four_calamities (four_calamities) wrote in artists_beware,

Issues with contact

I am looking for advice on a problem with communication with a customer.

About year or so back, I had asked for donations to go towards a subscription to deviantArt in exchange for a commission. The only catch was that the person who wanted to donate a sub needed to contact me first about it so that an agreement on the resulting commission would be made (so that there wouldn't be any hidden surprises on either end - such as something I wouldn't comfortable making or simply wouldn't be able to do / was beyond my ability), and if a subscription was bought without notifying me it would have been considered a generous donation. All of this was outlined in a journal (that has been long-since purged, so I'm afraid I can't provide caps).

About a day or so after posting the offer I received a year's subscription to dA, but I hadn't received any PMs regarding anyone actually taking the offer. I received a PM later from someone, who said they just wanted to help out, and that I didn't "have to" make them anything:

For personal reasons regarding this person, this was not a commission I wanted to take; but I felt guilty, so I gave them the commission.

Due to various complications with school and inspiration, the commission was stalled several times. The original order (a large-scale drawing involving Silent Hill characters, uncoloured) was eventually cancelled and substituted with a different order (a large-scale, three-view reference sheet, uncoloured).

Even more time has since past, and as of approximately eight months ago, due to a worsening personal situation, I had begun to refund any outstanding commissions that I could simply not find the time to work on. The process was very slow, as finances wouldn't allow for any speedy returns. About two weeks ago, I had noted this customer over FA, as they had left dA, requesting their Paypal information so I could refund them the value of the subscription they had bought me back when (approximately $30.00 USD) as completing the commission was just not possible for me for both personal and real-life reasons. The note was read within the span of 24 hours, but I have not heard a response back. Concerned, I also left a shout on their FA page several days after asking that they please get back to me; I still haven't heard anything.

I don't know if this has any bearing on the situation, but this customer was a former friend of mine. We had a "falling out", in a sense, before this commission took place. I had them blocked on IM for personal reasons, but still interacted amicably with them over dA and FA. I know this is not a case of them forgetting about the commission itself.

So, I am wondering if this is worth pursuing to give this person their refund if they won't respond? If they don't want it and would prefer to let the matter lie, I would be okay with that, but I would like to at least know for sure, if not just for the sake of my conscience. I know am I more than partially at fault for getting myself into this situation by taking this commission when I ultimately didn't want anything to do with it or the customer placing the order, but I would like to at least try to rectify the situation. I don't know what to do if they simply refuse to respond. Do I keep the money and just cancel the commission as I said I have and drop any more attempts at communication? Or do I keep trying to get an answer out of them?

Any help would be most appreciated.

Tags: advice for artists

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