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Good and bad?

Hello. New here and stuff. I gather from this community's info that it's good for warning each other about bad experiences, but it also claims it can be a good place to plug good ones. So...how about both, from the same commission! :D I had a simultaneous good/bad adventure with Ayame Emaya. For those of you not familiar with her work, here. Also, this icon came from the picture she did for me. Suffice it to say that she has lots of talent, which is why I commissioned her in the first place.

As of when I commissioned her, she seemed very good with communication. Not so good on the speed, but she's one of those very busy types, and she was very good at communicating, so I never felt that she had taken my money and ran or anything. Very approachable, friendly even. She had a system involving a seemingly infinite number of sketches, where she would make a draft and ask for feedback, make changes and ask for feedback on that, and keep going until told that it was absolutely perfect. Then she would do the coloring and finalizing and stuff. I found this to be very generous, as many artists' policies are more along the lines of "I'll show it to you when it's done" or one draft at the very most.

The thing with Ayame is that she apparently loves to draw. No, really. She loves to draw. On one hand, she's quite good at it. On the other, she can't stop, and this led to the biggest drawback to an otherwise perfect experience. She had a tendency to make a lot of unrequested alterations to the picture between any given draft. The first version of the picture had one of the characters' tail and muzzle a little too long. I pointed this out, and she was happy to fix it. However, the character in the next draft also had significantly larger breasts and ears. I didn't ask for those. She apparently just wanted to tweak those while working on everything else. I politely asked if she could revert those changes, and she did--again, to her credit, wonderful communication, friendliness, etc. However, the next version had other things changed. And so it went....

Here, of course, is a dilemma. I suddenly had the suspicion I was never going to get a perfect version, because she just could not restrict herself to only changing the things I asked her to. Every draft had something wrong with it, because she'd make something wrong with it in the process of fixing something unrelated (ask for a shorter tail, get a shorter tail and larger breasts.) To complicate the matter, with each passing draft I felt guiltier and guiltier about sending it back. I asked a few times and she continually swore up and down that she didn't mind, but I thought "Oh God, she's going to kill me if I make her do yet another draft" every time I saw an error in the latest version.

Eventually I told her that it was perfect and to go ahead and finish, even though I was less than happy with what I had. This was due to a combination of guilt ("I'd be such a prick to make her do another round of changes") and kind of just wanting her to be done before she changed anything else. She inked and colored and sent it off. Speedy shipping, by the way.

I have very mixed feelings. On one hand, it is amazingly well-drawn, because Ayame is good. On the other, I'm not especially happy with it, because of the flaws I went ahead and kept just for wanting the picture completed. Then again, without even telling me these existed beforehand, my picture did come with three (three!) alternate sketches of the same picture. Apparently it had taken her a few times to settle on one she liked enough to complete, or this was another side-effect of her seriously loving to draw. Either way, she had three versions of the picture before the one she finalized, and just included those in at random. (I like one of them much better than the one that eventually became a real picture, but eh....) I feel I really shouldn't complain just because of the bonus material there.

So now I ask for the opinion of the others here. I mostly want to see if I did the right thing, because I still feel guilty about sending the picture back as many times as I did. I mean, I would only have had to once or twice if she only made the changes I asked for, but...still! Even if I'm paying, I should think I owe artists a little more respect than to come off as picky or anything.

I know that I personally would not commission her again, but that is actually mostly because I got the picture on a sale and I consider her regular going rate to be a little above my price range. As to recommendations...well, all I can do is say what happened and ask, would you go through this with her?

...No, really, would you? I'm curious, because I still don't know what to make of the whole thing myself.
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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 3rd, 2005 10:35 am (UTC)
im not experienced with commissioning a variety of people, only person ive commissioned successfully were huskie (two new ones are from seperate artists and are being done, and one was too busy but i excused it cause shes a friend and let her have the money, wasnt that much). Huskie is a cool person to commission, she showed me a sketch and asked if it was ok, and it was. I asked her for a background that she originally agreed to, but didnt get it. And the colors were off on one of the characters. But i guess it was due to some communication mishaps and excused that too. (im not that much experienced at commissioning artists at all lol). But ill give my opinion anyway. I dont think you were being picky, but simply wanting her to correctly portray what you envisioned. Noted that all artists cant read minds and it wont come out absoloutly PERFECT. And that alot of artists can get crazy with thinking things dont look right and constantly altering it to settle themselves (we're our own worst critics). Though even so, i think if she kept altering odds and ends of the picture that you didnt ask her to, you should have told her it looked fine and not to change it. Or not to change anything further then what you asked to be altered. If she ignored that, then i think she is at fault for letting her own nit pickiness get the best of her. And not just leaving what you asked to be left alone, and only altering what you specifically asked to be altered. But i think communication is a vital key in commissions. And you should have told her how you truley felt, otherwise theres no communication and the completed work is less then satisfactory. Now, i need to take my own advice for next time lol
Sep. 3rd, 2005 11:36 am (UTC)
As someone that hates to even say something at a resturant unless it's so terrible I just can't eat it (ie, onions have been put on it), I think maybe you should feel a little guilty for sending it back so often.

