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Advice Please

I have two very time consuming offline issues that is affecting my time to work on commissions. I have informed my commissioners, and offered refunds if they do not want to wait, but they declined.

I still feel extreme bad and unprofessional about it. What should I do in this situation?

I set very short deadlines for myself (About two weeks) and if I do not make these deadlines I feel extremely bad. I am worried that the commissioners will think bad of me for taking so long. I was considering upgrading their commissions, or drawing something for free after finishing them. As a commissioner, what would your opinion be?

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC)
You've already made the offer to refund, and the clients have declined. Produce what you promised, in the quality you presented.

Keep copies (screencaps, etc) of your clients' approval to continue beyond the original deadline, in case somebody gets a bee in their knickers and forgot they said OK.

But don't let it go for, say, a year, without giving your clients a clearer deadline/head's-up.

May. 25th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
Don't be so hard on yourself. Stuff happens. You've been professional and responsible by informing your commissioners and offering them the choice to wait or get a refund. From the sounds of it, they've agreed that a wait will be worthwhile. The most important thing now is to keep the communication going--it's not an unexpected wait that gets commissioners upset, it's when communication stops.
May. 25th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, as long as you have notified them of the wait and they have accepted that, and refused a refund you have nothing to worry about. Just keep that refusal handy, and keep them updated on the situation. (Either let them know you're going to start work on it, or that it will be longer if it turns out to take more time that you expected) Commissioners are generally pretty understanding as long as you keep them posted, and aren't posting a bunch of other artwork.
May. 25th, 2012 02:20 am (UTC)
There's no need of you upgrading or offer free art, but if you want to you can. The artist you made my first ref sheet gave me a free version with a didn't color scheme of my character. It was nice but not needed, she was sick and I wasn't going to rush or bug her about my commission when she's not feeling well and needed some rest.

Personally if I was one of these commissioners you have right now I'd be more than glad to wait til you were complete, understanding that you have some IRL issues and can't focus on commissions. If they declined the refund they must really respect you as an artist and should be more than willing to wait with the circumstances you're dealing with.
May. 25th, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
I am going through the same thing. The best thing I can say is don't be too hard on yourself and don't put more work on yourself. Just trudge through it as best as you can and get things done at a steady pace. Customers are more than understanding if you maintain communication with them.
May. 25th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
personally, as a commissioner, i have always appreciated it when an artist upgrades my commission or includes a little freebie as their way of saying 'thanks for waiting' if a commission is a bit overdue/has taken a little longer than expected.
in my opinion, its that little bit extra that makes the experience between good customer service and great customer service. and i am far more likely to go back to such an artist in the future, despite any delays. :)

so really, you have 2 choices. you can finish up the commissions and give the commissioners exactly what they asked for. or you can finish their commissions and include a little something extra as a nice finishing touch/surprise as your way of thanking them for their patience. either is acceptable. it really depends on what you feel like doing.
May. 25th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
I don't have time to reply to everyone, so here is a mass reply.

Thanks for the advice, I do plan on keeping in touch and sending updates to them when I have them. Thanks for helping me settle my worries!
May. 25th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
In my experience, when I have found something is causing a delay in my progress, I make sure to inform the commissioner and offer a refund if they desire one, like you did. 99% of the time, they decline. No worries there! Many commissioners are okay with a reasonable delay due to life issues. They know stuff happens and you can't always get work done like you want, and are patient and willing to wait a little longer. If they didn't want to wait, they would have accepted the refund. I don't think they think any less of you for your unexpected delay.
May. 25th, 2012 05:48 am (UTC)
stop freaking out, tell them to notify you ASAP if they need the commission finished soon or sooner and keep in touch with them. Most people would rather wait and get a good piece than get a rushed POS :D Even the whiny ones usually rescind any negativity once they get the finished product or some sweet in progress pics... Progress pics make me fell less like a slow jackass.
May. 25th, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
Honestly, if they refused a refund I'd send it to them anyways. I do not enjoy being forced to produce something I am unable to make, and there have been times when I had to send a refund when the client didn't want it. I warned them if they kept re-sending the money, I will consider it a donation. They took the hint and stopped.

It's not their choice, if you want to refund them, then do so. They simply cannot just refuse if that's what you want. As much as they want the art, it's silly to just refuse a refund...it doesn't make it any better of a situation for either party.
May. 25th, 2012 08:13 am (UTC)
I think you may have misunderstood the situation.

From what it seems, the OP simply informed the commissioners of the wait and let them know that she'd be able to refund them if they preferred that rather then wait, but they were fine with waiting and declined the offer. Rather then a situation where they refused a refund.

Edited at 2012-05-25 08:14 am (UTC)
May. 25th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
Ahhh I see now! Sorry! Then they must be fine with the wait, methinks.
May. 25th, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
Don't be too hard on yourself.
Honestly, as a commissioner in such a situation I wouldn't expect you to rush the commission. I would only expect to be kept updated about possible delays and such.

In the end, they did decline the refund, which means they are okay with you needing the time due to IRL-issues. If anything, be sure to keep the communication going, but other than that just work on the art with the time you have and try to deliver the best piece you can.

On a side-note, I hope these IRL-issues resolve themselves soon.
May. 25th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
I'm going through the same thing myself, so I totally understand your stress :C

Keep your lines of communication open, and always continue to offer refunds at any time, to ease your commissioner's mind. I like to take photos of ANY progress, no matter how small, if there has been a long lapse in time between progress, that way the commissioner knows I'm continuing to work on their artwork.

I know it's stressful, but life gets in the way sometimes, and most people understand that and are willing to wait for quality work. So, like others said, don't be too hard on yourself :)
May. 25th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
What you can do, if next time you have this sort of situation where the client refuses a refund, you can offer to let them state their absolute 'refund by date'.

For example, you like to get your commissions done in a two week timeframe but were unable to do so. So the client says, "That's fine, but I don't want it to go any longer than 3 months. If you don't have it done in three months, I would like a refund."

That way you both have a new deadline to keep in mind so you don't have to stress yourself out over 'is this taking too long', 'do they think I'm taking too long' etc, etc.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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