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Advice: Artists with bad reputations?

Hey guys, I recently commissioned someone and a lot of people, and I mean a lot, have warned me that this artist has a bad reputation with not doing owed artwork within a timely manner (we're talking more than six months - years) and I paid a heavy sum of money and I'm incredibly nervous, and even not handing out refunds when requested.

I'm not impatient, but hearing this news has me quite worried. I refuse to be taken advantage of and just wondered what to do about it.

Do I wait it out til Paypal's dispute is ending (I didn't send as gift, thankfully) or do I hope for the best and hope that my transaction goes smooth? Am I just being paranoid? I've paid a month ago and haven't heard anything from the artist since. When is a good time to ask for updates?

Thanks you guys.

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2015 01:18 am (UTC)
Do not wait longer than Paypal gives you to open a dispute.
Never wait longer. Once you do, you've lost all claim to your money outside of a court battle.
Apr. 29th, 2015 04:17 am (UTC)
For sure, I'm definitely not going to lose that only window of opportunity!
Apr. 29th, 2015 01:36 am (UTC)
The good news: Paypal now gives you 180 days to file a dispute instead of 45. Unless it's a 5-character oil painting or something, 6 months is a more then reasonable amount of time to receive a piece you've paid in advance for.

If I were in your situation, I'd check in once or twice a month. If at the five month point the picture's not done (or at least had significant progress made) request a refund. Two weeks after that if the refund hasn't been received, dispute.
Apr. 29th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC)
It's for a con badge, I'd definitely would be more understanding if it were a very time extensive piece!
Apr. 29th, 2015 02:05 am (UTC)
Let the artist know you want the commission complete within 5 months (or maybe a bit less so you have some leeway) and if it isn't, file a dispute with Paypal. I'd say file a dispute even if some progress is made... IDK how shady this artist may or may not be, but I could imagine them doing a sketch last minute to pacify you and then not making any more progress after the dispute deadline has passed.
Apr. 29th, 2015 04:20 am (UTC)
The artist "whipped up" a quick sketch when someone had asked for a refund and that's what I'm most terrified of. Waiting a long time, ending up asking for a refund, and suddenly there's progress. Sadly, that person is still waiting and it's been a long time since that.
Apr. 29th, 2015 04:23 am (UTC)
Don't let 'progress' stop you from filing with Paypal. It's better to get your money back than a half-assed sketch.
Apr. 29th, 2015 02:16 am (UTC)
Like others said, set a solid deadline so you are both clear on the timeframe. I was in a somewhat similar situation where I found out an artist I had commissioned had a little flaky past. I was very worried, but it ended up in the artist just offering me the refund as the piece couldn't be done in the super near future. Honestly I am still unsure if taking the refund was the right thing to do or if I should have waited for the art - but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

Basically if the artist have matured past their previous behavior then they will take your worries seriously and hopefully understand where you come from - if they blow it off as it's nothing then that is a huge huge red flag and I would back out of it ^^;
Apr. 29th, 2015 04:19 am (UTC)
Unfortunately there are still people waiting 2+ years for artwork and the artist hasn't delivered, or even given deadlines for when it /might/ be done.

I'm definitely a forgiving person/consider the past of an artist but if I had known all this before I sent the money I most certainly would not have.
Apr. 29th, 2015 03:38 am (UTC)
It all depends on who it is. There's some artists that are lost causes and should never be commissioned, ever. There's some that take forever (year +) but eventually get it done. Before you paid, you should've worked out a schedule-- if an artist won't even give you a ballpark estimate of the time it will take, that's a huge red flag.
Apr. 29th, 2015 04:16 am (UTC)
A lot of people are still waiting from last year, even going back 2+ years while they take on more art.

