Receiving a commission that is underwhelming
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Received a commission from a known talent and it just doesn’t look very good. Price was fairly minimal but nothing to throw out the window. The concept was followed and it was turned in just a few moths, but the art and proportions are just off.  I followed back up with him and just said “thank you very much, I appreciated the time and effort”. I won’t be displaying it and it will end up being stored away. Felt like I just tossed my money away. What’s the protocol? Roll the dice or send it back like an undercooked steak? I wanted to keep the relationship solid as I respect his work and perhaps might get another one and just voice that I would like it tightened up more. 

Edited by Blastaar
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It seems like you're referring to the finished product, not necessarily one of those "take the money and run" situations.

I've been underwhelmed by a $700 convention drawing on 11 x 17, paid for it at the show.  The artist was working on it off and on during the convention.  Then I watched him knock out a nice looking $100 (or so) sketch cover.  Disappointing, I'll never commission him again.  The artist has a variety of styles and maybe the art was consistent with one of those styles but it wasn't in the realm of what I was hoping for, especially at that price.

I've been underwhelmed by a $125 commission that took over 2 years to deliver.  Didn't really mind the wait, even if I saw him posting art for sale on ebay during that time.  I thought the commission was basically fine.  But it was ruined because the artist added an element that he probably thought would be cute.  Maybe because there was a blank spot and he felt that something should be there.  But it was a weird anachronism that threw off the rest of the commission.  Not getting another commission from him.

In my situations, I think the artist didn't really have a feel or the character(s) and just didn't know what to do.

In the future, I might get art by the artists but I won't get anything directly from them. 

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I have generally lived with it and become more cautious about who I hire, along with the directions I give.

Start by looking carefully at his work. Has he done the character before? (That is, a him or a her. I am not in the mood for grammatical niceties). If not, has he done something roughly similar? If so, you are likely to get your character the same way even if not that similar to yours. It would be helpful to refer him to what he has done before as guidance. I also like to give artists reference material to make sure they give me the version I want and not the version they find on their own.

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Bob Layton is a pro. I asked him for a Dr. Doom. $100. He worked on it during a one day show and I collected it at the end of the day. It was tight and wonderful.

Rich Buckler another pro. My brother and I commissioned numerous pieces mailed back to us in reasonable amount of time. Wonderful detailed work.

I could handle getting back a disappointing effort. Like most of you I wouldn’t go back for more.

its a thrill to have a returned commission that matched or exceeded expectations. To get less than the artists best effort is a buzz kill.

You always hope the artist gives you his best. I cringe when I hear about months and years going by and a collector patiently waits for what he paid for and never gets.

What would be helpful? I understand reluctance to out a poor effort. But please name names on deadbeats to help the rest of us. There is no excuse for taking money and not getting the work done.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, grapeape said:

What would be helpful? I understand reluctance to out a poor effort. But please name names on deadbeats to help the rest of us. There is no excuse for taking money and not getting the work done.

I suggest the best approach is to to put these in the commission thread, naming the artist, price paid and showing a picture. Most of us can form our own opinions from there if what we see is what we'd expect from the amount of money paid and name paid to. And those that haven't delivered...same thing except a picture of a blank piece of paper instead of art. All stories get told this way, without blatant rancor.

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4 minutes ago, Bird said:

You pay for the time and effort and a professional approach but you have to accept that not every drawing is a home run. File it away and move on. You can negotiate a refusal in your original contract (and I have on occasion) but I generally suck it up even in those circumstances.

Yeah art is subjective I would have a hard time coming back to an artist and telling him/her I didn’t like the art.

i would eat the loss. In fact my best ever results came from leaving it in the artists hands. I will pick the character but let them draw it however they please.

Talk about asking for disappointment. I’ve been lucky though.

 

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2 hours ago, Blastaar said:

Received a commission from a known talent and it just doesn’t look very good. Price was fairly minimal but nothing to throw out the window, $300. The concept was followed and it was turned in just a few moths, but the art and proportions are just off.  I followed back up with him and just said “thank you very much, I appreciated the time and effort”. I won’t be displaying it and it will end up being stored away. Felt like I just tossed my money away. What’s the protocol? Roll the dice or send it back like an undercooked steak? I wanted to keep the relationship solid as I respect his work and perhaps might get another one and just voice that I would like it tightened up more. 

