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Not sure how to approach this...

Hey guys! So I have a bit of an issue with a local artist. I don't want to name names right now, hoping it will be resolved before then.

I've known this artist as a friend for a while now, we both go to some events together. About a month ago, they were looking for time cards for various reasons and things (i.e phone cards etc etc). I had some extra money to spare, so I sent this person a phone card, with a description of what I wanted.

This artist was just about to go into some iron artist slots, and said for the full piece I wanted, the time card would be more than sufficent.

About a week or two later, the artist informs me that they are no longer going to be offering the iron artist slots.... okay, im fine with that. Then I'm informed they feel uncomfortable drawing the subject matter in my piece ( it was a vehicle) I understand and agree, that i will come up with something else they can draw for me. I gave them a reference for what I would like drawn . Then, I heard nothing.

This piece had a hard deadline set for next week, and as of late this person has become sick. I understand, life happens and getting sick happens... but I bought this card well over 3 weeks ago, almost a month and nothing yet.

I'm just worried that I may never get my art as when they did have free time, they were just doing streams of art for people who paid in the stream :/ I've got a few friends too that paid for art a while ago and still nothing.

Any suggestions? I plan on pm'ing the artist soon here just as a friendly reminder.

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( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
dinogrrl
Jul. 16th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
Pretty much this. I'm not sure exactly what art was commissioned here, but generally speaking a month isn't too terrible of a wait, especially if there's been an illness in the mean time. That being said, a deadline was agreed upon, so I think a polite reminder would be in order. How you proceed from there depends on how badly you want the art by the deadline.
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 16th, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
The art was intended to be a birthday present ans was extremely important :/
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 16th, 2012 05:52 am (UTC)
I'm aware three weeks to a month isn't a long time to wait, but since commissioning this artist, alot of livestreaming has gone on.
I'm going to pm the artist as a reminder, and ask that a new deadline be set I suppose.

In all honesty, I don't really want the art anymore. At least not the pose we had agreed on. I'd ask for a refund, but I know for a fact their paypal is overdrawn and I don't even have a paypal to get refunded on >.
(Deleted comment)
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 16th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
While they are local, its still about 2 hours away from me :/ And I've personally only seen the artist in person like twice in the last few month. I know they wouldnt be up for face to face cash refund :/
celarania
Jul. 16th, 2012 06:48 am (UTC)
If the artist is a friend, first worry about them getting better first. They may blow off your deadline, but there's a little give and take there, especial with a friend.

I'd send a quick note something along the lines of "heard you were sick, hope you'll feel better soon, please give me a PM when you're back on your feet, because I want to discuss a few changes to my commission. Get well soon!" (Make sure you mention changes so they don't start on the piece.)

At that point you two need to work out what will work best for both of you: refund, exchange, or commission and get a deadline.

While it would be nice if the artist had been more on top of things, if this artist is a friend you can only push too far. You don't want to be that boss who demands your worker come in even when they're puking every half hour, and that's certainly not someone anyone want to be friends with. If you push hard for your commission exactly on time, your friendship is going to be the part that takes the damage. If you don't mind that, go ahead and push, if you do, you're going to have to make some sacrifices.

And maybe this person is someone who can separate business and friendship more, but pushing someone while they're sick is going to sour any relationship. I'd be a bit miffed if a commissioner was ragging on me for deadlines while I was sick, let alone a friend.
ljmydayaway
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:02 pm (UTC)
I disagree with your first statement.

Consider if it were the other way around. You were the artist, you did art for a "friend," and they were taking their sweet time to pay you.

Not someone I would consider a friend at all.

I have actually had a "friend" do this to me, and now I require him to pay me upfront before I do any art for him.
(Deleted comment)
syrusb
Jul. 16th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have friends that commission me often and they know I treat it like a business transaction regardless. If both parties can't have that understanding then the transaction should be considered a donation/gift or it should not be done at all.
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Agreed. And all transactions before this had been professional and business like.
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 16th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
In all honesty, After this... both my boyfriend and myself are going to stop commissioning them. Yes, they are local, but we both commissioned this artist for pieces for our respective birthdays and by the looks of it, the deadlines are going to be much passed. He's more upset because he paid about double what I did, and paid well over a month ago now with no sketches, updates... anything.
celestinaketzia
Jul. 16th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Everything here. I have a "friend" who has done this to me multiple times in paying me after the art has been finished. One time it was two weeks after I had completed the images and delivered them to them. Nope. Business is business and friendship is friendship. They shouldn't mix.
puritikoneko
Jul. 16th, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
Pretty much this.

If I commission a friend of mine, I expect the business transaction to remain a business transaction. I always hold them to the same standards as I would an artist that I'd commission on a more formal level, and I'd expect them to hold me to the same standards as they would their non-friend commissioners. Just because I'm friends with someone doesn't mean that I haven't paid them for a service.
celarania
Jul. 16th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
If they were taking their sweet time to pay, I might be annoyed, but they do have more wiggle room as a friend.

