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So at Anthrocon I comissioned an artist in the alley for a sketchbook sketch; wasn't much, just $30 I think. By the end of the con they had not gotten to it yet, had not called me and I couldn't find them on Monday morning before I had to get on the road for home. I sent them a note on FA with my mailing address and a week after AC got a note back:

Sorry about that. I had a few complications that morning.
I'll mail it A.S.A.P.
I'm down once I get my computer back up. I'll post some stuff to show it's back online.

A month goes by, I send them another note, no response. I send them one three months later, no response. Their FA account is dormant too. I have a busy year and things slip by. The next Anthrocon rolls around and I cannot find the artist there at all. Their FA account becomes active again and I send them another note asking for the sketchbook back, and if they couldn't do the sketch just a refund as well. I do receive a response in October:

I'll send it as soon as possible.
With the sketch and refund once I can afford it all.
I've been procrastinating sending it back because I'm a dick :<

Nothing arrives. I send a few more notes, and finally as another Anthrocon approaches, 2 years after the original comission, I get:

I've kind of been avoiding your messages because I've been kind of scared and feell terrible about this but... when I moved out of my friends house (the house I was living during the time i went to AC) he says all of my art supplies were tossed which might mean all of the sketchbooks I had, but I haven't been back there to check myself as I have no money or transportation at the moment.
Is there any way I can reimburse you because I know the art is irreplaceable, and I'm really late with this and everything but I know I can't just leave you with a missing sketchbook and no commission.
I was irresponsible to take the commission but I'm kind of naive when it comes to stuff like that, I'm really sorry.

So now I'm out a sketchbook full of other comissions that are quite irreplaceable and I don't have any idea how to even begin to come up with a value for it. }:/
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( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
This really sucks. I'm sorry this happened to you.

What I would do is tally up the money every single sketch in the book cost, along with the 30 bucks you spent for this artist's sketch, then I would add how much the sketchbook cost itself and see what you have. I would also expect a refund for the sketch they never did.

I would also name them here, they sound pretty irresponsible and most of us would like to know to avoid them.
Jun. 10th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
Ditto! I wouldn't want to hand off my sketchbook to this person. Names plz. Would like to avoid! D:
Jun. 10th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
This seems like the best possible outcome, however, the person may not be able to send it all to you at once since they said they are in a bind right now.
Jun. 10th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
I didn't think to add at the time that the artist might be able to recoup costs for supplies and such (the ones that were apparently thrown out) in court, but it is a possibility to look into. But ultimately, it's the artist's responsibility to reimburse you.
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
X___x crud. This is why I recommend having art done on a separate piece of paper vs a con book. You can always put it in a book afterward. I really dun know about a price, but I'd say nothing under a hundred tho. I also think you should reveal the name. Save another person from possibly losing a precious sketch book to them
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
This! Clipboards. Cheap and awesome! Or a three-ring binder with some handy plastic slips to protect the artwork. It's not as fancy as a nice sketchbook cover, but you don't have to worry about losing years worth of artwork.

Edited at 2010-06-10 06:28 pm (UTC)
Jun. 11th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
that also prevents already completed work from being damaged if markers or ink bleed through the paper or something gets spilled on that one page...
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you've had to lose all your art, but I hope as AC arrives other people will heed your mistake and end up in the same position. Only give your sketch book to someone who can guarantee it be delivered before the leave the convention or has a good record of mailing back sketch books confirmed from other commissioners. I still wouldn't let someone leave a convention with one of my sketch books at all, but that is just because of my paranoia.
As far as replacing the cost of the sketch book, if this person is in a really bad financial spot, expecting them to pay hundreds of dollars to replace all the art might be unrealistic. It might be worth just asking them to do some art in a new sketch book, refund you the money you spent, and start getting new commissions in it at the con coming up. I wish you the best of luck and I hope your issue gets resolved to your satisfaction.
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
This is also another reason its good to have digital back up of the art you get done in your sketch book. You don't have to share it (I know some people like having personal art sketch books you don't share) but at least if something happens you'll still have a digital scan of the art you received.
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
I recommend commissioning buying a binder-- with sleeves. Commissioning art for said sleeves, and arranging it as you like. @_@

Sorry to hear this.
We definitely need to know the username.
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
Oh man, that's awful!
This is a huge reason why I, as an artist, refuse to ever take home a Sketchbook. I make sure all sketchbooks are done by the end of the Con and returned to their owners before they go home, because I fear having sketchbooks in my possession. They're so valuable!

