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So i've recently found out that there are some artists out there who claim themselves as "professionals" yet all they do is basically taking people/customers money through art commissions and not finishing the work in months or even years, victims are mainly those who have already paid and patiently waited for that amount of time and still not receiving what they have paid for. Some artists who does this are artistically good, with relatively good amount of followers/fans, and some are popular here too (and maybe some other art sites, not just on DA)... It kinda sucks to think about it, the artist you admired for so long are the ones who does something like this. I feel sorry to those people who fell into this situation or if you've been in this situation before, i do hope you get your money back in the end. I mean, those money they've received didn't just grow from trees, people worked hard for it just to commission their fav artist(s), and yet knowing there are artists like this out there, it's saddening.

And i happen to know one, such a shame.

There are far better and decent artists out there who deserve the money unlike some... careful guys, if you're planning to commission!

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Julie-Denka Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Ugh, I'm making a commission for someone that paid me 250 points! I think I was waiting too long to do it! I'm a horrible person :'(
hope-on-fire Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yep. This has happened to me TWICE. I still commission artists though, because I know not everyone is like that and that some people make their living through commissions, but it still sucks when it happens. :[
artratene Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Yeah, it sucks to know that there are some people out there like that. I think when I used to take commisions, I'd screenshot with a watermark of their commie in a thumbnail, and after everything was okay I gave it to them. Man, some people just need gain some motivation!
Amadoodles Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013
I've heard about several of these :( Or the artist continually promising to have things done next week, and a year later still nothing.  It gives the commissioner a bad experience, an d scares people away from potentially commissioning other artists ;( 
nightmaresky Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013
I've commissioned quite a few artist. I have to say sadly 10% will be late with getting commissions done and 5% will take your money and run. For the most part DA artists are good with getting their commissions done. It's also about being a smart shopper. I only commission people who have a reasonable list of customers. I don't understand commissioners who take on more than 10 people.

But that's my opinion and I do believe those artist that don't finish their commissions are making a bad name for themselves.
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013
Isn't there a group on live journal that keeps track of those people?
ZakOnestar Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013
In my many years, i've been scared to ask anyone for a Free-Friendly commission let alone a paid one. I guess I'm just over cautious but after reading this. I think I was scared for the right reasons.
Igunenko Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
Happened to me before, in the end I got my money back or got the commission after half a year or something, it still makes me angry to be treated like this. If you take a long time, at least tell me in the beginning, if something happens so you can't draw, write me a note and tell me! Is it that hard to stay in touch?
Pinguicha Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I had a friend complaining about a number of them (unnamed). She paid for the commissions and never got the drawings. Such a shame :(
ZenRumi Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
I've never really understood what is a 'professional artist'. As in what qualifies them. But that aside, such behavior is inexcusable and wrong. If the artist is a 'professional' he or she should know how many orders they can handle within a reasonable time frame, without getting overwhelmed. 
I would understand if someone who is just now doing commissions, bites off more than they can handle. But that should teach them something so it doesn't happen again. That it happens once is enough. And if it happens an artist should stop taking commissions and finish the ones they already have. 

dark-magician-nikoru Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to this situation many times.. I would commission a well-known artist here on DA, who's fan-base was so high and they were at high demand. But then I would have to wait a year or more for the commission! There are some commissions that I paid for and never received and they just simply vanished. It's tragic.
Complete-Cora Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
that is awful and expensive!
AkiraHoshine Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This has happened to me lol...

The excuse of the person, "Well I'm working on it but I keep playing video games."

Okay then give me back my money if you're not going to do it...I have an incredible amount of patience for art but come on. Or "My computer broke!" Just excuses left and right. If you aren't going to be able to do it, then give me my shit back and if you actually wanted to do it anyway, then message me some day when you are up for it and have a working computer.

