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List for Commisioners

Here is the list I have come up with so far for commisioners:

1. Make sure the artist you are commissioning has reliable communication through email, phone, or instant messenger. Before you pay any thing for a commission, send contact the artist and get information about how to contact them in return, and make sure they reply to you before proceeding.
2. Check to see what the artists reputation is prior to paying him or her any money. Check the memories section of artist_beware and read up what other people have said who have dealt with the artist before.
3. Never pay the full commission price up front. Always break up your fee into dissepiments. I find the best method is to pay about 1/4 to 1/3 of the commission price up front, then pay another dissepiments when you receive a rough sketch so you can tell the artist if there is anything that needs to be modified. When you receive the completed piece, only then should you pay the full price. This keeps you from loosing all of your money should the artist not complete your piece.
4. Sometimes commissions do take time, so try to be patient and do not pester the artist constantly. Depending on the nature or subject of the piece, and how busy the artist is, the commission might take a little longer than you will want. It is good to get frequent updates about the piece, usually on a weekly basis or so. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t hear anything about your commission in about 4 months, than contact the artist, and then if they continue not to communicate, try again a few times, being sure to save all of your correspondence. If the artist does not reply 6 months after starting the commission, than began the steps required to refund your money.
5. ALWAYS save your receipts. This is especially important on Pay pal, or Furbid transactions, so if your art is not delivered, you can take up the issues with the company, and file an official compliant. For personal transaction, be sure to scan in your receipts and save them for your own reference.
6. Make sure to use proper grammar and spelling when describing your character, and if possible always try to provide some visual references of your character so the artist has a clear idea of what your character or commission subject looks like.

Please let me know what ya'll think and if I should ad anything

I have also created the community artistrecommend which is now open for memebership.

As always constructive and postive feed back is always welcome.

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
Whee, awesome list! Thank you muchly for making it. Very helpful. <3
Jan. 27th, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
Also be aware some artists definitely own't accept 1/4 or even 1/3 up front (I usually require 50%, or the full amount, depending on the nature of the work being done, because I've had commissioners scamper off before they finish paying).

Jan. 27th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, I kinda agree. Number 3 might conflict with the policies of some artists, and they're all unique. They're sometimes based on the artist's own past experiences with commissions and they just want to have that sort of policy in place for their own protection.

For example, Kacey Miyagami is totally professional and businesslike and great to deal with and very straight with her clients. Yet she won't start any work until the price, plus projected shipping fees, are paid in full.
Jan. 27th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
agreed. I will take half up front if it's a large commission or the person is low on money at the time, but I generally like to keep it at full payment up front.
Jan. 28th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC)
Payment plans really do need to be between the artist and commissioner. It's very important to check references first though.

If you find an artist that's never done commissions before but demands full price up front it's much more awkward that someone who's got an out standing record in finishing the work. The same goes for commissioners! After I've dealt with a commissioner one or two times without a problem I'll do sketch work before they get payment to me but I'll never do that with a first timer again.

So, eh. It would make more sense if you didn't list a standard payment plan as a rule. Perhaps saying that the artist and commissioner should make up a contract that fits the needs of both of them before starting the actual commission would be better.
Jan. 27th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
I've never heard the word "dissepiments" before. Increments, maybe?

I agree with everything you've said, though, but will repeat the comment about how some artists won't take less than 50% up front.

I've recently done this thing where all of the scans/progress images are watermarked until full payment is received. It helps a little, I think.
Jan. 27th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm reposting the list to this comment with some of my thoughts, changes, cause it makes it easier for me this way XD
Jan. 27th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
1. Be sure you will be able to keep contact with the artist you commission. It is a good idea to get an e-mail address, physical home address, and possibly a phone number. This way if something comes up, such as loss of internet services, you will still be able to make contact and inform the artist of the situation at hand.
It is probably equally reasonable to provide the same information to the artist about yourself, for the same purpose.

