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The main complaints I heard over and over at Anthrocon 2009 as I talked with other artists?
poor character references; old character references; no references

And now that Anthrocon is over and most artists are at home trying to round up their commissions before they travel or go back to work/college -- the complaints I hear the most are very similar:
poor character references; old character references; no references; they won't respond to my e-mail requests for more information

...Those of you out there who have purchased commissions have as much responsibility to make sure the artwork comes out correctly as the artists do.

Also: just about every artist I met that was at Anthrocon has only a limited window of time before their other responsibilities force them to put commissions on the back-burner. If you do not move FAST on these artists' requests for more details, you could receive an improperly done image, or be put on hold for a very long time. (And then you risk making a fool of yourself by complaining to this journal about a project that you, in fact, dropped the ball on.)

Get back to work.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 14th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Would you mind X-posting this on anthrocon? It's useful advice, and I think it wouldn't hurt to share it there as well.

Jul. 14th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
ALSO artists and commissioners alike should be sure to keep a cell # handy so if a piece is finished at the con, they can give it to the customer ASAP.

I have a badge from AC'08 that I still haven't been able to give the commissioner since he didn't return to my table at the end of the day. And he doesn't want me to mail it, so here's to hoping we meet at AC again one day. XD
Jul. 14th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Personally, I think giving a phone number is a bad idea, because there's no way to prevent them from calling you after the con :/
(no subject) - mialattia - Jul. 14th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pseudomanitou - Jul. 14th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Jul. 14th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dazen_cobalt - Jul. 14th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pseudomanitou - Jul. 14th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - nambroth - Jul. 16th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - horsefeather - Jul. 15th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 14th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I wrote a journal on my FA recently about porn refs and etiquette of just assuming an artist is okay with getting porn refs, especially without warning. This reminded me of that because one of the points I was trying to make was that a lot of the porn people try to use as refs don't even make good refs. Usually for a good ref you want a nice focus on the head, and porn doesn't tend to give you that, things are in the way, markings and accessories are obscured, clothing isn't shown, etc.

I really wish more people would invest in a nice ref sheet of their character, preferably a clean version and a porny version so those of us who are just doing you a headshot or something don't need to look at your dragon's unnecessarily huge dong.

Trust me when I say us artists love it if you have a nice, detailed, easy to see ref sheet!
Jul. 14th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
lol or when you say you're 'not comfortable with drawing dog phalluses' and then you open your inbox to find 5 photographs of IRL dogdicks! That's awesome, I love that!
(no subject) - kayla_la - Jul. 14th, 2009 10:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eric_hinkle - Jul. 14th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - minimalismo - Jul. 14th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 14th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
Agreed. I hate getting references that don't even mention the eyecolor or sometimes the /species/ of the character. This usually happens with Tapestries character profiles. I get a whole bunch of fluff explaining how a character moves, but major notes about the character's appearance have gone unmentioned.
Jul. 14th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
I love it when you get ALL the details on appearance, except for the character's gender, and you can't tell by looking at the ref because the drawing is so poor XDXD then they get offended when you are forced to ask.
(no subject) - lainmokoto - Jul. 15th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_lest - Jul. 15th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - doodlesthegreat - Jul. 14th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Jul. 14th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 14th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Amen. A reoccurring issue I have with some commissioners is their inability to give prompt responses. I know they don't all spend their days online, but chances are they should be able to bother checking their email at least once every 2 days. As you mentioned, I am on a tight schedule and it pisses me off to have to wait a week for a reply on a question about their commission, no matter how nice the client otherwise is.

Giving poor or incorrect references multiplies the times I have to pose these questions.
Jul. 14th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
My biggest pet peeve about commissions.
(no subject) - shinigamigirl - Jul. 14th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sekhmet - Jul. 14th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lainmokoto - Jul. 15th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 14th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
Urgh. That reminds me, I'm likely to get an earful from one girl who commissioned me almost a year ago at a con, asked for approval at all stages... and I can't get her by email OR phone.

