Paid up front for commission, now the artist does not answer any contact
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32 posts in this topic

63 posts

Hi all,

 

I'm writing for some advice on how to handle a rather touchy and annoying situation.

 

I attended the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con back in May and I commissioned an artist to do a sketch cover for me. I paid up front ($200) and expected it to be done at the con. It was early in the con, so he told me I was second on his list. I passed by his table from time to time over the course of the day, and he was always working, but never on mine.

 

As the show was coming to a close, I gave him my mailing address, e-mail, and cell phone number so that he could send the sketch to me later.

 

Time passes, one month, two... nothing. He doesn't answer his phone. He doesn't answer any e-mail or any other form of contact (Facebook messaging, etc).

 

I finally post a note for him to contact me publicly (on his Facebook page), requesting a status update. Almost immediately, I get a phone call. He apologizes, says he did it but the colors were wrong, then doesn't have a blank cover any more... lots of excuses. I tell him just to get one on eBay, then redo it. No big deal, I know people get busy. All I want is communication.

 

More time passes, I get nothing from him... no updates, nothing. I finally see him at another show on the first of three days (Baltimore, four months later), where he promises the sketch for me. He says he has someone driving it down that day.

 

End of Friday, nothing. Saturday morning, he leaves a voice mail, it's not there yet, he'll update me. I see him. Same story. Sunday morning, same story. Voice mail in the morning, when I see him. NOTHING.

 

He promises to have the sketch cover for me and promises he'll personally meet me with it to deliver it (he lives in NYC, I live in the suburbs of NYC). I say it isn't necessary, so he should just mail it.

 

I haven't heard a single peep from him since then. That was Labor Day weekend. It is now six weeks later. I've left one message a week on his phone, but today his phone has been set to no longer accept incoming calls (I guess I was blocked).

 

I have not stooped to demanding anything. I've remained civil throughout.

 

Any advice on what to do?? Or should I just accept the $200 loss?

 

I don't want to say his name just yet (or should I??).

 

Thanks for reading (I know it was a lot)!

 

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3,915 posts

Not a good idea to be paying full price up-front on a yet to be started commission (unless it's with someone with a known 100% track record for honouring his side of the bargain). A reasonable deposit should have been sufficient to show how serious you were in seeing the deal through.

 

Not much use to you now hearing this, but at least you'll know better next time (if there will be a next time).

 

If the artist's blocking your calls, I suggest sending him a polite reminder (perhaps spelling out your option of naming-and-shaming if he continues to stall).

 

2c

 

 

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1,004 posts

Depends at what level of fed up you are and how badly you want the piece. You can either patiently wait it out or ask for a refund or out the guy. You can also see if this person is repped and go to their rep for help.

 

If you disclose who it is others can tell you if this is someone that has been trustworthy in the past or not. Or at the very least you are helping others avoid headaches with them in the future.

 

The unfortunate reality is that pay upfront is the way it goes for many artists in the commission game and that's the way it is.

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If a piece is not finished at a show, I ask for a solid completion date. An artist was to complete a piece for my for NYCC but it wasn't done. I have been told it will be done by the end of the year.

If it is not, I will ask for a refund. It was facilitated via the artist's dealer so I don't expect to have any issues.

 

Does the artist you are having an issue with have a dealer who sells his art? I would try contacting that person. If not, and you are fed up, I would contact the show promoter where you saw the artist and ask if they can help. Obviously stating the artists name may result in him contacting you.

 

Many people no longer take money down, or only take a partial amount as a deposit. This is how I prefer to have commissions done.

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I would not let it go. I would follow the advice given and pursue the commission with the artist's rep (if they have one).

 

Did you ever see a picture of the piece that was completed but the artist was not happy with the colors?

 

As long you remain factual with how the situation has played out, I don't see a reason why you can't ask if others have commissioned this artist and their experience.

 

Good luck!

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63 posts

Thanks for the advice everybody. I really appreciate hearing the advice.

 

AFAIK, he doesn't have a rep. I commissioned the piece directly with him. He is on ComicArtCommissions.com. Not sure if this means that they're his rep. I contacted them for help.

 

I do have a picture of the one with the wrong coloring. He even had it for sale at Baltimore on his table. I would've thought he'd at least offer it to me, but nope.

 

I have not seen the "correct" one... if it even exists.

 

I may wait it out until Rhode Island and see if he's going (don't see him on the guest or artists' alley list yet) before I out him.

 

Thanks again!

 

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This reminds me of the old saying, "Patience is a virue." :insane:

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This reminds me of the old saying, "Patience is a virue." :insane:

 

Well, that is the Golden rule of collecting commissions

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Hi all,

 

I'm writing for some advice on how to handle a rather touchy and annoying situation.

 

I attended the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con back in May and I commissioned an artist to do a sketch cover for me. I paid up front ($200) and expected it to be done at the con. It was early in the con, so he told me I was second on his list. I passed by his table from time to time over the course of the day, and he was always working, but never on mine.

 

As the show was coming to a close, I gave him my mailing address, e-mail, and cell phone number so that he could send the sketch to me later.

 

Time passes, one month, two... nothing. He doesn't answer his phone. He doesn't answer any e-mail or any other form of contact (Facebook messaging, etc).

 

I finally post a note for him to contact me publicly (on his Facebook page), requesting a status update. Almost immediately, I get a phone call. He apologizes, says he did it but the colors were wrong, then doesn't have a blank cover any more... lots of excuses. I tell him just to get one on eBay, then redo it. No big deal, I know people get busy. All I want is communication.

