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Trouble with a Commissioner


SO since he is threatening to come here and post about me...I think I will bring it here first and try to figure out what I can do about it.

OH and I am Kinked on Furaffinity. I took a commission for a 20 page sketchbook from Athari on Furaffinity. He asked for LionKing charaters. I told him I could do them in my style kinda...but I was not a "disney" replica artist...but I think he liked my low price of only 100 bucks.
Now all of my other sketckbook commissions have been artistic license. Just tell me who and a basic what and I have fun with it.
First thing that happens is he is VERY picky about the actual sketchbook. Makes me tell him size, brand, whatnot. Fine. I got the biggest reasonable sized like he wanted.
Then he tells me ONE pose. Just one. I asked for more (sometimes it's easier to draw with liberty as many know) He refuses and wants to see it first.
Then when I do finally post it... he is unhappy with the style but okay with it. I said I was not a disney copy artist, that my style would come through.
So then i get ....the list! God. Detailed discriptions of each and every pose and exactly what angle, what expression....everything. On every angle.
So now I am expected to do this for only 5 bucks each. Crazy.
So it takes me a long time. I admit that. I was really bogged down with the idea of how narrow it was. I was not looking forward to it...so I was slow. My fault.
So I finally get nearly done and ask for his address.
no...he want's a SCAN of every sketch BEFORE I mail it.
That will take me forever. Not to mention I would have to tear the pages out of the book because I don't have a flat scanner.
I said no...I will just give you a refund.
He said he is in Russia and can't accept money on paypal.
So I gave him the option of tearing up the sketchbook....and he takes it.
I scanned the first 10 pages. This takes me forever....
Why? Because my scanner sucks and I have to clean up each one before posting.
He sees small copies and makes comments again about the style not being quite there.
I email them to him.
He claims he did not get it.
I have no proof of emailing, but I obviously have the file...why would I lie?
Now it's been a few weeks and he wants scans of the rest and those resent in a zip file...which I don't even know how to do.
I just want to be done with this.
I want to send a 1/2 refund and let him out of my life.
He wants me to just get it done today.
I have spent way way more time on this commission than is worth this. Dozens of hours.
and yes...the entire process has been over a year in the making. (or nearly a year)
So I know I am slow. I just wish i had never taken this on.

Should I spend hours more scanning, cleaning, and sending him this. Or force him to accept a refund?

UPDATE:
Thanks everyone for your comments. I roughscanned the rest without cleaning up lines or whatnot and emailed.
I am done and case closed. Should have said no from the beginning but since I did not I did what I needed to do.
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Comments

( 222 comments — Leave a comment )
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banrai
Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
This guy seems like he's being quite unreasonable.

If I were in your position, this is what I would do. Send the guy an e-mail and explain very carefully that you have finished his sketchbook as you previously offered and as was agreed on. Scan the pages in, but don't even bother with the clean up. Adjust the levels if you need to, but if there's a load of erasing or whatever to be done, frankly I wouldn't bother. Tell the commissioner that he's welcome to scan them back in himself when he receives the original pieces.

OR

Just force him to take the refund.

Also: Actually, thinking back on it now, I've worked for this guy before. He does have a paypal, because that's how he paid me. And iirc, he was very uncommunicative and picky then, too. :|


Edited at 2011-01-22 04:39 pm (UTC)
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connorgoodwolf
Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Force him to accept a refund?

This is a business transaction, you can't force him to do anything. You provide a service for taking money, he needs to accept you're not going to give what he wants. What he wants are full fledged cleaned up art, not sketches.

I'd have refunded him a long time ago and said, "Find someone else" and smiled walking away.

Those type of people are not worth the trouble.
celestinaketzia
Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
Half way agreeing with IK here. You can't force him to accept a refund if he didn't pay via Paypal or it's past the 45 days. I'm so sorry you're stuck doing this.
(no subject) - athari_p - Jan. 22nd, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
wolf_goat
Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
This guy is horrible to work with. Seconding that.

Just tell him you can't and you can send him the book. You've done the work you were paid for. :/
hellebore
Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
"Artwork which artists are embarassed to post in their own galleries."

Geez :\
Anyways, I'm sorry you got into such a plight with this. Def not worth the time and money in the end.

How did he pay you? Paypal?
banrai
Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
This pretty much describes what he commissioned me for. :/
(no subject) - athari_p - Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hellebore - Jan. 23rd, 2011 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
celestinaketzia
Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
I agree. Stop scanning. Send him his work.

Since we have no correspondence to see, in the future I would make sure to make it -very- clear to your clients of these type of items that they can only get so descriptive. Especially for such a low price! Perhaps the best they can give you is a character and a theme for the image, and that's it.

Edit: There's an artist whose sketches I adore. The most she lets you do is submit a character reference and a single line for her to go off of. Like when I commissioned her I gave her "preparing for a mission", and that was it. It worked out great. :3

Edited at 2011-01-22 04:46 pm (UTC)
athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
Please read my looong comment below and tell me wether you consider my descriptions overly detailed.

