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Length of time to completion?

Hey everyone,

So I was just wondering how long do you think is too long when working on a trade or on a freebie?

I've had a couple of trades and some freebies waiting for quite a while now, I suffer from a fluctuating condition and I took them when I was in a period of remission but I had a serious relapse in my condition and thus haven't been able to do much in the way of art for the last six or so months due to having problems with adapting to using a wheelchair amoungst other things. (Thank god, my commission queue was clear) and though my condition has begun to clear up now and I'm starting to cope with the assistive devices I need so now I'm working on them, it kind of bothers me that I've taken so long.

So what do you consider is too long to wait for a trade or freebie?

(Regarding the trades? I'm trading for items, I've asked the people to hold the items and to despatch them once they receive the artwork.)

ETA: I am asking for general opinions so I can figure out an average sort of time to aim for in future. I'm looking for a general idea, most of the posts that do come up in the community deal with specific situations and as such much of what is posted about them usually relates solely to that situation and thus tends to cover a very narrow band of trades.

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
This question again...?

Just write it into your commission/trade information. "I suffer from a condition so the length of time this will take may fluctuate."

How long I wait is until the artist is finished. All I ask for is communication that I haven't been forgotten.

Answering a note once a month is perfectly acceptable to me. Just tell them not to give you your art until yours is finished, to reduce the feelings of cheat.
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, again?

Lilenth, for your future reference:


Each of those cover waiting for trades and how long is too long. You commented on at least two of those posts. I probably could have gone back farther, I'm sure there's more.

I realize that a mod had to have approved this, but this has come up a number of times with no real difference in the question or the situation. Lilenth, I think you're just looking for us to give you a pat on the back and tell you you're fine. Only you and your trade partner can decide whether one of you is taking too long or not.

My own two cents is to agree with Westly and say that communication is far more important than the actual length of time the trade takes.
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
Generally, these posts are rejected with links to previous posts about wait-time given in the rejection form, however, this post was submitted and approved while I was out by another moderator.

That said, since it WAS approved by a mod, I would appreciate it if you guys wouldn't snark at her about it. Thank you.
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, not trying to start anything. I'll PM a mod next time. :)
Mar. 8th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)

Two things, my post is also about freebies as well, also in all of those links someone is waiting on a trade when they've already sent their half. Secondly I have fibromyalgia, so my memory is often clouded by what's known as fibrofog (some days it's a wonder that I remember my own name) so you'll have to forgive me if I don't remember every single post ever.

Regardless, I asked because I was looking to get a picture of the average time most people considered acceptable, not just about my own issues but also so I have some idea of what to aim for in future.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 8th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)

I do check frequently, regardless the linked posts do not contain the information I posted this enquiry to find out. I'm looking to pin down an idea of the general sort of time frame most people think is appropriate for completion of a non-commission work.

Basically the posts aren't really applicable, one side had completed the trade, the others hadn't or had provided rushed work and been rude about it. How does that give me an approximate time considered good for trades?
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Well with freebies, I think that they're something that shouldn't take much time TBH. What I mean is, you take, say, five requests some weekend when you have free time and then try to finish them during that weekend. If you can't finish the pictures during that weekend, oh well. Since they didn't give you anything for the pictures, it doesn't matter if they're never finished. Most the people that I know who do freebies only do them for fun or as examples for future commissions and state in their free request journals that not everyone will get a picture. :/

For trades, it varies. It really depends upon how much the items are worth and how much time you're going to be putting into the pictures. A more expensive item might have a full background and will need more time, while a 10 buck item would be for something smaller/less complex and wouldn't need as much time. For me personally, I like to get all trades done with within 6 months or so, though it might take longer if the other person takes forever to finish their half (I wait until their half is finished before I finish my half).

Honestly, though, if the people who you're doing the freebies for aren't good buddies with you, then don't finish the pictures. I've done the same thing before just to have the person never comment on or even notice the finished picture. I'd probably drop the trades too since they haven't sent the items yet, but it's really up to you and how much you want the items.
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
I agree with grandioze above about the freebies.

For the trades, ask people what stage they are at in if they would be OK with just canceling the trade. Most people are quite reasonable, and maybe they haven't even started your either.
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Trades - if the other party has already completed their half, I'd say a rule of thumb is it's rude to take more than 2x as long as they did :P Extreme cases may not apply.
I kind of consider trades equivalent to commissions - perhaps money isn't directly involved, but money is just a way of facilitating the exchange of resources and labor, which are involved.

Freebies are forever XD Seriously, don't sweat about freebies. I know I don't! (then again, I also say "if I decide not to do them and you have a problem with that, don't ask")
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
I'm the same way about trades and have never understood the 'trades aren't important, it's totally okay to blow them off!' attitude I see from so many other artists, especially when it's those very artists that tend to go on about how artist's time is money and blah blah blah. How can you say all that and then say it's okay for one party to be irresponsible about an art trade? It's time for time, which is 'money', yeah?
Mar. 8th, 2010 03:44 am (UTC)
yes, exactly! Trades are a transaction, just a different currency :P
Mar. 8th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC)

I agree that a trade is no different to a commission. After all money is simply a formalised "I owe you" note introduced so people could get things which they couldn't barter their skills for.
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
Considering the nature of freebies - free art - I'd say take as long as you need/want. You're not under contractual obligation to do it and chances are you're making the art out of the goodness of your heart, so the recipients really don't have the right to demand a deadline.

During a conversation about such things, a friend once told me that when he's waiting for an art request, he never worries about when it'll be done because the artist doesn't even have to do it in the first place. Plus, if it takes so long that he forgets about it and then the artist does finish it, it's a wonderful surprise :) And I agree.
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
freebies - no deadline. infact, i would assume that those you offer freebees too would be sympophetic to your condition, and would agree wholeheartedyly. at least one would hope so ;p

trades - depeding on the curcenstances. if your trading for objects though, i would concider how much the object is worth and pretend like your being paid that amount on money

if you were trading art, i would suggest the faster of teh two hold on to their side of the bargin and and you send the trades together, and would also say its between ya'll

again, i assume if your talking trades and freebees, these are between people you trust and like ^^ can't say anything more realy

i wish you luck, though
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
Heh. How long is too long in a trade depends very much on the people you're trading with, honestly. If they're not happy, then it's too long.

That's probably going to earn me some argument, but that's really the long and short of it. If you're keeping in communication, and doing everything right, the vast majority of people will be happy to wait, and as long as they're happy, all's well. If somebody's not happy with any length of time, even if it's just a month, then they're not happy, it's too long, and you should probably just save you and them both the aggravation and cancel. Much easier than dragging it out forever, doing the work that they're not going to be happy with no matter what you do, and leaving you both miserable.
Mar. 8th, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
For freebies- they get what they paid for, if they never paid then they should not complain if they never get artwork.

I once offered 14 free drawings on openpaws and I had douchebags constantly bugging me about it. I eventually did finish all 14 but it took nearly a year. And some of them complained about this. Screw them.

For trades, I think what you're doing there is fine- ask them to hold it and KEEP THEM UPDATED, no matter how long it takes.
Mar. 10th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know about trades since I'm not an artist, but as far as freebies go, they're free so you're under no contractual obligation to finish them at all.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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