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Okay, first post. It kind of sucks because I've only recently started taking commissions, and I hoped I wouldn't have to post here so soon.

I was commissioned almost exactly two months ago by serareskel for a colored pencil piece of her dragon character. She pays up front, and after a week or so I finish her commission to her satisfaction and no harm was done. Then after a few days she notes me on DeviantART requesting that I made a mistake in drawing her feet (I added pink paw pads, and they are supposed to be just plain), which granted, she never mentioned in her description. I figured it wasn't too unreasonable, so I spent some more time on the drawing and changed the paw pads from pink to blue.

But then it still wasn't good enough, because I had lightly inked the pads with a small point pen, and she didn't want the lines there. D: Okay...so I went back in Photoshop (I am WAY new at digital art stuff) and figured out how to remove the inked lines, so all there was left were bare feet. I showed it to her, and she asked me to fix some blur issue with the feet, so I redid the whole process. At this point I still didn't charge her extra for the changes. After that she seemed satisfied.

Then a few days later she notes me again saying that there is an unsightly blur on the right wing (a miniscule spot), which I personally could not find at all. I told her to specify where the blur was, which was a small part of the wing. I actually had to zoom in and look for it for a minute before I saw what she was talking about. I don't even remember using the blur tool on any part of the drawing other than the feet. I told her there wasn't much I could do about it, but that I would try. Rescanning the entire thing didn't help, because the feet would have to be redone a third time. Normally I wouldn't mind that, but I have too much other art that needs finishing to go back on a past commission because all of a sudden there was a problem with it. I tried to figure out how to fix the blur, but I finally had to tell her that I was unable to but I would do something small to make up for it, like an icon. She said she just wanted the tiny blur fixed.

About this time, I had almost 20 notes from her asking me to fix the blur. I asked some friends to look at the drawing themselves, and NONE of them could even see where it was. She's left me alone for a few weeks, but now she is having some of her friends harass me about fixing the blur. I've told her several times that I didn't know how to fix the blur, and offered her another small drawing as an apology for my digital incompetance.

So there's my story, and I'm feeling pretty crappy that one of my first commissions turned out this way. :( Even worse that I couldn't fix such a TINY, hardly-noticable blur, though I did try to make up for it. It just....when she had her friend harass me about it was the last straw. My opinion is that even though she payed up front and in a timely manner, its just NOT worth working with her. Its like nothing I tried to do was good enough.
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Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
coyotewings
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
I don't see how that is fair to you, at all...even if she did pay you and what not, all the changes she's asking for are a bit of a hassle. And the fact she keeps asking and harassing you over it really isn't reasonable.

If it's so tiny and pretty much unnoticable, then why should you fix something so small? It really shouldn't make a difference to her, and you shouldn't have to make it up to her.

I also don't see where she thinks she has the right to send her friends to harass you over it.

I'm sorry you've had to deal with such things. :{
I'm sure you'll have better luck with other customers though. :}
zyleeth
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think I'm going to just....put my foot down next time. The piece was originally going to be 100% traditional, since I can't do anything in Photoshop. So when she asked me to fix it there my brain splattered out of my ear. D:

I have had some better customers since then, so its all good. :)
coyotewings
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
Ick, I see your point there. D:

But I'm glad you've had better customers since then. Your work is very nice. :D
growly
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, I visited your DA page and found the image in question.
I see the blur fairly clearly, but it's a very minor thing. And especially after you changed the pawpad color and whatnot even though you were technically not obligated to, I think she has no room to complain.
If you can't fix it, you just can't fix it. :P She needs to accept that and move on. It's a great picture, if I were her, I would be happy enough with it to not care.
*headtilts* Is it possible you can send her the original? Maybe if she had the original without blur, she'd stop bugging you. Of course, charge her for the shipping and the cost of the envelope, no reason you should pay for that.
zyleeth
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, its hard for me to see when I have had so little work with Photoshop. I can understand I guess that it would be easier for someone else to see though.

