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I wasn't sure if I should have mentioned this in the title so I felt it was better to keep it in the body. Essentially I'm considering requesting a refund from an artist due to having to wait several months for having a commissioned piece done. However what's troubling me is that the artist says they are suffering from depression and that they are doing what they can to get mine and other works done. I'm not sure of what to do here cause I feel like if I ask for refund, a whole new set of issues are going to arise from it and that I might be causing the artist more grief on top of their current situation. So I'm a bit lost of what to do.

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:06 am (UTC)
As someone who also suffers from depression and generalized anxiety disorder, I can understand where they're coming from. HOWEVER... I feel like we need some more information here in order to really give you a good answer. How often have you been in touch with the artist? You say several months but how many months is it really? How many other commissions do they have hanging?

Having depression sucks, but you also have to learn what you can and cannot handle. If they suffer from depression but continuously take commissions that they cannot or will not complete, that's a problem regardless of any issue they have.

Also, as terrible as this sounds... there's always the chance that they're lying. I know that's horrible to say, but there are LOT of people on the internet that - sadly - use illness of any type as an excuse. Whether they use it as an excuse for bad behavior, for just being a jerk, or for not finishing a project, it's just... frustrating. It takes away from people who really DO suffer from these illnesses, and it makes it really sad and sickening that I even have to bring up that it might just be an excuse.
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:18 am (UTC)
Its been roughly 3 months going on 4 now and I'm not sure how many others but I keep seeing the person posting for new commissions
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:19 am (UTC)
If they're posting for new commissions while actively telling you that they are too depressed to work on yours, I think you are well within your rights to ask for a refund.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2014 06:08 am (UTC)
Are they actually new though? It could be they're finishing up their list.

Unless you saw them take new ones, and then post those.
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:50 am (UTC)
Ask for a refund, depression sucks, I've been dealing with mental illness. It sucks but it does not give someone an excuse not to refund if the commissioner requests.
If they've done some of it (like a sketch) you can ask for a partial and take that with your sketch. If it's been a few months and you've seen nothing you are in all right to get a refund. People should not use mental illness for a reason to not do work owed and should be offering refunds.
Oct. 30th, 2014 05:07 am (UTC)
I have major depression disorder and anxiety myself, and disabled because of it.

I personally don't take payment first because of it - however, if I did, I would refund the money if I haven't started on anything yet.

It is only fair, it isn't your fault (nor theirs) they are in a funk. But it is their responsibility to the client to finish the work.
Oct. 30th, 2014 07:36 am (UTC)
I'm in a same situation as OP. Artist wrote she started my commission, but didn't answer when I asked about WIP or a sketch (I don't want to see my commission finished after several months of waiting, but with mistakes). I wanted to ask about a refund, but then she posted several journals about depression.
Oct. 30th, 2014 11:29 am (UTC)
If you're not too determined to get that particular piece of artwork, I'd definitely ask for a refund. Taking new work while not finishing owed work is unprofessional.

(Begin rant)
Y'see, this is something that just... gets to me.

If someone works for a company and is depressed, do they just get to mope around their place of business, not work, and still get paid? As their customer, it's really not your business that they're suffering from depression and personal issues shouldn't be brought into a professional* transaction, unless it's rare, serious, and immediately affects the outcome of the business transaction.

If someone wants to have a professional business - i.e. get paid for their work, they should act like a professional businessperson.

*once money/goods are exchanged guess what, it's a professional transaction.

(end rant)
Oct. 30th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Not trying to be snippy here I promise just...feel a bit attacked in this rant of yours.

I'm disabled because my depression would literally make me mope about the workplace. I cry at the drop of a hat in intense situations etc.

That doesn't mean I can't do commissions on the times I feel better.

However, I give my commissioners ample warning that I could have a relapse anytime - this is why I take payment after the fact (or refund if someone finds my paypal and pays me ahead of time).

Does me having depression really make me not worthy of doing commissions? That seems a bit mean :/.
Oct. 30th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry if you feel attacked. That wasn't my intention and I was speaking generally.

That being said-

You communicate your situation up front with your commissioners. You also won't take payment until the work is finished. That's perfectly professional. What you are doing is accomodating your specific working conditions and communicating clearly with your clients.

My issue is with artists who not only take money upfront and not do the work, but also drag personal issues into a business transaction and make constant excuses to delay completion(especially if they continue to add more paid work to their queue).

(I also have medical limitations for my work, but do my darndnest to work around them)
Oct. 30th, 2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
This I agree with. Thank you for clarifying :).
Oct. 30th, 2014 03:11 pm (UTC)
Honestly, if you have seen no progress on your commission and/or have seen the artist upload and do other commissions that were taken after yours I would try to discuss something with them.

The artist could be going through a REALLY rough time or sadly they could be lying (like said above). But if the artist is not updating you on the work itself with proof you should discuss your concerns and possible refund with the artist in a professional and understanding manner. 3-4 months is quite a long time to get 0 updates/W.I.Ps if this is the case.
Oct. 30th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
I have mild anxiety disorder and while I could use that as an excuse, I am actually just spacey and forgetful. If someone does have issues with a more severe problem, I feel the right thing to do is how Stormrunner does and not accept payment in case things get too bad to finish a piece. I tend to take deposits/half payments myself as I can easily blast out a rougher piece and not finish and let them have what I did draw rather than have to worry about refunding a piece I can't finish.
That being said, i think there are a lot more artists BSing about being unable to finish pieces than there are honest artists genuinely in funks that won't let them perform. If they are accepting more and more commissions either with or without producing anything new, I call more BS than honest depression, though I don't discredit that the may indeed have depression and not be aware they are making bad decisions and frustrating their clients.
Needless to say, this kind of situation, BS or not, is why I have stopped doing most trades and usually don't commission anyone I don't know pretty well...:/
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
As someone who has suffered a very bad depression, refunding people was actually a relief. I mean, I didn't want to and my customers didn't want refunds, they just wanted the art and said they were alright with waiting. But, the guilt I felt at being unable to work on their commissions made the art block the depression played a part in creating even worse.

Ask them for a refund, if they have the funds they might be relieved to refund you and you can always try commissioning them again later, when they feel better.
Oct. 30th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
You can certainly ask for a refund. If the artist gave you no warning before this commission started that they might need to adjust their work schedule due to illness--or heck, even if they did but are now dragging things out beyond what you consider reasonable--the fault is on their end, not yours. And frankly, their personal health issues should not be made your concern. If they can't deliver a product, they need to adjust their business practices, and until then, they need to refund people who have been waiting.

If you really want a piece of their art, you can always commission them again later, when they're in a better place to produce art in a timely manner.
Nov. 1st, 2014 01:29 am (UTC)
i'd just ask.
as an artist with depression, i'd rather commissioners remained open & communicative about what they wanted (or didn't want!) than remained silent & felt taken advantage of in an effort to not complicate depression.
Nov. 1st, 2014 09:03 am (UTC)
as someone who also, along with many others here, gets bouts of depression & cannot physically work on things sometimes, i've actually had to refund people for that very exact reason. and that's okay! even if it makes my financial situation more difficult, keeping on top of my work is still my responsibility, disability or no. that's just how it is!

if the artist does this in a professional, adult manner, they should understand that. and if not, best to stay away from doing business with them again.
Nov. 1st, 2014 02:00 pm (UTC)
Id second someone who said you go after refund and if you really want you'll commission them later when they have it sorted out better again.

You are well within your right. Asking for a refund in this case is not inhuman.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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