A Warning 

Some more insight, reblogged below.  This sort of thing plays out all the time when commissioning artists at-con.  It’s worth being aware of so that both artists and commissioners can protect themselves from undue stress.  I think a lot of these things happen when artists get over-eager to please and misjudge their own ability to stay on top of things.  Sometimes the pressure and excitement from being at a convention can enable artists to be unusually productive and people frequently fail to realize that it’s often impossible to work at 100% power 100% of the time.  I know I personally have made this miscalculation in the past, but there are many many other artists out there who have also fallen behind on owed commissions. LET’S GET IT TOGETHER! :)  After all, no customer deserves to go through this.



I’ve definitely understand what the OP went through in regards to waiting for a commission/print from an artist. In 2012, I commissioned an artist and toward the end of the con, she told me she was not finished with it and would like to mail it to me. I agreed and I had asked for her contact info. She took mine since she had to mail me the finished piece.

I paid in full with cash AND paid extra because I personally thought her price was too low for her quality of work. I have yet to receive this commission. I had contacted her a few months later via tumblr and she responded that she wasn’t able to complete it and she isnt home right now. I understood because things happen and I dont know the situation. A few months went by (by this time it’s a year later) and I emailed her. No response. Two years later (a few months ago) I sent her another tumblr msg since I saw that she was accepting commissions. She had apologized and asked if I wanted a refund or still want the art. I still want the art so I told her I want the art. I haven’t heard anything back and I feel a little in the dark. I hope to receive the commission sooner than later :(  I’ll probably confront her if she offers more commissions…. and ask for a refund…my problem is that I dont remember what I paid exactly. I didnt expect this to happen.

I’ve been on the other side as well. I’ve given people my email and number to keep in touch with the commissioners. I’ve taken a year to complete a commission, but I always responded and kept in touch whenever they wanted an update. 

Right now I have one outstanding commission to complete, but this situation is the opposite. She wanted to email me (she paid in full up front) her quest. I got her number and texted her a few times reminding her about the commission. She always responded with an ‘ok thanks for the reminder!’ I never got an email with her request (which is sorta silly since this is a $5 sketch commission.) 

purplerubyred asked:

Hey there! I just read your reply to my post. Glad that post made sense because I felt like i was blabbering on and on. Haha! As an artist who does commissions and loves buying them I can see it from both sides and can totally relate to what you wrote. I've had a few commissions that took a year to finish. However, keeping in contact with them and offering refunds is admirable. Don't underestimate a simple "I still remember you" email. It makes all the difference! I wish you luck in your art.

I am actually pretty terrible at keeping in touch over email or text or tumblr or dA or FB or whereever else people contact me.  I can’t even keep in touch with my own friends to be quite honest, so when I have to connect a drawing that I owe someone with a name and their address and all the other stuff it just.. my brain short circuits.  It’s no excuse, but my brain does a lot of things that are inexplicable to me and seem to serve absolutely no purpose other than make my life miserable and inconvenience others.  :(  I know this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the original post directly, but I thought at the very least, people who know the frustration of having to deal with a MIA commission deserve to know why.  I can only explain the “why” for myself, though.

I thought your advice on how people can make sure they get their commissions was great!  I don’t want anyone to go through the torture that I end up putting my own commissioners (and likewise, myself) through trying to get commissions post-con.   

Anonymous asked:

I really don't think you should be taking commissions. Receiving money for a commission and not ever doing it is the same thing as stealing. It's just plain wrong. If you can't be organized & guarantee that you can finish a commission, then the solution is simple. Do. Not. Take. Commissions. People like you tarnish the reputations of other artists who actually do finish their commissions & create wary customers. It's ok if you're disorganized & can't handle it; you just shouldn't do commissions.

I agree with you, to an extent.  I’m fine taking commissions as long as the person is literally sitting in front of me as I do it (which is usually HOW I take them in the first place as I typically only do caricatures, rather than character commissions).  The reason this works so well is basically I can only do one thing at a time and if they are sitting there in front of me I won’t be doing anything else so the drawing gets done, commissioner is happy, end of story. But sometimes people REALLY want a character commission from me (rather than a caricature) and I’ve always had a hard time saying no to people.  And commissioners can’t always sit around and wait for me to draw it.  So in the past, I’ve agreed to take one or two at conventions, and this usually isn’t really a problem either so long as I finish them before the convention is over.  The problem is when I agree to take one or two commissions and then unexpected things get in the way and I DON’T finish them, and now the convention is over and then they get lost to the ether.

