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Jul. 3rd, 2010

I hope this doesn't come off as a ridiculous post but, I've never really dealt with something like this before, so I'm curious as to get other people's opinion about this (since I'm still pretty new to getting commissions).
Yesterday someone posted a journal about how they're in a dire financial situation and how they can't find a job. They also mention how they're borrowing money in order to stay afloat.
Today they've sent me a note asking me for a commission. Now, I don't know how what type of commission he wants and my work ranges from $5-$25.
I'm wondering, should I not accept a commission from someone who has already mentioned that they're financially unstable?

This does not seem like the Allan incidents, since said person is not taking donations from anyone. So, while I don't know if they're making up the story for attention, I can assume that they're at least not making it up to get money.

Also, they've had a pretty good history of giving me payment, so I'm not really so much worried about getting payment so much as I don't want to enable a bad financial situation to get worse.

Note- Apologies for the lack of tag. For some reason, LJ isn't allowing me to add tags to the entry for some reason. :/

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( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 4th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
We who approve your posts do the tagging for you.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Oh, sorry about that. This is the first time I've ever made a post here.
Jul. 4th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
In my own opinion I would. I think its kind of shallow of them if they are using the money that's supposedly for a dire situation, but that really isn't your problem.
If you don't feel comfortable with it you could tell him you're busy with other commissions.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
At the end of the day, it's the customer's money to do with what he will. Gas stations don't turn down lotto ticket sales to people down on their luck.

I vote for taking the commission.
Jul. 4th, 2010 05:42 am (UTC)
we want to though, I'll tell you what.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
If it were like, a $50 dollar commission I *might* be concerned but a 5 dollar one isn't going to break the bank in horrific ways even if you are broke. Journals are a venting kind of thing, so it might not be *quite* as bad as it sounds. You never know, someone could have given the money or be giving them the money as a gift.

Personally, I don't concern myself with my customer's personal lives..I accept money upfront so I don't have to worry about payment. Their problem = their concern.
Jul. 4th, 2010 09:25 am (UTC)

Right now I'm the only one working in my household and things are TIGHT. But occasionally, I'll have $5-15 lying around that doesn't need to go towards anything, and I'll check teenycom to see if I see a commission I like. Living in a household where you barely get by is TOUGH, and sometimes it's nice to just treat yourself once in a while. It also makes you feel like things are a little more under control since you can afford something for yourself now and again.
(no subject) - lurkerwisp - Jul. 5th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
Just make sure you get some money before sending in any work. I usually send a fuzzy pic to non-payers, then larger scans or pics once I see money. It does seem fishy that they're advertising for a dire situation and then turning around and buying art, but it's their money to do with as they see fit I suppose?
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Forgot to add- if they were accepting DONATIONS, it would be a whole other ball game for me and I'd say I was busy with other art at the moment. But as you said they did work for that money... so it is theirs to do with as they choose.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
Depends on the situation.

As long as the person isn't pulling an Allan (taking donations then flipping around and using them to buy porn), then I don't see a problem.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
Personally I wouldn't knowingly accept money from someone who has admitted to having money problems, but that's just me and in the end it's really up to you. If you do take the commission on you should do what grygon suggested and not send any work until you get paid.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
If you decide to take the commission, then that's fair. What they do with their money is their responsibility, and it's not your job to monitor their personal financial situation. If they can pay you, that's all that you need to know: This is a business transaction, not a counseling session.

If you decide not to take the commission, that's fair too. You are not obligated to accept any commission that comes your way, and you don't even have to give a reason for turning someone down. If for ANY reason you're uncomfortable with it, you can tell them "no."

So the way I see it, this is really up to you, and what you're personally comfortable with. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules for what "needs" to be done here.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
Pretty much this to a T.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
I would point to there journals asking for money in response, and ask them about it.

In all honesty it truly isn't you're responsibility, but it's completely possible the person is over dramatic and exaggerating. Regardless it's your choice whether you take the money for it or not.
Jul. 4th, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
This is something I've struggled with as well, as I have people send me messages saying "I really shouldn't spend the money/I really don't have any money, but I'm going to buy this anyway because I want it."

My response is "I'd rather you are in a better financial situation first and then commission me. You will be more likely to be happy with it because you won't regret spending the money." But, in the end they are adults and it is THEIR money.

I think its important though to say SOMETHING. After all, a commissioner who shouldn't spend money may later regret it or feel resentment towards you and the commission. I would always encourage a commissioner to be financially comfortable (whatever that means to them) before commissioning me, even if I need it pretty badly.
Jul. 4th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
Are you sure they're not just saying that to you in hopes you'll feel sorry for them and bring down the price?
(no subject) - myenia - Jul. 4th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
I know there are plenty of people that when they are down will try to buy a small pick me up to help them. It isn't always the best idea, but when you're hurting on cash it can help mentally.
Just at the end of the day, it doesn't lol
Jul. 4th, 2010 06:10 am (UTC)
I've done this. I shouldn't get things but when I'm upset and I need a pick me up and I have 5$ laying around on paypal I'll go on TeenyCom and get something to make me smile. I know I shouldn't but I do it anyways because it makes me happy. But all in all its their choice to spend it. :)
(no subject) - lobotomysoup - Jul. 4th, 2010 06:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dripbat - Jul. 4th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
All up to you whether you take it or not: This is where that whole, pesky consumer vs. morality portion of our ethics courses comes back to haunt us. Money is king in artist's line of work- besides, who are you to dictate how they waste their crap? Besides, if they need to be looked after like an infant, I think that one artist trying to be kind won't go very far- they'll probably go somewhere else.
Frankly, I'd say- at the end of the day, you'll have more money in your pocket. So go for it.
Jul. 4th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC)
If it was $30+ I would refuse to do it. I don't desperately need the money, and they don't desperately need the art, so I'd rather not have the guilt of accepting money from someone who has more important things to deal with.

However, this is only $5-$10. I don't approve of the person buying art when they are financially unstable, but $5 isn't much. Anyone can afford that.
Just make sure that they understand that the art is non-refundable.
I had a girl (Sue Parsons) commission me a while back. She sent me the money from one paypal address (was not linked to her name), and later asked me to refund it to a different address(was linked to her name). I strongly suspect that the account she sent the money from was not her own. In the end she made a $15 profit and still got the sketch from me.

If you feel uneasy about the money thing, maybe you could consider doing it as a trade instead?
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)
If they're in dire need of relief (financial, emotional, etc) a little splurging won't do any harm, in fact it may cheer them up. I've done it as a pick me up sometimes (I really need to take teenycom off my "watch" list). But as most have said, $5-$10? Ehhh, not TOO big of a deal. But any more and it just becomes a huge stink.

I know one person was like "Bawww, I can't afford insurance. Emergency commissions open!" and someone generous donated a good chunk of money (I'm unsure of the amount. Probably in the $25-$75 range) and not even a week later I see him commissioning others (myself included) and I've yet to see art for them from him :/
Jul. 4th, 2010 09:32 am (UTC)
(no subject) - frazzled_niya - Jul. 5th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
I agree with the general sentiment of it not being your responsibility to police them. I would also feel bad, and would probably try to talk them out of something expensive. However, if they're intent on getting a piece of art, they're going to get it regardless of what you say and just go to another artist. You're probably not going to be of any help by turning it down, and might do more good by just giving them a REALLY well made commission as a pick me up.

I know this may sound silly (and down right nutty), but when I have commissioners who seem down...I try to put as much positive energy as I can mentally into the art so that it'll transfer to them when they receive it. It ends up giving me lots of really grateful replies, even if they don't know what I did that was different.
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