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This is more asking for advice, than a warning or beware.

I have a regular customer, who generally is pretty awesome and has done a lot of favors for me. However, He's a bit on the impatient side, and admittedly I might be a bit too easily annoyed myself. He's on my MSN, and when I owe him art, he will literally ask every 20 minutes, "So when can you draw for me? Can you get on opencanvas? How about now? No? Why not? So when can you draw for me? :P" I'm not exaggerating, he asks very often, and very frequently to the point I get extremely frustrated.

It's hard to give a specific "Ok I'll have it drawn by______," because he likes for me to draw his commissions over a live OC session. It also makes it hard for me to get to the commission right away, because I'm not always in the mood or have time to sit down and get a whole commission through with on the spot. I know the reason he asks so frequently is exactly because of my inability to give an exact time, but it still gets annoying. If it were a regular commission, I'm sure it'd be a lot easier for me to find the extra time.

What's kind of close to being the final straw here is that recently my laptop hard drive fried, and even my backup failed on me. After a few weeks of using a borrowed computer, I've been able to get a new hard drive. I'm gradually getting all my stuff back together, plowing through upgrades and reloading all my old programs and whatnot. I'm not even back on my own laptop again for one day, when he starts asking "So, when can you draw for me?"

I tried telling him how hard it was to work with him if it absolutely has to be done live, and I would have an easier time if he just wrote down everything he wanted so I could get it done on my own time. His issue is that he doesn't like not being there to watch the work be done, because he often can't decide what he wants exactly until everything's set up. The way he put it, he will want to see something different depending on his mood, and thats easier to work out when it's being done in an OC session. That and he likes being able to point out things he wants changed as its being done, rather than waiting.

So, yeah, what do you all make of this? Am I being too grumpy, or is he getting a bit too impatient? Or a bit of both? If you need more details to make a judgement, of course feel free to ask. I just thought this was getting too long. :)
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( 69 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 8th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
I reaaaaaally doubt anyone here is going to tell you you're being too 'grumpy' by being annoyed by someone asking you every few minutes.

Personally, what I would do is get in control of the flow. I would not let him know I'm online (whether it be by temporarily blocking him or going invisible) until -I- were ready and had the time to do his commission right then and there.

This is aside from otherwise regular updates however. If he started emailing me, instead, when he couldn't bug me on AIM or whatever all the time, I would tell him simply that I am currently busy and will get in contact with him when I'm ready to sit down and do his commission for him, and to please be patient and not nag me.

I would also probably add a fee for the inconvenience of being forced to go through all the trouble to draw online for him.
Mar. 8th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, I might just block him for a bit and ask our friends to say I'm offline. I might have to be more upfront, but I'm afraid he'd get upset and demand a refund, which I can't afford right now. :\

And I've considered charging extra, but I don't know how fair that'd be, after I've already drawn stuff for him like this at the same price.

(btw I accidentally clicked the thing to screen your comment, sorry if you got an email or something about that D:)

(no subject) - kayla_la - Mar. 8th, 2010 08:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 8th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - enveri - Mar. 8th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 9th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 08:15 am (UTC)
for these sorts of reasons I've instituted a policy of 'no work-related stuff over IM. Email only.' It's a damn good thing to have, as not only do you have a complete, easy to access log of all communications, but also people tend to think about what they want if they're writing emails as opposed to just blurting stuff out at you in a spur-of-the-moment IM convo. Well, most people do - I still get the odd no punctuation one liner, but even some of those pay off :P

You're not being grumpy at all, in fact I'd say it sounds like you've got the patience of a saint. I couldn't stand to have someone watching over my shoulder as I was drawing something for them :|
Mar. 8th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, that sounds like a good policy to have, I'll consider it! :D This guy and I were IM buddies before he started commissioning me, though. That and it kind of has to be IM when its being done over opencanvas. Maybe I should just have him figure out what the hell he wants before I even start drawing anything period, and he can start nitpicking all he wants when I finally have a basic sketch down. XD

And ehh, I enjoy doing OC sessions, it's just kind of hard to get in the mood for it when I'm being pushed around about it, as you can imagine.
Mar. 8th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
1. Don't be afraid to set yourself to invisible and don't be afraid to NOT reply, even if he IMs you anyway. Kayla made a similar analogy, but; your phone doesn't send out a signal to everyone in your contact book whenever it's on, does it? And you don't HAVE to answer the phone for everyone that happens to call you, and someone that was blowing up your phone calling every 20 minutes, they'd pretty much universally be considered a dick.