That is a good suggestion, next time she bugs me about it I'll offer to send the original. Thanks for your help!
dunaerin
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
Always state that there will be a charge after x number of alterations. there is apoint when it gets on the artists nerves. Say something like 'state all changes needed UP FRONT when you see the sketch, after __ times, I will request a fee for each change"
zyleeth
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
Definitely will do that now. x_x Thank you for your suggestion. :)
thaily
Jul. 6th, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
State all changes needed UP FRONT when you see the sketch, after __ times, I will require a fee for each change.
rahsyk
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
This guy has a reputation for being a nut case. I've seen him overreact to situations in very unreasonable ways. O_o I'm not really surprised to hear of this guy giving someone grief.

In my opinion as an ARTIST (not as someone who's heard of this guy before), I'd say that you should refuse to fix this problem. From the sound of it, you've already finished his comission and he approved. That's that. In my opinion, you were VERY kind to go back and fix the inked feet issue. That's a detail that he should have discussed with you while you were still working on the piece. I think you should tell this guy that you're done. Let him try to fix this crazy blur himself.

Don't let it get you down, though. It sucks that your first comission turned out this way, but don't let it keep you from doing more. Take it as a learning experience. Make sure people know that when you've finished and they've approved it, the job is DONE! We all have to deal with these crazies every once in a while. Good luck, hon!
zyleeth
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, a few people I know have already had trouble with him. This was unfortunately, AFTER he commissioned me.

Thank you for your words, Rahsyk! In a way, I guess its good that I had some weirdo commission me first. I feel like I'm more ready to deal with it again if I have to.
tigrr_wildcat
Jul. 6th, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
Heya, I looked through your deviantart file for the pic in question and like Grrrowly said, it's pretty minor. After fixing it so many times, she doesn't have room to send people after you after she ok'd the piece a few times already and refused a free gift of art to make up for not being able to fix the blur issue. Short of sending the original, I don't think she would ever be pleased. I'd send the original and be done with it.

Also, is it just me, or do you find it odd that for a commission that she is supposedly not pleased with... that she's using it as her lj icon?

-Tigrr Wildcat-
zyleeth
Jul. 6th, 2006 03:13 am (UTC)
I have NO idea. I've been puzzling over why she's been using it if she's so displeased with it. o_o If the blur was on the face I would understand, but its no where near the face.
yami_griffin
Jul. 6th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
granted I don't condone her hurassing you, but I do know her a little bit and have been commissed by her a few times in the past with no problems myself, but...

she is -VERY- piccy about feet

really... that all I can say
knifesmile
Jul. 6th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
She's already gotten WAY the fuck more than she deserves out of you. If she's bitching this much about an admittedly small blur on the wing, she needs to seriously re-evaluate her priorities in life, and, in the meantime, her neuroses are not your problem. You owe her nothing, less than nothing, and certainly not another drawing. If it were me, I'd've told her she should've mentioned that when I asked for her approval of the piece; once approval is given, that's it, the deal is finalised. If you point out mistakes to me when I show you the sketch, fine; if you point out something I messed up in the finalising process when I ask for final approval, fine; if you decide three days after approving it to me that you'd rather some part of it be some other way, sorry. Feel free to hash out an entirely new deal with me to fix whatever it is you don't like, but it counts as another commission in and of itself (though likely rather cheap in comparison depending on what changes are desired) and certainly isn't free. You had your chance, at least twice and probably three times or more given how often I check approval for this kind of thing, and if you overlooked it then that's not my problem.

You should have at least one or two sketch/final-checking points ("Here's the sketch/final; is this acceptable?") but if you've done that, your responsibility is discharged. It's the commissioner's responsibility to alert the artist if they notice something off in the drawing when asked for input. If they fail to respond when input is requested, and the flaw ends up in the final piece, that's their own fault. If they further fail to address the flaw when the final piece is presented for approval, they have only themselves to blame. And if they decide to be a raging fire-bitch about it like this person has, you have every right to inform them that not only is the deal final, you have decided not to do business with them in future, and that you will consider any further contact attempts made by them or their friends about this issue harassment and will report them as such. Once again, the only person they have to blame for this is themself.
thaily
Jul. 6th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)
You don't have to change anything after she received the end result and said she was satisfied. If she still had minor problems with the drawing she should have said so earlier. Giving her more art for being a whiny cunt is right out and only encourages her to milk you even more.

