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This is something I've been considering on and off for a long while while lurking the community and I finally decided to come out and post about it.

A good couple years back I ordered a commission from a well-known and respected local artist at a then-small college convention near me - two traditional pieces of original characters my ex and I designed for a visual novel we were working on. I believe we each paid $20-25 for them at the time. I also gave them the original design sketches I had of the two characters. The artist is open about them dealing with chronic illness - fibro and lupus, notably, and how some days they're physically unable to draw, so I didn't expect to have the art immediately, but I did hope I'd get it within a few months.

A few months later I emailed them to inquire about my commissions, I needed the design sketches back to reference from as well. They told me they were still getting through the commissions from the convention and that mine was next on the list. Awesome!

I never got the commissions or the original sketches. I feel like maybe I should have been more forceful but as I'm also an artist who struggles with chronic conditions that make keeping a consistent schedule difficult (albeit mine are nowhere near as debilitating) I feel like it might've been in bad form to nag about it. There's also the fact that this person is very well liked and respected among the local geek community, including several friends of mine, and I didn't want to be alienated or be accused of starting drama.

So this is still what I'm struggling with - do I create a beware and let people know that there's a potential caveat emptor attached to commissioning this artist (who does accept online commissions, so this isn't just a local thing)? Or do I let it go, and accept that shit happens?

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Comments

dinogrrl
May. 15th, 2016 02:52 am (UTC)
I agree with the others: if you know you have a chronic condition, it is up to YOU to manage it. Not your customers. Illness is NEVER an excuse, and if you find yourself using it as one, you need to stop taking commissions, and/or refund the ones you're already struggling with, or whatever else you need to do, until you get things under control again.

Regardless of how 'well-known' or 'respected' or 'liked' they may be, as of right now they've stolen your money and you have nothing to show for it. And if I were to hazard a guess, you probably aren't the first person they've done this to. I bet there are other people out there who, like you, are afraid to say something that contradicts the 'well-known, respected, likable geek' persona because of possible backlash.

I'd probably ask for either the art or a refund by a specific date - I think that is more than generous, given they've had beyond ample time to finish the commission. If they refuse to do either, then yes, beware time.

Just because a commission was agreed to years ago, and was a relatively small amount of money, doesn't mean it isn't still a valid business contract that needs to be honored.

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