I second the maybe only correspond through email thing. Stand up for yourself, but if you want to communicate the policy change to him in a way that doesn't scream "you're an overbearing ass?" Maybe tell him that an email log means that ALL communication is clearly documented, so there's no misconceptions, and that you've had a few problems with other commissioners due to miscommunication and this is just easier.

Best of luck, sounds like you've got the patience of a saint.
Mar. 8th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
I second the e-mail correspondence. One of my first instructions after a commission inquiry is for the client to e-mail me what he wants and I then instruct them to keep all replies in the same subject line. It's exactly why I have all my business correspondence go through gmail -- everything is kept in one nice neat streamed conversation and is documented to clear up any disputes that may arise. And frankly, it lets me have something to refer back to so nothing is forgotten. The only thing I ever LiveStream is coloring. I absolutely don't let people watch me draw a commission live because I know where I'm going from start to finish and they do not.
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 8th, 2010 09:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 8th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 8th, 2010 09:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pouncewhisper - Mar. 8th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 9th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pouncewhisper - Mar. 9th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theflamecrow - Mar. 8th, 2010 10:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 8th, 2010 09:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Mar. 8th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 9th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
Stop taking the commissions.
Next time he asks, just turn him down and tell him why. He might get it. If he doesn't, don't take any more commissions from him.
Mar. 8th, 2010 09:07 am (UTC)
That sounds like it'd work out the best, and I've considered it. :\ It's kind of hard since I can't afford to give a refund right now (obviously I haven't spent the money yet, but I need to save up every cent I can get for school and medical things argh)and even if its a cheap commission every bit counts right now D:

Then again, it would probably get the message through to him the best. If he keeps acting up after I tell him to back down, then I'll definitely just send him back the money and wish him luck in finding someone else.
Mar. 8th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
I would be absolutely unable to work like that. You're far from easily aggravated... you're more like a fracking SAINT.
Mar. 8th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)
Haha, thanks I think ;w;

Admittedly I've snapped at him a few times, especially when he got really nitpicky while I was sketching. I'm starting to really reconsider doing live sessions without making him pay more up front, I'm really getting a lot out of these replies :D
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 8th, 2010 09:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 8th, 2010 09:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 8th, 2010 10:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 9th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 9th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Mar. 9th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
Sounds like a similar situation I had. I didn't have OC on my computer till he told me about this 'great program' and then helped me download it, and as soon as I did he asked me to get on and draw 'with' him. it turned out me drawing the whole thing and him adding stick-figure stuff.
Mar. 8th, 2010 09:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, stuff like this is pretty much the reason I won't deal with commissioners/business over IM. I've had similar problems like this myself. :\

I just suggest you handle commissions strictly over e-mail from now on, if you'd rather not deal with people like this.

This may not work with every person/commissioner, but I did tell a commissioner once that I prefer to handle business over e-mail and not via IM, since my IM services were for talking with friends only. He seemed to be pretty understanding about it. You could try that? Or as others said, just stay invisible or block him till your ready.
Mar. 8th, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, the email thing is pretty much common sense, I feel kind of silly for not considering it beforehand now.

I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to do, but blocking/making him take it to email will definitely come first. Thanks :3
Mar. 8th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC)
:D Charge an hourly rate! That way if he's being nitpicky, it's costing him time. You could also give him a time that you will be working on it and tell him if he wants it streamed, he will need to be on at the same time - i.e., set it up as an appointment.

If he can't make the time you set, then he doesn't get to watch.
Mar. 8th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
I agree, it sounds he's asking for extra work here.
(no subject) - ohmygoat - Mar. 9th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frazzled_niya - Mar. 9th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
I have no idea how you would be able to handle that. I'd go nuts, and I do not do well with people hovering over me in the sketch phase. It takes me forever to find a loose sketch that I even like.