I know you wanna make your customers happy, but at some point you have to put your foot down or else they'll walk all over you and that's worth neither the money nor the aggravation.

Also, traditional art often takes more time to make and thus costs more. So stop saying "It's all traditional because I can't.." as if it's a bad thing that your art is made by traditional means, because it's not.

Don't apologize for your art.
chlorophyta
Jul. 6th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
That statement deserves to be bolded. (And if kaputotter were here, she could use her icon for it...)


Don't apologize for your art.
dreamaria
Jul. 6th, 2006 08:53 am (UTC)
Argh, I'm sorry you had to deal with this shit :(

If she approved of the commission, you're really not obligated to do any further changes to it, unless they pay for it. And even then, they approved of it :/

I think you did WAY more work on it than was expected of you. I understand that you want to keep your customers happy, but to an extent. Make sure in your commission information you state that changes can only be made past a certain point or something, especially if they had already paid and approved of the commission. Otherwise, especially months later, charge them for any changes you make. I usually do that sort of thing at an hourly rate (like, $5 for changes, maybe?) Depends how big of a change it is.

I think I see the blur she was referring to, but I get similiar results when I use my PrismaColor pencils, as stated above, it's nothing to apoligize for. :)

Sorry that your first commissioner was so rough on you. I've been doing commissions for a while now, don't worry, the good outweighs the bad for the most part :) Good luck with your future commissions!
skanrashke
Jul. 6th, 2006 11:03 am (UTC)
Generally I have a "Two fixes+Ten IM" policy, after which I ignore the person, or hunt them down and smash their face into a curb.
If she's bothering you incessantly, tell her that "The quality is good, there's nothing wrong with it, I don't care if there are miniscule spots that no one can see but you. Its a fucking character drawing, for (Diety here)'s sake. If its THAT important to you: You need to re-evaluate your life, you picky, spineless bitch. If you look at drawings with this kind of precision, I think you should do the same for your face. I'm sure you're an acne-scarred, mottled with rash conformist whose only real pleasure is having FLAWLESS character drawings to compensate, because you can't do anything about your problems in real life!
OH NO! ASKING TO DEVELOP A PERSONALITY OR SENSE OF HUMOR WOULD BE TOO MUCH!
BITE ME YOU SLOPPY, STINKING, PICKY SONOF (diety here, or animal) BEFORE I SHOVE MY SIZE TWELVE TIM'S UP YOUR TOO-TIGHT STARFISH!"

...that's what I'd say.
You ever notice how people who have no range of toleration for anything or no sense of humor always SAY they have a "Great sense of humor"?
I wonder how many times their mothers had to tell them that to prevent them from killing themselves..
One times too many, I think.
Do the world a favour!

-Rant button off-
diyaego
Jul. 6th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
Are you even sure this is a 'friend' harassing you, and not a duplicate ID? I've been 'ganged up' on by just one individual once, who masqueraded as no less than four other people with different email addies, all in an effort to get their way.

I suggest you simply close this matter and ignore the user. You’ve completed your side of the agreement, and beyond, and done your best the whole way through. I wouldn’t pander to someone’s neurotic behaviour.
mirsathia
Jul. 6th, 2006 12:28 pm (UTC)
I see quite a few blurs on the DevArt wings of the picture.. o_@ Which one is she referring to that she doesn't like?
chlorophyta
Jul. 6th, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC)
The trick with people like that, is you just don't give them any leeway. You really shouldn't have even changed the color of the paw pads. A nice 'Well, I'm sorry, but you already approved this as done, and You hadn't mentioned in the description what color the paw pads were. If you'd like to commission me again, I would be happy to put the correct color pawpads, provided you give me that information before I start coloring.' And then be all sugar and honey so if they bitch, it never looks like you were in the wrong. Seriously, most people will back down right away if they see they can't push you around. =)
lilenth
Jul. 6th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)

I took a look at the image, there are several blurry bits on it. While it's not right for the person to harass you over them after they have okayed it, you should have really been more careful when scanning it to ensure it came out as clear and as true to the original as possible.

