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Ahoy!

As a friend of an artist I commissioned before approached me and mentioned that I came off as obnoxious, pushy and rude for giving out criticism after my last commission went a bit awry, I'm really confused and sad now, because I never intended to come off as that. I really find her to be a nice person and like her art, so I planned to stick to her as my "to-go"-artist.

To clarify:
I commissioned a cover for a story I wrote, paid 40 dollars and gave every detail in the notes. After waiting several months, I received it and while I really liked the quality, a few (important) details were forgotten and/or ignored, and I got the impression that she works chaotically. As I wasn't entirely satisfied with it, I asked her if she could do the changes and that I want to talk to her about a different topic later (the criticism) and she agreed to the changes.
Then I sent a note with all the criticism and friendly advice, which she thanked me for and explained herself professionally, which I found excellent, because I always fear that the person on the other end might rage at me. So considering that she is still young (No offense, but my experiences tell that it are mostly the younger ones who can't take it well), I found it very impressive! And now I have to hear that she actually took it very harshly.

This is my note for everyone who is interested:
http://fs5.directupload.net/images/170505/6e8r9i9g.png

To be frankly, the only sentence which I could find rude is the assumption that she works chaotically, that she did those things where she wasn't entirely sure on her own without asking me first and where I asked her to think about my points, as I would it find really sad to lose her (As if I would be her only customer).
And now I'm asking myself what I have done terribly wrong that the artist thinks of me as a jerk and that I would think I would be too good for her art. After trying to get out more information of the friend, he told me that Americans take it differently.

So my questions are:
Where did I appear as a jerk and is this sort of a mentality-thing, where it's considered rude in the US of A to give out unwanted criticism? Because at least here in Germany if you are presenting your work to the public, you are simultaneously free to be criticized and shouldn't complain about that, as long as its friendly and constructive.

Advice is really appreciated, as I would like to keep good business relations to artists I commission and not destroy them because they were actually offended by something.

THX 11-38 in advance!


EDIT 1: Edited for clarity.

EDIT 2: Cut isn't working, so I'll just point to my first post in the comments, which contains further explanation and replies to some comments.

EDIT 3: After receiving a confusing answer from the artist to my apology so I have finally no idea what to think and/or do, I'll just leave her alone. I consider the matter resolved - sort of. Thank you for all your answers, as they really helped me showing my wrongdoings and how to behave in future commissions!

EDIT 4: Now my commissions were deleted (also replaced with a simple placeholder-image) from her site with a text that I harrassed and treated her bad, she would fear for her safety and no refunds would be eministered. She also blocked me from commenting and messaging her, making me wonder how I am going to get those images back in case my HDD dies.
Now that's what I call an overreaction...
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Comments

rendrassa
May. 5th, 2017 06:56 pm (UTC)
Do other countries really see Americans as fragile glass like this? I'll admit I'm an American and unwanted criticism can get me down but that's just my personality. I'm really insecure about my artistic abilities and often end up putting myself down over not being good enough. But I don't think it's because of my being American.

I agree with many talking about the last bit implying that you're only commissioning her because she's affordable and able to draw vehicles and as soon as you find another artist she's losing your business. I also find it interesting in your post that you said:

"To be frankly, the only sentence which I could find rude is the assumption that she works chaotically, that she did those things where she wasn't entirely sure on her own without asking me first and where I asked her to think about my points, as I would it find really sad to lose her (As I would be her only customer)."

"As I would be her only customer"? Does she not have any other commissions than yours? Sorry, this just came off as really rude to me that you are thinking she needs your business, or she doesn't have any at all. (That is how it is phrased to me.)

I think your phrasing just need work. Take a moment and try to find ways something could be seen as rude/mean. I basically read over my words and assume the reader is very sensitive and will flip out over nothing. That's how I avoid most issues online.
uaz_469
May. 5th, 2017 07:07 pm (UTC)
The sentence in brackets was not in the note and is my very own interpretation of how I would understand it now. And I agree today that it was a very bad move. Too bad it's a half-year ago and the damage was already done. :/

I thought about editing it in the post to (As if I was her only customer), but feared that edits of the entry post might appear like I'm trying to alter the facts in my favour.

Edited at 2017-05-05 08:00 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
uaz_469
May. 5th, 2017 09:10 pm (UTC)
To answer this, I'll have to give out some details, which I deemed irrelevant before. I hope nobody minds.

