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Hoping it's alright to post this kind of question to this community; it's more of a request for advice at the moment than a "beware." Not naming names yet.

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.

Advice?

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.

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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
fatkraken
Sep. 11th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
Ultimatum time; give her, say, 2 weeks to complete your work or request a full refund.

And by demanding a refund, YOU are not giving her real life problems, she is bringing them on herself by being terrible at money and time management.
wolf_goat
Sep. 11th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
I am pretty sure I know exactly what artist you're talking about. And yes, it's a really bad way to do business. >:|

I think you have two options. 1, you sit and wait, maybe note them and mention politely your concern. That's if you really really want the commission and want it to turn out looking good. 2, what fatkraken says, you give a deadline for it and otherwise state you want a refund, due to the reasons you've given. If you do get the commission though, it could be of lower quality than normal (particularly if it's the artist I think).

Personally I'd go for option 2 and find a good, reliable artist if they can't deliver.
vickimfox
Sep. 11th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Simple answer - "goodbye"

I've changed my mind regarding the commission. Please cancel the project and refund all monies I have prepaid. Thank you.


Very simple. No editorializing. No accusations. No blaming. No reasons. Keep it as simple as above. And, be polite.

Then if the artist refuses to provide a refund, then you will very likely have to consider it the price of a lesson learned. Sadly in the fan art world there is pretty much nothing you can do to force the refund. If a person is irresponsible with the project, 99% of the time that person is also going to be irresponsible with a refund. So, expect not to get refunded and never deal with the person again.
shukivengeance
Sep. 11th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
You explained your feelings pretty well here. I think you should approach the artist and tell her that you feel frustrated about how people who have paid less for simpler commissions are being put ahead of you, and that you're unhappy she keeps taking more and more projects on without having touched what you paid her to do.

It would not be reasonable in my opinion to ask for a deadline to be mutually agreed-on, and if the deadline idea is to be refused entirely then state that you require a refund.

If you remain quiet you could be stuck in this position forever, but instead of demanding a refund out of the blue, wanting to set a deadline is more reasonable IMO.
obsidianwolfess
Sep. 11th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
I agree with this comment. I would definitely bring it to the artist's attention that you are upset that she is putting cheaper (newer) commissions ahead of yours. Heck, I'd feel the same way.
dreamerdragoon
Sep. 11th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm in agreement with others here - get her to agree to a final deadline with you, and to state that if it's not done by this time, you want a full refund. I know you would really prefer the art, but given the track record so far, this could be one of those commissions that drags on for years, by which point it's hard to do as much about it, and you STILL don't have the art. It's better to have your money and maybe give it to somebody who will place more value on your patronage.

Her money troubles and the other commissions are not your problem and you shouldn't feel guilty about asking for something you've already paid for.
duster
Sep. 11th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Echoing previous comments. Give a deadline firmly but politely, and say if it is not done by that deadline, you want a full refund.

If she gives you grief for asking for a refund, stand your ground. Her problems are not your problem. If she has shown no progress on your commission, you are fully entitled for a refund no matter how much she tries to guilt trip you.

Good luck, hope everything works out for you! :3
albinowolf
Sep. 11th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Maybe point her to this entry. It lets her know you're getting frustrated but haven't divulged her name yet. However if it keeps going on you might just have to name names to alert other potential customers.
wolf_goat
Sep. 11th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
I'd be inclined not to do that yet - rather to try and keep things as pleasant as possible unless things go tits up.
zackfig
Sep. 11th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
Been in the same situation, only difference is that the artist is also a friend... and would rather work on the stuff she gets paid to do to upload to an adult website than to finish her backlogged commissions from years back.
bladespark
Sep. 11th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
If you don't want to be the bad guy here, give the artist options.

Politely explain that you feel frustrated and don't want to wait, and then let them choose whether they'd prefer to finish your commission by a specific deadline, or simply refund you and not deal with the hassle.

Don't be antagonistic or use the refund like a threat "finish this or else!" just explain yourself like you have here, and offer the two choices. Then if they're really that desperate for money, they'll finish your art, and if they're not, you can have your money back and go elsewhere.

Of course if they chose to do your art, and then miss your deadline, you can bring out the more aggressive approach, but for now I'd keep it as friendly as possible.
lilenth
Sep. 11th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)

I agree with what everyone else has said, furthermore demanding a refund due to the agreed upon services not rendered at all does not making someone a criminal and you are not responsible for her real life problems.
pariahsdream
Sep. 11th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Also, to protect your monies- if you have paid with Paypal, you can go ahead and file a 'dispute' before the 45 day mark. It puts a hold on that money (I believe) and they send an email to the commissioner to let them know you've opened a dispute. It gives you extra time (60 days I believe? I'd have to look it up to be certain) to solve this while giving you a chance to get your money back if she won't give you a refund.

Granted if its already past the 45 time limit then you're out of luck I'm afraid.

Definitely make it come to her/his/its attention that you're frustrated and that you enjoy their art and don't want it to come to this.
slyminera
Sep. 11th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
According to the OP it's already been 3 months.
pariahsdream
Sep. 11th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
Crap, I must've missed that part. Well, hopefully other people might see this and be able to help themselves.
thaily
Sep. 11th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Two months and not even a sketch?
Yeah, I'd give her a 2 week deadline to produce something for you to approve of or your money back.
misteroffense
Sep. 12th, 2010 05:41 am (UTC)
I'm guilty of putting off some commissions because I'm short on funds and need to take on more. But I try to balance out the existing commissions OR get them done first if I can. But being a commission artist myself, I can tell you it's quite difficult to keep track of sometimes so a polite nudge can really put things in motion.

At least for me.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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