 

More time passes, I get nothing from him... no updates, nothing. I finally see him at another show on the first of three days (Baltimore, four months later), where he promises the sketch for me. He says he has someone driving it down that day.

 

End of Friday, nothing. Saturday morning, he leaves a voice mail, it's not there yet, he'll update me. I see him. Same story. Sunday morning, same story. Voice mail in the morning, when I see him. NOTHING.

 

He promises to have the sketch cover for me and promises he'll personally meet me with it to deliver it (he lives in NYC, I live in the suburbs of NYC). I say it isn't necessary, so he should just mail it.

 

I haven't heard a single peep from him since then. That was Labor Day weekend. It is now six weeks later. I've left one message a week on his phone, but today his phone has been set to no longer accept incoming calls (I guess I was blocked).

 

I have not stooped to demanding anything. I've remained civil throughout.

 

Any advice on what to do?? Or should I just accept the $200 loss?

 

I don't want to say his name just yet (or should I??).

 

Thanks for reading (I know it was a lot)!

 

I'd make a full timeline and summary of each transaction as well as the conversations in each case. And then post those timelines (don't put up his personal info or yours) to his facebook and/or other social media venues. And let him know you're open to pursuing legal or law enforcement avenues.

 

If he happens to be employed by a certain company on a somewhat regular basis, you can contact them too and present your evidence. You can even contact the conventions he has been to or signed up to be at and present your evidence. But don't embellish on any of it. Just the strictest truth.

 

I wouldn't let him off the hook, not yet.

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851 posts

First things first;

 

Kudos to you for being a class act through this trying time.....many others would not have been so patient or respectful.

 

Do you have a receipt for the $200 you paid him? I certainly hope so if you paid him in cash.

 

If you used your credit card, please be aware that you could have the charges reversed.

 

If you paid him in cash, and you have a receipt, is it detailed or itemized for the sketch in question?

 

Similarly to Revat's response, I would certainly align all of your facts, but to me, the most important info is the "paperwork" surrounding the transaction---IE receipt of any kind....

 

If you paid by credit card, I would simply have the charges reversed as you never received the product or service that you paid for and you needn't spend any more time on this situation.....

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Unfortunately it looks as if you're being played bro.

 

Who is this guy (gal) so that no one else gets sucked in? Or, if they do want to get sucked in...they've been warned...

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Thanks for the advice everybody. I really appreciate hearing the advice.

 

AFAIK, he doesn't have a rep. I commissioned the piece directly with him. He is on ComicArtCommissions.com. Not sure if this means that they're his rep. I contacted them for help.

 

 

As others may have said, ComicArtCommissions doesn't rep anyone. But don't they have a Feedback system to leave comments about your commission experience with a certain artist?

 

 

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Unfortunately it looks as if you're being played bro.

 

Who is this guy (gal) so that no one else gets sucked in? Or, if they do want to get sucked in...they've been warned...

 

Something seems fishy. Red flag is that he didn't get the original commission because the coloring had issues, yet the artist had that same commission for sale . He could have easily offered it up to the OP and be done with .

 

 

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I do have a picture of the one with the wrong coloring. He even had it for sale at Baltimore on his table. I would've thought he'd at least offer it to me, but nope.

 

 

This doesn't sit right with me. So essentially, you pay him $200 and a "free" sketch cover and he turns around and sells this artwork for, say, $100, making $300+ off of you and you still get nothing in return? Sounds like a scam.

 

If you still want this artwork, don't expect to get it for another year or year-and-a-half. That's if you continue to hound him. And even then, you, like many others to whom this has happened before, may feel that the artwork is tainted and won't stand the sight of it. If you happen to catch him at another show, I'd have him compensate you with $200 or more worth of artwork (NO PRINTS!) and sell those on eBay to try to get your money back and maybe a little more.

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348 posts

I think I'd just ask for the refund and be done with it. Not sure I could appreciate the artwork after this hassle.

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Agreed, once you pass the point of no return the art is completely undesirable.

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Thanks again for all of the replies! Unfortunately, I did not get a receipt (in retrospect, not too wise). I have a few texts and Facebook messages as "proof", but that's about it, other than my word versus his. Again, rather weak on my part.

 

As for "Patience is a virue", I hope he doesn't pull that on me IF I ever get my book. That was a rather classless, juvenile, and flat-out unprofessional move. I will never, ever approach that artist with a request of any kind.

 

I did contact ComicArtCommissions.com and the person running the site has helped me by contacting the artist for me (CC'ed with me) to inquire.

 

TODAY, I get an e-mail from the artist that he will be mailing my commission tonight or tomorrow. He will send me the tracking number when sent.

 

BTW, this is probably the fourth time I've heard this very same promise from him, so I'm not holding my breath.

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I'd honestly say you need to "name names" or maybe not so directly, let it be known by showing the artwork, so at the end of the day all of this can help the community and the artist (gain accountability to increase odds it never happens again).

 

 

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275 posts
I'd honestly say you need to "name names" or maybe not so directly, let it be known by showing the artwork, so at the end of the day all of this can help the community and the artist (gain accountability to increase odds it never happens again).

 

 

agreed.

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I'd honestly say you need to "name names" or maybe not so directly, let it be known by showing the artwork, so at the end of the day all of this can help the community and the artist (gain accountability to increase odds it never happens again).

 

 

agreed.

 

I also agree. As an artist that takes commissions I find his communication deplorable and he makes it harder for someone else to get business.

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