Haha, okay not that harsh, becuase the artist didn't seem to mind at all, but you do seem a little fussy when it comes to the details. I can understand having a very clear sense of your fursona (or "self" if you take it that far) and being frustrated as it comes oh so close to actualization...but keep in mind, the artist doesn't quite have the same vision as you. Also keep in mind that individual artist styles affect the character being drawn, as evidenced by different versions of Max Blackrabbit's or EWS's characters show.

I think it's a molehill. That's my two cents for what it's worth.
Sep. 3rd, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'd say the main responsibility for the way it turned out was, yes, you. If, after the first (and certainly after the second) there were mistakes being added, you really should have said "Could you use the X of the first draft and the .. say, tail, that you just did. You can trace them if you want, I don't mind."

And yes, it sounds, well, a bit fussy. Most fan artists aren't professional in the sence of being able to do precise images exactly to a description (even many pros often find they just can't get something right for a client). And pros charge for this sort of time they go through with revisions, again and again, by generally charging 10X or more than fan artists. A fan artist is going to give you, to the best of their ability, an interpretation of your idea, in their personal style. You are going to get an artist's vision of your character, which may or may not exactly match yours. And that's why you generally only pay $20-$60. Considering her going rate is $40 for a full char in colour and $35 for a B&W, and you got it on sale, she almost certainly made less than minimum wage on all the changes. I'm not of the "never show it 'til it's done" school (except maybe at cons), but generally if you need more than two drafts, you are either too fussy, or the commisioner isn't close enough to your vision to have made it worth while to commision in the first place (or they're really crappy, but most really crappy artists don't seem to offer much in the way of drafts).

We've got people who've never gotten art, who've gotten half-assed art, who've found people tracing their art, so on the scale of things, this is pretty minor, though I know it's big to you. I really think you should have listened to your inner voice on this one, or at least been more honest. As it is, you've made for an unhappy experience for both of you.
Sep. 3rd, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC)
From what I understand, Ayame wasn't too bothered about any of it. He did ask her if it was okay to suggest changes and she "swore up and down" that it was.

It looks like his main concern was that she kept changing things that he wasn't even asking for and each time he got one thing corrected she'd change something else.

Now, I've commissioned Ayame myself and I've seen the same thing. She's a big sweetheart and is an excellent artist, but she does change things cosntantly. :)
Sep. 3rd, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly. Thank you. ^^;

I know it sounds picky or fussy to want five or six drafts before finally settling on one (that even then I wasn't happy with, but at this point I felt guilty about how many drafts I ordered,) but I'm fairly confident I could have had it in one, maybe two if she had only changed the things I requested. Most of the exchange after that was along the lines of "Can you please undo this?" followed by her undoing it and then making a different unrequested change while she was at it.

Should I have mentioned that? Well, I did...I think. My memory is a little fuzzy here, so I could be wrong on this. While I didn't actually spell out "Can you please change this and -leave- -the- -rest- -alone-" as that would have been rude, I'm fairly sure I closed most requests for changes with comments like "Everything else looks perfect" or "The rest looks great; don't change a thing." I guess you could call it a subtle hint that got missed. Maybe I should have been more clear. I will concede that much.
Sep. 3rd, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
She wasn't completely redrawing the picture with every draft. If she was, then I would be much more lenient on things looking different, since no one can draw a body part in the exact same pose with the exact same size more than once without tracing. (And even then, it isn't identical.)

This was pencil sketchwork that got erased and redrawn on the same piece of paper. If I said the tail was too long, she just erased part of the end of the tail and drew the end at a shorter point. This is why I was a little more exasperated at all the unrequested changes; to avoid mucking up the breast size, for example, all she would have had to do is not go in and deliberately erase and redraw and change them.
Oct. 15th, 2005 01:40 am (UTC)
I know I'm awfully late in replying, but I was reading backwards. :)

I got a badge from Ayame. She actually sent me two different poses/versions of it, one of which I liked more, so I took that one. My character hadn't yet been drawn, but everything I specified she did right. It looked how I wanted it too. The breasts weren't too big, nothing was too long. The only thing I didn't really like was the dress, but oh well. Weird. Though I remembering being surprised by the two different versions. She certainly loves drawing. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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