After the corrected picture was uploaded, I posted a comment that it was now really done and that she could consider the commission completed. I also sent the artist a note asking if she was ready for round 3 (contact was jovial until the critique-note) and she simply replied that it depended on the costs and she would go on hiatus for a month after May. I responded by giving a short description to get an idea about the roughly costs and mentioned that I won't push her into doing it as soon as possible of course.

Later that day, I received a comment from the friend of hers to mine:
"So you're the one who likes space pirate tanks....
I'm pretty sure Yalena Krustinova would kick your T72's bum xD"

So pretty much harmless and I decided to play along a bit, until the friend asked me for Discord, so we could RP with our OCs. I accepted and the following night, we did the Chat-RP for a few days. While playing I realized that Chat-RPs would stress me out on the long run, so I expressed my concern with reasons why I prefer forum-RPs more. Then we had a small, still harmless arguing about RPs - until he mentioned in passing (Really, I'm sure that he didn't intend in the first place to tell me and if he wouldn't have said it, I would be still clueless today) that the artist had showed him the commissions and notes I sent her and that I was rude and pushy. That was the point where I stopped discussing and questioned him. Calm and friendly, of course.

The following conversation was confusing, because he jumped between topics (RPs and the artist) and partly ignored my questions where I have been rude to explain the artists feelings to me. He then mentioned the note with that criticism and said, that the artist took it very harshly, thought that I think that I'm too good for her art and that she considers not taking my commissions or charging me anymore. And that he would be her best friend, so if I bothered her, I bother him and she thinks that I'm a jerk. Followed by more stuff about RPs and that Americans take things differently.

So I thanked him for giving me a heads up, said I'll try to sort things out with her and then he replied that I need to sort out things with him too. Finished by the comment that the artist dislikes that I don't care if I bothered him and that he's the only one who can convince her to do my commissions.

As it was already very late and all the new information was too much to handle for me at that point, I suggested to let it rest that day and continue discussing on the next one.

______________________________________________

Sorry if it was confusing to read, but if you want, I can give you the chat history.

Edited at 2017-05-05 09:17 pm (UTC)
celestinaketzia
May. 5th, 2017 10:25 pm (UTC)
mod comment
Howdy!

If you're going to release logs, please ensure all names are censored as advice posts are to remain anonymous.
uaz_469
May. 6th, 2017 06:18 pm (UTC)
After apologizing with refering to my note with the critique, I received a strange note from the artist.

And she claims that she's confused to what I am speaking of, her other friend as well and that I should calm down whatever nonsense I am on. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also no word that she isn't willing to work with me again and that I can commission her if I want.

So now I guess that either that friend who told me all this is messing with me or the artist is still trying to pretending that everything is alright.

As this behaviour is just too confusing for me and I have found someone else for tank-pictures, I'll just leave her alone and consider this matter resolved. Sort of.

Edited at 2017-05-06 06:26 pm (UTC)
rendrassa
May. 5th, 2017 09:21 pm (UTC)
I never said it was in the note, just that the phase "(As I would be her only customer)" could be taken very rudely and using it as an example that it might be useful to look over things in a different way, i.e, as if you are sending your message to someone who will take offense at anything, and thus being extra diligent in trying to find anything that could be considered rude in your messages. For example, I've spent about ten minutes rewriting this response to make it sounds as factual and non-threatening as I possibly can, but it's no guarantee you won't find my words to be posh or laced with attitude.

I've seen others edit their main post to improve clarity, so it shouldn't be an issue if you add, "Edited for clarity" at the end.
uaz_469
May. 5th, 2017 09:38 pm (UTC)
Well, I did gave the note before to another American who I am working with to check if it was unfriendly somewhere and he said that it was okay.

And I honestly think your response is very nice. ;)

Thanks, I'll edit the post for clarity then!
rendrassa
May. 5th, 2017 09:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think this has to do with being American. I certainly don't agree with that artist's friend saying that Americans take things differently than other countries' citizens. (Though I know we can be pretty ignorant of other nations.) It's quite possible it's more to due with you having friends who are used to the way you talk/don't take offense easily when something is worded poorly and so don't get any feedback of possible offense.

Doing my best. ^..^ I can get really anxious during discussions because I'm a little terrified of offending or causing an argument. (Social anxiety for the win!)

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