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Unsure Of What To Do...

4 months ago I commissioned an artist for a $7.00 couples sketch commission. This artist has hardly done any art these past 4 months and a lot of the art they have posted has been ether personal art, or art for friends. Right now they are having an emergency and are asking for more commissions cuz they need the money. I want to ask where I am on their list, or how much longer I might be waiting, but I'm afraid to because this person has posted several times on their journals and on their commission page that if you ask about your commission they get angry and sometimes bump you lower on the list so you have to wait longer. I didn't know about this "policy" of theirs when I commissioned them, I'm not even sure if they had publicly mentioned it before then, I dunno... So, I'm at a loss... I dunno what to do. Its just a sketch and its been 4 months and I don't wanna have to wait longer so I'm afraid to approach this artist. Its a shame because they have wonderful art... I would have liked to commission them again, but if I'm not allowed to ask about my commission, I don't think thats gonna happen. Any advise is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

EDIT: I talked to the artist, and they explained that this policy of theirs only applies to people who message them constantly about commissions. They said they've had people in the past message them several times a day about art. So I can understand why they would make this policy. Thank you everyone so much for your advice ^^; I'm really afraid of confrontation, so I wasn't sure how to approach the situation, but the artist was very pleasant.
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Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
razerz
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
I don't really like that whole "bumping" part... :/
I would still ask, not in a "omg hurry up wtf" way, but a "hey do you remember.."
leahtaur
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:16 am (UTC)
I don't mean any offense to anyone, but judging by the price and the "bumping" policy, this person sounds pretty amateur and inexperienced -- not necessarily in art but in business, and they're possibly pretty young as well. I don't mean that that should excuse her, but that might explain it.

Since you avoided mentioning her name, you might try a polite "hey, remember me?" poke like razerz suggested. If this results in you being bumped down her list, you may want to mention that you don't want to but WILL mention her name here on artists_beware if you have to. Most artists online value their reputations pretty highly and this will air her shoddy business practices.

Normally in a situation like this (an artist being slow with commissions) I wouldn't advise being so quick to threaten a blow to their reputation as I have; but when they start withholding info and even demoting customers down the list just for asking, I think it's justified.
foxhack
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC)
But there's a chance that if melloyellowduck says that the artist would be mentioned on artists_beware would make things worse. :\
leahtaur
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)
That's always a possibility -- but to be honest, she's got nothing to show for her money as it is now, and at least then we'd know who the artist is. But that's why I agreed with razerz about going the polite route first.
thaily
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)
Agreeing with the others, ask politely.
If she bumps you anyway immediately demand a refund.
7 bucks isn't much, but a transaction is a transaction.
cortezopossum
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I can see getting annoyed by people who pester you about getting something done but if you're taking commissions there is an automatic obligation that it should be done within a reasonable time frame.

I certainly wouldn't ask her to do MORE commissions until she makes progress on the first ones.
thaily
Feb. 25th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Completely in agreement here.

I have a policy that I can cancel commissions for any reason, but I can endure some overexcited badgering. It's mostly a right reserved for the truly obnoxious rather than polite inquiries.
leswamp
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:50 am (UTC)
Oh yuck. Anyone who takes your money for work has no business copping an attitude when reasonable requests are made for an estimated time of completion.

IMHO you deserve your money back.


notveryathletic
Feb. 25th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC)
Asking once in a while how things are going should not be a reason to bump you down the list, especially as it is paid work...

You should ask them what is happening if it's been a while since you last checked, and if they do bump you down the list I'd mention it here so people are aware of their policy at least...

In short threatening your commissioners with additional delays for querying progress is just unprofessional, you've every right to check on progress especially if you're giving at least a few weeks in between each query for them to work on your piece, this is all the more valid if they do not publicly post progress updates or a commissions queue...

I've commissioned a fair few people and this is the first time I've seen anyone acutally threaten to do such a thing, so you're right to feel aggrieved by this really.
driftwoodwings
Feb. 25th, 2008 09:03 am (UTC)
Random, it's all about good karma.