I think you handled this disappointment with class. 

Some artists deliberately draw a certain way based on what you pay them. $300 for this artists maybe they think they gave you what you paid for.

sometimes the artist gives you clues on what to expect. Showing you examples of previous work and sale price based on detail, number of characters and size.

I would do what you did and eat the loss. Find a piece (eBay or auction) close to what you were trying to get. Find a piece that’s quality and matches your desire. Pay up.

Then dump that crappy effort piece buried on the last sleeve in your portfolio on eBay Buy it Now $300.

Sorry for your disappointment. Go find something you love and buy it.

Best

🍇. 🦍

Edited by grapeape
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20 minutes ago, vodou said:

I suggest the best approach is to to put these in the commission thread, naming the artist, price paid and showing a picture. Most of us can form our own opinions from there if what we see is what we'd expect from the amount of money paid and name paid to. And those that haven't delivered...same thing except a picture of a blank piece of paper instead of art. All stories get told this way, without blatant rancor.

Minus blatant rancor? With this band of merry troublemakers??? These crazed pranksters and mirth makers? 

I think you are right, handle this in the commission thread? But chaos will surely reign


What do we put in the subject line?

Commissions that smell like fresh A h•!€
or more subtle

You call that art????

 

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If you are gonna "out" him in the commission thread, then do you think you should first contact the artist and tell him/her your concerns and see if he does right by you I.e., redo the commission or partial refund etc. You could post the response by the artist if you want. For all we know the artist may believe it was a good commission. 

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I would never "out" him. He is a good dude and everything I have seen from his commissions have been spot on. And like I said I would even go back to him with a bit more instructions. What turned me off is heavy marker usage which I can't stand, probably should have mentioned it. 

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3 hours ago, The Voord said:

In the days of scanners and e-mail, I would have asked for a work-in-progress photo, subject to revision if needed.

Artist turn this stuff out to make money, for a small $300 dollar commission the time to scan and post to show you takes away from money making. Your project isn't large enough for that level of customer care/work. I too have bought from a few artist some pieces that I feel are sub-par but they are a known artist with resale value. If you are not happy with it and the artist has a name sell it and get a piece you want. Break even or better and move on is my advice.

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You're stuck with it. 

As long as the artist delivered what was promised (in regards to medium, size, format, basic design), then there is nothing you can, or should, do. 

Most artists give examples of what they can do at particular price points. As long as the level of detail is similar, once again, there is nothing you can or should do. :sorry:

I've gotten a few turds myself, I'm afraid. 

 

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I’ve had three commissions done so far.    One was 700, one was 1600, one was 7k.

The $1600 job was professional and well done and I feel I got exactly what I paid for and was happy with the result.    The $700 job, the artist went above and beyond and just nailed exactly what I wanted.    The $7k job didn’t turn out the way I wanted.   He put in the work and he tried to listen to what I wanted but in the end it was a swing and a miss.   

You never know what you’re going to get and if they did the work, you take the bad with the good.

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An addendum regarding a collaborative commission - I've recently had a few artists offer to send me updates of the process - this was somewhat new and surprising to me. Generally I really like to be surprised, and as an aforementioned non-artist person, I can't even imagine giving an artist feedback, particularly if they're an artist of the calibre that I am pursuing a commission from them. So when I get these prelims I reply very simply. Keep in mind also that a prelim can be finished many ways. Unless you’ve had a specific discussion, a prelim could mean nothing in relation to the final product. But I see that many collectors like to commission collaborate pieces, like a cover recreation or a particular 'story'. In that case I think the process can be helpful. Otherwise I tend to prefer to not see a preview. If you've commissioned something vague like 'Silver Surfer' or 'Catwoman' - the artist's image is NEVER going to be the same as what is in your head, so try to leave yourself open to anything that may come. 

Finally, artist, please be prudent with your airbrush. I have one commission that really suffered from an over zealous airbrushing. 

 

Edited by dichotomy
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