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More of a question?

I saw this in a previous entry about every commission big or small deserving the same respect/attention. However, if you take on some super cheap commissions, as many have noticed there is a $1-2 sketch commission frenzy that has been on and off since last year.

If someone says that you did the character wrong and asks you to redo it, should you? Should there be a preliminary sketch even in this instance? Would you offer a refund? Do you think people who take such cheap commissions should just be spat on because they're making it harder for you to get commissions? I just want to hear opinions on this.
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( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 13th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
First link no longer works.
Feb. 13th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
I've seen a lot of this lately too, I think a lot of it stems from the fact that commissions have dropped off a LOT lately for a lot of artists (I know I've been hit, as have a lot of friends). The 'logical' thing to do is do something that gets you small amounts of guaranteed cash in small, quick chunks that doesn't seem to impact people's funds in any significant way.

That said, rules need to be laid down that prevent people from taking advantage and also to protect the interests of both parties. While it's only $1-5 or so that's changing hands, it's still cash, and you've still got an obligation to deliver.
- Quality's a subjective thing so that's not really possible to harp on about unless things are -really- dubious.
- Time frame... personally I'll only ever offer cheap cheap commissions if they can be done within ten minutes or so. Seriously. I'm not working my arse off for $2 when I could be honing my painting skills and doing portfolio work good enough to sell prints of.
- Revisions. Small revisions (forgotten markings, slight facial expression change, fixing a wonky eye or something), fine if it's just one or two little things. Sweeping revisions or redos - no. Heck no! A dollar is a dollar is a dollar, and a dollar is not worth being picky over. You get what you pay for. A good idea is to state this in clear terms wherever the cheapies are being offered - "My $cheap sketches are that way because they're quick, fun and spontaneous. Small revisions may be okay, but large revisions or redos aren't being offered."
Something like that.

Opinions yo.

Edited at 2009-02-13 02:43 am (UTC)
Feb. 13th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
This was actually really helpful for any sort/priced commission thanks!
Feb. 13th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
Make sure the person knows that they must provide every bit of info you'll need and that a revision charge will be applied if they want you to redraw it entirely. Small tweaks don't really apply-- like if the artist missed details (that were included in the initial character info) like horns/spikes or flubbed something smaller, they should fix that no charge, I think. But if suddenly the commissioner doesn't like the pose or the 'style' or whatever, then charge 'em for a major revision or redraw.

ESPECIALLY for really cheap commissions. They're paying for $5 or so, and that's a pretty small amount of work, so by no means should an artist have to completely redraw something like that for so little money. Anyway, I think these points have already been made.
Feb. 13th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
If it's a one or two dollar sketch, I'd be horrified at someone asking anyone to redo it.

I do prelim sketches for commissions that are $30-$40 and over, but even then don't offer any revisions past the first one for free.
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
With regards to quality of cheap commissions
I would say that as long as the artist is upfront to the commissioner about the quality of the art they will be getting for the cheap sketch, then I've no problem with poor-quality cheap sketches.

The problems I see arise when the artist says, "these are examples of my sketches for the cheap commishes" and posts several decent, polished pics, then produces awful or rushed sketches for the actual commissioners.
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
If someone says that you did the character wrong and asks you to redo it, should you?

What you should do is have clear terms stating if you will or won't redo things. Personally, for a buck, I wouldn't. But then I wouldn't sell my art at all for a buck. My cheapest commissions are $5, and I have it clearly stated that I don't do sketch approvals or re-workings at that price. I'm sure if I did offer revisions or do $1 sketches I'd get more business, but it's not worth it to me.

Should there be a preliminary sketch even in this instance?

Dude. It's A DOLLAR, maybe two. Anybody who expects a full-blown commissions process at that price range is a loony. I've commissioned several $1-5 sketches and I never expected anything but the "finished" work itself. That much money is paying for like... fifteen minutes of the artist's time. So no.

Would you offer a refund?

Once again we run into "DUDE, it's a DOLLAR." Yes I'd offer a refund, purely because it's easier to do without the one buck than to have an upset customer. But as a customer who has commissioned this kind of thing before I'd never ask for a refund because it's a DOLLAR and I don't care! So long as I get SOME kind of art for it, a buck is not worth asking for a refund over.

Do you think people who take such cheap commissions should just be spat on because they're making it harder for you to get commissions?

The only people who should be "spat on" are rip-off artists. If your time is worth that little to you, or if you're having so much fun doing them that you don't care how much money you get, or however it works, then go ahead, enjoy. I regularly do FREE art for the first person to comment, that kind of thing, when I'm bored and want to draw. Since there are thousands of artists out there who draw requests and do free art for friends, it's not like asking for $1 instead of $0 somehow hurts other artists. Fact of life. There is plenty free/cheap art out there, and nothing is ever going to change that. Art is a hobby for too many people, so if you can't compete with Joe Blow who draws art for free for all his friends and charges everybody else a buck, you might want to re-think your career, because that's never going to change. In any field where people do it for the love of it, you'll be paid peanuts. (Just look at teachers.)
Feb. 13th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
I thought I should add, in regards to "every commission big or small deserving the same respect/attention."

I think that's true. Every commission deserves the same respect and attention. NOT the same amount of work, not the same working process, but the same respect particularly.

In other words, even for a buck they deserve:
To be treated politely, and not rudely.
To have their questions about the commission answered promptly and not ignored.
To get what they paid for. They can't expect more but they shouldn't have to expect less either.
To get what they paid for in a timely fashion.

THAT kind of respect. For $5 you're NOT going to get the days and days of working time, the many revisions, the polishing and perfection, but you ARE still going to get treated decently! You're not some kind of inferior person because you're too poor to pay for the big stuff.

