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Questionable art trade?

So I have a question regarding an artist that I set up an art trade with.
We agreed on this art trade about six months ago. They would do two small pieces of art in exchange for a hat.
They gave me a reference to make the hat, so I followed the reference, finished it my part of the trade, and posted photos. I finished it pretty quickly, and did not expect them to be done in that time. Well, I never did get a response from them about it.
I sent them a note about four months later, and they said that "the hat was all wrong." Well, okay, I re-sold the hat to someone else and asked them if they wanted to continue the trade with a new hat. They said yes.
They sent me a new reference, this time of what they wanted the hat to look like. It looked nice, and after some discussion, we decided on the final design. I, again, made the hat, posted photos, this was two months ago. They commented saying how beautiful and perfect it was, but they also said they had a hand injury and it might take longer to finish their part of the trade.
Recently, they've posted a couple of journals regarding owed art, so I got excited thinking they were working on my artwork! I commented, first on their journal, and got a response with them asking if they ever gave me an address to send the hat to. I said that they had not, and then asked if they started on my art yet. No response.
About a week or two later, I posted on their commission status (which I did not happen to be on) if they had started. No response. They posted a journal two days ago, meaning that they had been online, but I'm not sure if they are reading their comments.
So now, I have this custom hat sitting here in my room for a really long time, and I'm slightly tired of this shenanigans, but I don't know the artists situation and I don't want to be too quick to jump to conclusions.
Do you guys have any advice? Is it my fault for finishing the hat before they even started on their part?

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( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 8th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
Well it's not your "fault" per say.

I would have taken "the hat is all wrong" as a warning. It seems like this person will be either shady, or will do subpar work in return.

I personally wouldn't have done the second hat, and said when they got one piece done you'd do the hat or some such.

What I would do now, is just give an ultimatum. Note her and say if she doesn't respond, the hat is being sold. If she does respond, say that she needs to provide the art in 2 weeks (or so), or the hat will be sold.
May. 8th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm kind of regretting making this hat since it was pretty intricate and took up some valuable commission time.
I'll go do that right now, hopefully they will actually respond to this note.
May. 8th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Seconding what the other person said, seems rather shady. However, depending on what the hat looks like you might be able to sell it like the first one.
May. 8th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
And I just saw your hats! Their lovely, I would so do an art trade for one of those hats. This last person is foolish for snubbing you like that.

(no subject) - punkspacewafers - May. 8th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
You think they would be aware of your ability to sell the product, especially after the first one. Why would they dawdle when they know you could just as easily get rid of this one?

You may want to encourage them to finish their half, lest you do put up a listing for this hat. It's not fair you've done so much work and have been getting no responses in return! They are basically only responding to you to let you know where to send their hat - I don't suspect they'll finish their half.

The great thing is, there was no money involved in this and you are not obligated to send the hat off if you don't feel comfortable. It's been long enough that I feel you're justified to start setting some serious ground rules. An ultimatum, if you will, and go from there.

Cheers <3
May. 8th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
Right-on, them asking if I had their address made me really suspicious. There's no way I'm sending it if I don't see their side.
I'm writing up a note to them right now, I'm just really fed up with this entire situation.

Thanks! <3
May. 8th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
yeah, at this point, give them a deadline after which you'll just sell the hat and wipe your hands of the affair :P
May. 8th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
Done <3
(Deleted comment)
May. 8th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
Yep, that's a good idea. Art trades that weren't started by me generally take much longer and are much more stressful, so I think I'm pretty much done with them for now.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - punkspacewafers - May. 8th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kappyjeanne - May. 8th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - skiota - May. 8th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crssafox - May. 9th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - May. 8th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wyngaed - May. 8th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
mm i have had trade problems too
im still waiting on 3 trades from last year!
one of them i contact read my notes but then doesnt respond.
it sucks,
i suggest what spiffy said, give a reasonable deadline, then if they dont co-operate, sell the hat.The good thing is that your item is a physical item, so you can sell it on, where as people who do character drawings cannot D:
May. 8th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
also please excuse my terrible English, im mega tired
(no subject) - punkspacewafers - May. 8th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yoka_neko - May. 8th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
Gosh. I'm sorry to hear about that and good luck! I feel like you really got jipped in this deal. Really, your make quality things looking in your gallery! You should probably set up your own personal rules about trades, I.E., they get their half done first before you start on yours. Art, especially fully digital art, costs them nothing to make, just time. You have materials, time, and effort you put into your things to get a physical outcome. So, yeah.

Anyway, neat idea about trading art for hats though! Maybe smaller items, such as tiny keychain plushies or something very simple to make? Ideas ideas ideas. I guess just note them, though, and don't do trades unless you start them up.
May. 8th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
Right-on, I have thought about that a lot lately. I always feel so bad about making them finish first though, maybe it would be better for them to show a WIP before I start on my part? Iunno hahah.
And I've also been thinking about making mini-plush instead of full sized hats and plush so that the prices equal out more >.>
Thanks for the ideas!
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spdora - May. 8th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sbneko - May. 8th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spdora - May. 8th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - May. 9th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spdora - May. 9th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't follow Razzek's advice personally. Because I'm guessing you're doing trades because you enjoy them, wouldn't be fun if you stopped.