I have commissioned another artist, Vilani, for a sketchbook before, only describing characters and giving a story and vague general description. It worked perfectly indeed. However, Kinked haven't said anything about what level of description detail she expects, so I thought she wants me to describe every picture.
fatkraken
Jan. 22nd, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
you made a big mistake by being far too accommodating (perhaps because you were not clear with what would be produced). In future, make sure you have a specific set of conditions for sketchbook commissions; how much detail they need to provide, how much freedom you need to be given, what an and cannot be done (scans for example).

To know what you should do here, it would be helpful to see EXACTLY the wording of the original commission.
celarania
Jan. 22nd, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
Just wondering, what's the problem with just re-emailing the scans you have? You have the file and sometimes it seems like emails get lost, misaddressed, formats are weird, people don't attach files properly, or just filtered somewhere where they aren't supposed to go. It's possible that he didn't see the email with the scans. Alternatively, make a photobucket where he can see them and post the scans there.

It would help to see the dialogue when the commission was first ordered. If there is no talk of revisions, I wouldn't think you'd have to clean them up or anything, but I would have scans just in case something happened to it durning shipping. Just it seems like the refund would be bad for both parties in this instance: you did the work so it's done and waiting to be shipped essentially. It may have been unpleasant, but all the more reason you'd want to get paid for it. I'd just scan the remaining pages, but don't worry about cleaning them up. He bought a real media item and unless you agreed to clean the sketches in the beginning, the scans should be for preview purposes (or a back up for you, should it get lost in the mail or something like that).

I agree that a lot of the part before would be unpleasant, but you also accepted it whether you regret it now or not. If the requests were too confining, the time to talk about it was before it started, not now, after the whole thing is over. The way sketchbook commissions work seems to vary from artist to artist from give me characters to give me different things you want me to draw, but what I normally see is something inbetween (maybe request 5-10 poses for this, and the rest are your choice). He may be used to it being more buyer defined, or it may be the phrasing on the commission itself (something like "This is essentially 20 sketch commissions").

The important thing is what to do now, and it seems to me that you need to just do simple scans to show him and then ship that puppy out!
athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
> If there is no talk of revisions, I wouldn't think you'd have to clean them up or anything

I've never asked for revisions or cleaning up. If I understood correctly, her scanner doesn't work without cleaning...

> I would have scans just in case something happened to it durning shipping

This is the exact reason why I want scans. I don't trust Russian postal service, it's terrible. :(

> The important thing is what to do now, and it seems to me that you need to just do simple scans to show him and then ship that puppy out!

I've even agreed to get just scans without shipping.

You can also read my looong comment below for details.
(Deleted comment)
athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
> He is asking for way too much though and being really unreasonable about it

If you want to really know what I ask, please read my looong comment below.

> I'd tell him you're going to charge him labor for scanning it.

I don't mind charging. The problem is, Kinked can't find ANY proper scanner to actually do it.

> if it takes a year I think they should suck it up or pay better next time

The way I see it, the artist tells the price, the commissioner pays what he is asked for. If she thinks price is unfair, why does she continue to charge exactly the same price over and over?

You can also read my looong comment below for details.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - athari_p - Jan. 22nd, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
spiffystuff
Jan. 22nd, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
At this point, you've done so much work for so cheap at I'd kinda hate to see you refund him, though I understand why you'd want to DX
But I don't think you're obligated to scan this stuff for him unless that was part of the original agreement.

I think you should put your foot down - tell him you've done all the work you're going to do on this except ship it out to him (do get tracking/insurance on it tho). Don't scan it anymore, don't even bother sending him more files. He can scan it himself once he gets it if that's what he wants.
grygon
Jan. 22nd, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
You should have proof in your sent folder?

But either way, like you said and others agreed with- this guy is very much a hassle. I'm so sorry, I've been there!
athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
Proof won't help to resolve the issue. I've suggested using file sharing service. I think image hosting service would work too.

Please read my looong comment below if you want to know details.
kadaria
Jan. 22nd, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
I know this doesn't help you now, but I would have stopped the moment he wanted a style that you don't do for an "artistic license" based sketch book.
athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
Please read my looong comment below if you want to know what I actually said about Kinked's style.
midnightfury
Jan. 22nd, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
I don't think you mentioned how he paid you? If he sent you a money order, if you happen to have the envelope for that still, you could go fetch another money order and send it to him (make scans of it and do everything you can to document that you did, in fact, have it made and filled out and sent to him). If he paid using Paypal, then I think you could just issue a refund through them, make a notation on it and screen cap that, and he can't really complain anymore.

Or send the finished work and tell him that's all you can do for him. He still has no reason to complain about you.

I had a similar commissioner. Refused a refund after I had updated him often and explained why the commission was taking so long (needed to find a pose reference... weird pose). So I know what kind of frustration you're feeling now. I hope this will work out!
athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
> If he paid using Paypal, then I think you could just issue a refund through them

Russian PayPal accounts are one-way. I can pay, but I can't receive. Refunds work, but are limited by banks, I think time limit is around month or so.

> I had updated him often and explained why the commission was taking so long

The problem is, Kinked has never done this. See my looong comment below for details.
stormslegacy
Jan. 22nd, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
I have to echo the "just send the sketchbook" sentiment.

