I commissioned an artist back in June for a new reference sheet of one of my characters. About a month later, they posted a journal saying there would be delays because of life things. They posted update journals every other week through August, but have not posted any since. I reached out to them via email in October and November, but have not received a response.
Aside from lack of communication, my biggest concern is that the commission is for a reference sheet. Since it's essentially a complete redesign, I'm held up from using this character in other commissions, since I don't want to go off of his old ref sheet. I have not seen any WIPs yet, so I can't tell if it's been started or not. I let the PayPal dispute period run last month, so a dispute isn't an option.
My question is this: is it ok to ask an artist to change the commission type to something other than a ref sheet, for equal value, if it appears it has not been started yet? If the wait is too long, I'd prefer to take the ref sheet info to another artist.
If it comes down to it, I can ask for a refund. But I'm willing to wait longer for the commission if I can change it to something other than a ref sheet.
Also, I am not interested in turning this into an actual beware. I'm just looking for advice. I've had two good experiences with this artist in the past, and I'd prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt. Call me naïve, but that's how I feel.