I'm going through this once again, unfortunately, and I'd like to know what sort of etiquette there is here. What steps should I take and how long should I wait before reporting an artist?
The money was prepaid as a combination of buying textbooks for a class they were taking on their Amazon wishlist (~US$135) and Paypal (+US$300 for a total of US$435) back around July of 2014 (a year and a half ago). Its high detail "realism" style art, and I knew they had a backlog, so I understood it might be a few months. The artist said they would have a sketch to me by January 2015, but its been more than a year since that date and it hasn't materialized. I poked them once in awhile (I think maybe two or three times over the whole course of the year 2015) and kept getting told it was coming ... but toward the end of the year, around November or so, the artist suddenly disabled their account on FA. A couple months later, they un-disabled and posted a journal apologizing, saying they know they weren't completing commissions, that they were depressed, hadn't completed the course they were taking (the one I bought textbooks for them for as part of the commission price) and they offered refunds.
I didn't immediately jump on that ... I thought they'd get back to it with a shorter commission list (from the other commissioners who would request a refund) ... but a few weeks later, they disabled their account again.
I don't like flogging a downed horse, and I really feel like that's what's happening when I ask for money back from a burned-out artist ... but at the same time, I'm in a tough spot myself right now. I don't have the art I paid for, and have no reasonable expectation I ever will ... and right now that's a chunk of change I could really use.
I sent them an e-mail this past Friday ... how long should I give them before posting to the community? Are there any other steps I should take?
Thanks all. I know artists work hard. And I know artists get burned out. And I feel bad trying to draw blood from someone feeling down. But without even a sketch more than a year after one was promised, I feel I should get my money back.