John Thornbush (johnthornbush) wrote in artists_beware,
John Thornbush

How long is too long?

This is the first time I've ever felt compelled to post here, and basically wanted to ask for advice before I went and made a formal posting. I've commissioned an artist back in August of 2009 (got the final details worked out, payment 1 of 3 sent, 'officially' got the ball rolling - I was trying since January to get the details hammered out to get to that point) for a picture. I am being generally vague as I am just providing background.

Anyway, the first two months roll by, and I send a status update query to her - just to see if there was something holding her up from making any progress on a preliminary sketch, get told that she had some personal things happen in her life, but was going to get the prelim done for me within a week, so I felt satisfied enough to send the second part of the payment, figuring it would only be a few days before I saw a rough draft. Another month passes, so I send another status update query, get told that she has been busy with school and life in general, but would get on it soon. Come December, send her another status update query, get told that the holidays are around, but come student break she would bang out the commission, sorry about taking so long. Get to about Christmas time, contact her to make sure she has the right address, and that she doesn't need anything in case she might have lost any of my references, or any of the descriptions (it has been, after all, quite a while since a description was written or address was given - and at least four months since the official gears on the project started turning). Got a reply that she felt guilty - would finish it by Christmas.

Now, here we are at the 30th, and I have not seen even the roughest of rough pencil sketches - so I am wondering if I've been had here, did I do something wrong, or do I just simply got to give it more time? In the past, I have commissioned other artists and the work has usually been done in a timely fashion or I knew ahead of time it was going to take a while. I'll be the first to admit that I can't expect someone to work through a family emergency, school assignments, or the like - that's just not fair, reasonable, or very nice. I guess I am just worried that the climate of commissioning has changed and I am behind the times.
Tags: advice for commissioners, lost contact

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