If it makes you feel any better though, I have long since stopped taking commissions!  The problem for me now is to get back and reorganize and get through my backlog.  I actually have gotten through a LOT of it (as well as issued a few refunds) but it is taking me a lot longer than it should have because it has gotten so disorganized (I can’t find my records in some cases, which is really bad and I only hope that people will find me).  Some people are emailing me but it is extremely hard for me to keep track of who’s who and not incredibly helpful when I’m in and out of my home a lot.  I have a stack of half-finished commissions sitting here but I’m not sure which ones belong to whom; at this point I really need to sort these ones out. My last convention of the season is this weekend though, I’m definitely going to push through this and right this wrong.  :(

Ironically, for the longest time I have been actually almost entirely commissions-based in terms of my convention activity, because when I started out I had never done a full illustration on my own and actually had no merch or prints for sale.  Gradually I’m trying to learn to have more confidence in my work and move away from commissions.  Drawing prints is every bit as difficult for me, if not more difficult, but at the very least no one else is harmed if I don’t finish prints in time.

I disagree with you on the idea that taking money for work and not completing the work is the same as stealing, though.  If the intent is to scam people, then, yes, of course it is stealing.   In my case, that is certainly never the intention, and I would never hesitate to refund a customer if that’s what they would prefer.  I’m pretty easy to find at conventions.  I appreciate your input though.

A Warning   

[SNIP] Sorry, I cut out all the stuff about the drama involving particular artists and their art trade gone wrong, as I don’t know either of them personally and don’t wish to add to the drama.

In summary, this was about artists at conventions who don’t make good on their promises to send on commissions or prints once the convention is over. The reply below is a good set of guidelines for avoiding this as a customer.

Unfortunately, I am one of those artists who is absolutely and shamefully terrible at sending out promised commissions.  (Just commissions, I never sell prints outside of conventions.)  It’s painful for me to talk about, but I’m going to explain my side of things underneath this reblogged portion, so feel free to keep reading or just scroll down to the bottom if you just want to know my story.



This used to happen to me a lot, particularly with artists at Otakon. It almost made me stop commissioning people all together. However, in recent years, I have had much better experiences with these transactions. A lot of my recent success can be chalked up to trusting my gut feelings about the artist and looking for little things that can be missed in all of the excitement. 

Here are some things I look for.

  • Does the artist stop and appreciate your admiration? Do they listen to how you feel about them, thank you and take time to talk to you? Or, do they just shrug you off and move to the next customer? If you experience the latter, sometimes it is just due to heavy traffic, they may be sick or are simply tired. If you really like them, come back another time and see how things go. If you still get that feeling, it might be time to buy a print and move on. One artist this year had amazing art that would have fit my characters well. But, despite my attempts to strike up a conversation, it seemed like this person just wanted me to leave. We weren’t meshing even before the word “commission” was mentioned. It happens, so I just moved on to the next table.
  • Does the artist have a healthy sense of confidenceArtists should have confidence in their work. However, I suggest avoiding commissioning artists who seem arrogant or annoyed at your presence or that of others, look down on other artists and constantly berate them online. In my past experience, half the artists who took my money or rushed the art were elitist in nature. 
  •  Does the artist take time to discuss the details of the commissionA commission transaction should never be rushed no matter how busy an artist is. You are paying for something special and it is the time for the artist to listen to what you desire. This benefits both the artist and buyer. If the artist is invested, they will produce something that you will brag to others about. More sales! These are some things to look for:
  1. Is the artist feel okay about your subject matter? Does your character vibe with them or does discussing them just seem awkward? If it’s awkward, you may want to choose another character or find someone else. On the other hand, some artists like the challenge of new subject matter. I have also been asked if I were okay with them giving it their best shot anyway. These turn out to be fun because we both know where each other stands.
  2. Do they ask about the character’s personality? What you like about the character? If it is a color commission, what colors best represent key features such as skin, hair and eyes?
  3. Do they ask for your contact info such as a cell phone number for texting? 
  • Lastly, will your art be done before the convention is over? Always ask, especially for traditional commissions! The other half of my problems went away when I stopped commissioning new artists who had filled their at-the-convention art capacity. If I can’t trust the person to know their limits, then I find it hard to trust that they will finish them later when life gets busy. There are a few exceptions: digital commissions and artists you trust/are on the top of their commissions online. In both cases, make sure you exchange relevant contact info and have a clear understand when it will be done. 

There are some really amazing artists out there who are honest and do wonderful work. I commissioned 10 new artists at Otakon 2014 and all of them delivered. It is a learning experience on finding who is trustworthy and how to spot those that aren’t. Even then, you may run into the hopefully occasional ass who takes the money and runs. A big name doesn’t always mean honestly. It is my hope that the good experiences will outweigh your bad ones.

Please keep supporting indie artists and most certainly report and continue warning others about those who screw over their customers. 

