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Advice: Silent Pick-ups?

As a commissioner, I've always thanked my artists for the lovely work they do; it's just common courtesy. Still, I was a bit surprised when I saw artists complaining about silent pick-ups in the past. Yes, it's rude to accept your commission without thanking the artist, but it didn't seem worth the fuss some people were making.

Now, I've only started opening for commissions within the past year or two. It's rare that I'm commissioned, but I'm grateful that my customers have always been friendly and understanding throughout the process. Still, half the time, my commissioners (usually one person in particular) just pay me after I e-mail them the completed work – not even a quick "thanks" to accompany the payment. And, well, I was startled (and, honestly, a little embarrassed) by the extent to which that irritated me.

So, I guess we get to my questions. Are silent pick-ups commonplace, in your experience? Do you hardly notice when they happen, or do they influence your readiness to work with certain commissioners again, especially if they've done it more than once? I'd really appreciate any advice you all have!

Edit: Thank you to everyone for your advice! I've received some excellent feedback from you all, including how to approach these situations more positively and professionally.

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( 61 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 17th, 2013 12:02 am (UTC)
I agree that it's a bit rude, and I could personally never understand not thanking someone who did something for me, even though I paid for it. I thank the cashier when they give me my food, I thank the person who bags up my groceries at the store, etc.

I wouldn't say it's required, per se, but it should be common courtesy. Unfortunately, it's going to happen. I've even done free art plenty of times, delivered it, and not been thanked, and I'd consider that even worse.

It's understandable that it bothers you, and it bothers me too (I tend to think they hate what I did for them if they don't say anything). But it just comes with the business, I suppose. It doesn't really influence my want to work with anyone and I'm not sure I'd call it 'commonplace' so much as just 'not rare'.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:03 am (UTC)
I always get paranoid that they dont like it, even if they have said they loved it all through the proccess. I always try to check that they like it by adding a 'hope its what you wanted' type thing at the end but I still get silence sometimes and it really weirds me out. Ill still work with them, it does just make me more likely to ask if they liked the last peice.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:15 am (UTC)
(I'm not an artist, I'm more a customer) I always thank people before, during, and after I get commissions from them, but I'm always put off when a few complain about receiving that. A few have even come off as livid in my experience and I can't grasp why. Maybe more and more people are just keeping quiet so not to possibly annoy the artist?
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
I'd rather annoy someone by being overly polite than not polite enough >>. But yeah, that is strange that someone would complain about being thanked. I'm not sure what that's about.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
It's been in the minority, in my experience. I'd say 90% of the people I do art for send a thanks my way. Ironically enough, the 10% that didn't were people receiving freebies of some sort. Yes, it's irritating, because it's rude to not at least acknowledge receipt of an item. But there's not much to be done about it without making you look like a jerk. Unless you want to send them an email just to double-check that they got the finished piece; hopefully they would respond to that, and even if they still don't thank you, at least you'll know that they got it. But I definitely wouldn't go further than the one email, unless you were mailing a real media piece and were trying to confirm that it arrived safely.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)
Usually compliment the piece if I really like it, sometimes I pick-up and forget but come back and thank later.

Though I think people who are willing to pay you fr your art is enough and wouldn't find it rude if someone didn't thank me for my work as the payment would be thanks enough.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
Personally, I do notice and I get paranoid that they didn't like it and won't say anything. If that was the case, then I'd be happy to make little tweaks here and there to where they WILL be happy.

I had a rather large commission on my plate and it took many hours. I got positive feedback on all of the WIPs and when I delivered the final image? Nothing. No favorite on the submission, no comment, just a read note that wasn't replied to. :(

I know it's part of being in business that folks won't say something all the time nor are they obligated to, but I would love to know if they like the image or if not, how can I help them.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, that same sort of situation happened to me before to. It made me afraid the commissioner was afraid to say something was wrong. If I had messed up somewhere I would have much rather heard that I made a mistake than just receiving the static silence.
(no subject) - sbneko - Mar. 17th, 2013 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ethelune - Mar. 17th, 2013 02:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kjorteo - Mar. 17th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - casteddreams - Mar. 18th, 2013 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:43 am (UTC)
I tend to kind of grenade fish for a comment when I turn over work, with a simple, "Here it is all finished, I really hope you like it!" kind of thing.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
I've had two different people who did the sort of silent pick up deal with me when I completed their commissions. I didn't really know what to think and was afraid they didn't even get it because in one case they didn't even fav the image, and had not requested a copy of the file. I sent them the image a second time just to be sure they got it but never heard back. To this day I just really hope they got their commission and there wasn't something wrong with it or something 8[