2. Be sure to research the artist's history, ask for plenty of examples of past work and try to speak with some of their past clients about the experiences they had with them. A good place to research artists is the Live-Journal community [info]artist_beware . (Check the memories)

3. Make sure you are aware of the artist's policies such as payment, commission deadlines, shipping, and other important details. It is suggested that you attempt to work out a payment plan with the artist that allows you to pay part of the price to start and part at finish. Not all artists accept such payments, be prepared to follow their policies or search for someone else to take your commission.

4. Please give the artist a reasonable amount of time to finish your work. It takes time, effort, and skill, to turn out a beautiful piece of art that you will be proud to own, so expect commissions to take some time.
Make sure you recieve in progress looks at the work so that you can let the artist know if something needs to be changed before they get too far in but don't be too nit-picky as most artists will become fed up if someone keeps changing things every time they show them a revision.

5.If at any point during the commission process you become worried or anxious that your piece is not being done or the artist has made off with your money then it is perfectly acceptable to request that they show you what they have already. If You receive no contact for an extended period of time attempt to correspond through physical mail, in case there was some reason the artist could not reach a computer.
Filing a complaint about the artist in something such as [info]artist_beware should be a last resort and done only when you cannot make contact or have not been updated for an extended time period.

6. Keep a record of all receipts, e-mails, or chat logs with the artist in case you need to seek a refund, prove theft, or make a report on the artist.
This is especially important on Pay pal, or Furbid transactions, so if your art is not delivered, you can take up the issues with the company, and file an official compliant. For personal transaction, be sure to scan in your receipts and save them for your own reference.

7. Please use good grammar, it is hard for some artists to properly draw what you want if they can't understand what you are trying to tell them. Not all people are good with spelling or even the english language but there are various spell checks available on your computer, on-line, or even with your e-mail provider. There is no excuse for not even trying.
Jan. 28th, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)
Fantastic wording.
Jan. 28th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)
thank you =3
Feb. 13th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
I also prefer this version. It's not very fair to expect someone to accept payment in increments on any work -- if I was commissioned for an embroidery like the one I did for MFF a year and a half ago, sure, I'd take increments, because that's a whole lot of money (in the range of $400+ for needlepoint commissionwork that size, probably), and I don't want to owe anyone work worth that much anyway, not all at a time.

Paying in increments for anything that costs less than $20-30 is just silly, then PayPal/postage/whatever fees will just eat part of the artist's earnings... If a commissioner insisted on doing that to me, I probably wouldn't deal with them again.

Worse yet when commissioners say "alright" when they get a total due, and then send 3/4 of the money saying on a note in the envelope that "I always do this as an incentive for the artist to finish my picture". I got cheated out of about a quarter of my fee for a four-character drawing that way.

Jan. 27th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Something about partial payments
it depends on what it is, and how much it is.
A good idea, would be to pay for the price of the sketch first, then afterwards pay in full, or heck, pay for the sketch, then the ink, then pay full.
if that makes any sense.
that way if there are any complaints, the artist still gets compensated for the amount of work they've done, but the buyer doesn't loose any money.
if that makes sense.
Jan. 27th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
I agree with you.
Jan. 27th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
As I said in my repost thing, I think it is best to make sure you know the artist's policies. You can't DEMAND that they let you make these sorts of payments. Some artists require full payment because they have been ripped off in the past, some will work with you on payments, some won't. If an artist won't let you pay in a way that makes you comfortable then it's best to move on and find a different artist rather than trying to force them to do it your way.
Jan. 27th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
"A good idea, would be to pay for the price of the sketch first, then afterwards pay in full, or heck, pay for the sketch, then the ink, then pay full."

If I were to accept commissions that way, administration costs would go through the roof. Paypal fees would be tremendous. They charge a minimum fee, and if the jump from a sketch to an ink is five bucks.... well. The buyer doesn't lose money, but the seller loses a LOT, unless they charge extra for using paypal to cover that fee, and that doesn't look good to the buyer.