The attitude that just because it's a small commission, somebody shouldn't be upset when an artist blows them off, is rude, or doesn't even try to deliver the quality they promised, or doesn't even look at your references, THAT bugs me much more than somebody selling themself cheap. If an artist decides to undersell, that's the artist's problem, and it is not an excuse for delivering shoddy work or for mistreating their customers.
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
$1 barely fucking pays for the artist's time, let alone the time it would take to redo something.

At those prices... You want corrections, you pay another freakin' loonie.

"Do you think people who take such cheap commissions should just be spat on because they're making it harder for you to get commissions?"

If someone wants Mr One-Buck's style of art, they will go to Mr One-Buck and pay his prices for his time and work.

If someone wants my style of art, they will come to me and pay my prices for my time and work.

The fact that Mr One-Buck is grossly, obscenely underselling himself is another issue entirely.

Edited at 2009-02-13 03:23 am (UTC)
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
I think the point here is not to so horrifically undersell yourself so these sort of issues won't be the case. I mean 1-2 dollars? really?
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
I would only do a redo if I horridly messed up. I mean, like drew something completely differant than what was given {And if I did that, I would really have to get my eyes checked.}
I have no issues adding in some markings I forgot, or fixing a wonky eye. But I draw the line there.
As for a refund? Really, a dollar? But the time PayPal is done processing the fees on buth sides, they would get like 10 cents. So I guess if they really wanted to, and I had the full dollar to send back, sure I guess.

As for getting mad?
Nope. I offer cheap commissions like this all the time and get no offers. So really, they aren't hurting me. My lack of skill is hurting me.
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
I think I'm pretty much going to mirror what's been said.

Charging too little is just ASKING for the less than awesome folks to jump out to assume "I need the money, and I'll put up with your shit" when commissions are cheap. Always charge based on the time needed, and you'll get much better attitudes from your commissioners.

Artists should state clearly what is being given in return for the fee, and if revisions are available.

Me personally, I will change minor things, horns not long enough, missing markings, or other small alterations, but someone deciding they don't like the pose after all is going to have to buy a second sketch.
Feb. 13th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Oh.. I heard a phrase here I really enjoyed.. What was it..?

"Cheap, Quick, and Good-Looking: Pick one. "

<3 for $1-$5, I don't think there should be a preliminary sketch. It's barely worth the artist's time. They take them so they gather mass commissions-- so they can be done fast. Quality may be lacking.. but that's kind of understood, for under $3.00 ]
Feb. 13th, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
Cheap, quick, good. Pick two ;)
(no subject) - byakko_tsuki - Feb. 13th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stormslegacy - Feb. 13th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kerstin_orion - Feb. 14th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 13th, 2009 07:15 am (UTC)
As someone who charges $1 for sketches (though admittedly, I get little business even at that), I can offer at least m seller's perspective.

Though I can't speak for other, similarly priced artists, the reason I charge so little is because it takes very little time to do. I have been known to give people free sketches out of boredom, at times. I wouldn't be offended if a buyer asked me to edit a sketch (I'd probably be willing to all-out redo it once if I'd made some grievous error; after all, that's my fault, not the buyer's), and unless the buyer was a total tool or kept demanding re-sketches (it's pretty obvious when someone's trying to scam more free work), I'd be okay with that.

I don't at all see the point of a preliminary sketch for a... sketch, so I wouldn't do that. As far as a refund? Honestly, I'm not sure I'd be willing to do that, since it's a small amount of money (and if they still claimed to be displeased after I worked to make the image conform to their idea, it's as likely as not that they're simply cruising for free art).

I don't know, was I actually useful with this? xD
Feb. 13th, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
For $1? No, I would not provide preliminary sketches. Assuming they've looked at your gallery, they should already have a vague to fair idea of what they're getting. And for $1? I wouldn't change anything. People can be far too picky and regardless of the amount of money they've spent will hang the "Customer is always right" over your head like an albatross.

Just scan and send it on its' way. If they don't like them, tell them they should probobly dig through their sofa to get a refund. If they're so cheap as to wanting their $1 back? The probobly sent it via paypal, so just send it back. They'll probobly get frustrated when you only send them like.. 92 cents back due to paypal fees.
Feb. 13th, 2009 07:35 am (UTC)
I've seen this twice now here, so I think maybe I should mention that if you actually use paypal's refund tool, rather than just sending them a new payment for the amount you're refunding, paypal itself will refund them the fee they paid, so you send back the $0.92 or whatever it is that you got after paypal's fee, paypal sends back the fee, and they get the whole $1 back.
(no subject) - skanrashke - Feb. 13th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skanrashke - Feb. 13th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hobokitten - Feb. 13th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 13th, 2009 08:40 am (UTC)
IMO: if I commish a $1 or $2 sketch from someone regardless of the circumstances, I really don't expect to get the highest caliber work. I HAVE been proven way wrong on that, in fact I just recently received a group of headshots that (I think) I paid $1 each for and they're awesome.

But as far as showing prelim sketches and all that - for that price? No way. I'd be amazed if the price-tag covered so much as materials, forget about time. And if you get the art and it's somewhat off: dude, you only paid *what* for it? If you get the art and it looks nothing like your character, that's somethin else entirely - but even then, is a 92 cent refund worth getting annoyed over it?
Feb. 13th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
You shouldn't have to state that a $1 sketch might kind of suck or be inaccurate. But people are Ass-tards and will bitch. So just mention that the cheap stuff will not be as detailed or correct as the big buck commissions. jees, it's a dollar, never get why people get so dang upset over it... if they really needed that dollar, they shouldn't have spent it!
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