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Something else I thought of the other day that I wouldn't mind getting some feedback on especially from the artists. Whenever I ask for an update on a commissions, I sometimes get a response about them not having inspiration to draw/write which I take to mean they are in a supposed art block. I often hear lots of people saying that its just an artist excuse to be lazy but then when you have lots of stress coming from outside life, it can be hard finding the inspiration to draw/write a commissions. What do you guys think? Is it a plausible explanation for delayed commissions?
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( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2014 05:12 am (UTC)
I do think it can be a legitimate reason for a delay. I'd be wary of anyone who used that excuse far too often, though. Everyone gets art/writer's block at some time, but if they're falling back on that time after time after time...
Mar. 25th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
Agree with this statement in it's entirety.
Mar. 25th, 2014 05:30 am (UTC)
To a point, I think it's fine. If they're claiming art block for months, claiming art block and still taking commissions or claiming art block while completing a mass of other work, I'd be worried.

Personally, if I get art block, I'll sometimes doodle for myself a bit, though. I'd never feel comfortable giving that level of quality to a commissioner [since my work is generally subpar at those times], but working on little things for myself or as gifts for friends sometimes helps me work through it. I keep drawing because it helps chip away at the block. :)

However, if the art block went on too long, I might offer the option of refunds to my commissioners.
Luckily, my infrequent art blocks never last for more than a week or so, so it's usually not much of a problem.
Mar. 25th, 2014 05:54 am (UTC)
While I think art block can be very real, I also don't think it's professional to not produce just because of "art block". I work as a graphic designer and yeah there are times I'm stumped about what to do with a logo design, but that means I have to work on researching what other designers have done, research typefaces, and do tons of thumbnails until I find a few designs that can be further developed. Sometimes it takes 5 pages of thumbnails before we get 3-5 designs to present to the client.

Now if they're clinically depressed, that can be a whole other matter, but I see a lot of excuses among furry artists that make me a little cynical.
Mar. 25th, 2014 01:05 pm (UTC)
So pushing through an art block usually entails doing work that is subpar (at least in artists eyes, and most artists don't want paid work to be subpar to go out to the clients).

You're right. In professional situations, they should push through. But it's a matter of whether you trust the artist when they say their quality is not up to snuff -- and whether or not then you complain that 'This piece isn't up to the same standard as other pieces)

So art block is real. Some may use it as an excuse, but many who state they're struggling it isn't because they AREN'T drawing, just most of the time what they're drawing looks like crap to the artist / not coming out right.
Mar. 25th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
I sometimes get a response about them not having inspiration to draw/write which I take to mean they are in a supposed art block

From the OP, I take it that nothing at all is being produced, not that the artist is dissatisfied with what's being produced.
Mar. 25th, 2014 02:34 pm (UTC)
Yup. If I am on a job and have art block and feel like I can't 'perform', it's too bad. They've paid me to have an image done and they usually don't accept "I've got art block" as an answer.

There's such a huge difference in the pro world vs the 'furry' world. I can't believe some of the things that the furry world gets away with, and for many who want to transition out of the furry world into the pro... good luck if you think this attitude is going to get you anywhere.
Mar. 25th, 2014 03:45 pm (UTC)
I don't believe in 'art block' because of this. You can't just up and claim art block in the industry. I have always worked through periods of feeling like I don't want to draw.

Generally I do allow some wiggly room as a lot of artists on FA do get it and stop drawing for those periods. But if the artist is pumping out art and claiming art block and it'd been over a few days/a week, I'd get on their case as a lot of people just claim it to get out of owed work.
Mar. 25th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC)
Honestly, I'm going to go against what a lot of people think and say yes -- as long as it's not excessive.
Even though it may not be "your problem" as the commissioner, we're all people and shit happens. A bit of patience and understanding can go a long way.

I know when I'm stressed out I can't do much of anything, let alone draw anything that looks like it'd be worth money. I do let people know what's going on and let them know a refund is a possibility if they want to take it, though.

Edited at 2014-03-25 06:12 am (UTC)
Mar. 25th, 2014 10:10 am (UTC)
I was actually just discussing this with a friend of mine who was lamenting about a few commissions she has to finish, so I'll post my two cents.

