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Advice: Received photocopy

 Hey guys. I probably really shouldn't be complaining as I still have a few commissions due myself, but I need insight on if I should pursue this issue.

I commissioned an artist who happens to go to my school at FWA this year. I pretty much knew them, and as a fellow student, I figured there was no rhyme or reason to not commission them. I loved their work and I figured they would be perfect to draw a really creepy image of my typically cutesy chupacabra.

I paid them (on Saturday), saw them working on it while I worked on commissions myself, and was told it would be completed the next day (Sunday). The next day it still wasn't done, but that didn't bother me since we go to the same school, and I figured I could see them in the dining hall the following Monday and nab my commission there. Well.. no dice.

After FWA, I never saw them around the school. I am great friends with their roommate. The roommate told me that they wouldn't give out a phone number, but that they would talk to the artist for me and try to work something out. I sent messages to the artist many times through the roommate, mainly because I had absolutely no other way of contacting them. I was told by the roommate that the artist is not a furry and thus would not have an FA. I am unaware of any other online accounts as well. Every time I saw my friend since FWA, I had requested he grab the commission for me since the artist could not be bothered to work with me. The friend told me to try to catch the artist right after a class, which I could not do as I had a meeting. This Monday, the artist gave me a phone call but I had a class so it went to voicemail. I quickly shot them a text message explaining that I got out at "x" time. I got a break shortly after, called them, but received no answer. We played phone tag a few more times, but eventually they never called me back. I couldn't leave a voice message because their inbox isn't set up.

After days of receiving no more contact from the artist, they finally turned over the commission to my friend to give to me upon my request. I was really excited and as I examined the drawing I realized that it was a photocopy. Not only was it that, but it had photocopy dots all over the white of the paper and some of the lines were pixellated. I was not happy that I did not receive the original as I expected (and saw others given at FWA). My friend tried to guess as to why, such as the artist didn't want to rip it out of the sketchbook or wanted to keep the original for a portfolio. But this still made me agitated.

I have recently sent them a few texts asking for the original scans and edits or the original. I REALLY want the original, as I feel that I paid for a drawing - not a photocopy. I realize that the communication issue is my fault for thinking I'd be able to just see them in person, as well as for thinking I'd get the actual artwork. The original was not exactly agreed upon.. but usually at cons you are just given the piece of art and that's that, right?

I am very dissatisfied with what I have received and do not feel like I got what I paid for. The drawing is FANTASTIC. The copy I have of it? Not so much. It is regular printer paper and is speckled as if it were xeroxed. Should I continue to contact this artist demanding my original, or let it go? If the artist refuses communication for a while longer, should I post a beware?

Any opinions are appreciated. Thank you.

EDIT (5/8): I have told the artist that if they continue to refuse contact with me that I will post a beware about them tomorrow morning, as there is no reason they should ignore an unsatisfied customer. However, if the artist DOES get in contact with me, I know many of you want their name for your personal records. Please note me if you want their link.

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 8th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
Woaaah...after all that, you get a -photocopy-? Holy crap. No, I'd post the beware at this point. It sounds like you've honestly tried to contact them, and you've seen them working on it and KNOW they have the original.

Well...I hope they would. I'm wondering if something happened to the original and they were just too embarrassed to tell you? either way, I would let them know you're thinking of posting them up more openly here and that you want the original or a refund. A photocopy doesn't cut it.
May. 8th, 2011 09:02 am (UTC)
If something happened to it, I understand. I spill drinks and things all over my artwork. But I'd tell whoever the drawing was for and apologize profusely and salvage the situation best I could.

They have ignored every single one of my text messages, so, embarrassed or not, they are ignoring me. :(

I will be informing them that I will post them via text message tomorrow evening if they do not respond to me. I sent them three texts today as well as called them twice. Never got a response. I requested the original or the original scan and any edits. I feel like either is acceptable, even though I much prefer the physical piece.
May. 8th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
Gosh... y'know, as an artist I really feel that you've been wronged.

Granted, yeah, maybe the communication issue was at fault on both sides. But when you commission someone to do a piece for you you SHOULD get the finished product. If there's some reason why you can't get it, like they feel it will strengthen their portfolio, they might want to refund the money because, clearly, they ended up doing it for THEM not for you. And you're not paying them to strengthen their portfolio or fill their sketchbook.

That being said, if you are a much nicer person the artist should at the very least supply you with high res digital copies, such as scans. But for that matter the artist really ought to keep that for their portfolio explaining that it was a hired job and the original went to the client. (An employer would understand.)

I wish you the best of luck resolving it.
May. 8th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
Re: Commissions
I honestly feel incredibly wronged. I always feel a little sad that I never get the time to get great scans of my work that I do at cons, but if I ever took something home I wouldn't dream of sending them a xerox.

I wouldn't request a refund since they did complete the work and in a way DID deliver, but what is delivered is currently unacceptable. I agree - I will post client work in a portfolio, but it's always the copy in my portfolio and the original in their hands.

Thanks for your input!
May. 8th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Honestly, as someone that does cons, and occasionally ends up taking home work after the con, sending a printed copy is pretty much a big no in my book. There's really no reason they should be sending a very poor copy in place of the original, if they where in contact and gave a reason they might temporarily need the original for something, I can understand. But, there's no reason they can't hand off the original to the third party here in this case.

