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AWFUL commissioner: Citrius

After a pretty disgusting and uncalled for comment was made on a design commission I had completed, I felt it absolutely necessary to make this post.

I took this character design commission a few months ago and recently completed it. The way I work is by asking for your "must haves" and then working around them.

I have to admit, I knew something was up and that this girl had a little bit of a special snowflake syndrome when she had someone else note me about her commission. She requested that she send the money VIA snail-mail (I almost never accept this method, but she seemed dead set on this commission and it seemed like it meant a lot to her) and it arrived after quite a bit of a wait. But the notes had already started pouring in. Almost constant "Is it there yet? Is it there yet?" Seemed sort of okay to me, though lightly obsessive. I'd be worried about my money too.

But then this guy gave me a NOVEL of a note detailing every single aspect of this girl's being. All of her friends writing a few paragraphs for her and other insane stuff. I thought it was a little bit bonkers, but it didn't really keep me from beginning work after I had the cash. I started off with this sketch here. And as you can see in her comment, she seemed really happy about it. But the note she sent me afterward said otherwise. She started nitpicking my anatomy, and wanting things done like a perfectionist. None of it was good enough. It was slightly annoying, but I went with it. I studied up a little on bear anatomy and came up with this.

I really wanted to be sure that the markings would be okay. She said this was JUST FINE. Everything "thrilled and excited" her, apparently. Her friends kept nitpicking me. And some even noted me. Frequently. She also felt it necessary to tell me EVERY single comment that she received by posting MY art to other sites. I felt like she was putting all of this on display and letting people openly criticize me. At times it felt she was ASKING them to come and bother me because she was to scared to do it herself. It was unpleasant to say the least.

So time passed and I finally got the time to sit down and complete the work. I showed her a WIP. It wasn't good enough. And you know, I understand a commissioner wanting a tweak or two, but she was wanting a re-do a lot of things we had already gone over. She was expecting the markings to "be more complex" even though I had already shown her the markings and she had previously approved. She hated the colors, she wanted the braid "moved behind the ear" (wtf, like it wasn't there to start with) and screwed around with. I told her that if she kept making these adjustments it'd cost her. I realized that this girl was NOT going to be happy if I just went with the flow and designed things without her input to verify that she liked them. Like I usually do. Not to mention she openly compared my art to Ellakins's, showing me her art and saying "I want the markings to be like this, blahblah like her's".

So I came up with a new color palette: http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/457246/Bears

She approved. I came up with different flowers because the ones she selected were fugly. I chose these: http://infomotions.com/gallery/ucla/Images/DSCN7183.jpg

She changed the feathers to kookaburras because I insisted that the Rainbow Lorikeet feathers clashed with his current colors. Cool.

I came up with new markings and shared them with her asking for her approval before I began colors: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y180/Makime/dunewip2.jpg

I did a rough color and asked her if she liked the markings and color placement: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y180/Makime/duneexample1.jpg

I stayed polite and professional while she acted like the jerk who harasses a waitress over and over again until they're finally satisfied. And I didn't even get a 50 cent tip. Well, she was finally satisfied. So I thought.

And then this happened: http://comments.deviantart.com/1/91838550/784092354

Blood shot through my eyes, I promise you. Firstly because I know Citrius told her what we had discussed and likely told her to make this comment. Secondly because she's dead wrong and I haven't been treated with such disrespect since I worked in catering. We're now trying to finalize her commission so I can get on with my life.

So artists, do beware. This girl's money is NOT worth the time, harassment, and general emotional discomfort you'll experience. She's the worst commissioner I've EVER had. It's ridiculous how much stress she and her posse will put on you. Take my advice and just avoid this girl.
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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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cassu_bean
Jul. 18th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I feel so sorry for you. I guess to try and stop people from getting to re-do things too much before you start a commission you could say something like, 'if you want x amount of re-dos it will cost you x much' or something.
T be honest I applaud you for your composure given the situation.
makichi
Jul. 19th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
It certainly has been a challenge to keep my cool.

