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Need some quick advice

Hey, I need some quick advice. How much of a say should a customer get in whether a commission is drawn privately and submitted in a public gallery?

I've recently been drawing commissions on livestream, and told a customer that his would be up next. He asked me if I could turn off the stream while I worked on his, and I politely declined. The way he likes having commissions done, it would be infinitely easier for me to stream it and have him comment on what he'd like changed while watching me draw it. He got upset, suggesting that as the customer it was his right to decide whether the art was done publicly. I disagreed, since I feel that as the person drawing it I get to decide how and when the piece gets done (within reason of course).

Normally I'd just agree, but two major details are holding me back. One, it's just a $25 commission, and I don't feel that I've been paid enough to compromise a convenient drawing time. Two, he tends to nitpick a lot and decide what he wants as I go along. Like he'll commission a comic page, then decide what he wants panel by panel, instead of giving a script upfront. He's always asking me to get on opencanvas or skype so he can watch as I draw, so really a stream would be super helpful for both of us. He just doesn't like that people will be watching.

I don't know, am I being too stubborn here?

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( 79 comments — Leave a comment )
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sigilgoat
Oct. 11th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
I would say that in the future you may want to make sure your TOS specifically says that you do stream commissions, and possibly add a fee to keep it private OR to stream it privately.

I've opted out of streaming specifically for nitpicky clients as well. I figure they can clarify things like everyone else! It totally throws off my streaming flow when someone asks a lot of questions, or asks for fixes before they are even pertinent (like in the sketch stage when I'm still laying out the form, for example)

Good luck!
vellacraptor
Oct. 11th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
He might just not want people to see the commission until it's finished..or wants to be anonymous? I dunno, I've never heard of anyone getting upset over a stream before.

Maybe ask if there's a -specific- reason why he doesn't want the commissioned streamed. If he can't give you one, then I'd just go ahead with streaming it after explaining it's easier for you to do it that way.

Or just say if he doesn't want it streamed then it's getting pushed back to the bottom for when you're done streaming.
claytronic
Oct. 12th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
For some strange reason, people anonymously commission artists and then don't care that their totally recognizable character is put up on FA
kiriska
Oct. 11th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
If you can get his comments via a private alternative like oC or Skype, is there another reason you feel adamant about the public stream?

In general, I feel that the privateness of a commission should be discussed beforehand -- like if the commissioner doesn't want you to post the finished piece anywhere or if they want you to delay posting until a certain time. This may be a bit different though since it's the process of the commission rather than the commission itself. I can sympathize with the commissioner in that he may not want to come off as overpicky in a public setting where others could criticize, etc.
hellebore
Oct. 11th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
that is a good idea, do it over skype.
(no subject) - hellebore - Oct. 11th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
snowyedges
Oct. 11th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
Do a private livestream, maybe? I tend to do that for commissioners.
Nobody would know you're livestreaming unless they frequented your livestream page or were given the link. Only he would see it - you could delete the recording afterward - and it's a middle-ground for the both of you?
conigliomannaro
Oct. 11th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
This. Livestream without telling other people, so your commissioner will be the only one seeing it. That should work for the both of you.
neolucky
Oct. 11th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
It's generally nice to listen to the customer, as long as they're politely asking and have a reasonable explanation for not wanting it public. But if he truly is getting to be irate over this, then no, I'd inform him that $25 is not enough to keep this private.

If he is picky, and you know he's picky, why not allow for 3-4 revisions, then charge for other changes? If he's really hard to please, you shouldn't be bending over backwards for $25. At this point I do not think he has the right to stop you from streaming it, as he's hired you for a service and you're carrying it out to the best of your ability. You've signed no contracts to keep this under wraps.

But it would be nice of you to comply with his request. I'm sure you could work around this instead of publicly streaming it.
ljmydayaway
Oct. 11th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
I have a feeling I know who this is.

First off, I would definitely charge extra for "private" commissions. You're losing out on viewers and potential clients by not posting the art.

If he didn't ask for it to be private prior to commissioning you, and didn't pay for it to be private, he has NO right to demand that it be private.
temrin
Oct. 11th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
You can, always create a password on the stream so only he can view. or, create a private channel w/ password for customers who are like this. You stream it, as well as cater to their wishes. win/win.
leahtaur
Oct. 11th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
Technically you have no obligation whatsoever to comply with what he asks. It would be NICE of you to do so, but you don't have to. Personally, I would inform him that changing your process requires a small fee.