Keep on contacting them, and maybe toss a name for us here, so we can avoid the same issues.
May. 8th, 2011 09:07 am (UTC)
We go to what can be described as a state of the art university for the arts. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever I should get a poor scan and on bad paper. Our school provides us with the newest equipment and give us free reign. Somehow, the artist managed to find a copier and not use our state of the art equipment that our tuition pays for.

Will do.

I'm actually not sure if I CAN give a name. I don't know any online aliases - just his real name.
(no subject) - skiota - May. 8th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
Wow, no. That is a HUGE, huge NO. I wouldn't even DREAM of giving a paying customer JUST a photocopy. That's awful. D:
(Deleted comment)
May. 8th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
I agree but FWIW my understanding is that while asking permission would be courteous, artist doesn't need permission to make a copy unless they signed away their rights (which usually isn't the case)
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)

A photocopy? Really? Wow, that's just, wow. How long does it take to copy an image if you want to keep the original? Seriously?

Even in situations where the physical copy is not included, the client should really get a high res digital version, and perhaps a high res print if applicable, not a photocopy which is a poor reproduction method as best. So even if they're not going to give you the original (to be fair, you should have had it clarified that you wanted the original piece) they still should give you a decent copy of the piece you hired them to make.

How much did you pay? Do you have proof of payment? If you have evidence of what you paid for? I'd suggest making it clear to the artist that if you do not receive an adequate copy of the work, you will pursue legal channels, that may result in them contacting you and sorting this matter out. If not, your only option may be to continue to ask for a proper copy/the original as well as to make a full beware about him including his name here.

I suggest in future that you get your commissions agreements in hardcopy describing what you're paying for, and with a receipt so you have plenty of option for dealing with unprofessional artists.
May. 8th, 2011 09:19 am (UTC)
From my experience, FWA doesn't do what most cons do and have people pay at a register that eventually pays out to the artists minus the tax. Only one artist out of the MANY that I commissioned at FWA produced a receipt for me. I admit, I am at fault for not insisting upon any type of proof of payment. Thought I could really trust them since we were classmates.

I paid $20 for an inked drawing. I can scan the xerox tomorrow if need be.

I wouldn't pursue anything legal as it's not really an option for me. However, I'm going to threaten an artist's beware posting. However, if they have no online presence, I'm not sure how much good it will do, and if I can even post their real name.

I agree with this suggestion and I appreciate your feedback. Thank you!
(no subject) - lilenth - May. 8th, 2011 10:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 07:13 am (UTC)
FWA as in Furry Weekend Atlanta?

How did they know about the furry con if they're not connected to anything furry?
Thats kinda risky if they've no connection at all but doing business there. :c
Did they at least have cards or something with email addresses?
May. 8th, 2011 08:59 am (UTC)
Yes, Furry Weekend Atlanta.

I honestly wasn't aware that this artist did not like furries until my friend/the artist's roomie said something about how "___ and ___ don't even like furries, but they went to the con to make money." He was talking about something completely different, so it's not in context, but the words still stand.

I'm not sure if they did. Like I said, this artist is a fellow classmate of mine and I have always had good dealings with them. They are studying to be a professional alongside me - I should have been more thoughtful, but I really didn't think someone I knew and was friends with my friends and was getting schooling to become a professional artist would actually burn me like this. :\

I will try to dig up any of their online contacts if they even exist and if they refuse the original, I will post it all in a beware.
(no subject) - kayla_la - May. 8th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 09:13 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
Even if they want it for a portfolio you always use copies for portfolios. Everyone asks for prints, and specifically don't want originals (so they won't be responsible for them). So I just wanted to say that isn't a valid excuse.
May. 8th, 2011 08:46 am (UTC)
Yes, portfolios is a thing you send to companies you'd like to work for and only contains copies because 9 out of 10 times you never get it back.
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 08:44 am (UTC)
Unless agreed upon, you don't necessarily get the original.
That said, if everyone else was getting them and the artist doesn't care to at least explain why you're only getting a photocopy (and not even a scan, wtf?) yeah I'd keep at it a while longer and post a beware if the artists stays incommunicado.
May. 8th, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
Additionally, I'm the type of person who never tears anything out of their sketchbook. But it doesn't take much to scan the drawing, make a cheap print and trace it on to clean paper. Finish. Ship. Not rocket science.
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 09:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 09:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - holydust - May. 8th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 9th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
I'm mortified that an art student would do this, of all people. It's standard for professional artists to keep originals (as far as I've been told by my professors who work as illustrators) but they would never just send their client a really crappy copy of the thing o__o
However, since they were giving everyone else the original, you definitely have the right to receive it in my opinion.

Every artist should use a contract, but unfortunately they don't. (Myself included, the TOS is taking ages to write lol).
May. 8th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
It's standard for the artist to keep the original and sell the right to companies, but if the illustrator was doing a portrait, drawing of a pet, etc., the standard is definitely sell the original, keep the rights. It all depends on what the client is using it for - display/personal use or reproduction.
(no subject) - ciderfox - May. 8th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - May. 8th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 8th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - May. 9th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 9th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - May. 9th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - makealittlewish - May. 9th, 2011 09:45 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
Sort of related... I traded originals with someone and they mailed me photocopies too.... I sent them the original works, I got photocopies. I mentioned it was a photocopy...and they sent me another photocopy?
I'm pretty upset too, so if you get an answer pass it along, neh?
( 57 comments — Leave a comment )


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