And yes, I informed her that it would start costing her if she kept demanding re-do's and complaining about everything. But I guess I'll have to learn to lay that out there from the start.
(Deleted comment)
makichi
Jul. 19th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
Yes, I plan on doing that more strictly in the future. It was certainly a learning experience...
nerdlover
Jul. 18th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Ugh thats insane. Your work is gorgeous, this girl just seems like she was not going to be satisfied no matter how much work you put into it..

I hope this doesnt get you down to much about commissioners.

Slightly off topic but where do you usually announce when you're open for commissions again?
nerdlover
Jul. 18th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Also you use OC to do coloring and inking or just inking? Your technique is quite spiffy and better than what I usually do.
(no subject) - makichi - Jul. 19th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
paulownia
Jul. 18th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
I can understand your frustration. To go through all that and have your work belittled is very insulting.

I think one suggestion I might make for the future is to not be "too too " open publicly in posting commission WIPs at DA unless you are prepared for a literal peanut gallery to get involved.

Just an observation on your initial posts. You came across a bit tentative and admitted this was your first bear. That might give people the impression that you are completely open to taking comments from everywhere and "new at this." And once the comments came in, everyone else probably felt it was okay to do jump on in. There might be ways to avoid that, by simply just posting it was a WIP and disabling comments.

For the future, it might be worthwhile to limit revisions somehow. Like state upfront that you are willing to do one tweak after the initial sketch has been agreed to, but after that, you may want to think about drawing the line.

Unfortunately a lot of people in this world are compulsive editors and will never stop unless you set your boundaries.

Sorry you had to go through this, though. It definitely sounds painful.
makichi
Jul. 19th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for the advice! I'll certainly keep information for the public to a minimum in the future. But in her case, she was posting what we had discussed to forums. Dx
(no subject) - paulownia - Jul. 19th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Jul. 19th, 2008 09:24 am (UTC) - Expand
freudian_lisp
Jul. 18th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
Fucking shituck! Lawd! ASS!

My condolences :I
dreamerwolf856
Jul. 18th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Just wow... Thanks for the warning!
(Deleted comment)
makichi
Jul. 19th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
Maybe in the future. I'm currently swamped. Glad you like my work, though!
china_kitty
Jul. 18th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
I am sorry to hear that had happened to you as I could relate.
hollowzero
Jul. 18th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this, I haven't heard a horror story like this in a while.
airukitsu
Jul. 18th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
Serious, thank you for warning. This girl sounds like a spoiled brat. I almost want her to commission me just to tell her off when she gets out of line. I would not have put up with that, man, kudos for your patience.

On another note. I should watch you
maui_dolphin
Jul. 19th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
No Sir I don't like it. :P
(no subject) - the_lest - Jul. 19th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
spotqueen
Jul. 18th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
I could NOT do that. You poor thing, you must have the patience of a saint!

I would have gotten frustraited and told her to STFU and deal with it, and then never be commissioned ever again...*single tear*

Thanks for the warning. What a brat.
nambroth
Jul. 18th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Ye gods.

I had this happen before... not so severe, but similarly. Now I request full details beforehand so I know just how much to ask for, depending on how inane and anal descriptions are. I also set a number of revisions and after that there is a charge. :/

Also, you do damn fine work! Beautiful.
makichi
Jul. 19th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's the challenge with design work. I'm just not sure how everything will play out so I have a base price and ask for more when the complexity rises. It's pretty hit and miss. I don't think I'll be taking design commissions in the future.

She not only didn't pay for the complexity, she also changed everything ridiculously. All in all, I was overworked and underpayed.
dinogrrl
Jul. 19th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
Man :/ I would have dropped her like a hot potato. If not for her attitude, then for those of her friends. WTF? A commission is between you and the client alone. I would have told her to get her friends to back off, or she can take her business elsewhere.

I'm a staunch supporter of the 'three re-dos of a sketch, additional re-dos cost X' and the 'once sketch is finalized, there will be NO MORE CHANGES' policies. They'll save your skin in situations like this.
uneide
Jul. 19th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
... you have the patience of a saint, is all I have to say.
Thank you for the heads up, and gorgeous image ( both of them! )
oceandezignz
Jul. 19th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
*offers chocolate, hugs and a tazer*

I will happily avoid that person like the plague~ and anyone else like her. >:
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( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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