Most artists I've talked to have run into this before, and yeah it feels pretty shitty as an artist but I guess it's a thing that happens. I do find it rude to a point, but more than anything I just end up worrying if I as the artist messed up somewhere. Makes me more paranoid than upset.
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:48 am (UTC)
That is an issue of practicality. If they don't at least favourite it, how can you be sure they received it? Emails and notes DO get eaten along the way sometimes. But I've had people do this to me and then when I get nervous and ask them if they received their art, they're active but can't be bothered to reply to that, either. So eh. Not much you can do.
(no subject) - chronidu - Mar. 17th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
This happens a small fraction of the time with me. Generally if I do not get any response, I ask them again to make doubly sure they received it. Sometimes they thank me, other times it's "just business" and they don't.

Best bet is to just make sure they get it in general, and not think about it too much. I find it rude, but I realize sometimes it's hard for folks to respond. And sometimes, they even might just forget to! Lots of "what ifs".

If they do it more then once, then it's something that's just common for them to do. If they pay, and keep coming back, they're still a repeat customer and valued to me. I wouldn't turn a customer down for not responding, not if they paid and returned for more.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:55 am (UTC)
Haha, like... I find it rude of course when a customer doesn't give a final input, but I have definitely dealt with folks who have some social anxieties, and would rather just silently enjoy the work. As long as I get paid, and they get it, sall good! Repeat customers are bread and butter of freelancing <3.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - ethelune - Mar. 17th, 2013 02:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
i don't mind silent pick-ups, especially because sometimes people don't want to openly advertise to others their feelings on, say, a fetish piece. they certainly seem to be more common on esoteric fetish pieces than on normal avatar art, from my experience.

i suppose i can understand why some artists might not like them, though. it makes you feel like maybe you somehow screwed up and they didn't like it but didn't want to tell you how/what to change to make it better.
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
When I was doing a free little sketch promo on FA (help me advertise sort of thing) and 2 of the 4 who helped me out didn't even favorite or acknowledge what I had done for them despite seeing they were active.

It honestly made me feel really crummy and used. It turned me off from offering anything in the future. Chances are I won't even bother doing it again and it left a really sour taste in my mouth regarding the both of them. Frankly I'd rather not deal with either again as I found it incredibly rude to not even so much as note me (if they wanted to keep it private for whatever reason.)
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)
Hah, I had the same experience for my annual Free Sketch Days. I would think if you have the time to sign up, you have the time to say thank you to someone who did you something for free! Oh well.
(no subject) - dinogrrl - Mar. 17th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)
Silent pick-ups are not only plainly rude, I NEED confirmation of the delivery before the transaction is considered closed on my end. So no, in my opinion silent pick-ups suck and nobody should do them :c
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
I don't mind silent pickups, at all.
However, there was a bit of a fiasco or two that I have had where the commissioner was upset that I "never informed them" of their commission being completed, and was pretty much blacklisted by those customers. It made me feel pretty crummy. My favorite part of the whole commission process is the "Voila! Here it is, and it's done!" step.

So, practically, it's best to figure out a way that they have received the artwork for sure. But I don't really mind whether they make a ton of comments on it or not.

...you know what really bugs me though?
When they hate it, but won't tell you or just don't say anything, and then re-upload it to their gallery (or just show it to friends) and complain about how bad it is in the artist's comments or user comments sections. That's also a huge bummer.
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
"When they hate it, but won't tell you or just don't say anything, and then re-upload it to their gallery (or just show it to friends) and complain about how bad it is"

I had that happen to me once. I shot the guy a note and asked "what can I do to make this better for you?" I ended up doing a request for him as my attempt to 'make good' so to speak.
(no subject) - sbneko - Mar. 17th, 2013 02:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 17th, 2013 01:37 am (UTC)
It's not very commonplace in the work I do, but when it does happen I greatly rethink accepting future commissions from that person. Whether right or wrong in that attitude, if the communication hasn't been pleasant, it'll affect the way I feel about the transaction. Sometimes I feel like it's showing me such little respect, so why would I want to work with someone who didn't respect me or my work?

(this is not always the case, but in one particular case with a commissioner who has been difficult for maaaany artists, I felt completely disrespected as they silently picked up, reuploaded to their own gallery, and then misspelled my username wrong, not even fixing it after I asked - so, it does leave a nasty taste)
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