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Commissioning Question

I was told to post here for advice.

Now, I don't want to drop the name of the offending artist just yet, I'd like some feedback first. So when you read 'Artist' in this post, keep in mind I'm referring to the artist I'm upset at.

I commissioned an artist on December 27th, 2009. They had opened for commissions on Christmas, just two days prior. The artist has a pay-in-full-up-front policy, which I at the time thought was ok. Four people, including myself, made commissions. One person even commissioned them to do two sets. The artist has approximately fifteen pictures to do, 3 pictures to a set. Four commissioners, one of who commissioned 2 sets. I'm commissioner number 3, so that means the set I'm owed is number 4.

Now, the artist has posted that their policy is to update their journal every week to two weeks, keeping everyone apprised of the status of the commissions.

I noted the artist 2 months after the commission was first paid for, wondering why there had been no semi-weekly updates. I was informed that the artist responsible was busy with classes and car trouble, and that they would try to get to the commissions shortly.

A month and a half goes by. I note them again, wondering if it was possible to get a update of any sort, and also asking about the artist's refund policy.

Two more weeks go by with no response. I note them again, thinking there was a server error, and ask directly about the possibility of canceling my 3-sketch-set commission for a full refund, given that I have had unforeseen financial issues come up during the intervening four months.

My question was not answered, and I was only told "I'll let the artist know you asked." by the artist's friend, since the artist them-self could not answer the question either time it was asked.

In the intervening four months, the artist has updated seven times a gallery they own to make money off of. An online pay-per-view gallery, to be specific. Each update is multiple pages. The updates were not old work set aside for a posting lull, but started and completed since December 27th, 2009.

The artist has only done page of the very first commissioner's set. The other four sets haven't even been started yet. It has been two months since they did that one page, and yet they have updated their gallery 5 times since then, all with brand new content.

 

Additional Information:

Taken from the journal of the artist I commissioned, regarding the timespan the commissions were to be done in:

"Twelve slots. $20 each. Single character, inked, with some tone work/shading. [artist] will try to finish them all this weekend**.

TFs, fantasy MMORPG fanart, L4D/L4D2 fanart, furry and a mix of any of these. No underaged or any content that [artist] would find offensive. Look at what we've offered through our gallery to get a sense of what's allowed.

This time we will allow people to get multiple slots. 3 slots of the same character in a sequence will be $50 total.

Private message this account with your details, including your Paypal name and email address, clearly what you want in as short of terms as you can, and one link of reference if you can. You must prepay the amount to [paypal address] in order to reserve your slot(s)."

**The journal was posted in the same week I made the commission, so I was expecting the commissions to be done that weekend as the journal says.

The questions:


Am I wrong for wanting a refund?

Is the artist in the wrong for putting their pay-per-view gallery in-front of their direct commissioners?

Should I note them more often about trying to get a refund?

  Or should I instead wait for the commission to be finished, hoping the artist gets to work on it soon (having 3 other sets to go through before my own)?
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Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
mazz
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
If I was in your position I'd ask for proof of progress or a refund. I get very paranoid when an artist doesn't reply to my messages when they have my money.
I honestly would be really upset if I sent messages to someone I paid for work and haven't received a reply, especially since you had to resort to asking one of their friends.

sigilgoat
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
I don't think you're wrong in wanting a refund, but I do understand if a artist puts their pay-per art as a priority.

But at the same time, if someone has that much work, they should be able to budget their time efficiently enough to meet all deadlines.
(Deleted comment)
sigilgoat
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
I should have made that longer:

4 months is very late with NO progress info whatsoever. I know of commissioners that do take that long where its not an issue because they at least stay in contact.

I missed the part about the done under a week, ack. Totally unacceptable in that case. Deadlines are deadlines and if they aren't kept to, an artist needs to be apologetic. Your rep is everything as a freelancer.
fatkraken
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
"but I do understand if a artist puts their pay-per art as a priority."

I disagree. The commissioners art is also paid work. It's ALREADY paid for, and already *extremely* late. 3 months may not SEEM that bad compared to some, but it was promised to be done in under a week, so in those terms it's taken over 10 times as long as promised
sigilgoat
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
I replied above 6u9
fatkraken
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
sorry, changed it 'cause I got the dates wrong (3 months not 4)

ah well, comment count ++
sigilgoat
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
WE'RE WINNING
kayla_la
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
Okay, this made me laugh, something I really needed today.
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(no subject) - kayla_la - Mar. 31st, 2010 01:27 am (UTC) - Expand
kayla_la
Mar. 31st, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
The below comments were screened just to clean up the thread a bit, just so you're aware of what happened to them.