That said, that's why I love customers who have single sheets of paper, like others in the comments have mentioned. Carry single sheets of Bristol Board in a binder with sleeves (they sell art binders in art stores that are 9" x 12" bristol board sized, or if you want to go a cheaper route, just pass out 8.5" x 11" cardstock and use a regular binder from Walmart), and give each artist individual pieces of paper. That way, if they lose them, you're only out the cost of a sheet of card stock or bristol board (and the original price of the commission, if the artist never delivers), instead of hundreds of dollars in sketches.

Sorry this happened to you! :(
Jun. 10th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
Ditto! The only sketchbook I've ever taken home was for a local fur/friend who is totally cool with me waiting to give it to him next con (which I will, and have done before). Everyone else, I know my limits and don't bite off more than I can chew! There's just way too much room for disaster otherwise.
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)

This is why I won't take sketchbooks from people. They're often packed with irreplaceable works, I just wouldn't want to be responsible for that kind of item unless it was my own.

As others have said, figure out how much you've spent getting work in it plus the cost of the sketch book and the never done sketch, I hope you've kept receipts since if there are issues over it those could be important.

I suggest that anyone who wants to do a sketchbook purchase themselves a display folder with pockets for the work so they don't have to turn over a whole bunch of work to an artist who might lose it and keep all receipts relating to it somewhere safe.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
I am sorry for the loss of your sketchbook. I can only imagine the ire I would have if an artist lost one of our two that we have commission work done in. They are invaluable.

Something else I have seen another commission do:
Have wirebound sketchbook, not the spiral type but the ones that have the wires that meet at the edge of the paper... like this


And as tedious and annoying as it sounds, when you find an artist you want to commission, fully remove a sheet of paper from it, not ripping, removing and give it to them to work on. That way you remain in possession of your sketchbook and they can retain a piece of paper that fits should they need to have homework.
It is also simpler and cheaper to mail as well.

And I would agree a three ring binder would be alot cheaper, but I just figured I'd toss you one more alternative since I have seen this unorthodox but working method done.

Good luck with your situation! I can only hope this person can find your sketchbook.
Jun. 10th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
One more reason not to keep / do sketchbooks...
Jun. 10th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
This was my first sketchbook, given to me many years ago by another artist friend who had a bunch of extras. And this experience was my first time not leaving a con without getting it back. I'd spoken to the artist many times on FA over musical stuff, and figured since I had a way to contact them there they could get it back to me easily. Lessons learned. Now I can count on one finger the number of artists I think I know well enough to let take home a sketchbook and return it to me later.

On a related note, having only the one sketchbook at the time meant I could only get one sketch at a time from artists at conventions. This was something I lamented when one artist at RCFM kept my sketchbook the entire con and then returned it to me having never drawn in it. They refunded me the money but the whole time I was unable to get sketches from other artists while waiting for that book. After this one left I bought four sketchbooks so I could get multiple sketches at once. I put my name and cellphone number and a post-it w/ my room number in the front of each book so an artist can contact me when it's ready.

Having removable pages and giving just the page to the artist is something I never considered. It is an excellent idea and seems to solve both problems. Thank you for the advice.

As far as this incident, maybe I'm giving the artist too much credit but it does seem they are financially strapped. I don't think I could get a monetary value out of them even if I did come up with a figure. I will talk with them and see if they'd be willing to do some artwork as reimbursement at least. I hate to give out the name, because I do not wish them any ill-will and really hope this was an isolated incident with them; sometimes things happen beyond our control and I'm not quite jaded enough to think every artist is out to scam me. If discussions with them turn sour, I may think differently about posting the name here.
Jun. 11th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Also consider doing the single sheets, and when you have a good amount of them, arrange them and have them bound. Places like Staples will do it for as little as $5 and then it would look much nicer than a binder. Some copy centers even have the hot binding, and will make it look exactly like a nice hard cover sketchbook.

You could hand lots of those sheets out, and start making yearly/bi-yearly books. And even print out digital ones and insert them too.

What a terrible loss, and you're much kinder than a lot of other people would be. I would set some sort of compensation, be it art or whatever, and if she doesn't meet it, then name her. Because if she doesn't deliver, then she obviously hasn't learned her lesson, and needs to be outted.

Dude...Can I offer you a free sketch? This sucks, a lot.
Jun. 11th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
Ouch, that really hurts. Sorry you lost your sketchbook. I have considered a sketchbook but after reading the comment here I think the single sheet method is the way to go. Don't know what I would do if I lost something like that.
Jun. 17th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Any follow-up on this?
Jun. 27th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
Anything new on this?
Aug. 8th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
Whatever happened with this?
Aug. 10th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
The artist did not go to Anthrocon, and has not yet replied to any further messages. }:/
Aug. 10th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
That's a shame! I don't know how she lives with her conscience right now. I would be HORRIFIED if I lost someone's sketchbook!!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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