If this has to go further than my request for advice, I will add names and further details.
I've been a long time lurker of this community, and recently been having some issues regarding a friend I've commissioned for a number of works about a year ago, and was requiring some advice on how to tackle this situation I'm in.
To cut the story down, a friend of mine (As in actual friend I've met in person, not an artist I have 'befriended') was in need of some art supplies and I was happy to supply them with the items they required. The agreement was that she'd create a number of commissions for me in return for this. This was in Late October/Early November 2009.
Both of us are WoW players, and a few other items popped up on the Blizzard store later and she wanted them badly, so I (possibly foolishly) agreed to get her the items in return for a few more commissions.
So effectively, I have paid well in advance.
Now, fast forward to today, a year later from the first payment.
I have yet to see a clear sketch for any of these commissions, bar one, which I shall also address a little later on. I have poked her and prodded her on occasion, not hounding her along, about them and asking for a preview.
I get the "No peeking! I want to surprise you with them all at once!" response from her and then she often goes silent after that. I find my messages, both on IM and in game often go ignored, even if not about the commissions, so sometimes communication is difficult, which is ironic as before we met in person (June this year), she was always talking to me.
In regards to the commissions as well, this is a part that bugs me. She wants to present them all completed to me at once. I don't see any sketches or get to comment or request changes on them. Instead, I give her what I wanted, and she'd draw her idea for it.
In a way, I don't feel this is right, as I don't get to see if the picture is something I truly want or not, but get given it as payment.
Which brings me to the final point, the one commission I have seen a clear sketch for, which was I think now, seven-eight months ago I saw the sketch, wasn't something I asked for. It was their idea of a picture they thought was amusing.
Now, don't get me wrong, I liked the concept and agreed for it to be taken further, but I sort of feel it's not very... encouraging in that light, with the fact the concept I thought of was sort of ignored for something they thought was better.
So, this is where I am stuck.
Last thing I want to do, is hurt my friend by hounding her for the commissions, but I know she has been trading doodles with another friend of mine for a few months now. My requests for updates go mostly ignored and I'm sort of kept out of the loop and at her mercy of what she chooses to draw.
I'm not comfortable with this situation either. For all I know, she could have drawn nothing as well, and just be saying things to appease me.
And frankly, recently I've had a lot of people abusing my kindness and good nature (Long story with gift art I did for a different friend who requested 101 edits to the damn thing), so this situation has put me at wit's end.
I want to resolve it without destroying my friendship, but I'm just not sure how to do so.
So, I come hoping I can get some suggestions from you guys how to tackle this please?
Edit: So I took the advice that I read from here (Thanks everyone who suggested things), and confronted her about the issue.
There seemed to be a small attempt at guilt tripping and a comment or two that seemed, but overall, I think I got the message across to her that it was a business transaction, and that I wanted to see some results. I think she was a little surprised that the year had passed without her noticing since the original payment.
I've basically let her know that I do not want this to ruin the friendship, but that at the rate it's going, I am a little more than frustrated.
I think she's aware now that she has to get a move on, so I will see how things progress.
Thanks again everyone for all the advice (and the personal kick I needed to do to myself to actually confront her about it).