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I debated writing this journal entry because I'm always afraid I'll upset someone.  But after thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the people who would get upset are the people who are being inconsiderate, so maybe it's okay for them to get upset.

I've run into some problems with people commissioning me and then disappearing off the face of the earth when it's time to pay for the art I've completed.  Keep in mind this is a very, very, very SMALL percentage of people who commission me, however!  Chances are if you've ever commissioned me, you paid quickly and it was a great experience for both of us :)  I also have no problem if something comes up and you can't pay right away, but please PLEASE simply TELL me.  Communication!  It's a great thing!  I promise I won't scream at you or get snippy if you tell me you're not able to pay or something came up.  For example, someone commissioned me for a mask and suddenly had an emergency vet bill. I totally understand!  Pet health comes above buying art, no questions asked.

The problem lies when there's no communication.  I'm left with a piece of art (usually leatherwork) that I'm holding onto indefinitely because I don't know if the person is just delayed, or never got my note/email.  This is a very inconsiderate thing to do to an artist.  I spend a lot of time working on your commission, and I not only expect to be paid, but I rely on it.  It would be like you going to work, expecting to get your paycheck on Friday, and when Friday rolls around it's nowhere to be found and you can't find your boss.  You did the work, you deserve to get paid, and now you're in trouble because you have bills due and no money to pay them.

I am sitting on a growing pile of commissioned work that is, what I consider 'abandoned.'  Therefore it's all gone up on Etsy with the 'reserved' tags removed.  If the original client suddenly reappears and asks where his or her piece is, then that's too bad.  I'm done being nice and patient and getting walked on.  To be clear, all of these pieces have been unclaimed for MONTHS.  I will never turn around and sell a commission if you're a few weeks or even a month late!  But I DO request you at least keep me updated about when you are planning on paying.  And if you realize you won't be able to, please be considerate and let me know so I can try to sell the work and not have to sacrifice groceries or be late on bills. :)

P.S.: This works both ways, too!  If you ever commission me and I fall off the face of the planet, do not hesitate to email/note me and ask for an update.  Sometimes I get busy/distracted, and sometimes (this has actually happened) I lose track of a commission!  I don't get a free pass just because I'm the artist :D 


New Additions to my Etsy Shop:
 


________________________________
ETSY SHOP: Windfalcon's Etsy Shop with prints, leatherwork and originals.
ART BLOG: Featherseeds
COMMISSIONS: Information here, or, send me a note or email me, but please read my Terms of Service first!
PHOTOGRAPHY: :iconbladewing-flash:
STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY: :iconbladewing-stock:
  • Watching: Pokemans
  • Playing: Pokemans (HeartGold)
  • Eating: Pokem--- fruit
  • Drinking: Lots and lots of water
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkaos-nest:
Kaos-Nest Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
The majority of people that commission me have no intention to pay... I avoid problems with two payments.  I don't know why so much people act like this. The fact that this happen to artist that are into crafting too, really surprise me. I understand that some jerk can think that I will work, send the scanlation and then s/he (doesn't) pay me...
By the way, you have all the rights to sell your unclaimed artworks.
Reply
:iconredfeatherfalconhawk:
RedFeatherFalconHawk Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, that is incredibly rude, and I don't at all blame you for going to Etsy to sell some of that off after it's been too long. Goes to show that some people don't understand the value of art. (If this double posted, please forgive me, DA is messing up.)
Reply
:iconhawksong76:
Hawksong76 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
This is a fine thing to bring up, to make sure people know how they've come across and that you DO notice. Perhaps asking a small amount of money up front would work for some, but speaking personally that's not always feasible for the ones who want to ask you for something.

I think you're well within your rights here and I for one appreciate your speaking out.
Reply
:iconluusan:
Luusan Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013
I love your work, and have two small paintings that i commissioned so far... one day i would love to commission more.. I would gladly pay a deposit, or pay up front.. and i definitely agree with the need to at the bare minimum cover the costs of your material and most of your time, first. Even a payment plan in some cases may be a good option.. but to let people wait until you are completely done before payment seems to me to be undervaluing your self and your time.

