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Coming Soon: General Advice Posts

I am proud to be a member and moderator of a community which has an astounding number of resourceful, knowledgeable, and helpful members. By sharing your advice and experiences, you have helped countless artists and commissioners over the years. While advice posts aren't the primary reason this community was formed, I think they contribute to its purpose by preventing issues from escalating to the point of a 'beware'.

In the community guidelines, we request that people who make an advice post browse through the previous posts to see if their issue has come up before. However, this is a tedious and often fruitless task. We have a lot of advice posts, and they are all tailored to the OP's specific situation. For someone with a similar (but not identical) situation, gleaning advice from the comments in these posts is a monumental task. 

So, we are going to do something different.

Every other week, a moderator will make a post about a different topic. Then y'all can comment with your advice. Also, if you recall someone (including yourself) making a particularly helpful comment related to this topic in a previous advice post, please link to the comment (or you can copy-paste if it's your comment originally).   You can also link to entire posts that match this topic. 

The purpose of this is to create a library of advice to which we can point people who submit advice posts, and to which people can refer as needed.  We will still allow advice posts that don't necessarily fit into our general posts.

For our list of topics, so far we have:

What do I do if I am featured in artists_beware ? (this will be the very first one, the others are in no particular order)
How much should I charge for my art? Done
Copyright:  What are my rights as an artist?
Copyright:  What are my rights as a commissioner?
Copyright:  What do I do when someone wants the rights to my image?
Copyright:  The do's and don't's of referencing from photos and other art.
Copyright vs. Trademark
What should my contract include?
What should I put in my terms of service?
How long should I wait until I ask for my money back/warn about this person?
What printing services have you used and would you recommend them to someone else?
Someone wants me to do a comic/sequential art, how much do I charge/should I treat it differently than a regular commission?
How do you handle when someone wants corrections/repairs/fixes?
Very general "How to get along with artists"/"How to get along with commissioners".
What do I do if my art is stolen?
What's the best way to ship my art?
What do I do if the item I mailed didn't arrive?
How do I help ensure an international shipment arrives (safely)?
Websites/resources to help artists.
Good business practices.
Techniques for organization and keeping track of commissions.
How do taxes work with regards to commission income?  (Must keep in mind the advice there will be country-dependent.)
How long should I keep the art and how should I store it? (Digital or real media.)
Emergency commissions:  do I jump on the good deal or let it pass?
What do I do when an emergency comes up and I can't work on commissions/send my payment?
What do I do when I need to do a chargeback or do a PayPal dispute?
What do I do when someone issues a PayPal dispute or chargeback on me?
What do I do when my commissioner/artist disappears? 
Are there measures I can take to make it harder to steal my online art?
Someone wants a pic of someone else's character (with their character or as a gift).  How do I make sure it's legit?
Books? How much to charge for the images, and how to have a conversation with an author who is most likely not educated in how the art world works.

Any other suggestions for topics that get asked a lot?

(p.s.  Kudos go to kayla_la  for this awesome idea!)

EDIT:  Adding topics as they are suggested so we don't get repeats.

EDIT 2:  We mods are just posting the topic; the advice will be in the comments.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 24th, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
Your LJ code borked, apparently!
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
lol *facepalm*
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
perhaps advice on mailing art? badges, larger flat work, fursuits, sculptures, etc
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)

I'd also suggest perhaps doing a topic on useful resources, say linking things like posts we've found elsewhere which are useful in general to working artists and clients?
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
delivery overseas?/delayed mail?

as i have a few experiences with that, which id like to share advice:3
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
I can write advice posts.
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Would you put a permanent link to that first topic at the top of the community page? You've probably already thought of that, but I just want to make sure since it would be an extremely valuable post to have easy link to.
Apr. 24th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yep! All of these topics will have permanent links on the community page for easy access.
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Apr. 24th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Not sure how well this would work out- but perhaps a very broad and generic work ethic?

Or maybe something along the lines of a compilation showing other others go about their "business" so to speak what should be encouraged, what's discouraged and how that could be changed/rearranged?
Apr. 24th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)

How about organisation tips? I'm terribly disorganised myself (I'd forget my own head if it wasn't screwed on). And perhaps something on taxes in general? Also art storage, how long to keep something if a client up and disappears either after paying or before they pay?
Apr. 24th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
just a suggestion -- i would be very, _very_ careful with the 'how much should i charge' question to avoid accusations of price fixing.
Apr. 24th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
That isn't meant to be a "charge X amount" post. It's more like general advice on determining how much to charge for your art, which will vary considerably between artists.
(no subject) - theblackdragon - Apr. 25th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Apr. 24th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)

What about one about sales and how to handle emergency commissions? What to do if you have an emergency? How to handle "creeps" or unwanted contact. A discussion on copyright, trademark and what it means for the artist and commissioner. How to handle quoting prices/delayed commissions?
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Oh! Paypal+refunds+chargebacks too!
(no subject) - kerstin_orion - Apr. 24th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Apr. 24th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
Why you should always offer tracking and insurance on shipped items.
Return or refund policy.
How to watermark or protect your online images from theft
Beyond FA, where can I host and sell my artwork?
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
Definitely will mention the tracking and insurance under "What's the best way to ship my art?"
Return and refund policies are part of Terms of Service, so we'll make sure to discuss them in there.
Added #3
#4 goes with "websites and resources to help artists" and is a good suggestion for one category to have in that post.
(no subject) - kadaria - Apr. 25th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapesgirl34 - Apr. 27th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 25th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
I don't have any suggestions for topics (yet), but I'm digging this idea!
Apr. 25th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
Also, handling couple-pics/gift art, and dealing with couples that break up.

I'm wondering for the format if it makes sense to have little subthreads for some of the broader topics like say... sequential art whether it's a single page or a long-term project. Those could have very different answers.
Apr. 25th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
We'll see how things go with this and whether it gets too difficult to filter the advice given in the post comments. We're trying to keep them more general to help as broad an audience as possible (while not so broad that it's hard to find the help/advice you're looking for). It's a new thing so it'll probably evolve as we go along. Some of the topics above may be split up, while others get put together.

Perhaps once each post has been up for a while, a mod (or volunteer) can compile all of the advice from the comments into an organized post with subcategories and the like...
(no subject) - celarania - Apr. 25th, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 25th, 2011 05:12 am (UTC)
I guess I can legitimately ask the first question since I actually was posted about here. XD
Apr. 25th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
I'd urge you to break this out into a separate community instead of diluting the main purpose of artists_beware ("A place to voice positive or difficult experiences with commissioners or artists"). I think people have been posting general advice here because they know a lot of artists see it and there doesn't seem to be another community more appropriate to it.
Apr. 25th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
"This community is also open to discussions and questions on how to conduct business between artists and their customers."

The vast majority of members voted to continue allowing advice posts a few years ago. Sometimes they fix a problem before it becomes a beware, sometimes they become bewares.

We get repeats of many of the above topics in advice posts. We mods don't have time to browse back through the advice posts to try to find one that fits the one in the queue, so we just approve it. The point of these posts is to eventually have fewer advice posts, as we mods can point people to these general posts if we feel the advice can answer their questions.
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( 38 comments — Leave a comment )


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