I think that I actually pretty much tick all of those boxes.  I care very much about my commissioners and I want to make sure they get the best quality work I can do in exchange for their hard earned money.

In reality, though, all of my good intentions don’t translate into good results, and I end up with angry commissioners who are to this day missing their commissions.

Briefly, here is why:

1) I already know that I’m terrible at getting things done once the convention’s over.  I get home, I don’t know where I put anything, I’m exhausted, and I now have no idea who ordered what.  I try my very very best not to take commissions at-con that I don’t think I can finish at-con, but I frequently misjudge; dinner runs too late, commutes run longer than expected, other commissions take longer than expected, helpers get sick or bail unexpectedly,  and for whatever reason, I end up with a surplus of 2-3 commissions by Sunday afternoon that I was not able to finish.  Here’s what I’ve tried to do to mitigate this: A) Take fewer commissions.  A lot fewer.  B) Not take any commissions after the first day of the convention, hopefully giving myself enough time to finish whatever comes my way on the first day. C) Not take any commissions at all.  So far, C seems to be the only thing that has 100% reliability.  I don’t like saying no to people, but it’s better to say no to people than to disappoint them later.

2) I am incredibly disorganized.  I have no idea where I keep anything.  Half-finished commissions, art supplies, records.  It’s all in here somewhere but I have no idea where.  This was less of a problem when I had less stuff but recently my family moved and I was left with 20+ years worth of accumulated junk that I had to take and is currently sitting in my room.  I’d throw it all out  but there is important stuff among the garbage so I have to deal with it.

Worse than that though, I can’t keep track of the commissioner data.  Whether I put it on paper or on my phone, it all ends up … going somewhere and I end up having no idea who is who or where their photo reference is and when people start emailing me… I start sweating…

3) Which brings me to the biggest problem: I have crippling anxiety problems. Like, bad enough that I don’t leave my room for weeks.  I don’t see people. I can hardly get my clothes on before the day is over.  I flunked out of college multiple times.  I almost didn’t graduate high school.  I skip meals or wait hours to use the toilet because I get too anxious to leave my room.  Sometimes I don’t sleep for no good reason at all other than that I’m too anxious to sleep.  

So when I see an email come in from a commissioner who is (rightfully) angry or impatient with me for taking so long and presenting them nothing but radio silence (just like the kind the original poster got regarding her print trade), my first reaction, as irrational as it is, is to NOT OPEN IT.  Usually I’m not in a good place to open or reply anyway, as 9 times out of 10 I’m at a convention and it just happened to pop up on my phone.  That’s not an excuse, but when my reality is that I A) have no idea who they are or B) where I put their half-finished commission and C) I’m 2000 miles away from home and can’t finish or ship it anyway, I always end up telling myself I’ll figure it out and email them later.

And it’s pretty obvious how that turns out for me.

In any case, I’m working on it.  It’s slow-going, but I’ve gotten suggestions to put all my commission information on a google docs spreadsheet and upload relevant references there.  I don’t know why I never thought of that before.

I’m slowly organizing my room (so slowly that probably anyone looking at it wouldn’t notice that anything has changed) and planning to have a section where I keep my half-finished commissions in a queue so that I can get through the remaining ones.

I offer refunds or to do people’s still-missing commissions at-con if people find me at conventions.  I feel bad giving refunds since I know that’s not what people waited and agonized for but I’m honestly not trying to run off with anyone’s money and so that option is always there.  

But ultimately, this is my responsibility, and to any upset commissioners, I’m sorry.  I figured I owed any and all of you this explanation.  It is no excuse, but hopefully sheds some light onto why this sort of thing happens sometimes.

This might be a little self-serving, and I’m not implying that anyone should feel bad for artists who don’t deliver on promised artwork, but I’m relieved that at the very least I’m not the only artist out there who struggles with this. 


I can’t help but roll my eyes at people who call Masahiro Ando the worst animator in Sailor Moon. His art style was simple and very different from the other animators, which made it stand out and look a bit awkward at times, but he animated movement and expressions really well. If anyone was the worst, it was Akira Nakamura, who failed at all of these while also looking terrible.

submitted by anon

THIS SO HARD.I admit as a child the off-model-ness bugged me a bit but his animation was always top notch so I can’t complain too much!


I can’t help but roll my eyes at people who call Masahiro Ando the worst animator in Sailor Moon. His art style was simple and very different from the other animators, which made it stand out and look a bit awkward at times, but he animated movement and expressions really well. If anyone was the worst, it was Akira Nakamura, who failed at all of these while also looking terrible.

submitted by anon


I admit as a child the off-model-ness bugged me a bit but his animation was always top notch so I can’t complain too much!