Over a year ago, I commissioned an artist for a follow-up piece to something I'd had done previously. The artist was amazing and I was happy she was willing to take on the next request I had. I paid up front, she went to work, and I received a sketch about a month later (an acceptable timeframe). The problem was, the approval sketch came during a life upheaval so I didn't even see the email with the approval sketch (it was honestly the last thing on my mind). Time passes, things settle, but in the kerfuffle, the commission is totally forgotten about.
When I remember, I'm so chagrined that I forgot that it took me a while to reach out to the artist. I finally get up the courage, apologize, tell them I love the sketch (because I did) and would they be willing to re-take up the commission. Due to the length of time that's passed the artist lets me know her prices have changed and I readily agree that as far as I'm concerned, the first payment I sent is hers to keep, and I don't consider it downpayment on finishing this commission and that we can start from scratch. We agree on a new price, I send payment and she starts working on the lines for the commission, since I was fine with the sketch.
So... you might have guessed where this is going. I receive the lines for the go-ahead for color and once again, things are on my plate where the email was simply missed. By the time I notice it in my inbox, months have passed and I feel like absolute garbage for doing this to her a second time. I can say with all honesty this is not my normal MO, and I definitely feel the burden of it on my conscience. Because I felt so guilty, I sort of stuck my head in the sand and tried to forget about it. But I couldn't, and here's where the advice question comes in.
The fact that the second piece is not finished is completely eating away at me. I love her art, and loved the first drawing she did for me. This companion piece was meant to be displayed with it, as a set. As a result, I haven't even felt like I could print and hang up the first piece without it, and it's so good it just breaks my heart. It's all my fault - I know and completely own that - but if someone had done this to you as a commissioner once before, would you be willing to give them a second chance? Every reason I give sounds like an excuse, and to be frank, some of it is personal and nothing she needs to be burdened with anyway. I feel like the polite thing would be just to let it go and not bother the artist again, but the rest of me so badly wants it finished. I think what I'm most afraid of is that the artist won't want to do it and then it will be unfinished forever. It's to the point now where it's causing me no small amount of anxiety. What should I do?