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In need of advice please!

Hello A_B!

I commissioned an artist (no names yet, I just want advice for now) about 3 months ago now for a simple pin-up of my character. When I commissioned them, I looked for any outstanding commission list and only turned up a short one or two person list, and the artist seemed highly productive so I was unworried about receiving the work. However since then the artist has continually accepted commission and trade work in stream and has completed the work in short order while largely ignoring the outstanding list of commissioners.

At first I did not mind, as I figured everyone deserves wiggle room, and doing personal art or side commissions mixed in with normal commissions is completely fine! But after waiting 2 months, I shot them a note kindly requesting an update as to when I would receive my work. I was re-directed to the que they keep in a journal, and was told to watch there for days they decided to make their official commission work days. The next day there was a header added to the commission list telling people to stop sending notes about them taking commissions in stream and that they had the right to do what they wanted with their days off.

So this continues, the header of the journal also said at one time they had bit off more work than they could chew, and that they were working to "fix this," but they refused to quit taking more stream work, which included pin-ups like the one I paid for. They also said that commissioners could "Set a deadline" if they wanted to, but I was hesitant to ask for one, as I worry rushing them may produce a lesser piece of art.

I sent another note about a week ago, kindly asking again how commissions were coming. At that point the artist said mine would probably be done by (last) Wednesday. But still nothing. Granted, this artist has been doing the outstanding commissions, but the behavior has really begun to grate on me. I don't feel that commissioners should be put on the back burner while new commission work is continually taken and finished in front of theirs. More recently they have elected to start up art trades in stream as well, with some trade work spilling into the next day's work.


TL;DR, I'm tying to keep my cool, as the artist seems like a genuinely nice person, and I really would like to be able to have a good experience as a commissioner as I rarely ever buy art, but I'm really getting annoyed with this behavior. I could really use advice on what to do. I don't want to anger the artist, but I'm not ok seeing them constantly take and finish new work in front of mine. Am I over reacting? I'm really unsure. I'd normally be fine waiting for months if there is a line in front of me or even if the artist just touches bases every so often.

I just need help here. x.x Thank you!!

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
airukitsu
Sep. 17th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
I'd say, if it's really getting to you and the artist hasn't started ANYTHING on your work, or even attempted to make time to start working so they can at least show you progress, you might just want to politely ask for a refund.

There's no reason you should sit and watch as someone completely ignores you and makes no attempt to keep you around with even a little progress, especially when they are taking commissions left and right around you.
mazz
Sep. 17th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)
I'd agree with this. I'm sure you're not the only commissioner upset with this artist watching other people get art instantly when they've been waiting on a non-moving queue.
skulldog
Sep. 17th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Also going to agree with this, an artist taking their time and finishing a long list slowly is really not an issue. However, an artist that can't finish a list BEFORE taking more work, needs to be told you're sick of waiting.
frazzled_niya
Sep. 17th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
agree with this.
spiffystuff
Sep. 17th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Just curious, is there a reason your commission isn't part of the stream commissions?
It's reasonable for you to be frustrated, when you've waited months and, when finally given a deadline, it went sailing past without any note to you.
I'd say it's high time you let the artist know you're getting unhappy with the wait. I know you're worried about angering the artist but really, that's on them, if they're going to behave badly might as well out with it I say?
Just tell them something along the lines of "I've tried to be polite and patient, but I'm starting to feel ignored, seeing so many people who paid after me get priority for months now. You said it might be done wednesday, and I haven't seen an update. Please give me a solid deadline or, if you don't want to do that, I would like a refund."
fuzzwolfie
Sep. 17th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
I wish I could give a solid answer to your first question. I commissioned the artist before they began to do streams on a regular basis, and shortly after commissioning them, they opened stream ONLY commissions. From my understanding, they found the normal commissions too overbearing, and stream work was their way to relax. What I kinda found odd is the work they took in stream was identical to the work they had still waiting (in terms of effort and work put into any piece). Really, had they just streamed normal commissions instead the entire list would be long gone.

Beyond that, I like your wording. I don't want to be offensive to the artist, but my nerves are frayed at this point.
spiffystuff
Sep. 17th, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
Cool :B I'm not saying the artist won't get offended, but they'd be in the wrong!

I guess another suggestion might be to have them set up an appointment where you come in to their stream and they stream your commission? At least if I'm understanding things right it'd still be what you commissioned, just broadcasted?
squirrelly_kaku
Sep. 17th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
If they haven't done any work at all, I'd suggest giving them a deadline for when you'd like to see some sort of progress. Like about a week, if you're willing to wait for the piece a little longer. If they miss that deadline, request a refund.

Since they set the deadline and missed it, perhaps they feel that since you didn't set it yourself, that it there's no rush to finish it, especially since they gave you an opportunity to set a deadline. Not that them giving you a deadline and missing it with no note saying there would be a delay is right, or anything. XD;
fuzzwolfie
Sep. 17th, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
Thank you!

And you are correct, I never set any deadline. Truthfully, I don't mind if it take months to see commission work done either. What has irritated me here has to do with feeling ignored as a commissioner and seeing new commissions being taken and filled way before mine. =)

I am working on putting together a note, and I think using a deadline is an excellent idea.
squirrelly_kaku
Sep. 17th, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)
You're welcome. :) I wish you the best of luck!
taelifoe
Sep. 17th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
At this point, I don't think it would be out of line for you to politely ask for a refund. Sometimes artists get a little overwhelmed with the work load they try to take on, and if this artist is professional, then they'll take a request like that with a grain of salt and chalk it up to experience.