Money orders... What are outlets charging per money order? $1.50? $1? That's also an inconvenience to the buyer, unless they're willing to go through that on a principal, or to feel 'safer.'

Jan. 28th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
Money orders at the Post office are only 60 cents. :)
Jan. 28th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
^.o_o.^ money orders for me are $0.92 plus $0.39 stamp. and then you have to hope it doesn't get lost in the mail, or stolen, or otherwise deformed... =/ plus, someone could say "hey, I never got your money order" even if they did... (yes I know you can check that out, but still, they can say that someone must have impersonated them or something)
I do transactions through money order but I would not do commission work through money order.
Jan. 28th, 2006 12:45 pm (UTC)
On the partial payments thing, I'd say the reputation and portfolio of commission successes should probably influence whether you accept that artist's policies. I mean, if you're commissioning a very well known, well liked artist, chances are you will not be screwed over, and that if the artist does encounter a problem preventing them from finishing, they're not going to ruin their reputation by running off with your cash.

That's personally what I'd be thinking of if I was commissioning an artist who wanted full payment up front, anyway.
Jan. 29th, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
The key to success is communication. The commissioner needs to be kept in contact and given updates regularly, even if it's not much. On the other hand the artist doesn't need to be pestered every 5 minutes. This line of communication should be discussed when the piece is agreed to. It's JUST as important as figuring out how much the piece will be.

Paypal is awesome protection for buyers and sellers. However they don't like porn, and they're agreement lasts for 90 days.

Definately keep all e-mails until the piece is finished.

If things are starting to go bad, DO NOT threaten to sue- that's a form of harrassment that can get you into hot water. Also DO NOT draw all kinds of lines in the sand that get crossed and do nothing about it. When you set up consequences and don't follow up on them, your credibility to punish goes through the floor. If communication dries up then so does your money. Forget all the excuses of, "I've-been-dealing-with-sick-parents-and-my-life-sucks-so-much-so-I'm-going-to-get-your-stuff-done-soon(ish?)". If someone takes your money and doesn't produce anything other than excuses, then it's fraud. If their life is miserable enough NOT to do art then they need to refund that cash and everyone moves on without finger pointing. If this is happening to you, consider starting with this form: https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm Make sure it applies to your situtuation. Next, contact the police of the artist's home state/town. A detecive will work with you.
Feb. 9th, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)
as an artist who gets commissioned, i'm glad you wrote something up for the commissioners!
^^ I prefer frequent contact myself, and am getting sick of explaining how i'd like things set out [frequent contact to make sure alls well with their viwe on the picture] and, to offshoot from the other artists who get commissions, unless i specifically state i'm going to be busy and i'd like them to wait, i would -much- prefer for people to nag me so that i do not forget or be lazy ^^;
Feb. 18th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
i NEVER ask for prepayment on a commission. if they decide not to pay me, then no commission for them. not a problem on my part. i like doing art anyway. it's just a plus getting paid for them and making someone squealy happy (like my past customers have been).
Feb. 19th, 2006 07:35 am (UTC)
after having 4 people in a row rip me off (not pay), i started only doing sketches and then not proceeding before doing more until i got paid. once paid, i try very hard to finish the piece between a week and 2 months. anymore and i start to feel guilty, knowing how hard it is to wonder "... have i been ripped?" plus, i always keep up weekly to biweekly correspondence, whether or whether not anything was updated on the piece.

i try hard to be a good artist. i expect no less from those i commission. it's called common courtesy.
Feb. 20th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
well, so far i've been lucky, cuz it's only been people that i know personally who have commissioned me. and i do know where they live. >:D
Feb. 19th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
7. Save ALL emails and other such correspondence as proof should something happen with the artist.

I kept all of BT's emails to me which is why I can provide SUPPORT (dates/quotes/etc.) with my statements/whinings when I warn people about her. :)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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