I would suggest checking your scanners bed to see if the glass has smears on it, even if you can't see them, I would polish it carefully anyway and scan on a higher resolution in future.

I personally wouldn't have accepted the piece myself if I was the commissioner, Sorry but I'm going to be truthful here, there are several areas where you have gone outside the line work carelessly and the linkwork shows a number of blobs and badly inked lines, those added to the bad scan (none of your other works seem to have those areas of blur on them) would have made the end result unacceptable to me if I had paid you for a commission. Though I wouldn't have fussed over minor details such as miscoloured pawpads myself either.

I would suggest the you take to reading up on some tutorials for photoshop, Some digital manipulation is always required after scanning traditional mediums in order to display it to it's fullest advantage.
mythos_amante
Jul. 7th, 2006 03:25 am (UTC)
Um...sounds like you just don't like zyleeth's art, period. So you wouldn't have been in the hypothetical situation to commission her anyways, which pretty much makes your comment moot. When you commission someone, you look at their skill level and make the agreement with the artist based on their current level of skill. Based on that, serareskel knew what they were getting in to. When zyleeth turned in the piece for approval, Serareskel should have let it be known what needed fixing before the piece would be to their satisfaction, ASAP.

It's not fair to artists to be asked to change things for free after the commissioner has agreed with them that a job is complete. It'd be like house-sitting for someone on vacation and then a week after they'd gotten back home and paid you, they call you up and ask if you could come over and water a plant that you missed because they "forgot" to tell you there was one in the hidden side yard. The job is done, completed, out of your hands. If they didn't tell you, and communicate responsibly, then they should just suck it up and keep it to themselves, certainly not getting their friends to bug you. And if you change it and try to fix it for them, you are doing it out of the kindness of your heart, and because of your own sense of wanting to please, not because you are obliged to. You just want to be nice and try to be the one who goes out of their way to please. You shouldn't be penalized for that.

Giving the commissioner the benefit of the doubt, maybe Serareskel didn't want to make a fuss, and finds conflict difficult. But they waffled, and communicated poorly, and that in itself is a good enough reason to let all us other artists know about them, so we can be forewarned in case we accept a commission from them in the future.
lilenth
Jul. 7th, 2006 10:40 am (UTC)

I never said that I don't like her art, don't be so quick to get defensive, I do however think the piece shows a distinctly sloppy and rushed approach compared to the other pieces she has done.

Again I didn't say what the commissioner was doing was right. I do however think that the scanner blur should have not been an issue in the first place since none of her other pieces have those blurs.
mythos_amante
Jul. 7th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
True, true! Sorry if I was, indeed, a bit defensive; It seemed not constructive, but now I definitely get your drift. Cleaning up the image before submitting it for approval was quite within the artist's abilities. It's just a shame that the commissioner chose until after approving it to bring it up as an issue.

To be fair, again, it was only the artist's first commission. Lessons, hopefully, were learned all around! XD
lilenth
Jul. 7th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)

If nothing else, I hope the artist cleans the scanner bed, looks up some tutorials and spends more time on scanning and adjustments.
kitsuken
Aug. 17th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
On the subject of the colour change, there's a real quick way you can do that in photoshop. Just create a new layer, pick the colour you actually want and paint over the section you want to change the colour of. Once that's done, change the layer mode to color (the drop down left of opacity) and go to image>ajustments>hue/saturation and play about with those till it looks good. Works 90% of the time (the catch being it's a little more tricky if you've used a different colour for the shadows. With something like this though you can't really tell that it's unintentional)
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