I think it can be a very valid reason. There's a lot of factors behind lack of motivation/inspiration, particularly people who suffer disorders like depression or anxiety. My friend as an example, has become somewhat burnt out on what she's been having to draw for commissions and thus lacks the motivation to work on them. She doesn't want to necessarily force herself to work on them because she doesn't want to deliver what she considers a "half-assed" product just to get it done because that wouldn't be fair to the commissioner.
She also does feel guilty for taking so long, which just adds to her stress and makes her want to work even less, even though she really does want to finish it and have it be up to par quality-wise.
Obviously, it can't be used as a reason forever. Eventually the work is going to have to get done (or refunds should be issued if it can't). I told her to try working on drawing other things for a little while to de-stress and be able to go back to drawing what she has to to get the commissions finished. She doesn't take forever to work on commissions either of course, but it might take her an extra few weeks to a month at most sometimes.
She always delivers in the end, even if it takes a little longer than expected, and that's what's important.
Mar. 25th, 2014 10:23 am (UTC)
I'm going to go against the grain and say it isn't valid at all. When you're taking money for services things like "art block" shouldn't even be an issue. I suggest folks just work through it and get their work done in a timely manner.

Of course, when someone says "art block" I think of folks who put off doing the work for days to weeks on end. If someone needs to take a couple of days off from production to regather themselves, that is absolutely not a problem.

I personally take a couple of days here or there when I need it. I will bulldoze through moments of art block, because that's not my clients' problem.
Mar. 25th, 2014 11:34 am (UTC)
This. I can't believe how many friends I've had to pester because they owed paid work but didn't feel like working on it for days and days.
Mar. 25th, 2014 12:42 pm (UTC)
My girlfriend has a problem with "taking time for herself" it's pretty painful to watch at time. So when i see "Art block" i tend to think of other people i know who use it as an excuse to gain pity/avoid work. When i see "Stuck/burning out" i tend to be a lot more sympathetic, because they're 2 very different things that people tend to mix up.
Mar. 25th, 2014 05:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, burnout is a totally different thing. I mean, atm I just built up a small savings to take the next month off because I am burnt out on doing commissions. But, you know, all my work is completed and no one is waiting on me.
Mar. 25th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. It's one thing to take a couple days off to prevent burnout, but claiming a persistent block should never fly in a professional setting.
Mar. 25th, 2014 10:35 am (UTC)
Yes, I think it's an acceptable "excuse" - HOWEVER I believe that an artist in that situation should offer a refund, as it's only professional. Many commissioners will still decide to wait, at any rate - but the option should be there.

A lot of artists in various fandoms are hobby artists so stating that art block should never be an issue for them is not really valid imo, they are not industry professionals. Also there are numerous people doing artwork who have chronic health complaints and this can also contribute to difficulty which a full-time professional would not have. It's just about how you handle your customer service, should it arise.
Mar. 25th, 2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
Art block is not an excuse when talking about paid work, period. You aren't going to call in to work, especially in an art industry, with the excuse "I just don't FEEL like drawing today..."

Art block can be a real thing, sure- it's the product of not warming up, not sketching from life, drawing the same subject over and over, etc., any number of things... but that burden is not on the client. They have been paid to do a job and need to do it, so have to either take steps to rid themselves of art block (of which there are many options), or just work THROUGH it. A day or two of stepping away from a piece is one thing, mind you, but if they are weeks of using the same excuse...
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Mar. 25th, 2014 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Mar. 25th, 2014 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 26th, 2014 12:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, but if an artists puts commissions on a hiatus due to an art block they should also offer a refund. If a customer wants to wait it out, it should be their decision.
Mar. 26th, 2014 12:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah that should be mentioned too. It seems a few bewares have been in cases where an artist did offer a refund and the commissioner kept refusing - in that case you should deal with the expected delay.
Mar. 27th, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
I'd say it is, but you should be prepared to refund if that's the case. What I call art block is when nothing I can draw comes out right. I would feel terrible giving someone work at those times when I know I could do better later on. I actually had to stop taking commissions, because this started to happen to me for a couple months at a time.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


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