I know i'm being redundant, after all these other comments. Just my two cents. You are such a super nice person and a great artist, and i don't want you to get walked all over.
Reply
:iconpantherstar613:
PantherStar613 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Definitely fair, that really sucks :( :hug:
Reply
:iconmetalmagpie:
MetalMagpie Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Seems perfectly fair to me. I think I'll have a browse. :)
Reply
:iconmorrokko:
MorRokko Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
After too many problems of this i started taking half down before i start a commission, that way if they dissapear at least all that time was not for nothing. But i agree, 98% of commissions are a wonderful experience. Its that 2% that get ya. :/
Reply
:iconspitfirefae:
SpitfireFae Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
It seems like you're getting a lot of the same advice, so I'm not going to rehash what it already said. However, those pieces are beautiful! Especially the mask. If I had the money and didn't have 2 emergency car repairs in 2 weeks back to back that came up unexpectedly, I would probably be buying one. Guess I'll just have to start saving up money again :) One of these days...>.>
Reply
:iconvalhalrion:
Valhalrion Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Sorry to hear that this happened to you. I never complete art work without a deposit, or full payment when I get to a certain level of completion. I hope things get better!! your work is outstanding.
Reply
:iconnambroth:
Nambroth Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
You've already had a bajillion comments on this anyhow, but I'm glad you are going to at least start taking a deposit! I'd write a short TOS that explains that this is a deposit on materials, is non-refundable, and both the deposit and art is forfeit if the client goes out of contact for greater than (x time). I bet you'll get a lot less things fall though.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
That's a great idea (a short TOS that goes out when I ask for payment). I feel like I'm being a bother by being like "please read this *link* first" and figure 9 out of 10 people won't read it, or might glance through it like an End User Agreement (my TOS isn't even that long... ;_; ). This way, if it's a few lines in an email, there's no excuse for them to be like "well I never saw it!" It's right in the email they responded to.
Reply
:iconmirroredpurity:
MirroredPurity Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Well, if they don't read it, they're just looking to rip you off. Early on, when I was working in screen-printing as the artist, my boss told me not to fully design anything right away. Some people tried to "Okay" something, and then run off with free art. I had one guy hassle me and stress me out so badly that I asked my boss to take care of him.
Reply
:iconnamelessokami:
NamelessOkami Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, these are amazing. Why would anyone just leave them?
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Not sure! To clarify, the thumbnails at the bottom aren't all unclaimed - a lot of that stuff is just general stuff I have up on Etsy. There are a few things in Etsy that used to be reserved that I 'unreserved' because it was unclaimed.
Reply
:iconnamelessokami:
NamelessOkami Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, I see. Thank you for clarifying :D
I went and looked on Etsy, I wish that I could afford some of those. They are magnificent!
Reply
:iconbansheeda:
Bansheeda Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Dragon* wings typo XD
Reply
:iconbansheeda:
Bansheeda Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Im sorry to hear T,.,T iu.did such a winderful job on my dtahon wings, i csnt beleive people would do this toyou because ur art is amzing.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Aw, but there were so so so many more people (like you!) who have always been super fast with payment and I've never had a problem getting a hold of you :) Really, it's just a few bad apples :<
Reply
:iconbansheeda:
Bansheeda Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
yeah that happens, and awww thank you ^,.,^
Reply
:icontheliondemon-kaimra:
theliondemon-kaimra Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i am sorry to hear that happened >_> i hope you do not get anymore people like this .
ans i would so get one of the Leather Feather ones if i had money on me they all are really pretty
Reply
:iconikuneko5ever:
IkuNeko5ever Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
It really sucks to be those people, because your art is really amazing! It's unfortunate that I don't have enough extra money right now or I'd buy something, because I really like that raven feather :'(
Reply
:iconjeffzz111:
jeffzz111 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
so sorry to hear that.. which reminds me. the Peregrine feather painting is still with you right? I plan to have it sent to a special dA friend for Christmas or something, if that is okay with you.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
And to make sure it's clear, this journal entry wasn't directed at you! :D You're always very quick and have always been wonderful with communication.
Reply
:iconjeffzz111:
jeffzz111 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
haha thanks, all the recent commissions are so beautiful.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, I still have it, all ready to go whenever you are ready for it :) Just let me know what address you would like me to ship it to whenever you're ready.
Reply
:iconjeffzz111:
jeffzz111 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks Brenda :w00t:
Reply
:iconspiraxdracowolf:
SpiraxDracowolf Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Your integrity is very refreshing and your points valid. I don't think anyone would take what you have written in a negative way and it is such a shame that some commissioners haven't kept in contact.

As your work is so detailed, time consuming and bespoke to your individual commissioners, I do agree with the other artist who have commented for you to accept a deposit. If you feel uncomfortable about that, you could put in a clause that if a valid response and reason for non payment is received within a month you will refund their deposit but sell their requested piece on Etsy?

Also, thank you for sharing your experience :D
Reply
:iconcrumblerumble:
CrumbleRumble Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
Ah it sucks that you're left with all that unclaimed work. I agree with some of the comments below that it might be worth considering to ask people to pay up ahead a little before starting on a commision. Then again, I admire that you trust your commisioners. It's a shame that some just damage that and ruin it for the rest.
You have quite some beautifull works between your Etsy shop, I'll have a look! (seriously, you would sell loads if you would have a stand on the Elf Fantasy Fair here in Holland. :) )
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
For most small things, I require payment up front, and I haven't had much trouble with larger things. It just seems to be happening more frequently lately :(

And I'd love to do some faires! As it is I do mostly indoor conventions and art shows.
Reply
:icontrollgirl:
TrollGirl Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
If that's how they behave, they dont deserve your beautiful work anyway.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you :3
Reply
:icontienna:
Tienna Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This has happended to me, too - just a small sculpting project and it was just for fun, I didn't need the money - but when I was done, the commissioner said she couldn't afford it anymore due to personal problems and asked me to hold it. Fine with that. ... But that was nearly three years ago. She wrote again half a year ago and asked if it was still there - I said yes, same price - she disappeared. I don't even want to think of what would have happened if it had been a bigger project or if I really needed the money...
So, if people start complaining: well, they should've told you they were still interested. Or should've paid you right away.

