Commission Problems
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87 posts in this topic

On 5/30/2022 at 5:37 AM, Rick2you2 said:

Contracts can be done (including "personal satisfaction" standards in contracts). Collecting a judgment is a different matter.

I thought about that. Winning and collecting are two different things.

Yeah, I don’t think I could get in too deep on a commission. I don’t need any of the aggravation. I’m not involved in any of these sad stories but I feel so angry on behalf of those posting them.

Someone please post a link of trustworthy commission artists. I’d love to hear the happy stories and send business to artists a collector could rely on.

 

 

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On 5/30/2022 at 9:15 AM, grapeape said:

I thought about that. Winning and collecting are two different things.

Yeah, I don’t think I could get in too deep on a commission. I don’t need any of the aggravation. I’m not involved in any of these sad stories but I feel so angry on behalf of those posting them.

Someone please post a link of trustworthy commission artists. I’d love to hear the happy stories and send business to artists a collector could rely on.

 

 

Wasn’t there a thread on this?

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once you ask for honest terms you are at a disadvantage to the legion of people who don't give it any thought and just sign up

it puts a real downer on the whole commission thing, at least it did for me (and I did many many many)

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On 5/29/2022 at 8:43 PM, grapeape said:

Michael Browning, this artist lacks character. Nowhere can I match up “good friend” with this two time unkind, unprofessional back stab behavior. How are you still standing?

Lose this guy and consider naming him publicly.

 

I do believe he will deliver… eventually. He was notoriously slow when he was actively working in comics, but he’s completely retired now and was supposedly working better and faster than ever before. I won’t out him because I have always enjoyed a good friendship with him and, even though I’m extremely disappointed in his silence over the last few months, I’m hopeful that it’s just him feeling guilty about not producing what he promised and he will get it done. Like I said, eventually. This time, I’m not waiting on it for a fanzine cover.

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I admire your sense of loyalty Michael. You have to do what works for you. 
I would still warn others that no matter how respected, or nice an artist was to you, an important  measure by which you should judge their reliability is in the way they keep their word to you.

 

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On 5/30/2022 at 7:08 AM, Bird said:

once you ask for honest terms you are at a disadvantage to the legion of people who don't give it any thought and just sign up

it puts a real downer on the whole commission thing, at least it did for me (and I did many many many)

That’s actually two very important considerations one must mull over.

My interactions with artists, the instinct is to give them a basic job description and encourage them to exercise their best self determination to execute the final look. It’s my hope I’ll get the best work from them that way. It’s not for everyone.

The goal of getting great work in a reasonable turnaround time is the goal. Introducing potential litigation actions into the agreement can create bad vibes on the artist psyche.

There are good outcomes and without using a contract. Bob Layton did right by me. Rich Buckler also. I wish everyone that tries it a happy and fulfilling commission experience 

Edited by grapeape
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Guest Race

Newer folks need to remember that commissions for active artists are done in-between or after contracted work b/c published work is their actual purpose in life... meaning you will always be second in line no matter what you think. Also remember that while they will take the money, they may not like or even resent doing the work (see Michael Golden's famous example). Let's face it, it can be a shock and diaappointment to be a well-known "artist" yet still have to draw overly-bosomed Wonder Womans for arrested development adults to pay the gas bill. I believe this attitude is what leads to the apathy and procrastination by (some) comic artists to commission work.

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I will note that I do not get commissions anymore except from Bob Budiansky and Dan Parent. They have always delivered and keep me updated on the progress. Dan did my very first commission back around 1999 and I’ve gotten several from him over the last 20 years. Bob is a dear friend and I’m so grateful for the commissions he’s done for me over the last decade. I’m on his list again for another Ghost Rider. There are a lot of great artists who do commissions quickly and always do their best work. Jeff Aclin is another artist who always delivered quickly and is extremely professional and I appreciate him, but I haven’t asked for a commission in a long time. Tim Truman is a native West Virginian and has always delivered commissions quickly. And, if you can pay the cash when his list opens and don’t care to wait, Steranko is amazing. His work is great, but he does take a long time.

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I am really wanting to commission an artist (different from above) to do a piece that is still quite active but is also quite old. You know where this is going. You think bringing legal repercussions of non-delivery into the conversation is awkward then try posing the, "uhh, so what if you die?" question. 

