pastelpirate (pastelpirate) wrote in artists_beware,

Advice: How do I politely cancel a commission?

Hey, guys!

I need advice.

A few days ago, I came across an artist in the tags on Tumblr and decided to commission them. I sent them a message, we discussed the details, and they said they would supply a sample sketch before accepting payment. I still haven't received the sketch; therefore, I haven't paid, either. All's well, right?

Last night, someone I follow reblogged a piece from the artist, then removed it an hour later. Moments later, a notice went up that they removed the reblog because the artist in question also drew underage characters in explicit, sexual situations. I wasn't aware of this at all, but I checked their blog and, sure enough, there it was.

Now, underage porn is against the average person's morals - but, it's also illegal in the United States.

Obviously, I don't want my extremely recognizable character shown on a blog where underage porn is also drawn and hosted - and I also don't want to support an artist who willingly draws it. It's both illegal and against my own moral code. Needless to say, I'm extremely uncomfortable with this commission now - but, I'm not sure how to cancel it.

Am I obligated to continue the commission, even though money hasn't been exchanged, because details have been discussed and agreed to? If not, is it better for me to be honest with the artist and tell them I'm uncomfortable and want to cancel? The main issue here is that I have very severe anxiety and, based on behavior from their blog, I'm fearful that the artist will lash out at me angrily. Ordinarily, I would never cancel a commission I had already agreed to, but this is one situation in which I feel it's very, very necessary to do so.

Also, I am aware I should have looked into the artist more before I commissioned them. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, unfortunately.

Edit: Fixed the link.

Edit: Thank you to everyone who commented here with advice for how to proceed! I have messaged the artist and told them that something came up and I'm no longer able to continue with the commission, but offered to compensate them for any progress made on the rough sketch. We'll see how it goes. :)
Tags: advice for commissioners

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