I'm trying to be as vague as possible without revealing who it is, but everyone's told me that communication/deadlines are basically non existent and that worries me greatly.
Apr. 30th, 2015 04:13 am (UTC)
...personally I would just go ahead and ask for a refund. But then again I'm pretty much a hardass when it comes to being jerked around by people I commission. I would much rather find an artist who has a proven track record of ideal customer service and project completion, instead of running the risk that they're going to 'pull a fast one on me' in some way. Not worth the headache, to me.
Apr. 30th, 2015 05:57 am (UTC)
if it is multiple people I think take the refund. @_@ two years is a too long time, get out while you can
Apr. 29th, 2015 11:08 pm (UTC)
-- it's fine to ask for progress at least monthly, maybe weekly (depends on the size of the project - conbadge should be fine, fursuit might be excessive - and if the artist says something like "I will update you in 2 weeks" of course)
-- go ahead and ask for an update as well as an explicit statement of when you want the work done by and ask when you can expect an update
-- pick a deadline significantly before the paypal window expires
-- if work is not done by the deadline let the artist know (in as polite a fashion as possible) that you will file a dispute if it is not completely finished by (date prior to paypal window closing)
-- file dispute unless badge is done and delivered (if applicable) to your satisfaction
-- if disputed, do not close dispute unless all work is done/delivered (you cannot reopen it)

I like to first try to set a deadline without invoking the paypal dispute option, then warn what you will do if they miss a second deadline, then go ahead and dispute if they have failed twice to do the work.
Apr. 30th, 2015 04:45 am (UTC)
Generally, when commissioning, I ask for when the artist thinks it will be done ( or if WIPs will be given, when the first will be done ) and will give them about a week after that day before I start asking for updates. Obviously that's a bit too late now but yeah, if they haven't even got a sketch to you after approx 5 months then there's something screwy going on and I'd demand results or refund. Maybe even sooner, so that if they just crap out a shitty sketch and then forget about you, it doesn't go over the paypal limit ( maybe first contact at 1.5-2 months? )
Apr. 30th, 2015 11:44 am (UTC)
Yeah just don't let the time to dispute run out.
If they ''suddenly'' have a sketch done after you ask for a refund, just let them know you still plan to do a dispute if they do not give you the art. If they beg and say they need more time just say if they complete it you will send the money back.

Edited to fix some spelling mistakes.

Edited at 2015-04-30 11:45 am (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2015 03:17 pm (UTC)
Drop them a note and if they ignore it, it gets read but they don't reply, or they give excuses and don't tell you when they'll actually work on it, I'd file a dispute. Especially since the artist is known for never finishing their work. You could wait a little longer but I wouldn't let it go more than 3 months, that's plenty of time, even if they are very busy, to finish a badge.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 18th, 2015 09:20 am (UTC)
This might be a bit late to respond, but I will express my experience here anyway.

I would honestly discourage you to wait more than 6 month unless the artist is given a strong reason for delay outside his responsibility like being fired from home for family issues, moving, hospital bills to pay, loan, you name it.
If those excuses start to stack up too frequent and just trying to get out of its ow responsibility, don't worry, you would be able to spot it right ahead. Usually the first impression of suspicious persons are the right one you get. You can ask them if there were any progress made on your commission if you made any, and if they answer, at least they are still open for communications, but in case they are not willing to answer:

Go check your FA Note system (if discussed via there), and check if the Outgoing messages has your sent message highlighted in yellow letters. If it remains that way for 1 week, sort of okay, but for 2 weeks you would have your reasons to be worried about avoidance.

The worst scenario however would be the yellow highlight is gone and it is marked as Read from the receiver's side, which means the person you sent the message to has read it and just did not reply you back.
Just toss another message after a week, and if it keeps happening, then you are encouraged to take screenshots for further Artist Beware threads.

One final note: Do not pay up front! Not especially so high amount of money. I never really understood that kind of way however, and therefore I am discouraging you from those kind of commissions. I always prefer getting my earned money for my hard work rather than being paid for something I have still not done yet. I wouldn't even wonder if I would get a briefcase full of golden ingots in exchange of doing hard work and if I won't, then someone would badmouth me for that. It's a bit like soaky business in my opinion.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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