pretty hot off the press.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 07:06 am (UTC)
that's true, but sometimes when you're working on people's commissions you want to try out a different kind of colouring or something, and don't want to ruin someone's pic, so you try it out on smaller personal pieces.

Not saying that's what's happened here of course, but it's possible, I do it myself :)
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:33 am (UTC)

I'll agree with this, I've got an outstanding commission but I've uploaded quite a few images to my gallery that aren't that commission, not because I'm slacking off on it but because I'm testing out some new techniques for digital fur painting. So there can be valid reasons for a flood of experimental work.

That said some people do just ignore their commissions and keep putting up other work when they should be finishing their paid work.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 11:51 am (UTC)
I have to agree, while commission work is important artists also need to work on their own stuff now and then in order not to lose their minds.
Jan. 24th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
i'm experancing that right now acctualy. makes me feel awfull too
Jan. 23rd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
iawtc. one time i did like 15 commissions in a row without any personal art, and i didnt wanna draw for like weeks after that =/
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:04 am (UTC)
I bothered to look through the pictures she uploaded since uploading yours.

It looks like at least half of them are NOT personal art but things she owes people, one way or another. A prize for a contest she held, another commission, two trades, her half of a gift exchange, a christmas gift for someone, and three that were for folks that she didn't describe why she drew for them (I'm assuming they are gifts but who knows). That's nine right there that she could have owed (or prioritized earlier) before your commission was even agreed upon.

So we can assume she's not completely blowing everyone off here, she seems to be trying to finish a few things up before getting to other things like the work she promised you (while doing 10 personal pieces in between). Perhaps she has a backlog that she wants to reduce before getting into the more recent commissions. I do this too sometimes if I bite off more than I can chew. I've had several people waiting while I work on previously promised work. And, as folks have said, she's a minor, which is what I was when I would try doing more than I could handle. Finals and the holidays came and went, school started and ended in the three months since she said she'd draw for you.

Not responding to your notes is a major issue though. Perhaps let her know you're still interested in the work, that you just want an update. Maybe propose a deadline (for work or correspondence) and see if she responds to that. Ask her if she doesn't want to do the commission anymore or something like that, maybe offer to compromise if she really needs to get out of the work for some weird reason. See if she responds to constructive notes addressing her silence.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:12 am (UTC)
A question to others here-

Would it be weird to contact her past commissions/trades and ask if she took a long time on them or ignored their contact at any point?

If I were in the situation Silveryote was in, I'd be curious about how she was to work with for her previous commissions, especially the ones she's uploading while Silveryote's still waiting for even so much as an update.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:35 am (UTC)

No, it's not weird, so long as it's done in a respectful manner.
Jan. 24th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
Isn't that kind of what this community is for? X)
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:37 am (UTC)

The lack of communication sucks but without a deadline? Well it's a good idea to not assume that quick piece one time means always quick. It's been quite a short period, I'd say give her a little more time and remind her every so often.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)
hmmm... not answering is indeed a bad move from her side.
Especially if you paid her in advance.
However, I must just say this out of personal experience:
I know that the customer is the king, but there is no way a customer can own an artist. If every personal submitted work is eyed and breathed at the back of the neck, if an every free time one takes for oneself has to be explained then... let me put it this way, a similar happening made me serious question all past year if I should ever take commissions again (I will again, after rule changes).
If we are talking of a lenghtyer time and her openly saying she's commissionable again then I'd start breathing at her new submissions.
In this case (correct me if I am wrong) I see no deadline agreed and by all my respect, thats very little she charged for her commissions, she's put the priece of a vending machine on her works but its an ARTIST and not a machine. Doing a commission is work too, if life and time gets inbetween its not that easy to sit down and have the calm and muse to do a piece you know was ordered. and not bought. I dont know how it is with other painters, but I myself sometimes have often a quality-time-price bugging me when I sit and commissions (depends on my sweet monthly mood too) and then I am very happy to work on my own things, because those are not paid and I can either improve/secure myself on them or trash a failure.
just my very personal two cents

I'd say, ask again friendly and also ask her what she thinks by when she can do it and definitly ask for the finalized piece.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
I don't see why the OP is obligated to be "gentle" and "nice" to someone who is, apparently *ignoring them for months* before finishing their commission.

Might be more effective to be nice, might, but I think an artist is obligated to provide an update once a month, even if it's just "this will be a busy month with other priorities, I hope you will understand!"
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )


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