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Question to Commissioners

I'm posting this for a friend of mine since he was recently screwed over by this but was very unsure of what to do except sell his stuff to make the necessary funds to cover for the commission.

What do you do if you ask for a commission from someone and have already sent in your references (in hopes of hearing an estimated quote as a reply), and then find out a couple days later that the artist already finished the art and sent you a teaser pic AND a quote for the finished piece.

What would you do as the commissioner? What would be the more mature way to handle this?


I'd like to edit this with some extra details that I have forgotten to mention before posting this.

My friend asked for a 2-character image. One of the characters was of an orb with a sigma symbol on it. The orb counted as an additional character ($45 value) according to the artist. He hadn't anticipated that his orb-character would cost so much which is why he's trying to sell his stuff to cover for the commission. The commission itself is already finished and ready to be sent to my friend upon receipt of the funds. I've only been told that the artist was "demanding" payment for the work he had already done on the image although there was no contract or negotiation.

I have been trying to get a hold of my friend and will get him to send me screenshots of all the communications that he and the artist shared regarding the commission so that this post won't sound like a "he said, she said" situation.

Also, I'd like to apologize for not adding this extra information before I had posted this. Please forgive my ignorance. ^^;


Well, it's been a week and I still haven't exactly been able to get a hold of my friend. He seems to not want to talk about it ever again. But I'd like to thank everyone for their input as it's given some insight on what to do for the future.

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 12th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
He hadn't agreed to anything yet and asked for a two character pic. (But one of the character is just an orb. A ball with a sigma symbol on it) All he had wanted was a quote from the artist and told me himself that he asked for a quote. I'm asking him for more details such as screenshots of the communication between them as soon as I can get a hold of my friend.
(no subject) - azuredoragon - Nov. 12th, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 11th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
If the artist decided to do the art without payment that is on them, they can't expect someone to 'pay' for art they didn't agree on at the beginging, they are perfectly welcome to keep the art and do what they want, but it shouldn't force anyone to 'pay' for art they didn't agree on
Nov. 11th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
(no subject) - mukichan - Nov. 12th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sashowind - Nov. 12th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 11th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC)
it all depends.

did your friend specify that it was for a quote or just expect that?
the artist did seem to jump the gun but without knowing both sides im gonna guess that both sides assumed a bit.

either way was your friend happy with the art?
is it just too expensive, the quote?

yeah if it was specified that you wanted a quote i wouldnt pay right away but let them know this. but still work out a payment plan if its too much
Nov. 12th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
My friend specifically asked for a quote and was received a teaser image (practically a 200x200pixel cut out from the full image) along with the quote after the artist had already finished.

My friend's character is an orb with a Sigma symbol on it. Just an orb, and it was counted as an additional character (worth $45) regardless that it was just a ball with a symbol. All that my friend wanted was a female character and the orb together.
Nov. 11th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
Did he mention it was for a quote?
Is the price at all agreeable?
Nov. 12th, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
He had asked for a quote, yes.

The price, well. My friend asked for a 2-character pic. One of the characters is his own character, which is basically an orb with a sigma symbol on it. But although it was just an orb, it counted as an additional character ($45 value). My friend was not happy with the quote but the artist seemed demanding for payment for the work he had put into the full image. The teaser was like a 200x200 cut-out from the full image itself.
(no subject) - thaily - Nov. 12th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 11th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
The ethics of this are simple. The artist jumped the gun and drew the picture BEFORE a quote was given. That violates etiquette in two ways: you never got to see a rough sketch of the work to make changes and suggestions, and you were not given a quote before work began.

The cynical interpretation is, I'd say it was a guilt trip or power play. But more likely the artist just got overeager. In doing so, they assumed all the risk. If the pic or price is unacceptable, you're perfectly within your rights to walk away from the deal -- or renegotiate it on favorable terms and start over.
Nov. 12th, 2009 12:31 am (UTC)
My friend has tried to renegotiate, but has told me that the artist demands full payment since he had already finished the commission and sent him the teaser pic. Power play? Perhaps it is, I'm not too sure. I've been trying to get a hold of my friend so that I can gather up more information on the situation as well as get some proof so all of this doesn't sound like a "he said, she said" situation.
Nov. 11th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
If your friend didn't agree to pay for it then they shouldn't have to bust their butt to pay for something they didn't intend to commission.