You don't need to accommodate everything a commissioner asks for, especially if it isn't in the original agreement. It's not like you're going to revise the sketches, which is why he would want them to be scanned. Just send it and let him scan it himself. Trust me, no-one really pays attention to people like him when he complains, usually people like that have a list and most of us have the common sense to judge whether or not someone is just too picky. From my experience some customers can never be pleased so don't waste your time.
athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
> It's not like you're going to revise the sketches, which is why he would want them to be scanned.

I just don't trust Russian postal service. I have a lot of experience with them, trust me. They've ruined or lost more than two or three pictures. I don't want to lose the sketchbook too.

Also, every normal scanner doesn't need any cleaning up to get pencil sketch scanned. I didn't know about this issue before Kinked told about it here.

If you want to know details, please read my looong comment below.
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athari_p
Jan. 22nd, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
Athari, the evil commissioner :-)
It's very nice to see your post here. I've warned you to post here just to get the pictures, but you've actually done it.

First, the primary problem with Kinked is that she never provides any information. It takes at least three private notes to get the timyest piece of information from her. I've said numerous times that in order to solve problems, she should at least tell me about them. Nothing has changed. She still ignores half of my notes. She still doesn't provide any critical information (see details below). She responds only after shouts on her page, which she immediately removes. And it was especially funny when she told in her journal she couldn't get in contact with me and forgot my account name. A few hours after removing my shout from her page. Idea of logging into her previous account didn't cross her mind either (she has changed her name).

I can understand a lot of things. Technical problems are okay. Personal problems are okay. Even emotional problems are okay. It took more than a year sometimes for artists to finish commissions for me. Almost always it wasn't a problem (except for around two cases when I was plainly robbed, but I didn't care much, because amount of money involved wasn't significant). You know why? Because they were communicating. They warned me about delays, the replied to my questions about estimated completion time, they described their problems.

> He asked for LionKing charaters. I told him I could do them in my style kinda...but I was not a "disney" replica artist...but I think he liked my low price of only 100 bucks.

If you're wondering, I was specifically searching for artists who offer sketchbook commissions. I've had a very nice experience with Vilani; Kuna has also drawn comics for me. I liked getting a lot of pictures in one go. Vilani's conditions were very specific, I could only give characters and story, it's her who decided what exactly to draw. Nevertheless, the result of this artistic freedom was great and I was searching for more like this.

The fact that you've gone far beyound sketches and have provided cleaned up line art in fact (judging by a few preview scans you've posted in your gallery) is a pleasant surprise for me, especially considering I have never required this level of quality from you.

> First thing that happens is he is VERY picky about the actual sketchbook. Makes me tell him size, brand, whatnot. Fine. I got the biggest reasonable sized like he wanted.

All I was interested in is size, because quality of pictures and scans is higher this way, I think. You haven't said me the brand anyway, IIRC (may be mistaken).

> Then he tells me ONE pose. Just one. I asked for more (sometimes it's easier to draw with liberty as many know) He refuses and wants to see it first.

I've said it then, I repeat it now: I wanted to know how you'll draw the characters. It's not very hard to draw just one picture, is it? It shouldn't take like, two months?

> Then when I do finally post it... he is unhappy with the style but okay with it. I said I was not a disney copy artist, that my style would come through.

Quote: "The sketch is nice, I'm happy to see it at last. :) The lions don't look exactly like Nala and Simba, they inherit a lot from your style. It would be nice if the characters will be closer to the original, but it's not necessary. I don't mind it, it's just what will influence my decision to commission more TLK in the future."

There're more grades of happiness than binary happy/unhappy. The style wasn't perfect for this kind of commission on my scale, but I still liked it. If you haven't done so, you can read my comment to your submission with preview of my sketchbook. You'll notice I really liked your imagination with poses and expressions.

> So then i get ....the list! God. Detailed discriptions of each and every pose and exactly what angle, what expression....everything. On every angle.

Strange. I thought I've given enough freedom. Quote:
spiffystuff
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Athari, the evil commissioner :-)
Unless scanning was in the original agreement, you cannot demand she scan the art! It is actually quite time consuming to nicely scan pictures. Doubly so if she has a bad scanner. And no, it's not reasonable to expect her to get a new scanner for you either.

I agree that I don't know why she doesn't just resend one or some of the pictures she has scanned, especially since I can't see the email exchange. I'd theorize that the files are large and that too takes some time, more than she wants to continue spending at this point, but I'm just guessing. Still, you need to let her (snail) mail you the book and be done with things.

Basically, you paid $5 per piece. In some ways price doesn't matter - you are entitled to your art or a refund no matter how much or how little you paid. But in other ways, price does matter. It is not reasonable to expect an artist to spend hours catering to your expectations on top of the time it took her to draw the art when you paid less than an hour's minimum wage!

Edited at 2011-01-22 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Athari, the evil commissioner :-) - athari_p - Jan. 22nd, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Athari, the evil commissioner :-) - xodiac - Jan. 23rd, 2011 01:29 am (UTC) - Expand
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