By what you've said, I don't think you're overreacting. Have they ever contacted you about the status of your commission without you asking? It's good that you've been so patient with them up 'til now, but don't feel like you have to let someone walk all over you just to keep the artist happy. Clearly, you're NOT feeling happy, and it's just as much their job as an artist to keep clients happy as it is the commissioner's job to behave themselves.

Alright I'll jump off my little soapbox now. Good luck!
taelifoe
Sep. 17th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Raarrr dang afterthoughts. Just to add - If you do request a refund, it would probably be in good form to establish a deadline with the artist first, and then if they don't produce, I'd say you're pretty justified.
fuzzwolfie
Sep. 17th, 2011 06:06 am (UTC)
No, they have never contacted me on their own. I have initiated all contact via notes. Which I can see up to a point, because they expect commissioner to watch their journals for updates. But, as an artist myself, I like touching bases if something gets even slightly dragged out, just to make sure people know I'm on task.

And thank you for saying I'm not over reacting! I've been super worried about posting for advice even. I really try to be patient and dislike having to take action with such things.
Also- yes again on the deadline idea. I think a week is fair. =)
taelifoe
Sep. 17th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
I agree on the whole letting-your-commissioners-know-what's-up thing. It might be a pain in the butt for artists who have huge queues, but it seems more personable to send a quick individual note, in my opinion.

To me, a week's deadline seems pretty fair, especially if the artist already gave you one and then missed it. So good for you for letting them know! Here's hoping something works out for you.
alicethesable
Sep. 17th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
I am 90% sure I know who you are talking about - wasn't I right in line before you?

If I understand correctly, she does the pinup pieces in one sitting anyways - asking for a deadline shouldn't have an adverse effect on the quality of your pinup. If you would prefer to have the piece done, you should note her to establish a deadline. :)
(Deleted comment)
alicethesable
Sep. 17th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! Shibara drew it for me.
fuzzwolfie
Sep. 17th, 2011 06:11 am (UTC)
Yes, actually, you were. XD
Hello! Out of curiosity, did you establish a deadline with the artist in question? They seem very outwardly friendly, but I also feel like I have to walk on eggshells considering the header they added to the commission journal. Also seconding the icon love. Axolotls are awesome. ;3;
alicethesable
Sep. 17th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
When I asked her when she thought she'd be able to get to it, she asked me if I wanted to set a deadline. I didn't push any particular date, since I didn't mind waiting, and she's done work for me before.

She is very friendly as long as you keep your cool, don't be afraid to ask! The journal header was a bit prickly, but with the amount of people on backlog I wouldn't be surprised if you weren't the only one she heard from that week. Since you haven't asked for a deadline directly, she probably does not know how you feel right now - miscommunication happens. :[
shukivengeance
Sep. 17th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
I'm in agreement with those who have said that it's not unreasonable to request a refund since your piece has not been started and apparently gets bypassed constantly. Arrange a final deadline with them, that if your piece is not done by X date you need your payment refunded.

Have you asked them why pieces just like yours have been streamed while yours has not, or why they're taking priority over those who've been waiting longer when it is the same level of work? This really makes no sense to me tbh.
aggro_badger
Sep. 17th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
It sucks that they haven't responded well to your notes
Aside from just faster, what do you want out of the situation? Would you prefer a refund, or to have the art done? Is the wait really bothering you in and of itself, or are you worried that you will be ripped off? Was there any established deadline or promise that art would be done in order paid?
A slightly different approach, I might suggest... If you cared to, tell the artist you've seen them streaming other similar pieces and have enjoyed them. Ask if you and the artist could schedule a time where they could work on yours live.
fatkraken
Sep. 17th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
The attitude "I can do what I want with my days off" kinda bugs me here.

It wouldn't usually; if an artist keeps up with their queue and work is done in a timely fashion, then fine, do as you will with your time off. But once you start getting behind on a queue and work is late, and when people start getting annoyed that stuff isn't done, days off become a luxury.

I say this as a self employed artist who has always had timekeeping issues. When I am in crunch mode, I can go for a fortnight of 10+ hour days, without a single day off, and without working on any personal projects. It's not fun but I do it, because it's my own damn fault when things start getting near the wire.
millislim
Sep. 17th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC)
^^^
Just because it's furry doesn't mean the rules of business don't apply.

If you don't get your homework done you don't go out to play. If you took on the commission, you do the work, THEN you have fun or create a new way to do commissions (the stream thing).

Can you imagine if you went to get your Toyota fixed, was given an estimate of a week then, two months later, when you enquire, the mechanic says "sorry, I just like working on BMW's right now."?
holydust
Sep. 25th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
I don't understand the artist's motivation to wrap up the newer pieces while leaving the old ones unfinished. This is why I keep a public docket. I can take new work, but it's put at the end of the list. If I dared to try and complete a new piece that wasn't a rush job, I'd expect to get an earful from the people ahead of that person. Not only that, but it would stress me out adding someone at the end and working on them while the previous clients are still waiting. The guilt alone would be too much.

But I guess the artist's motivation right now is that they're feeling picky about what they feel like working on, so they're only doing the "easy" commissions and keeping the harder ones on the backburner? I guess it's understandable, but there's a point when you have to just suck it up and accept that you have a client waiting whose piece isn't as simple as the others. It's tough cookies and she should refund you or get to work.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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