If you don't think he'll go for the fee, you can offer a refund or a private livestream as someone mentioned above. I don't stream so I could be wrong, but I think there are also streaming services that allow you to set a password for the session so that no one else could possibly stumble in.
leahtaur
Oct. 11th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
Ah! Temrin's got it, we posted at almost the same time. :P
celarania
Oct. 11th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
I think in terms of the initial agreement it is unclear whether the piece would be keep private or not unless explicitly stated in your TOS. If the finished piece was going to be public, I'd just ask him why he's concerned about streaming and address his concerns about that. If the piece was going to be private, and this includes if your TOS doesn't say the finish will be public, I think you should take the loss - it's your problem if your TOS aren't clear. That being said, I would layout clearly that he may be able to revise as he likes more in livestream and you won't be doing a private livestream for him. You should give him what he wants most and what he paid for (or thought he paid for), but you don't have to be a complete push-over either because neither of you are in the wrong.

In terms of general policy I'd make it clear that pictures may be live-streamed and posted publicly unless otherwise discussed and there may be an additional fee. For example, gifts are cases where you probably wouldn't livestream, but might not want to charge for the temporary privacy.
celarania
Oct. 12th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Also, if you need to stream it for whatever reason or want to really stand your ground, give him a good alternative, a full refund. You can update your TOS then and he can decide then if he wants to buy it again, and with or without any privacy fee. That being said, this is a less desirable solution as it'll look pretty mean from his side of the story.
(no subject) - celarania - Oct. 12th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
shukivengeance
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
Issues like these should be covered in your ToS to begin with and I'd suggest you revise it based on the advice that best resonates with how you like to do things.

If it's very inconvenient to you for this to be drawn privately, then explain so and perhaps offer to compromise for a small fee as it goes against your usual procedure. Also explain that normally, such things like pieces being kept private should be arranged upfront before the commission agreement is finalized. The commissioner might be genuinely unaware of something like this.

I honestly disagree with the principle of artists charging more to keep a piece private. To me at least the client is paying for the service of you creating a product for them. That's it. They're not obligated to make sure that you get further business so charging them more for something that falls outside of the actual arrangement or commission process itself isn't something I personally agree with. Of course, that's just my opinion and if an artist wants to charge such a fee and they have clients willing to cough up the unnecessary extra, that's their prerogative.
karthegrax
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
This
(no subject) - thaily - Oct. 11th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
petercat
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Do you need the $25? If he's already paid, refund it and move on with your life. You should only have to work for a jerk once. What proportion of your total business does he represent, and how much better off would you be creatively by not having to deal with him?
oceandezignz
Oct. 11th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
Please don't name call. Even an anonymous person.
(no subject) - petercat - Oct. 12th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Oct. 12th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Oct. 12th, 2011 03:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Oct. 12th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC) - Expand
claviarm
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
Some people will want art not to be worked on publicly, some will want the final result not posted either. You can have whatever policy on that you want, depending how much you want those peoples' business.

In this case, if the policy wasn't made clear ahead of time, I hope that you'd offer a refund if the customer finds your terms unacceptable. As long as the option to cancel is there, the customer can either accept or pull out, and I think you're fine.

(The problem arises if you don't let the guy pull out when you reveal your policy. Personally, I would never hire an artist who I knew was liable to say "Surprise! I'm going to do this in a way that I know you don't like, no refunds, too bad.")
sbneko
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
In my case, if they don't say upfront that they want this picture to be private, then I can't really do anything. I really do enjoy posting it on multiple sites only to be told then that they want it private.
sbneko
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
Really don't*
thaily
Oct. 11th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
Unless you've agreed otherwise beforehand, there's no stipulations you need to keep to. You could compromise that you won't advertise the stream, but if people wander in.. Tough luck!

And if you have a TOS, it should include that you will charge extra for X amount of changes to the sketch, that usually helps overenthusiastic nitpickers restrain themselves.
amocin
Oct. 11th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
I had just recently had an issue with this myself, where I have stated in my TOS that I reserve the right to post all works, though the commissioner may request a later date for it to be posted within a reasonable amount of time. (Like if they wanted it to be held off until the day after they plan to propose to the person for example.)

Honestly its a tough situation, and would require you to know why they dont want it public. Some people may be shy and dont want their fursonas seen nude or what have you, which is understandable.

Though as somebody had stated before, yes you are missing out on page views and potential watchers by not posting something you worked hard on. I would say that an extra charge for taking that away is feasible and reasonable, so long as you be sure to put it in your TOS and make sure that your commissioners at least state that they read and agreed to it.
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