What I've started doing is have the artists come to me and pick what they want to draw. Been going a lot better now since lol. I know who NOT to commission now though...ugh.
FieldCommanderPrinny Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
There are a lot of artists I really admire here on DA, but if I'm being COMPLETELY honest, this right here is exactly why I have never ever commissioned anyone for art here on DA. I have never once, really ever heard satisfactory reviews of artists people have commissioned, mind you I don't ask around all too often. I've literally only ever heard horribly long wait times or artists making off with peoples money. I work my ass off for the money I make and I definitely do not want to pay up front for anything without the guarantee of my receiving of what I paid for. I've literally paid top dollar for an artist once to give me a great piece of art of one of her own characters, well beyond the amount she initially has ever received for a commission. I had to ask her about the commission several times, and I hate having to even bother someone about something that I have already paid for in full. A lot of people may not see it like this but I am paying for a service. I would like to be treated like a valued customer as would anyone, good customer service always leads to good connection building with current and future clientele.

Moving on. After several weeks after the projected date, I did receive my commission, however, the caliber of quality was several leagues below the art she was pushing forth on her own free time. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed, the artist never made right by me and well, I haven't commissioned her or anyone else since.

I hear way too much about DA artists making off with peoples money, that it honestly makes it hard for me to put my trust in even the artists I've faithfully watched since my joining DA. I'm willing to pay even in small installments but even then, there's never any guarantee an artist will make right by you. Hell, I wouldn't mind waiting a little while for a commission, but I at LEAST want to have good quality work especially for making me wait weeks after the projected dead line. It's pretty rough on both ends but, I've never once had a good experience with commissioning artists.
NekoNinja13 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
I've also heard of artists refusing to do their work and give the money back to people because they were "whining"
gyappumusoka Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Considering how many artists flee with the money, or take ages to do the commission and might even get it wrong, artists who give people their money back are amazing , in my opinion.
venus-eclipse Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013   Digital Artist
Sometimes artists are embarrassed that they can't finish the work. I think everyone knows the feeling of putting something off for a long time. It's hard to deal with it months later. I believe this is why some artists disappear.

Of course this doesn't excuse them from not refunding the money. If they give the money back, then I can accept it. So I do agree with you that they are amazing when they refund. =)
NekoNinja13 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
I meant refuse to to their work or give the money back, and for what i heard for every Message about the topic made him wait even longer
draiad Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013   Digital Artist
Ugh yes, I'm in this boat right now, waiting for a couple of commissions. One I've given up on completely and another I've just fired off another note in regards to. It is not nice having to wait in excess of a year for a commission and in my case right now I purchased one back in 2008 from a rather well known artist here on DA and I still haven't received anything while I'd seen over that time them posting personal art as well as other commissions. Now however they haven't even been online for I don't know how long.

The other is about 2 years in waiting now (considering I ordered the commission and 2 days later I get my sketch to confirm all is good), but they at the very least answer my notes and I do see them post work from other commissions they may have taken within that time. So I can only hope that means mine will show up soon. And I think the worst part of it for me is I feel /bad/ about bugging them. I don't feel like I should hound them for something I paid for and I know it's the only way I'd ever see them, because if I don't say something I feel like I'd be forgotten about.

I don't mind waiting for commissions, I don't like not knowing I'm going to have to wait for it however. I can handle being told if the wait is going to take a long while, but not having been told by either it can get very frustrating. Artists who take on more than they can handle or happen to have things come up should at the very least inform their clients.
jr248 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is not good business at all.
PhoenixRoy Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've always wanted to commission a big piece from an artist on DeviantArt, but I've been too afraid of not receiving my commission. Though I have commissioned 10-15 dollar sketch commissions that were well worth every penny.
Ninjacupcake314 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
wow, that's pretty bad! :(
Azzaneth Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
Yeah, that's happened to me. :(
It really sucks. I wish dA would have some sort of feature that lets you rate an artist on how quickly they finished a commission so that future commissioners can know. I've had many wonderful experiences with artists but one that I saved up and paid a kinda expensive price, hasn't finished and it's been months now so now I'm worried I'll never get it. :c
I love art and I especially love commissioning artist so it makes me really sad when I have to wait forever to get something 'cause I'll check every day, hopeful that I have my finished art waiting for me in my inbox.
Ninjatic Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Exactly what i was thinking, some sort of rating... like one you see on ebay, where it let's you see if the seller is good or bad... they should probably do that, i'm sure that's a big help for us artists too
Azzaneth Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
I bet it would be since then people would give their money to more deserving artist who can get them their art in a timely manner.
I usually don't spend over 60 bucks on art because I'm too paranoid that an artist might just disappear and anything after 60 is too expensive for a lowly college student to just be scammed out of.
There's a few artist that I try to just watch and see how long it takes them to get commissions out after they create a journal and list everyone who paid but that's so much work. Rating would make life easier.
Gnome64 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I've yet to get paid for a single commission, but I'm fine with that for now....I've done many free ones for practice (mainly of people's WoW characters), and even with a queue of 20-30, they rarely had to wait even a month...I was being quite lazy, too.