To be honest, I would recommend not commissioning/doing art for a friend unless you're willing to write it off as a gift or risk the friendship over it.

Edited at 2012-07-16 10:55 pm (UTC)
ansitru
Jul. 17th, 2012 10:31 am (UTC)
Friend or not, a business transaction is still a business transaction and one shouldn't be expected to have to write it off as a gift is said friend is abusing the commission-artist by exploiting the friendship.
celarania
Jul. 17th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah it's great that you shouldn't have to write it off as a gift, but artists shouldn't drop deadlines, commissioners shouldn't drag their feet, but this community exists so obviously that happens.

I'm not really talking about who's in the wrong; everyone knows who's in the wrong. What I'm talking about is how to proceed so you can preserve the friendship. A friend would understand sickness, getting in over your head, etc. a friend would understand being a little short and that you'll pay when you can. Those are both things that are reasonable requests for a friend and things that will get you screwed over professionally. It's direct conflict: you push professionally and the friendship's gonna give, you push the friendship and the transaction's going to give.

It's the same reason why you should avoid loaning friends money unless you can consider it a gift: no matter what, when you push for a reasonable return, you're going to be the bad guy. They should pay you back, but that doesn't mean that you won't wind up looking like a jerk in the process and lose the friend.

When it's a friendship and a professional transaction the should's go both ways. You should fulfill your requirements as a professional and you should be understanding as a friend. You can't really say which is more valuable without judging the transaction against the friendship.

It's also not always exploitation: that's a strong word. Are you telling me that you've never borrowed money for pizza and then never paid it back? Were you exploiting your friend then? Or did things just happen until you forgot? As far as I'm concerned the same thing's happening here: it's not like the artist is out to pull one over on the commissioner: they got sick. Asking for a little sympathy and understanding from a friend in that case is not exploitation: if you aren't willing to give a little for a friend that's sick, what kind of friend are you in the first place?

The conflict of interest is why I hold that you shouldn't do business with friends unless you're willing to write it off as a gift. It's great that things should go smoothly, but by the same token, there shouldn't need to watermark images, get payment in advance, etc. We recommend that don't we? What's the difference between recommending that and recommending not doing business with friends unless it can be considered a gift?
ansitru
Jul. 18th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
Are you telling me that you've never borrowed money for pizza and then never paid it back? Were you exploiting your friend then? Or did things just happen until you forgot?

---

At the risk of going slightly off-topic here: no, I have not because I barely loan money from friends. And when I do, I make damn sure to pay them back within the next day or within the week.

Though I agree on your statement of not doing business with friends: I personally think it's probably more of a headache than what it's worth in some cases.
celarania
Jul. 18th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
At the risk of going slightly off-topic here: no, I have not because I barely loan money from friends. And when I do, I make damn sure to pay them back within the next day or within the week.

You're ignoring the forest for the trees: I avoid borrowing money from friends too, but I have lent money to people and had them not pay me back. However, the point was that it's something we can all easily see happening without "exploiting" the other person.

Though I agree on your statement of not doing business with friends: I personally think it's probably more of a headache than what it's worth in some cases.

That's exactly it. If you're going to do business with them, don't do something that you're not willing to write off as a gift. You might be perfectly willing to consider an icon/$10 a gift for the other person and in that case there's no reason not to try the transaction. It also seems to be more the case with close friends. With acquaintances you can push a little more, but with friends, when you hold them to strictly professional deadlines while their life is going to hell in a handbasket they have every right to be angry with you. While they are being unprofessional by missing deadlines, you can still be a lousy friend for not understanding their problems.

It's just a bad situation for everyone.
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 19th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
Issue has been resolved I suppose. Supposed to be getting sketches in the next 2 weeks. We will see what happens.
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 16th, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
I sent a pm, saying I knew she was sick and that when she was feeling better I wanted to discuss my commission, change the pose for sure and I told her a deadline of around august 10th can be set.
(Deleted comment)
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
Change it a third time unfortunately. The pose I had asked for instead of the one with the vehicle, was really special to my heart and was really important that it was finished by the birthday, so I ended up commissioning another artist ( the birthday is at the end of this week)
celarania
Jul. 16th, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
I told her a deadline of around august 10th can be set.

I think you could have handled that better. That seems like a reasonable length of time, but you need to work with the artist to agree on a deadline.

Edited at 2012-07-16 11:03 pm (UTC)
phoenixsrequiem
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
I agree, but with the artist not being online, except to update people on how sick they are, I can't really work with them. First it was a ear infection, then a rash, then an eye infection and now the flu? Just sounds crazy to me so I felt I should set a hard deadline.
celarania
Jul. 17th, 2012 05:23 am (UTC)
I guess my point is that you can only set a deadline for yourself. You can't make the art done by then, all you can say is that you want the art by then or you're walking.
therapup
Aug. 1st, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
Glad you got Binx to do it.. Pity to hear about you-know-who doing such a thing. Cheers!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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