Edit: Well, above comments, I guess, technically.

Edited at 2010-03-31 01:56 am (UTC)
thaily
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
- No
- Not necessarily, but if she can't do both at least to a small degree she should realize she bit off more than she can chew and refund people.
- Note her, point her to this post, then out her when she still fails to deliver either art or money.
- How long did one set take her? 4 months? Times 3? Are you willing to wait a year?
ovni_the_ufo
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
She hasn't even completed one set. She's completed a third of a set.
bladespark
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
Well, do the math then. 4 months for one part out of 12, yes? Your stuff will be done in four years. :P I mean probably not, artists often work in spurts, so they may get a whole mess of things done at once, but... yeah. If you can't keep up your pay-site commitments and your commissioned art, then you've no business taking the commissions.
ovni_the_ufo
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
That is some very bad math. >: Bad in the "I can't wait that long!" sense.

I know the spurt thing, I myself take commissions and draw on a regular basis. I once hammered out 8 pictures in a day. Emphasis on once. xD
spiffystuff
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Putting the pay gallery first makes sense to me, since if they don't update it they're sort of shorting all the people who paid for that month. If they pay assuming there'll be new material, at any rate.

BUT if the artist is having unforseen delays, they should contact their commissioners and offer a refund if they don't want to wait. It sounds like there was no specific deadline, but that from the artist's promise of weekly or bi-weekly updates, you expected to see the que moving along in about that timeframe? I'd say going for months instead of weeks with no updates is worthy of offering refunds, if the work hasn't been started yet.

The worst thing I'm reading tho is not responding to notes in a timely fashion (within a week). That's extremely unprofessional.
ovni_the_ufo
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
There was a timeframe given for expected turnaround on the commissions, specifically that the artist "will try to finish them all this weekend" (the journal was made on December 24th, I made my commission on December 27th).

I can see working on the pay gallery, except that they don't have a monthly payment option. Rather, they have you pay for a specific number of tickets, that you use to download things that catch your interest.
spiffystuff
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
Humm, yeah, the artist is definitely dropping the ball in that case.

except that they don't have a monthly payment option. Rather, they have you pay for a specific number of tickets, that you use to download things that catch your interest.

Oh XD I've not heard of that model before! Well then the priorities are not so great... well either way, the artist should offer a refund to those who don't want to wait around.
fatkraken
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
Surely the commissioner "paid assuming there'd be new material" in a way. Paid $50 for work to be completed within a week. Which hasn't even been STARTED after 3 months.
spiffystuff
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, but the commissioner is not paying additional money for every month they have to wait, unlike the pay-per people.
EDIT: I figured the pay gallery was a monthly subscription thing, but looks like it's not. I can still think of reasons why the artist might be able to get the gallery work done more easily than commissions (sometimes personal work is easier for some people) but I'm not saying any of these are an excuse, just that it's understandable if the artist is squeezed for time. Hence why the artist should offer refunds to the commissioners who don't want to wait in such a situation, since the artist is dropping the ball on them.

Edited at 2010-03-30 10:40 pm (UTC)
fatkraken
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
No

Yes (especially given your new info about the way the gallery works in the above comments thread)

3 and 4: mutually exclusive. It depends how much you need the money and how much you want the art.
(Deleted comment)
ovni_the_ufo
Mar. 31st, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Well I can see how my personal situation wouldn't have any bearing on it.

However, I figured that including that would help explain what originally motivated me to consider a refund. Of course, the long long time that has absolutely gone without any sort of update, and the complete lack of response, those are perfectly valid reasons to ask for a refund, no?

...gimme thirty minutes to decide whether to name them.
(Deleted comment)
ovni_the_ufo
Mar. 31st, 2010 12:38 am (UTC)
I don't buy frivolous things very often. xD; I figured I'd treat myself because it was Christmas.


If I go to name them, would I have to do it in a seperate thread or just an edit to this one?
the_lest
Mar. 31st, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
this is a good point, but the buyer hasn't even had a chance to wear their shoes yet, so to speak. 3 yaknow, i'm just saying.
(Deleted comment)
the_lest
Mar. 31st, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
I think it would be better to say that the shoes were for some reason undelivered or unworn. In which they can still be returned (depending on the shop's policy - usually they can) BUT I agree, the buyer's financial circumstance has no bearing on what they choose to do with their money. They are unrelated topics. (tbh I think the OP was just adding some unrelated background info that probably wasn't meant to have any bearing on it anyway)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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