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How long before resale/throwing away?

How long should an artist hold an original (in my case, its a relatively cheap one) in wait of responses to contact attempts?

I have a ballpoint pen commission that I did as a take-home at AC, and have been unable to get in contact with the commissioner to obtain a shipping address. I've sent a note via DA, but it has not been answered in the last couple months, and I've found no other way to get ahold of them. How long do I have to hold on to it before it is ethical/acceptable to sell the original or otherwise get rid of it? When is it acceptable to remove the "not for sale" sticker in my folder for future cons?

I assume the smartest thing to do, if/when I do choose to do that, is to at least keep a digital copy.

The commissioner's character is named Janice, and is a wolf wearing roman soldier clothing. Anyone know this person?
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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
shukivengeance
Sep. 30th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
If they have already paid you for the commission on the understanding it was to be mailed to them I think it'd be pretty unfair to get rid of it because then the client's not getting what they paid for. It's possible that something may have happened to this person. You could post a link to their DA page, it's a slim chance but maybe someone who knows them will see this.

If it has not been paid for then I would suggest attempting to contact them again with the message that if payment and a shipping address is not given that the piece may be resold.
kalika_tybera
Sep. 30th, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
Oh! I know who you're talking about, I've done a number of commissions for him in the past (both of his roman wolf Janus and his were-collie Laurie).
He goes by the name NewEnglander, right?
I still have his email saved from the last few commissions (also from AC) and from experience he does reply there, I'll PM it to you to keep his privacy.
myenia
Oct. 1st, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks a ton, he answered the email very promptly!
alohawolf
Sep. 30th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
I would think One Con Cycle is reasonable.
fatkraken
Sep. 30th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
if it's fully paid for? Indefinitely. It's not like it's a big deal to store it, it's a piece of paper, and it's a piece of paper that belongs to someone else. You shouldn't be able to sell it twice, it's not yours (the actual piece, obviously you retain copyright on the image)

If it's NOT paid for, then I'd say 6 months is reasonable.
chronidu
Sep. 30th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
Pretty much this, if someone paid for it to be shipped to them, you hold onto it until you ship it or they tell you otherwise.
weirdmisty
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
Totally agreed.
thornwolf
Sep. 30th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
As someone who A: has absolutely no room to store excess art (I'm getting rid of my own stuff left and right as it is just to save space) and B: has had this happen, I'm going to echo that at least one convention cycle is acceptable provided you, at least once per month, ping them to ask where they are which shows you have made an effort. If they haven't gotten back to you within a year of initial contact, I'd say you're not a storage locker and its up to you what you decide to do past that point. Until then, its theirs they need to claim.
myenia
Oct. 1st, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Thank you for a practical answer! I wasn't really asking IF so much as WHEN (most others answered IF)...not that I'm hard-headed so much as its just not going to happen. I'm probably going to move like 3 times in the next year and a half, and moved 4 times in the last year. I'm a digital artist at heart...I don't keep my own art, so I certainly don't plan on keeping someone elses!

Luckily, Kalika was able to get me in contact with him!
fatkraken
Oct. 1st, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
no room? it's a piece of paper, not a car! It literally has almost no volume. put it under the bed. Put it under a CARPET. Put it in a book. stick it between two prints in a con folder. You could store 30 of these in one plastic folder, or 1000 in a ringbinder

(assuming it's paid for) It's not yours! Treat it like someone accidentally left something round your house and you can't get hold of them. I would never sell or throw away a DVD or a game that someone left at my house, it's not like storing it is a big deal, it's TINY.
myenia
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
All of my sketch and ballpoint pen commissions are 11x14. Half of your options aren't practical.

And something accidentally left around my house would be thrown away much sooner than this piece of art would.
stormslegacy
Oct. 1st, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
I think keeping it indefinitely would be ridiculous. You can't leave things in a lost-and-found, or a storage locker forever without paying rent. You couldn't buy something at a store and then leave it there indefinitely. Anything after a year is just silly...they've probably long forgotten about it.

As for it being just a piece of paper, those add up. It's also not easy to keep it in an easily accessible place for when they happen to decide they want it. I think one con cycle is more than enough for the interested party to get in contact with the artist to get their art.
thornwolf
Oct. 1st, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
I live in a one bedroom place and yes, I don't have enough room because of the sheer volume of artwork I crank out per year. I'm not a storage locker, why should I have to store people's art for years? If they can't get back to me /in a year/ I really don't see why I should hang onto it. I think that's a VERY reasonable time frame. Also, I move a lot, stuff gets lost when I move, I don't want to have one more thing to worry about ;/

I don't even hang onto my own artwork much less other people's, this is why I try to send people their things as soon as possible.

Most other businesses have an abandonment clause where if you don't contact them within a year (often times some shorter time frame) they can get rid of your things however they see fit.
jadinerhine
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
I'd think it's wrong to sell something off that has already been paid for by the person. >>;; Also, sometimes people's daily lives take over in such a way that it's impossible to even get to a computer and quickly log on and say "I'm alive!" So I'd wait a while.
astraldescent
Oct. 1st, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
It's in my TOS that unless you tell me you want it shipped (and pay for that) upfront I will keep it for three months and after that who knows what'll happen to it.

If they paid for it to be shipped to them, I'm of the opinion that you should've gotten the address back when they paid, but one con-cycle is probably best. Keeping it indefinitely sounds great in theory but really isn't practical for anyone on limited space. Its not like a pc file or something that takes up no physical space, and art has to be stored in a cool, dry, clean place usually in such a way to prevent smudges or staining from other pieces.

So yeah, one con-cycle, but I recommend addressing this in your TOS for next time.
myenia
Oct. 1st, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
Good points...but TOS is not something most people pass out to every commissioner at a convention, and I doubt many people check the websites for each individual they get a badge or sketch from.

thaily
Oct. 1st, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
That might not actually be a bad idea though, print out a few cards with contact info and a little "what if" information for people who want refunds or don't stay in contact etc.
myenia
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thats true, or even do a run of business cards with that on the back.
hbruton
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
I know who that is but it sounds like someone else has ided him. He's a great guy and a wonderful commissioner so I'm glad you've been able to contact him.
the_winter_star
Oct. 5th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
Sounds like Newie to me. (= I can get you his email if you need it!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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