Ah well...people these days...
warrior-of-dream Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
that's true, I also heard stories like this form some people on DA
Before-I-Sleep Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, that does suck, really isn't professional of them at all.
MoonlitCrescent Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
danzzila Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It usually takes me a few months to finish my commissions (all of them), not because I'm lazy at all but because I take many slots at once, I can't work full time yet I have other jobs outside DA so I always warn my commissioners that it might take a while to get their commission done, I ask them if they have a deadline and so I try to finish it until the date specified. I also always answer their notes about updates, I hate making people wait so lol I'm always able to give their money back if they ask me as well but this never happened xD
I know how it sucks to wait for a commission, I have a friend who have waited for 2 years and a half for his, I've waited 10 months for a commission i requested once, I dunno, making the commissioner wait over a year is a bit too much... but there is the other side, I finished a commission once where the customer paid 50% and would pay 50% after I'm done with the commission, I finished it before the deadline and I never got the other 50%, the person is unactive on DA now, this happened again recently, I finished a commission for a website, they made me draw a lot of concepts until they find one acceptable, i drew more than i would usually do and charged a lot less, its been 2 months they said they would send me the other half of the payment, they keep ignoring some of my messages as well. Another situation is that I made a U$150 worth commission and I didnt get the payment yet, (again)... it's been 3 months, i contacted them many times and the last time they were rude to me just saying they were busy with something else and went offline...
Oh well... that's why i always ask full payment (unless i know the person very well), but if someone asks, I will give their money back heh
Luna-Darling Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
If you have documents *emails/etc* of them agreeing to the money amount, it is the same as a legal binding contract. Threaten to take legal action against then for fraud. Withholding an agreed upon amount is also theft.
danzzila Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you for the info, but I think it's not worth it, I will just be more careful for now on :hug:
Luna-Darling Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You're welcome. I'm sorry you had to go through with that. :hug:
RishuMisu Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
what! omg you should go sue them!
or you should warn them omgg thats basically robbing the arts from you!
if you leave them be, they will probably do that again, with other people too ;- ;
danzzila Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes I'll talk to them again and again, thank you!
Missleepify Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I just wonder how they can sleep at night :O As soon as everything is even minutes after a deadline, the stress is eating me up from within. Especially if there's people waiting for something, then I feel stressed AND guilty. For me, a client doesn't only pay for a finished artpiece, they're paying for a service. I think you have to live up to that.

I've only just started out taking commissions, but I also have this idea about making payment seem a bit more fair for the customer. Can't you split the payment so that the client only have to pay half of it up front? Perhaps that would make more people buy commissions from artists without being afraid of getting scammed, and maybe it'll make the whole affair a little more trustable.
You people with experience, any thoughts?
Ninjatic Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm the same, i've been doing commissions for years from different independent company/clients, but i've always have limits to what i can do. If i get a lot of customers on here, i tend to tell them to wait until i've finished few of my previous work/projects. But i usually save their names/username, and mark them as "reserved", so that i know there are people waiting for me to get their work done. If i've finished some work, i can then proceed to another new client.

I even get paranoid knowing i have stuff to finish, that's why i usually accept 3 or 4 clients at a time...(5 is my max) as much as i like to have more customers paying me, i always think more about them than the money i get from them.

Cos if i was in their situation, how would i feel about if some artists just ran off with my money, or wait for months or years knowing it's not even finished, i wouldn't even want that sort of professionalism.

Missleepify Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Yes, that seems like the responsible way to work :nod: You have to be aware of your own capabilities, that's how it is in all kinds of work, because if you don't you're either going to stress yourself out, or do what these artists are doing, namely just end up ignoring your customers. This is also why I can understand how some new professional artists end up in that situation due to lack of experience, but not how people can end up doing it again and again.