GIFT.
fareme
Feb. 26th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Re: Random, it's all about good karma.
That was really nice of you! :}
melloyellowduck
Feb. 26th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
Re: Random, it's all about good karma.
Oh my god! You are so sweet! ;-; Thank you so much!!! *hugs*
driftwoodwings
Feb. 26th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Random, it's all about good karma.
:D You are quite welcome. Mind if I add you :}, I'm good buddies with Razerz and Synchra.
melloyellowduck
Feb. 27th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Re: Random, it's all about good karma.
oh sure! hee hee! I thought I've seen you around on other peoples journals! :D It must be theirs hee hee! <3
thrivis
Feb. 25th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
That bumping policy sounds mighty lame. Devaluing someone's priority in workload for just ASKING is extremely unprofessional. An artist should always be open to reasonable questions, not penalizing their clients for want of simple updates.

I do agree that if she bumps you when you ask, ask politely for a refund. Being kicked around like that is pretty weird.

Has she always had this lame bumping policy? Or is this a recent development that she only implemented after you started to commission her? Because if it was there before you opened business with her, I guess you're going to have to deal with it no matter how bad a policy it is, but if she started after you asked for the commission, you can argue that you never agreed to that policy if/when you ask for a refund.
allykat
Feb. 25th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Depending on the quality of the sketch, I don't find $7 particularly LOW for a sketch commission. I may be skewed by my 'I'm learning to digitally sketch, gimme a dollar and I'll sketch you" project I have going on, but unless 'sketch' really translates into 'very clean pencil drawing' or her name is 'furry bigname artist #1421,' then the "It's not very expensive" thing doesn't hold water with me.

Besides, an agreement is an agreement. The bumping down thing is really suspect and I really hope that's in place for extreme situations. I do hope you update us (or me in this comment) if that is what happens, because that definitely constitutes an 'avoid this artist' situation for me.
starcharmer
Feb. 25th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
I didn't think $7 was particularly low, either. I think I charge $7 for my sketches? No, I checked and I charge $5. I charge only $10 for sketches with flat colour over them, sooo...

I actually just recently lowered my sketch prices when I raised my coloured picture prices.
ultimatekingrat
Feb. 25th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
7 dollars is really low price and the artist is probably not feeling inspired enough to do it with that less money..
BUT!
the artist was the one who agreed to do it for this price and she(he?) should stick with the deal SHE made. That is incredibly and utterly unprofessional, you have every right to ask to have the comission you paid money for and she cannot just "bump" you to the bottom of the list out of sheer unprofessionalism and spite.

Ask for your comission/refund(come on, don't pity her that will make her smooch more money out of you) and never comission her again, it is not worth it no matter how pretty pictures this artist draws.

Oh, and you have every right to tell who she is, you have been telling truth and only the truth after all..?
starcharmer
Feb. 25th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
I think 4 months is on the verge of having to wait too long. I mean, yah, it's four months, but if you didn't give them a deadline, it could be taking them that long.
Then again, they ARE uploading personal art and art for friends, and I just...well, I honestly start feeling really extremely guilty at about 3-4 months of wait time for a commissioner, so I try to have commissions done 2 months after it's commissioned, tops. However, I've been getting crapped on in real life, so some of the commissions I've been completing lately have been from November.

But not only do I keep commissioners updated, I encourage that they ask for progress if they want it and I also don't really DO any artwork that isn't commissions or small gifts for good friends [like for birthdays, and for birthdays, I rarely do more than a little icon].

But what I'm TRYING to say is that 4 months isn't too terribly long to wait, so long as the person has a good reason. I might just be kind of relating to the artist you commissioned, though, because like I said, I've been getting crapped on lately and my art is the only income my husband and I have, so I do take on new "emergency" commissions sometimes without even having started on older commissions yet. :/ Gotta live. I'm lucky that usually, the people who have are very understanding...even sometimes TOO polite and patient with me.

But if this person is saying that they'll bump you down in the list if you ask about it, I'd probably ask for a refund [even if it is only $7]. I have a short fuse and NO WAY is that right for someone to threaten to do. Commissioners have a right to know how their commission is going and how much progress you've made/if you've even thought about it lately. Especially when it's just a sketch. That's ridiculous.

