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Bad Commission Experience/Advice?

I've debated even posting, but I'd like some advice on the situation and others might want to be warned. . .

Disclaimer note: It's been a long time since the initial incident (which is actually part of the problem), and the mentioned artist may have stepped it up a bit. . . and she really is a sweet person so I don't mean any offense over it.

*edit* took the name off. . . I dont want to upset anyone ^^;;;;;

So Around two years ago, an artist Was having one of those "Help I need some cash, so I'll offer some cheap/quick art" commission sales. She was always so nice and I enjoyed her fun style so I said why not! I commissioned her for a two character Traditional marker piece(and for her to send the original since I collect). Now I do commissions myself and know how things happen so I am understanding of a commission taking time.

I got a sketch soon after. . . and well I was a little bit dissapointed. Mostly because there wasn't all that much evidence of her wonderful style, and it seemed a bit quickly done(which being a commission on sale I should expect). But, I always feel bad making any major correction changes, and at that point it'd almost be a redraw request so I sucked it up and enjoyed what she did and approved.

Quite a few months went by, and I e-mailed her to ask about the commission. When I did hear back, She came back asking if she could do the coloring digitally instead of with markers because she was having trouble with the dark grey/black of my character. I wasn't sure what to say, and was a bit surprised at her asking. . . and in the end I decided not to make her do it traditionally if it meant the piece would be ruined in the process, as long as she sent me the sketch/inked piece.

So quite a few months later (it has been a full year+ by this time since the start of the commission) I e-mailed again to ask about the piece and she apologized for it taking so long, and promised to send me the sketches/inks as well as "as many prints as I want!" of the piece. . . I only asked for one or two since I wouldn't need more than that and didn't want to give her more work. When I finally got the colors, I was again a bit disappointed in the quality of the coloring (in comparison to her usual coloring style.) But it had been a year and I wanted to move on. So I thanked her and gave her my address for the original/prints.

Months later (no art) I moved and e-mailed her to let her know of the new address. She apologized again and said she'd send it all to me. It's been another year and I've since moved again, but I have since given up on getting her to send the art to me. I mean the commission was cheaper ($15) since it was a half off sale. . . but doesn't every commission big or small deserve the same respect/attention?

Should I e-mail her once more asking about it? Or should I just forget about it? I'm more tempted to do the later since the art wasn't all that exciting to me so I'm not crying over it. Though I do feel a bit cheated, especially since there were so many promises given that were never filled.

So if anyone has any advice for me, either on this situation or how to not find myself in this position again feel free to comment :)

*edit* I Went ahead yesterday (Feb 10th) and e-mailed her a short and nice e-mail inquiring about the art:

"Hey __________!

I know it's been a while (quite a while xD) since the commission you did for me, but I was wondering if you still had those original sketches lying about? I'd still like to have them if you are still able to send them ^^;;;

Let me know

I figured it can't hurt to ask. . . haven't heard anything back yet, and if I dont I wont bother to make an issue of it, but wanted to try.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
My only major suggestion here would be that it is, at least for me, a very, very big no-no to not tell your artist if you have problems with the image, no matter how long it's been. Especially if you are going to post publically about it later - I suspect that if your artist were to stumble on this post, she would probably be quite hurt.

As for the mailing, well, I'm pretty bad at keeping up with it myself x_x I don't know what I would suggest, except perhaps to give more frequent reminders.

In most cases, artists mean well, and keeping your mouth shut because they're slow and you 'just want your art' or because you don't want to be rude is a good way to give them a mistaken impression of you or of what you want. I don't know this artist myself, but this could very easily just be a nice person having some issues with their mailing. Some artists do take a long time; except for the ridiculously long wait for mail, this post could easily be about me, and I am most certainly not malicious or out to rip anyone off - just very busy, with a very long to-do list.
Feb. 10th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, I took down some of it because I really dont want to hurt any feelings. And I do know she means well :) I know she'd never rip people off and she actually (in the years time between the sketch and the coloring) had to take on more "I need cash" commissions.