Different topic: I've been in love with your magpie mask for months now! I'll have my final exam in three days and if I pass, I may get a little extra money... Sooo tempted!
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh wow, she came back after years and asked if it was still available, and STILL balked at the price? Heck, I would have said "my prices have gone up since then, it's $XX more now." Yikes, that's just rude of her. :( It was as if she came back expecting maybe since she disappeared for so long, you'd be desperate to sell it and give her a discount -_- Rude!

Ooh, good luck on your exams! And not just for the mask, either :D
Reply
:icontienna:
Tienna Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yep, that seems to be the case. I'd even go so far as to say she hoped I'd just give it to her for free, to get rid of it. Plus, it's a custom sculpture of one of her own characters... not generic enough to sell it to someone else. Some people... but I'm an amateur and not well known, so I guess she thought she'd get away with it. I can totally understand all the artists out there who demand to be paid in advance, and if I'd ever commission someone, I wouldn't mind paying at least half the price before they even start working.

Thanks a lot! I'll just use that as an extra bit of motivation ;)
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Custom characters are something I'd definitely request full payment for before starting, since you can't really sell those to anyone else if the project falls through. Ugh, the nerve of some people D: Hahahah I'm mad FOR you.
Reply
:icontienna:
Tienna Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
OH NO, IT'S GONE ;___; *sobs* Just wanted to reward myself for passing and it's goooone... Too slow to buy pretty things: story of my life.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh no, I'm sorry, it sold a couple days ago and I wondered if you had been the one to buy it! :( I can make another if you're interested, though!
Reply
:icontienna:
Tienna Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Ah, no need to be sorry. ;) I was just disappointed because I'd been too slow, that's all.
You'd really do that? That'd be awesome :D
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Of course, the magpie mask is one of my favorite to make :D I'll send you a note with details.
Reply
:iconaltarior:
Altarior Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013   Digital Artist
I recommend never starting before you've been paid :3 I've had a few people commission something and then never get back to me, but I never start before I've seen all the money so no harm done. As others have said, you could also just ask for half in advance, but personally I'm not a big fan of that because that just means that you can still get cheated for 50% and even if the whole price is paid you'll have to take two PayPal fees out of your profit instead of just one (if you're using PayPal. Or maybe it's just my prices that are so low that I actually care about that fee :XD: ).

Or maybe you should simply make it a rule that if people don't pay within a certain time (like one month) you'll put it on Etsy? While still being lax about things like urgent wet bills and stuff, like the example you gave... Just... If people don't at least hit you up within a certain amount of time?

In any case, I'm sorry about hearer about such things, and I really hope you'll get those things sold! Wish you all the best! ^^
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't mind Paypal fees too much, but I can understand smaller projects being bitten harder by those fees!

I do have it in my TOS that any work not paid for after 30 days gets put up for sale. It at least protects me if they reappeared after several months and decided to get upset that I didn't hold onto their leather necklace for 7 months instead of only 6.
Reply
:iconartbymaryc:
ArtbyMaryC Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
start having them pay in full before starting. and make sure you have something in your policies they agree to like... commisions not paid in full w/in... 3 months will be sold
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I have a full TOS written out - [link] and it's linked to in my commissions page on my website. But I doubt many people actually read through the whole thing (or any of it at all). But at least by having it there, I can say things like "any work unclaimed after 30 days goes up for sale". It's still frustrating, though.
Reply
:iconlady-cybercat:
lady-cybercat Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
You really should take at least half up front. I never work before I've been paid.
Reply
:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Try and get at least half up front, that way you can at least cover most of your materials.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
That's a good point! Often before starting a project I realize I'm out of this or that and have to pick more up before I can start.
Reply
:iconlauragarabedian:
LauraGarabedian Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I always require a deposit, and if people don't want to pay it, I don't work with them. May sound harsh, but the people I WANT to work with understand.

Best wishes, and sorry you've had a rough time with commissioners recently
Reply
:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I usually ask for all or half payment first. Though there have been times when someone has disappeared after they paid and got sketches but left me no feedback about how to finish it or if they even saw the email.

-If you ask someone to do art let them know if you can't pay suddenly.
- If you ask for a custom listing on etsy let them know if you changed you mind so it doesn't sit there for months.
- If you're asking for something custom make clear if you meant it for future reference and didn't actually want to commission something right now.
Reply
:iconwindfalcon:
windfalcon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
All of these. Yes. It's pretty basic stuff, but people don't seem to realize it's common courtesy.
Reply
:iconbefore-i-sleep:
Before-I-Sleep Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a bummer when people do that, especially when you spend so much hard work on something.
Reply
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