First: Warning, huge post is huge.
Very well, so well over a year ago I believe, I began the process of commissioning this very well known artist.
Everything I've gotten ever since has been a very terrible experience; and thus I deem it necessary to express it here.
Why? Because I believe both things should exist, warning for "sellers" and "buyers" equally.
This is pretty much copy-paste from a journal entry over FA, but It's good enough to be understood by itself:
"The funny thing is, the first events happened months ago, after other months of waiting; and I left it behind because I stopped caring. I saw the opportunity of giving the person business again a few days ago, and asked for it. What did I get? The same lack of professionalism as the first time. And I am not one who is going to just say "Okay mister famous artist >: "
Let's start the story.
About one year ago I contacted the artist Shiuk, leaving an inquiry for a 2 character colored commission. I got a fairly swift reply saying that he was open to accept it.
I proceeded to explain what I wanted, followed by prompt payment ((I -always- pay upfront unless the artist specifically tells me not to, or unless I forget :x )).
Payment: 100$ for paypal fees and a bit extra because "omgoshhh its Shiuk <: "
What happened after that?
First things first, I received an e-mail explaining that he didn't quite understand my description ((Which was pretty simple actually)).
I acknowledged this and re-sent a slightly more digested version, which should make things easier.
He still didn't fully understand, but we agreed to continue.
Just a couple of days later I received my first sketch and was partially content with it, minor changes asked for.
After that, time began to go by. Weeks later I had finally received a "slightly updated" WIP with some better lines.
Then time kept going once more; weeks and months eventually before I managed to get the lineart finished.
Already quite a bit of time.
Then I had to continue waiting, I -always- had to be the one contacting the artist first to receive any sort of feedback. No real reasons given, but nevertheless eventually after some more months passed I managed to get my finished piece. ((By the end of the process the relationship had already deteriorated quite a lot.)
The main issue is: You know that sometimes you are going to wait months for someone to finish your commission, and that's understandable for whatever reason.
But would you be content if first you see the work progress quickly for a couple of weeks and then stall for over a third of a year?
Not only that, but in between that time -many- and I mean -many- other works were finished before yours even continued? Including other commissions -and- personal pictures?
What kind of treatment is that, without even having the decency to contact your customer about the delays, or even quite care to give an explanation.
Did I give him a deadline? I did not, I always let people take as long as they need unless there's a particular reason to rush. And whoever I've dealt with knows this is very much true. But if I’m to have my work take months, then I better see the artist occupied with their personal life, or really doing something and acknowledging my existence, not “Oh im just doing what I want instead <: “
Nevertheless, finally after months I got a picture, its quality really wasn't very close to the typical quality of most of this artist’s regular ability. But it was just nodded upon and accepted. What happens?
The artist posts the picture in his gallery, any criticism received against the piece acknowledged by him… but the blame was put upon me, the commissioner.
Excuse me? I give you as much time as you need, way more than you should've, to finish something that I think at least -you- the artist finds respectable... only to hear that you don’t think it’s a good piece?
Excuse me? How is that professional in any way; acknowledging that "it could be better… but it’s not my fault!".
Of course this annoyed me greatly. Posted the picture, and complained much as I'm right now.
Shiuk was very quick to "apologize" as long as "I took it down" from my galllery.
And so I did.
We entered talks again, I was greatly displeased. He even offered a new, different one-character picture.
You know what I did? I turned it down, I didn't think just because I was bitching I deserved one full picture more.
Instead I accepted a "Deal", one little chibi picture and some adjustments to the original picture. It sounded fair to me.
What did I get?
What do I mean with nothing?
After that I didn't get one single note acknowledging this again, or one single e-mail. Not ever any sort of contact from him.
And yet I didn't care, and kept commenting on his art like anyone else would. "Whatever, terrible experience, terrible luck. I still like his work."
I wasn't happy, but I didn't feel like "pursuing" anything.., what was the point.
Then I see him offering his 40% discount prices just about a week ago.
I e-mailed him. "I'm still not happy with you, and you still owe me things. But anyways, I see you're offering discounts, I'm interested in a 2 character picture. I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself" I added, half joking and half being serious.
It took me a few days, and -having- to comment on his journal about it so that he could acknowledge my e-mail.
Here is my problem:
He could've said "I'm sorry, not interested" Sure it would've annoyed me, but I wasn't expecting anything else from him at this point.
But instead what is the reply?
"I must say I was reluctant about taking work from you, but your friend's character is something I'd like to try It'd be 60 dollars, let me know when you can pay to see where to put you on the list"
Did it bother me that -he- is reluctant about working with me? When -I- am the one who was pretty much ripped off in that deal? ((To date, the picture is still not up on either of our galleries, mind you Just w/e )) Of course it bothered me. But I sucked it up.
"Alright, you know I can pay anytime, just let me know when."
I had to wait two days, again. And send him an e-mail. "Hey come on, do I have to start chasing you already to get a reply? Gee, so just let me know when you want the money" I said. Again half joking and half serious.
This was the reply I got:
"If you can't wait for me to make the schedule I'm not interested in taking your work.
Thank you for your business"
Pardon me, two days to just say "Alright, I'm still organizing myself, wait please", it’s not that hard is it? Anyone with a hint of, not even professionalism, but just a hint of decency and politeness could've done it.
Apparently he couldn't.
And so I replied, the last thing I've talked with him and probably will: (Shortened up version)
"Alright, altho I don’t see why are you reluctant when I've always gotten the bad end of this. Nevertheless, I'll be posting this on artists beware just to express my unpleasant experience, Enjoy yourself"
Which is what I am doing, as well as posting here.
Are we really that bad in this community that artists are just that careless about their business? Because they know people will anyways drool over their porn and pay for it?
That's quite disappointing, but it’s not for me to judge.
However it is something I can do, express -my- opposition to such attitude. And yes, say: "If you want my opinion, I wish you didn't do business with him, it's not worth it".
Will it do anything? Probably not, but as I said, I rather express it than just be one of the rest who see themselves trampled by "popularity".
Art or not, when talking commissions; we are talking work.
It is business.
There is mutual respect, or there is no business. That's my thought."
Even worse, I see that whenever there's been an issue with this artist, apparently its always the same. "Oh I let know my friend of this, he'll take care of the situation!" And it's happened before, has it not?
But then my question is, how many times should you have to fix things instead of just doing them right to begin with?
"Oh I don't care until you bitch, because i can't have you bad-mouthing me!" Right, great.
Anyways, that's it. And yeah TLDR; Shiuk is a 100$ gamble. Your choice <:
Yeah, I didn't post any "proof" of this. All the original e-mails and notes are still on my computer/FA inbox respectively tho, I just didn't feel it necessary to get any screenshots or literal quotes, altho it can be done. Just letting this be known so that people dont try to take away credibility to the post because of this.