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Over two years for a sketch book?

I commissioned an artist in 2005 for a 100 page sketchbook, we fell out of contact but she has it listed on her page as halfway done since last winter. This is a bit strange to me since when I commissioned her she never mentioned that it would take several years for it to get finished. Four years total (since she was halfway two years after I commissioned her) would imply one page every two weeks or so.
Does this seem like a reasonable pace for a sketchbook commission?

I don't want to seem overbearing since that would imply one page for every two weeks and she has work outside of art, as well as school, and having some genuine hard times. At the same time I don't want to wait forever and never see what I paid for out of an excessive amount of caring. She checks up to see if I've changed anything on my characters every six months or so, so it isn't like she has disappeared from the face of the earth.

What would be the best way to approach asking for an estimate on when the sketchbook would be completed without sounding hostile?
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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
"Hey, it's been a while!
Hope you're okay, just mailed you to ask how the sketchbook was coming along. Please let me know, thanks!"

But seriously, a 100 pages? I dunno if she's just doing sketches or also full pieces but 2 years is not so bad IMO.
Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
It was just sketches in our agreement but I think she's doing a few colored pieces as well. Two years was the halfway mark, btw. I don't know if that is what your comment was referring to.

Thanks for the help with wording :)
Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Hmm well, I dunno who the artist in question is and if their work is worth the wait, but considering that you paid for it I imagine that it is worth it to you? If you're fed up with waiting you could always ask her to finish up with sketches rather than inked and coloured pieces and send you the book?
Aug. 23rd, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure. If she checks up on you and actually keeping in contact, I don't think it's much of a problem. A hundred page sketchbook sounds like a lot, and this is taking into consideration if the person is taking other commissions, working, is a student, et cetera like you said. Artist block can fall in and out... Stuff like that. I think this sounds like a huge project that could have been on a sort of borderline priority to get finished.

I think the best route to approach asking is, well, to ask if it's going to be finished anytime soon. I don't think, after so much time has passed, that it'll sound hostile. Just don't come across like you're passive-aggressive, though the artist should know to take tone/attitude over the internet with a grain of salt.

That's just me, though. Maybe you should have specified a time for it to be completed back in 2005?
Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your advice.

Maybe you should have specified a time for it to be completed back in 2005?
Back in 2005 we talked almost everyday, but yes, it would have been a good idea. She used to upload around 10 fully colored pieces a week to her gallery back then. In comparison she's uploaded seven pieces this year, most of which are less complex than her old work. Things change, people change. I am still very excited about seeing it completed, almost as much as I was when I first paid for it.
Aug. 23rd, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
It's a small change in tone, but it might help if you asked just to see some more progress or any scans at all rather than asking when it might be finished completely. It lets the artist break it down mentally into manageable chunks rather than seeing it as an insurmountable stumbling block.

Don't worry about sounding hostile or impatient, you deserve to be updated more than every six months.
Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
100 pages? That's mad. Why do people offer such huge commissions?
If you've had enough of waiting, why not ask that she sends what she's done and maybe refund you for work not done?
I assume you paid big bucks for so much work?
Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
Their eyes are bigger than their stomachs?
No clue because when you break it down to price per page it is far cheaper than I would hope anyone with talent would think they're worth. But it was a deal for me, as the buyer.

I'm fine with waiting more, I just have no prior experience with how long a commission of this volume would take.

In price alone? Yes, but price per page? No, 300 CAD.
Aug. 24th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
100 pages actually isn't a whole lot of work. But of course, it depends on how much time you put into each one. For example, at my school for one class, I would have to do a weekly sketchbook of lessons of about 50 pages, 4 sketches a page. Some would take an hour, others 10 minutes.
So, I would say if they were serious about giving you timely results, it would be easy to accomplish for even people who don't do such quantity of sketches as I do. Even if they did one sketch every day or two, you really should not have to wait this long.

I personally would suggest to them this situation, and just sternly (but not threatening) let them think about it from your point of view. Ask them if there's anything wrong, and invite them to talk about a solution. Maybe something like what neongryphon mentioned, or if you're just wanting to get the commission over with, just ask to send what she's done and leave it at that.

Ultimately it's up to you, but since it seems you care about her feelings in the matter, I would try to just talk to her in a kind but serious way that wouldn't let her question that you are upset at her. Just making sure that it's clear you're trying to just solve this issue fairly.
Aug. 24th, 2008 11:45 am (UTC)
Hmm, well I think a commission every two weeks is nice, although it would be good to see her progress so far to ensure that she is actually working on it :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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