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So, I need some advice on this situation. I'm not sure if it warrants an Artists Beware yet, and I'm definitely worried about the artist in question retaliating against me even more severely should the artist find out.

I had commissioned an artist to do a private drawing of my partner and I's characters together. This was to be a fully shaded and rendered commission. From the very first notes I was clear with the artist that I did not want the artwork to be posted in any of their galleries, in any way, shape, or form. The artist agreed to these terms not in just the first reply, but also the second.

I ended up cancelling the commission at the lineart stage due to poor quality work and anatomy.

The exact same day that I cancel the commission, I find the lineart up in the artist's gallery as a YCH auction.

The artist changed the species and appearance of my partner's character but not mine. While the anatomy is so poor that it's probably hard to recognize mine, I was very upset by this and told the artist to remove the image. After confronting the artist I get my partial refund immediately. (The artist said they wouldn't give refunds for "work already done".)

The artist replied saying that the privacy only applied to the *finished* image and so they could "do whatever they want with it". However in no way, shape, or form did the artist ever inform me of that, it seems as though they decided "terms apply to final image only" AFTER I'd decided to cancel it.

I don't really think there's anything I can do at this point. I thought about demanding a full refund, but I feel like that will make the artist even more vengeful and they'll decide to post the other character as well, instead of the placeholder one.

So...was what that artist did out of line? What would you do in my place?

I even thought about paying the artist back, assuming I'd get the "rights" to the image back, but due to how it ended on such a sour note I don't think that's going to work either, and the quality is so awful that I don't want to give that artist a dime more.

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Comments

ACreativeDragon
Jul. 5th, 2017 08:00 pm (UTC)
My question is what does the *artist's* terms of service say? When you commission an artist, you are not merely agreeing to terms that *you* have specified, but also to terms that *they* have specified.

If the *artist's* terms of service allow the artist to reuse the work in the way that they have claimed, then you actually don't have the standing to complain as much as you are.

Also, the artist retains rights to the *picture.* It is *your character* that you retain the rights to. Every commissioning artist I have ever dealt with has made that stipulation. *They* get to decide where the art is posted, not you, and if they want to use the art itself again, that actually *is* their choice. The only time it isn't their choice is when they try to use your character without your permission.
depthsofthedrex
Jul. 5th, 2017 08:07 pm (UTC)
Wow! I think the artist removed it. So I can consider the situation resolved.

Edit: I double checked and the artist doesn't have a clear TOS. The only thing the artist says is that you can't remove their watermark on the completed image. Otherwise, we'd had an agreement over notes. Exact words, in not one, but two separate notes:
"Hi! I'm fine with that, I can do the commission just for your view." and "If you do not want my work to be posted publicly that's totally fine with me. :)"

Maybe the lack of a clear TOS is something to be suspicious of when choosing an artist to commission? I'll definitely keep that in mind in the future.

Edited at 2017-07-07 12:29 am (UTC)
magedragonfire
Jul. 5th, 2017 08:14 pm (UTC)
Or if you specifically make an agreement/contract and pay the artist for the complete rights of the resulting artwork, of course. I've done this myself, and it usually comes up when hiring an artist to do something with logos or other artwork that may be transformed/reproduced a bunch.

Most artists will still honour an informal agreement about the reproduction rights of a picture without payment, because let's be honest, it's not cool to say one thing and then do another - but usually posting rights is something that remains with the artist unless otherwise discussed or compensated for, yeah.
depthsofthedrex
Jul. 7th, 2017 12:31 am (UTC)
Well, I'd told the artist in this case that I didn't want it posted in their gallery, and they'd agreed to those terms. So even though the artist had the posting rights, I don't appreciate that they did that.
celestinaketzia
Jul. 5th, 2017 08:16 pm (UTC)
That'd be pretty shady to allow wiggle room to reuse art that's been paid for. The client has only been given a partial refund.

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