Anyway, three months ago I paid in advance for a ref sheet commission from an artist, under the impression that she didn't have many 'in line' ahead of me and that it would be done soon. However, less than a week after I paid, she put up a journal explaining that she was "low on funds," and thus putting all full commissions on hold in favor of cheap sketch commissions to be done immediately so she can rake in as much as she can as fast as she can. Understandable, I figured, aside for the fact that she's doing them for as cheap as she is, and I paid more than ten times that much. So I waited. A month later she resumes "catching up on her full commissions," for all of a week, in which she does a few others, but doesn't touch mine. I was starting to get a little aggravated at that point, but remained patient. After that week, there's silence from her for the most part for about a month, then I catch her on Livestream doing another commission and decide to ask what the ETA on my ref sheet is, to which she replies with "oh, since you've been so patient with me I'll move you to the front of the list and note you when I'm going to start on it". Now I figured, okay, that meant it'd be started soon. Another month of silence, and now she puts out another journal, once again stating she needs money badly for "personal reasons," and is thus doing a 100-sketch Iron Artist marathon. No mention of her backed up commissions.
I'm exceedingly patient, but this is starting to get aggravating, not even for the delay, but for what's getting prioritized ahead of me. I don't want to make her feel rushed and make her spit out a rushed-looking sheet just to get it done (friends have advised me to never rush an artist), but I start to feel like a doormat when people that paid less than a tenth of what I did are taking priority. I also don't want to ask for a refund, because I want this done; she offered it at a low price (which somewhat accounts for the delay, but come on) which is why I could afford it in the first place. That, and if she "badly needs money", I don't want to feel like the criminal that demanded his money back and caused her whatever real life problems because she didn't draw nice things for me fast enough.
EDIT: Going to give another polite nudge (this time in a note) like I did during her livestream, then give her a while longer. Will keep this entry updated. Also: I don't intend to divulge her name and ruin her reputation unless this gets really ugly, which I doubt it will. I'm just looking for advice, not asking for an angry mob with torches and pitchforks.