That said, you'll need to start putting rules. I recently made rules and will use them unless the other person is my friend. I'm still working them out, so they're not the best so far.

But firstly, if someone asks YOU to trade, they either need to start and prove it, or finish first.

If you ask someone else, I'd either go with their rules (decline if I don't feel comfy) or ask to follow the same rule above in reverse. Where you start.

The best bet would be to do steps. I don't sew, so I'm not sure if it would work with you. But basically, with art, I'll do a sketch, they do a sketch, show it, do the inks, they do the inks, show it, etc. You could always get scammed, but not by that much.
May. 8th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
That makes sense, I guess I always thought of trading as a "free-for-all" type of thing, where both artists go at it according to their own schedule. That's probably why a lot of trades don't work out.
I like your method of trading, unfortunately it's more difficult with textiles since there's not much to show with just some cuts of fabric and unfinished designing. Still, it would work better than my current lack of organization.
(no subject) - sbneko - May. 8th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
Trades are perfectly possible to have go right, it's just you have to find people who will follow through with them and stick with them. Research them like you would an artist you want to commission and don't just trade with anyone that comes along. But you don't have to quit doing them altogether.
May. 8th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Research is great, but what do you do when there's not really anything to research about?

This one person I've been waiting a long time on didn't do commissions, or that many trades it seems. It's hard to tell how they work.
(no subject) - kayla_la - May. 8th, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
I want to join the chorus and say your stuff is lovely!

Other than that, I agree a lot with sbneko. It seems like it would be best to go in steps so no one gets burned. (sketch for a sketch, fabric for an ink, WIP for WIP, final for final, or something like that)

The other possibility is to accept trades, but require the cost of fabric in cash or a returnable deposit. That way if something goes wrong, you're not out supplies at least. (Especially for the less general designs)

There are a bunch of options to protect yourself in the future. I'm glad you have the option of selling this one if you don't get your half of the trade!
May. 8th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
And although that is a good idea, I would feel terrible charging someone for material costs, I'm not sure why :( I'm just too nice sometimes :P
Thanks again :)
(no subject) - celarania - May. 8th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
Sell the hat.
(Deleted comment)
May. 8th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
Trades have always been really smooth for me until now-- I've never had a problem with them, really. I'm generally a really trusting person so I expect people to do their part and I don't bother them about it, and usually I'm right-- they produce a fantastic piece and then I can ship out their item. Although this has just been going on for far too long, and it's been worrying me xD
May. 8th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
That's really sleazy! There's a lot of good advice here though and I think you'll be okay.

I second that your hats are lovely and well worth a trade. I'd offer one in my spare time, if I actually knew what I wanted. X3 I don't really wear a lot of hats even to be silly (I'm boring!), but the softness and seams of yours are great!

I couldn't find your FA page? Do you mind posting it, if not here in a private message so I can watch you over there. :3
May. 8th, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
May. 8th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
There are a lot of people who take advantage of the trading thing. I know personally I stopped taking them on a while back because I was so fed up of finishing my end relatively quickly and then being met with sometimes nothing in return.

I think I'll join in the chorus of everyone else about the quality of your hats, and despite my rant on trades there, I would love to do one in the summer with you sometime if you were interested :3
May. 8th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
Do you have a DA or FA page? :o
I'll be taking a lot more art trades from people I have previous experiences with over the summer, so maybe it would work out :)
(no subject) - purpule - May. 8th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 9th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)

Trades are one of those things it's very easy to flake out on because they're often the second most common item to be put on the backburner (most common is gifts, freebies and requests). They are seen as much less of a deal than a commission is and people tend to have lower expectations and thus don't push as much as they should.

Seriously, you should be as tough with trades as you would be with a commission.

Trades usually go wrong because of things like different expectations, if person A and person B go in with different expectations and do not communicate those expectations, often disappointment and resentment is the result. One of the biggest trade issues I have ever had was caused by that.

They also go wrong when one or both people do not treat it like a transaction. Trades are transactions, they just involve barter not money, that is really the only difference, therefore a clear deadline and communication and other things are essential, also researching an artist before accepting or offering a trade is a good idea.

Personally, I tend to be a bit flaky myself with trades, I know this so not only do I not take them very often, I do my half first and prefer to work with a deadline and clear communication of what the other person expects from me. Seriously, I actually like it when people treat it like a commission and tell me what they expect because it actually makes it easier for me, anything less usually causes problems.

Seriously, get tough with this person, set a deadline and if they don't keep it, sell the hat.
May. 9th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, as of now I'm going to be a lot more strict about my art trades. Both with myself and the other party.
They told me that I should have the art by today (they're always online or something, they responded to that PM SO fast.) so I'm hoping they'll stick to their word.
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