I just wanted to rant for a while, I don't really have any advice other than what everyone else has been saying. I wish you the best of luck, though. Hopefully, they just do your sketch. Sketches don't take me more than an hour. And hopefully, they don't throw a fit and do crappy work because you asked about it. :/ I hate when people do stuff like that.

I guess I just thought of something...
If I don't write commissions that I get down IMMEDIATELY in my waiting list on my commissions LJ, I do forget them. I'm extremely forgetful, so if someone commissions me through like...IMs instead of sending me an email, I do forget details they want and I do forget the same day, sometimes, that they even commissioned me.
So if this person has forgotten completely about you, it would be a good idea to poke them and say something, but like everyone is saying, just try to be polite. Don't be accusatory, that could make the artist balk or get defensive. Just ask if they have a visible waiting list or something so you can keep tabs on where your commission is going without having to bother them all the time [not that you would, but that they might view it that way].
starcharmer
Feb. 25th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
Ew, I hate how much I ramble. I need to learn to condense my points into like, one sentence. :/ Longest comments evar and they don't even say anything. Fail. P:
allykat
Feb. 25th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
I agree with you that four months can be reasonable. The thing that sets off my alarm bells about the situation is that she's taking more commissions without finishing her old ones.

Situations arise, but most of the time I think that if an artist REALLY has to do that they'll same something to reassure those who are already waiting. I mean it's polite.
starcharmer
Feb. 25th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Yah, I do admit that if I take on more commissions while I already have commissions [the past couple days, I put up two FurBid auctions to try to get a little more cash in since we're not doing too grey], I do give a nod to people who have current commissions and have been waiting. In my FurBid auctions, I've been mentioning that if anyone needs to know about their current commission status to just email me and I've also mentioned in my FA journal that if anyone wants to work out a deadline for any reason, I will do that with them. I don't care if it's just that they WANT the commission by a certain time and don't NEED it by then, I'll still get it done by their deadline.

But if no one says anything to me, I just assume it's okay to keep doing what I'm doing. Usually, I do them in easiest to hardest order or do hard ones with easy ones in between.

A couple people have said that they really only commissioned me because they knew I needed it so I can take however long I need with their commissions and do other people's ahead of theirs or whatever, so that's a weight off my mind. Others have started asking me about it and people that ask a lot, I just assume want it faster, so I try to finish those first. X)
fareme
Feb. 26th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Four months is reasonable - but not for a sketch. (of course, I can't talk. I owe people inks from last year, but they are rather detailed and large) And it's totally not cool that she has this 'complain/inquire and you'll have to wait longer' - that's a HUGE red flag. I mean, I admit it - I am a REALLY slow artist sometimes. I DO have commissions waiting from last year, most of which I'm in the process of re-doing. Even with sketches I sometimes take up to a month, just depending on what I have going on/how much I'm working/what other commissions come first, etc. I can't say anything about her taking more commissions - I never close my own, I take almost every commission that comes my way even when I have a queue, but I still prioritize. And if I have too much on my list, I'll ask someone to ask me again in two months.
Honestly though, with as much 'benefit of the doubt' we can offer this person, I think it's pretty obvious she has some shady business practices. :/
growly
Feb. 25th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Uh-oh... this sounds all too familiar.
The only advice I can give you is to not push this person, and wait it out and be sure to not commission anything from them again. I suspect who this is, and you're best keeping your distance.
grygon
Feb. 26th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
This artist has hardly done any art these past 4 months and a lot of the art they have posted has been ether personal art, or art for friends. Right now they are having an emergency and are asking for more commissions cuz they need the money. I want to ask where I am on their list, or how much longer I might be waiting, but I'm afraid to because this person has posted several times on their journals and on their commission page that if you ask about your commission they get angry and sometimes bump you lower on the list so you have to wait longer.

Dude, this sounds JUST LIKE Blaque Tygriss ("artist" I paid $400 in June of 2005 and never got ANYTHING for my money).
phantomfoux
Feb. 26th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Wow.. that is a nice tactic.
Cheating by telling people not to ask where their commissions are, or they get bumped down. LAME.

I would just do it.
Ask them where you stand or ask for a refund.. even partial.

Cause 4 months, for sketches, without a word. Posting personal art and now asking for more commissions, they seem to be the kind who grab cash and run, without producing the results.

:/
Good luck.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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