I asked the Artist on June 17th, 2015 if they were still open, the artist said yes and that I might not get it for a few weeks as this person had a lot of other people before me. Being an artist, I understood this and give that she was so quick with the last one despite the same warning I went ahead and paid. Do to said clause in the artist rules I did not poke her about it and assumed she was working on it. I finally broke down and noted her on Jan 4, 2016 about it and she replied within an hour saying that she forgot about it but could not find my note with the order in it "I must have deleted it". I was polite about it, resent her all my references as she asked and even gave her permission to draw my OC when ever she liked as she apparently loved his decine. This is the last I have heard from her and she did not ever give me a timeline/deadline or even a hint of when she'd be able to do the piece.
Since then she has been active on DA, posting several personal pieces, a commission that was ordered after mine and a huge "sketch dump" (around 20-30 pieces in a single image, most are cleanly lined and half are flat colored). I have not sent her a note yet (March 5th, 2016) as I'm not sure how to handle this. She is an artist that I've admired for a long time, we started out in the same fandom circle and have done gift arts for each other many times before. I respect her and want to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I don't want this to drag on for year either. Her style is changing and I've already made a few changes to the oc so I'm worried about how this piece is going to turn out. As an artist I understand that sometimes you just don't want to work on orders and you want to maybe doodle some stuff of yours for a change. I've done that before, but the volume of work she's put out has be worried that I'm still not on the radar.
I definitely want to give her one more chance at the least, just some help on what to say or how to move forward would be great.
After making this post I discovered that I had missed a blog post by the artist explaining why she had been so slow with working on everything (despite evidence to the contrary stated above). I sent her a message inquiring about the "incident" (which happened new year's day) that she didn't tell me about via notes the last time we had talked; despite us being friends. She gave me an excuse and offered a refund with a guilt trip attached. I replied asking if there was some way we would work this out as I value the art more than the money.
It's been almost 4 days of silence from and artist. She isn't on DA or any of her media sites as far as I can tell despite having been very active in the days leading up to this.
I'm not sure what to do now. She seemed upset at me for even asking again though I was bending over backwards to be as polite and non-confrontational as possible through the whole thing. She apparently was already stressed out about all of her other still owed commissions and I fear I may have made it worse (I feel bad, but at the same time it's been 8 months for a sketch). I going to give her some space and I'll note her again in three weeks if I haven't heard anything back at that time. If by the grace of the Maker something happens before then I'll update this post. If you guys have further advice for me or would like more information, just let me know! Thank you for the help thus far.