Edited by cstojano
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On 5/30/2022 at 3:29 PM, cstojano said:

I am really wanting to commission an artist (different from above) to do a piece that is still quite active but is also quite old. You know where this is going. You think bringing legal repercussions of non-delivery into the conversation is awkward then try posing the, "uhh, so what if you die?" question. 

Yes, the “how-do-you-pay-me-back-if-you’re-dead-and-can’t-deliver” clause is a tough one to discuss.

The quickest commission I ever received was by the late, great Ernie Chan who actually drew the majority of piece while we were on the phone discussing it and texted me a picture of the art. It truly was amazing and worth every penny of the $150 he charged.

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On 5/30/2022 at 1:21 PM, Bird said:

Paul Smith had 3 layouts in the morning after we finalized the commission and had it done over the weekend. He accepted one commission and then declined when he couldn't get the composition to work as he wanted (Doc Strange & The Vishanti, who are rarely shown); I thought that was awesome. Rather than force it he asked for another request.

Paul Smith a real one as the kids say these days.. That’s professionalism + right there.

 

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I got my first two commissions this year, both via Inky Knuckles. I guess my thought on the matter is that if there's an active and reputable representative acting as a go between and being accountable, I have someone to contact if things go sideways. That said, I feel like commissions are rarely going to be a priority for working artists and the expectation should be a long wait, regardless of the estimate given. Cost of doing business as they say. 

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Reading threads like these makes me feel frustrated for the people who commissioned the artists and how long they can get jerked around for. Even in the cases where the piece is finally done and delivered I can't help but feel it would be unsatisfying in a way with the piece being tainted by how negative the experience was. I've only gotten one commission (But hope to get more done in the future at some point) and honestly feel amazed by how fast they were able to deliver it (one month) after hearing about the multi-year long sagas some have. Beginners luck I guess.

 

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I am going on waiting a little over 3 years on an inking commission from 2019 after putting 50% down. I didn't even bargain with the inker on the cost. I accepted his price right away. I've contacted the inker many times over the past 3 years and I've gotten 3 different completion dates and each time it's never met. The most annoying part is that he has accepted and completed other inking commissions in the same time frame. I was last told that I should get it in August. I will never work with this person again. I am probably going to place the piece up for sale as soon as I get it, since the experience has tainted the piece in my eyes.

I understand that I am paying a working pro to do this on the side, but to put other commission pieces ahead of mine and finish them in a shorter time frame is what really bothers me the most. It's a sign of disrespect. i contacted another person who got his placed in front of mine and he didn't even pay as much for his.

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On 8/1/2022 at 1:43 PM, cmaeditor said:

I am going on waiting a little over 3 years on an inking commission from 2019 after putting 50% down. I didn't even bargain with the inker on the cost. I accepted his price right away. I've contacted the inker many times over the past 3 years and I've gotten 3 different completion dates and each time it's never met. The most annoying part is that he has accepted and completed other inking commissions in the same time frame. I was last told that I should get it in August. I will never work with this person again. I am probably going to place the piece up for sale as soon as I get it, since the experience has tainted the piece in my eyes.

I understand that I am paying a working pro to do this on the side, but to put other commission pieces ahead of mine and finish them in a shorter time frame is what really bothers me the most. It's a sign of disrespect. i contacted another person who got his placed in front of mine and he didn't even pay as much for his.

And the person’s name is?

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On 8/1/2022 at 1:43 PM, cmaeditor said:

I am going on waiting a little over 3 years on an inking commission from 2019 after putting 50% down. I didn't even bargain with the inker on the cost. I accepted his price right away. I've contacted the inker many times over the past 3 years and I've gotten 3 different completion dates and each time it's never met. The most annoying part is that he has accepted and completed other inking commissions in the same time frame. I was last told that I should get it in August. I will never work with this person again. I am probably going to place the piece up for sale as soon as I get it, since the experience has tainted the piece in my eyes.

I understand that I am paying a working pro to do this on the side, but to put other commission pieces ahead of mine and finish them in a shorter time frame is what really bothers me the most. It's a sign of disrespect. i contacted another person who got his placed in front of mine and he didn't even pay as much for his.

don't let them continue to disrespect you, out them and put pressure on them. flip the --script

Edited by Bird
why does it add a hyphen before that word? I tried to edit it out 3 times and they add it back in
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