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advice seeking post





What: Traditional art
Where/When: AC '11

I took a large commission (for me, anyway) at AC. After a move - during which my customer was traveling, and assured me that it was fine that I was sorting the house first - I began work on the commission without much ado. I turned in progress shots and they seemed very enthused about the progress. I was also! It looks pretty awesome. I think it'll be one of the better things I've drawn! We're both excited, cool! I've been making adjustments at the suggestion of the customer at each stage that they were made. Getting to the final refining stage has taken a while, as even after I had set to work my customer continued to have long periods of non communication, something I had been advised of, but also assured that communication would become more regular, which it has yet to much degree. I refine, and tighten, and finally come to a time where it can be scanned for final sketch approval. It's all completely ready for color except a very small section (delay between a question I asked the customer and the day when my bf took it to be scanned - I do not own a scanner, just for the record.). The communication had been semi-regular for a little while(a few emails worth), but then another quiet after I sent it. I did not think much, they seem as if they were quite busy, and while it itched at the artisty bit of me, the person bits and business sense in me knows folks got a life! So it's cool. Then! I get an email back saying they had deliberated 'for a while' and decided that they wanted some rather major changes, in addition to some adjustments I consider "regular". The regular adjustments I honestly don't care at all about, unless someone was super ridiculous I have no problem tweaking things - I had informed them that really excessive changes or later stage major changes may need to be charged a later fee, at the time of commission. Unfortunately, this was verbal. (I think I will have a form to sign next year - you can do that, right?). The "major" change comes in wanting to change the character's legs from plantigrade to digitigrade, which is a large task since there are 5 figures in total that would need this adjustment. In addition, two other items were dismissed - one that I had been given artistic liberty on, and one from a prompt - and I was suggested to draw just one, whole new item. This will disturb the symmetry and look of the current set up of images, which means I may need to adjust other things so it doesn't look all wonky.

I emailed them and said plainly that the minor adjustments were a-okay but that the larger ones would need to cost money. What I did not say (I think it would sound rude? But maybe it would be informative. I didn't say it, in any case.) is if this had been said at the very beginning when the first figures were roughed out, or even before the rest of them were added, I probably would have done it as part of 'regular' adjustments, but when it is ready to have color down and there are changes like bone/body structure I just can't let my time go so easily. I have yet to hear back, and I am anxious that this is another deliberation and I don't even know what I might hear.

It's been so pleasant so far, I enjoy the project, but I am concerned that perhaps this might be heading into some, erm, "weird" territory? I am not saying I am getting scammed, but well, it's making me anxious enough that I wanted to post and get feed back on my situation. If you have any questions, please ask them, I may have forgotten to include something or worded something oddly.

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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
sbneko
Sep. 3rd, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
Either charge for the change or don't do it at all. You showed them progress shots so you are not obligated to change things like the legs. It was up to them to tell you straight away.

If they don't agree to that, then oh well for them really. Don't cave, you delivered the art they wanted.
sigilgoat
Sep. 3rd, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Unless you suddenly changed them from looking plantigradeish to full digitigrade, they have nothing to complain about as it's all been there.

Let them know that to change those things, you'll pretty much have to do a redraw, and charge them the same amount as you would for a pencil/ink (where ever it is at this point).
ithinkdirt
Sep. 3rd, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
Okay, cool, thank you for an idea on what to charge. I wasn't even sure. I did not actually say any amount to them, I figured they should acknowledge that there would be more money first... I... think. Heh. New to this. :)
sigilgoat
Sep. 4th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
We're all new for a long time! <3 good luck with it c:
ithinkdirt
Sep. 3rd, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
Well, I am concerned though, would that mean refunding them partially or just going through with the commission as-is and letting them have to accept the work that they paid for (but may not like as much, without the changes)?

[just asking for clarification!]
ithinkdirt
Sep. 3rd, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
The refunding them partly thing would be if they/me decided to just... stop. I'd rather not though! I like the work, as I mentioned. :c
sbneko
Sep. 3rd, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
Well, it depends on them I guess since most people say you should ask the commissioner what they want. There's different options.

- They have to pay a fee for the changes
- If they don't, either continue as is
- Or ask if they'd like a refund of the work not yet done.

It of course sucks to not be able to finish a picture you're loving so much, but you don't want to let people like that get away with things either. People can't change they're minds in the middle of the commission. I personally will fix things for free sometimes if it's small and the person themselves are very nice, but unless it's my mistake, I have no obligation for it.

Unfortunately, you need to understand that you can't make everyone happy. You'll feel guilty but you really have to put your foot down.
spiffystuff
Sep. 3rd, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
Yes these are good options :B

If OP really wants to keep going with the picture on their own time / inspiration they can, also - commissioner doesn't have rights to it.
sbneko
Sep. 3rd, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
Right, I didn't really think about that. Personally, every time it got to a point where I needed to put my foot down, I lost interest in the picture and wouldn't want to finish it unless I had to. (situations where the commissioner doesnt agree, etc)
ithinkdirt
Sep. 3rd, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
I think I will do that. I'll present the suggested price from above and give them those options.

Thank you so much! I sort of already "knew" this, but I haven't taken a lot of commissions, and never had anything go awry, so it's a very new situation!
millislim
Sep. 4th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
It sounds like this is a traditional commission right? If things go south you may still be able to salvage the pic for another customer or yourself.

As far as plantigrade to digigrade?! That's rediculous! That would be like saying...I know that character was a wolf but now I want him to be a rabbit. It doesn't work like that. I would highly recommend a tough TOS after this to prevent future incidents. But if you're really enjoying the work you've done so far you can always keep it and customize to your specs...then you'll have a shinning example of your capabilities to show future customers.

Also, I would hesitate to submit to these requests. These are MAJOR changes and it might not be the only thing the customer has milling around in their head to change....If you give a mouse a cookie...etc...etc...(kids book reference)
niiku
Sep. 4th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
I agree with the above comments and don't think I could add anything useful to the conversation.

BUT I just had to come here and tell you that your icon is the best thing I've seen today on the internets. What is it from? I can't stop giggling. XD
ithinkdirt
Sep. 4th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
It is from Red Dwarf, a fun/quirky British sci-fi sitcom. :3
niiku
Sep. 5th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Ahahaha I'll have to look into it :D
clockworkshadow
Sep. 9th, 2011 08:48 am (UTC)
OT but I am squeeing over your icon! <3
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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