And yes I can be too nice sometimes. . . though I refuse to be one of those "it should be this way and this way and this needs to be changed" because in a way all commissions are a slight gamble. Art is not like buying a mass produced good. it'll always be different and a surprise and that's why I liked it, in this case it just wasn't as great as I wanted (and more with the amount of time and the no mailing and no contact than even the quality)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 10th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
Oh I understand what you said at the beginning there. I dont expect a $20 commission to be as amazing as a $50 commission. However if someone says that she'll do a character drawing for cheaper than normal, unless they say it'll be a 'quick' commission or other such stipulation, I do expect the work to be the same quality as it would have been before the sale. (especially when those are the examples used)

But yeah it was mostly the time it took and the lack of communication and mail
Feb. 10th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
I got this icon from Rahsky. She is a great artist and I do adore her work
I think what we have here is just another case of an artist horrible underselling themselves in a stressful situation in order to make a buck. It just seems to be a theme in this community: artist does emergency commissions and either does subpar work or doesn't do any work at all. I do know artists that can do emergency commissions and get them out timely and do them well, but these people tend to have really good commission records prior to the emergency. Beyond that I tend to steer clear of these commission simply from what I've read on the community
As for your commission, I mean hopefully she will see this on here and look to rectify it simply as a means of getting her name of this community, but she did complete it and at least you have a digital copy. You might just want to chock up your losses from there and just make a point to be wary of artists that do these emergency commissions that don't have really great records to begin with
Feb. 10th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Yeah I've learned my lesson to stay away from those "Need money cheap art!" sales >.o

I've actually taken her name down because I dont mean to discredit her as a commissioner or anything x.x and yes, I think I'm just going to be moving on and letting that one go. I guess in the end I helped her out either way and that's a good thing ^^
Feb. 10th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
Sorry about your experience XC I don't understand when artists treat emergency/ cheap commissions with less respect... shouldn't you give extra attention to the folks who are giving you money in your time of need? Or just not offer commissions at all if you're too weak to fulfill them. You should definitely pursue it just to let her know it is not ok to treat others like this in the future, then never commission her again. I hope you get your art at some point!
Feb. 10th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
Thanks, though i know she's not a bad person. I don't want to be upset with her cause I do know things happen :) though I will admit the experience means I won't likely commission her again, but I also don't think the same thing would happen. Again it's been a few years now and she may have gotten a bit more professional about it all :)
Feb. 10th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Thats a good attitude :)
Feb. 10th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
I doubt it, if she didn't send it to you on the most recent time you contacted her.
Feb. 10th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
oddly, i had a similra experence with a compleatly different artist

i had an AB report about it brewing, but at the end of the day i do love the finished piece and she is a lovely person

but the process was odd. i'd never heard of her before, but her galery is lovely. so i commision her, and the sketch that arives is ... frankely scairy. i was realy disapointed

but i didn't want to upset her and did liek the pose, so i asked her to make some changes, and all she really did was redefine the origanal lines of the body. so i asked her again to change my head, sh echanged my ears and again traced the face

i thought well, the rest of her stuff looks cool maybe it will look better in colour. i accepted, ...and i do love the finished piece, but i look absolutly nothing, in colour style or even specice, then my description and references, which seems to be a growing trend with recent traditions and i was going tro say something about that too

i didn't know what to do about it either, and decided to do nothing, in fact i intend to comish her again in future. my biggest gripe is that it's a pic of my mate and now it kinda looks like she's snuggling someone else ;p

i tend to comish allot, and some are better then others. i comish one person in oarticuler much more then anyone else, and theres one or two i can't bear to look at but i love her style

so i've ranted a long time and i don't know, but i do know what you mean
Feb. 10th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
I don't think people are right to tell you to take it as a loss. Considering the orginal commission was for a traditional physical peice of art, which you say that you collect, I think this was well within your rights to post.

There's no acceptable excuse on this earth that this transaction is still not finished.

In my mind, there's a major difference between a normal sale and "cheap art" sale. In a sale, it should be your normal quality, just a little cheaper so that it sells better. In a "cheap art" it's "you get what you pay for" and must be made clear in the description.

If it were me, I would be pretty peeved. Clearly it bothered you, as yu posted about it rather than forgetting. If I were you, I wouldn't have edited it, although I also would have contacted the artist in question with a clear statement that I was by this point very unhappy.

Feb. 10th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah :\ I do agree, and as a commissioner myself I'd never forgive myself for A) taking over a year to finish a commission and B)Never finishing or following through with the promise of sending things.

I suppose if it was a piece of art that I was really (or even moderately) thrilled about, I'd pursue the matter until I got my work. But in the end I wouldn't even be getting a traditionally colored piece. . . just the sketches, and I have to decide whether it's worth the trouble x.x bad attitude I know xD But thanks for the support ^^
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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