Although it'd be difficult since he already has your personal MSN/AIM account, I'd set up a business and personal one. I have Taasla as my general art and business one, and my personal one that only family and irl friends know. That way, I choose whether or not to keep my business one online while the personal one is or not.

Personally, he sounds like more trouble than he's worth. If you can finish off this commission, do it, but I wouldn't take anything else from him. For fear of my sanity, of course.
Mar. 9th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, the major things I'm taking away from all this is having seperate business emails and IMs :D And having the person involved in the sketch phase can be fun, I do it with friends all the time! But theres a difference between 'sitting back and patiently watching the person draw' and crazy nitpicking. :B
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 9th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
Well if he wasn't so impatient and naggy, I wouldn't mind. :T It's fun, but as you can imagine it gets stressful when the other person can't chill out.
Mar. 8th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
If he didn't specifically pay for the experience of watching you draw, included in the agreement of taking his commission, I really don't see a good reason why you should. He IS being very naggy and it sounds like you're allowing him to walk on you because he tossed you a few bucks.

Remember you life, rights, and priorities, whether he will or not.
Mar. 9th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm still pretty new to this whole commission taking business, I didn't realize how bad his behavior was. I'm glad I made this entry instead of continuing to put up with it, though.

I guess a rule of thumb I'll keep in mind is "would I want to put another artist through this?" thanks :3
(no subject) - filthy_animal - Mar. 9th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Sounds like way too much trouble to me. Also, I wonder if he demands it be done in OC because he can screencap all of the unfinished sketches. I'm with other people here... Either charge him hourly whenever he wants to monopolize your time by demanding livestream, or just tell him no all together.
Mar. 9th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
Actually, that is part of it. He likes keeping track of every step and every super rough sketch. If that was really important to him, I could just send screenshots myself, or send him the animated OC file. :I
(no subject) - vulgar_toshiya - Mar. 9th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Dude... I can't believe he wants to see it live because it 'depends on his mood', etc. Tell him you cannot work to your satisfaction live, and that if he can either give you the information and have you do the picture on your own time (otherwise it's like a performance, and that takes a LOT of time-- I often work on commissions when I have breaks in schoolwork for short bursts), OR you can refund him.

Also let him know that you cannot work under the pressure he is attempting to put you under, and find it counterproductive to what he wants from you.
Mar. 9th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
That's usually how I work- I never do a whole picture at once, I start, then come back to it several times, completing it bit by bit. I know the 'sorry, it's just how I work' line can sound really dodgy, but hopefully I can get him to understand. :\
(no subject) - mialattia - Mar. 9th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
Mood? Mood? My God, in existence for only a few years and this u/live/justin streaming has spoiled some people absolutely rotten. If he has any 'issue' at all, it's that of being a brat who wants their own personal "Disney:The Making of" sensation with their characters and whimsies therein.

Like everyone has said, just start refusing. /Please/ start refusing and let him move on. You are an artist certainly, but you're likely not a performance artist by a long shot. Not too many of us are! and that takes a special kind of time. It's admirable you've put up with him so long, even if it's only because you're poor at saying No.
Mar. 9th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Actually, it's an opencanvas session, haha. Welp, I can understand wanting to watch a process from start to finish, I think it can be really fun and fascinating, not to mention educational. But I doubt that's why he insists on it, otherwise he'd just ask me to send him the event file instead of always having to be there the whole time.

And yeah, if he doesn't get it I'm just going to refund him and move on. Stressing out over this has kept me from doing other work I owe for way too long, it's really not fair other people have to wait because this guy wont stop flailing around.
Mar. 8th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Have you tried being up front? Just say "Please stop asking about this so frequently; I can assure you that when I am ready to complete the commission, I will contact you for the session. If you have real issues (other than wondering when it will be) feel free to email. If you cannot follow these guidelines this will be our last commission." Or something to that effect. Honesty (+tact!) is the best policy; he can't know how annoying he's being if you don't tell him. :)
Mar. 9th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC)
I've tried telling him to back off, and that I'll let him know when I'm ready, but usually he ends up starting to ask again anyways :\

I haven't been very firm about it though, which is my own fault. I'll have to start being more upfront though, haha.
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