May 12th, 2006

"I don't wanna pay for it anymore!"

Okay, I wanna keep this short 'cause I'm kind've irritated, but I thought it'd only be fair to warn other artists of a commissioner I just had to deal with.

Now, I'll give a rundown of what happened first, and then show some emails and such.

Basically, (I dunno if they have a DA account or anything) posted on the Furc forums that they're looking for portrait artists (I can't link to the darn post 'cause the forums are down). Now, I hate doing portraits, but I had just opened commissions and I could have used the money, and I knew HOW to do them, so I emailed them asking about it and they jumped right in telling me what she'd like and all that.

They're very vague about things, and while they provide references for outfits, the only info I'm given to go by for the actual character is "Kitsune with nine tails, cascading hair, and fox-like markings. Make her sexy!". I work with it anyway, and provide them with a normal size sketch that I'll crop and shrink into a portrait if they like it. They say they do, more or less. Because of the nature of the sketch I suggest maybe putting her in a bikini and making it out to be a "beach scene". They agree to this, but say something odd that I don't understand in their email, so I reply asking for clarification.

RAWR! They snap at me to answer a question that they both hadn't actually asked, AND that they had the answer to already. I told them how much I charge for a portrait from the very beginning, like, the second or first email I sent, but they yelled at me to tell them and exaggerate by going, "Now for the 17th time, tell me how much I'm paying!", and threaten to drop the commission if I don't tell them right away, even though I told them before and they never actually asked that question anyway. They excuse all this in the beginning by saying they're "having a bad day". Suddenly that's my fault? Freaky. They never clarified what I'd asked them to, either.

I return the email apologizing (even though I didn't do anything) and saying I must have misunderstood something somewhere. To their credit, they email me back and apologize saying they had been upset because their mom had closed their checking account and canceled their Paypal. Well, whatever, they apologized, so.. They insist that they at least see the lineart of the portrait before they pay. That's fine, that's how I would've done it anyway.

So I work on the port for a while, outlining it slowly in that pixelly only black way ports have to be done in, and then I send the completed lineart to them along with the flat remappable colours as a way of being nice (it's a bit harder to see what's what when it's just the black and white lineart). To my surprise, they send back an email saying it looks "odd" now that it has colour on it (but the lineart is apparently okay, along with everything else? I didn't get it either), and that they "think" they don't want to pay 15$ for it anymore.

To be honest, at this point I'm tired of them. They were difficult to work with from the start, snapped at me for no good reason, and then suddenly tell me it looks odd and that they don't want it. I reply telling them as nicely as possible that it looks fine to me and everyone else that's seen it, but that I'll probably just sell the port at an auction or give it away or something, and that I'm sorry that I can't give them what they want. I didn't even consider until someone pointed it out to me that they may suddenly "not want it" because I made the mistake of sending them the flat remappable colours, and that they could just snatch it and shade it themselves and not bother paying for it. I dunno if that's the case, mind you, but it made me feel stupid.

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I tried to be as polite as possible. I would have been willing to work things out if they hadn't already been kind of difficult to deal with, and I really didn't want to redo the portrait (my problem, I know). So now I have a useless port that I've already worked hard on that they suddenly don't want to pay for. I don't want to claim they stole it because I have no proof and it's possible they really didn't like the way it turned out, but it's a possibility that keeps nagging me.

What do you guys think? Am I overreacting? Does the port really look like crap, or what?

If this person commissions you, just be careful. Especially if they're having a bad day.
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