I agree with that too, it's always cool getting money for what you do, but that's just all the more reason to make sure the customer is happy. I'm a very service-minded person (to the point where I'm almost set back by it in normal life, lol), so I'm glad to hear I'm not the only person thinking that :D

Artists not treating customers with that kind of respect probably won't have a long future in the business :no: Thinking that your work is so awesome that you'll get customers anyway, no matter how you treat them, that's just some kind of hubris that I can only hope they realize is destructive after a time.
Whetsit-Tuya Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Student Filmographer
I learned that the hard way :iconinjuredplz:
hybridgothica Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah I have seen that around. It truly is a shame. If an artist is willing to take commissions, they have to at least make sure they have the time or refund it to the customers. :3
Kabuki-Doll Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist
I saw your FB following about this.
I have to admit, I stopped following her work because of the way she treated you here on DA after you two had a falling out.

Regardless, I'm one of those people that is simply grateful that there are people that believe in me and ask for pieces--I use it as an opportunity to update my portfolio--which still needs to be scanned in and I just feel like there is too much individual responsibility to receive paid commissions.
Ninjatic Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, the thing about some artists who does this, they still try to OPEN a new batch of commission slots
therefore, people/fans would obviously want one, which then piled up all the workload they need to finish, including the previous commission they've opened before.

Majority of the artists here that i know won't start a commission until the payment has received.
I'm also the same as these artists.. but i have limits when i take commissions, if i think the work is too much for me
i will let the future clients know just to wait for the mean time until i've finished few previous works, and then i will proceed another new work, if i think i can handle it... i think about my clients more than receiving money from them
and of course, the more payment you get the more work you do... but some artists fail at this, and yet they still try to open new commission slots, piling all the workload and never finishing them in the end.

They just don't realise how many people have been waiting for their art for months or years.
And the amount of excuses they come up is just unacceptable... They're just a disgrace as an artist. tsk

Nadyanilo Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've had this happen to me twice. I admired both artists for a long long time and was so excited to have actually saved up the money and caught their commission post on time, only to wait 6 months for a sketch :/

I'm still waiting on a couples illustration piece, and it's been about 4 months.

I usually give artists the benefit of the doubt, but as someone who does commissions myself, I can sort of gauge how long something would take. I'm patient enough, but don't run off with someones money and make them wait 4 months for something you could do in 45 mins.
ZeroJigoku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
didnt realize this happened ;.;
Asparticus Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Filmographer
pirate cashoo? lol
zhusanna Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
This harms the entire community.  Once a commissioner loses money - or hears of someone else losing money - they become more cautious.  This means less people willing to commission and less people willing to commission an artist that they don't know.  Because of things like this happening, I only commission people that I know, or people that can be personally vouched for by someone that I know.
soraminami Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
I wonder what it is that make the artists that do this think it's ok. It's worse when the money is never returned and the artist just disappears for a long time
drbrBr Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I think it's a typical art-related issue.
Many problems around art and money exist due to the artist/customer not understanding that a commission is a contract, too.
But, many customers are to naive or blind and "trust too much".
"The customer agrees to pay XXX$ IF the artist delivers the artwork XY (specifications) until date X.Y.ZZZZ in the form of a XXX-file / print / via postal / mail. By accepting the commission you accept the mentioned parameters." - Sounds harsh, but would surely strengthen the consciousness that art is a business too and that you, as you offer your service, are a business partner who can be held responsible if you do not fulfill your contract.

Sad that it has to be like that.
bloody-thrice Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Student General Artist
I get paying a portion of the money up front, but I wouldn't pay the whole amount until I saw the finished work (with a giant, obnoxious watermark if fine, as long as I see it's done).
WhisperZintheDark Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
People need to realize one very important thing, as well... Taking commission does not make you a professional- Working in the field does.

Just because people pay for your crap (ie. fall into your trap) doesn't mean you're getting paid for art.

When you get published, then go ahead and stick that "professional" tag on- otherwise, keep working and stop trying to steal from people.
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