I mean, at least I have reasonable refs (she was cosplaying) and she paid up front, but still...
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
Agreed! One I ran into a lot was that they provide a reference sheet, but don't let you keep it. You have to stare at it for 2 minutes and write notes. >:/
Jul. 14th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
When that happens, I take photos with my cell phone or digicam (if I have it at the table), that way I have a reference, albeit a poor one, but its better than no reference at all.
Jul. 14th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)

I'd add in the following for commissioners:

1. If you don't have the money, don't contact the artist for a commission/bid on their auction, then hope the artist will hang around until you have the money. Have the money in hand before you negotiate. (this is especially infuriating if they ask for a spot then don't blimmin tell you and just opt to ignore you until they have money, I'd rather be told so I can relist the spot especially in the case of an auction).

2. Communication, I don't expect an email the same day but if I have to chase a commissioner around for two weeks just to get their references and description then that's out of line. I have better things to do than chase people, if you bid on an auction, bloody well reply within a decent time frame when the artist contacts you or expect bad feedback. Same for when you get previews of the work, we need to know what needs changing before we work on it anymore.

3. Know what you want before you ask, with some people it's like pulling teeth just to get them to tell you what they want, and if you're really vague then complain the work isn't what you wanted? That's your problem.

4. Don't message the artist everyday asking if it's done yet. Unless there's a specific deadline? It'll be done when it's done and asking everyday won't make it done sooner.

5. The artist is not your murry-purry hug buddy, you're buying a service, not a friend. Friendship might be an outcome but don't expect it.

6. Artists want you to be happy with the artwork you get from us, so if there's something wrong tell us, don't lie to us that it's fine then complain about how your character has the wrong eye colour to your friends.

7. Don't be nitpicky though, there's a difference between 'could you change the eye colour slightly?' and 'omg one pixel in his hair is out of place!11!!!11' that latter is annoying.

*shrugs* But yeah, the lack of references or poor references is quite annoying, still I'll take a poor reference and prompt replies over a commissioner who makes me wait two weeks for every response.
Jul. 14th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Aw man, so glad to see this. I don't usually have many complaints on the commission front, with one or two exceptions every-so-often, but the reference thing is terrible. I'll get pages of back story and the character whole lineage, but just a few notes on the character's appearance! And then I've had commissions get quite rude when the sketch doesn't 'match their vision', and I end up redrawing several times because of lack of information.

A character sheet is fantastic, and worth the investment, but if not, at least be thorough in your descriptions!
Jul. 16th, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)
ooo i like this reminder :D...totally agree. I've never been to an anthro-con...I don't think there is any here in Australia :(
Jul. 16th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
Actually, there is: MiDFur, in Melbourne, is coming up in December. I quite enjoyed it last year; alas, I don't have enough vacation time to come back down again this year. (We only get 2 weeks of vacation time here in the States, you see...)
(no subject) - frazzled_niya - Jul. 20th, 2009 05:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - madhentairabbit - Jul. 21st, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frazzled_niya - Aug. 4th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 16th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
I'm just shaking my head in bemusement, because you would think all of this would be common sense...

Here's how I do my books:
  • First, I have more than one sketchbook. One is for "nice" art; i.e. art that you could actually show your mother without having to worry about her coming across stuff that would put even the raunchiest hentai anime to shame. (Any nudity must be something "artistic", in the style of a Boris Vallejo sword-and-sorcery fantasy piece or a 50's-style pinup.) The other is for the naughty spoogy XXX-rated stuff. :) That way, artists who don't wish to deal with the latter, don't have to.

  • Each book has the following information printed on the inside front cover:

    • My name and mailing address, in case the book has to be mailed back to me after the con

    • A plastic stick-on pocket (cut down from a 3.5" floppy disc pocket :D ) where I can insert one of the hotel's business cards, with the name I used to check in written on it, so the artist can call or leave a message with the room if necessary.

    • The general theme of the book, along with any particular requests or limitations (i.e. the "no naughty stuff" rule) and general preferences.

  • The sketchbooks I use all have a plastic folder sheet with pockets for loose papers. In these loose pockets, the artist will find:

    • Model sheets. I try not to get too detailed with these; usually I provide a front and back view, with any key features highlighted (such as "this character does not have human-style head hair", or "ears are tufted at the ends"), a color key, and a brief description of the character's general personality and the types of activities he/she might be involved in.

    • An idea sheet. That way, if the artist is stuck for an idea of their own, they don't have to try to remember what I might have suggested three hours ago; they can just look it up. :)

Jul. 16th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
( 38 comments — Leave a comment )


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