If your friend likes the art and agrees with the price, but doesn't have the money, try to work out a payment plan?

Whatever you/they do, tell the artist that they shouldn't have gone ahead with the commission without confirming, because they hadn't felt they'd actually hired the artist.
Nov. 11th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
To be clear - if the commissioner doesn't like the art, and/or doesn't agree with the price... then SOL for the artist. I think it'd be /nice/ to pay the artist what they feel the work is worth to them, but I don't think they /have/ to. Especially if the price is overinflated (yes people will argue what is too much / too little, start by trying to figure out what similar works are priced, or hell ask here though there will be a variety of answers).
(no subject) - mukichan - Nov. 12th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Nov. 12th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mukichan - Nov. 12th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 11th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
It would be the same as calling up a contractor, giving the details and asking to be called back with a price quote, and then coming home the next day to find a new roof on your house. You would be surprised and not obligated to pay, since there was no contract.

A contract is formed when there is a 'meeting of the minds'. In this case, both parties did not finalize the details and come to an agreement on them. The foundation of a contract was forming, but like everyone has said, the artist acted prematurely and may have to deal with the consequences.

However, if possible, the best solution is to work with the artist. If the work is satisfactory, then paying them something in line of what the commissioner was planning to spend anyways is probably best. The artist was wrong for doing the work without a clear agreement, but in this business reputation is important and it may be wise for the commissioner to try and work things out amicably, as this is a situation where I could see the artist try to defend their actions and paint the other side as a cheat.
Nov. 12th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Thank you for your comment, I will relay the information to my friend and hope that he can get his hands off this predicament stress free.
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Nov. 16th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 11th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)

It depends on what your friend said to the artist, if he made it clear he just wanted a quote? Then the artist is at fault and should swallow the cost in time as a lesson learned.

If however he asked someone for a commission and sent his references as it sounds like he did based on what you've said? Then it's not outside of reason that most people would assume that a commission was wanted not a quote and he is then responsible for communicating poorly.

That said, since the commission has got no further than a teaser pic? (You don't mention the level of finish) it would be best to negotiate with the artist, most artists should accept a kill fee (usually an amount equivalent to the amount of work done) for their time if the commission doesn't go ahead. This is far cheaper than having the commission finished.

That said? Why is your friend asking for commissions if he doesn't have the money for it? Seriously, save up the money then go looking for an artist, or choose an artist based on ability then save up enough to afford their prices.
Nov. 12th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
He had sent in his references and specifically asked for a quote, yes.

The teaser pic was a cut-out from the full finished image, the commission was already done with when the artist sent in the teaser.

My friend hadn't anticipated that his request (2 characters: 1 female, 1 orb) would cost the same as a 2-character image. The artist counted his orb-character (It's a ball with a sigma symbol on it) as an additional character ($45 value). All he had asked was a quote from the artist, only to receive a reply back from said artist with the quote AND a teaser pic cut-out from the full image.
(no subject) - lilenth - Nov. 12th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magiclocket - Nov. 14th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
I'd suggest giving a name of said artist so others can avoid working with this guy.

from the sounds of it, he IS to be avoided. He or she, whatever.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
It's pretty much he said/she said at this point until we can see what was really side by having the e-mails/pms that were sent back and forth between artist and said person. I won't pass judgment until I see anything so I know what was said was actually spoken between the two.
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Make sure your friend has all the emails, and can show he only asked for a QUOTE and not the finished work. It seems like the artist jumped the gun on this and now is demanding money for work he really didn't HAVE to do (just yet) and...um 45$ for a ball with a logo on it?! WTF! This artist seems rather...shady to me. :/
Nov. 16th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
And also, I would link the artist if they're being so demanding. I wouldn't want to work with this person.
Nov. 18th, 2009 09:00 am (UTC)
it's sort of hard to figure out what's going on because both sides need to give up some more info, like the teaser pic and some form of proof of your friend asking for a quote.
honestly, if the artist is the dick in this situation, it looks like this:

guy: hey, i'd like this commission, it's 2 chars but one is really just an orb with a symbol on it.
artist: holy shit, i can charge for TWO CHARACTERS. im gonna whip this up and then charge the fool before he can stop me.
guy: wat

otherwise, i'm also going with the possibility maybe your friend don't want to shell out for work that was legitimately agreed and worked upon.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


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