Meeting one of your favorite artist.....and they end up being a jerk.
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Just had an odd experience. I was working directly with one of my favorite artist on a commission request. Not a cheap one.  Had a few back and forth emails on concepts and each response included a snarky remark. I asked if we could hop on a quick call to make sure we are on the same page and he responded with a "You are becoming a little too high maintenance for my taste". I wrote him back canceling the commission (he hadn't started yet). I'm not going to name names because this isn't about the quality of his work it's more of meeting your heroes and it goes bad. Has anyone had this happen, did it ruin your appreciation for their body of work? I'm able to separate the man from his work, maybe he was having a bad week or I was being too sensitive, but it's still disappointing. It's like seeing Jeter kick a puppy. 

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The alternative is that he is an artist that is used to people letting him be the artist he is, rather than one who does well being micro-managed. Can't say what has transpired here, but I've seen it often enough, that it doesn't surprise me.
Doesn't mean he is a jerk per se, but maybe not one with a lot of tact? Or maybe he's been down this road a number of times. and his own patience is thin?

Some guys are all about providing a service. (i.e. you dictate as much as you want about what you want drawn, etc)
Others see them selves as Artists (capital A) and they take commissions with the understanding that they are the artist, and beyond the commissioner letting them know the character and maybe a vague scenario, they want to take it from there. When someone comes in and starts asking for different things essentially art directing, that isn't what they are out to provide. If someone comes in trying to be in regular contact asking for constant updates, or chit chat in way too regular/familiar fashion, some artists balk.

Best to know what kind of commissioner you are, and then be up front with any would-be commissioned artists as to what you expect from the transaction.
Simply footing the bill, so what you say goes isn't always the case.

 

 

 

Edited by ESeffinga
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Just to add to what ESeffinga said, it's also possible that you weren't being unreasonable/demanding, but in the past the artist has dealt with people who were and he was worried you were going to be like that so he was reacting as though you were already. In any case if he had an issue he should have stated it plainly, not hidden behind snarky comments.

I'm an artist but in a different medium and I've met heroes who were kind of a-holes. I wish I were able to completely separate the work and the person but it has sometimes soured me on their work a little, it sucks when it happens.

Edited by NC101
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That’s why I’m cutting him slack. May just not be a people person and that’s ok. Specially people with a creative mind   can tend to be a bit awkward or curt. But the interaction was enough to put a bad taste in my mouth. I see know why so many go through a middle man. 

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16 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

The alternative is that he is an artist that is used to people letting him be the artist he is, rather than one who does well being micro-managed. Can't say what has transpired here, but I've seen it often enough, that it doesn't surprise me.
Doesn't mean he is a jerk per se, but maybe not one with a lot of tact? Or maybe he's been down this road a number of times. and his own patience is thin?

Some guys are all about providing a service. (i.e. you dictate as much as you want about what you want drawn, etc)
Others see them selves as Artists (capital A) and they take commissions with the understanding that they are the artist, and beyond the commissioner letting them know the character and maybe a vague scenario, they want to take it from there. When someone comes in and starts asking for different things essentially art directing, that isn't what they are out to provide. If someone comes in trying to be in regular contact asking for constant updates, or chit chat in way too regular/familiar fashion, some artists balk.

Best to know what kind of commissioner you are, and then be up front with any would-be commissioned artists as to what you expect from the transaction.
Simply footing the bill, so what you say goes isn't always the case.

 

 

 

Ya I get that. The guys are on the road working the cons and are probably a bit numb. But it was two maybe three emails and a request to jump on a call to make sure we were on the same page. I usually start with here are three ideas I am thinking about...does one stick out that you would be interested in doing. My goal is for the artist to have the freedom to draw something they have an interest it. In this case it was a slight redo of one of his covers. Much of the back and forth could have been cleared up with a 30 second call. It just all depends on the personality. I have had artist sit on the phone with me for 30 minutes at a time just talking about life and days of old. One would call me every Friday giving me updates. I know that's not the norm but being cordial shouldn't bee to much to ask. 

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For sure not. Some artists are just kinda jerky sometimes. Occasionally it's all about place/time and how they are feeling. But then I think we all have off days too.

Maybe you just got the artist on one of those days? Or that person is just a dill-hole 24-7...

 

I don't assume an artist is a jerk, unless I start hearing the same tale from a lot of people. Usually when you start hearing the same stories over and over again from a lot of different people, it's obvious who's at fault.
Other times I hear the same people telling the same story about different artists. In those instances, it gets easier to tell it's not the artists that are at issue in that scenario.

Hopefully the next one's a better experience!

Edited by ESeffinga
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1 hour ago, Blastaar said:

a commission request

I'd have thought you were completely off of commissions by this point. :baiting:  Published pages might be more expensive in some cases, but they are a LOT less stress. :foryou:

I just don't want to see any new-ish enthusiastic collectors get frustrated with the hobby or leave because of the typically high-risk commission experience. That's a tough road even for the more experienced collectors.

Edited by BCarter27
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1 hour ago, Blastaar said:

Just had an odd experience. I was working directly with one of my favorite artist on a commission request. Not a cheap one.  Had a few back and forth emails on concepts and each response included a snarky remark. I asked if we could hop on a quick call to make sure we are on the same page and he responded with a "You are becoming a little too high maintenance for my taste". I wrote him back canceling the commission (he hadn't started yet). I'm not going to name names because this isn't about the quality of his work it's more of meeting your heroes and it goes bad. Has anyone had this happen, did it ruin your appreciation for their body of work? I'm able to separate the man from his work, maybe he was having a bad week or I was being too sensitive, but it's still disappointing. It's like seeing Jeter kick a puppy. 

Jeter kicked a puppy? No wonder that one sports writer left him completely off the Hall of Fame Ballot.

Can’t chime in until I know what the snarky remarks were. I think maybe the artist “asked” for it by calling you high maintenance. Many who solicit a service are high maintenance to some degree. It comes with the territory.

 

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It was probably the phone call request that triggered him.  I too get annoyed anytime im asked to get on a phone.

 

Fwitw i too had an awkward interaction with my all time favorite artist.  It ultimately wasnt too bad so i dont let it taint my memory of him.  

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8 minutes ago, cloud cloddie said:

Same. Phone calls are anathema to me. 

Just curious...why is that? It's a few seconds out of your life to clarify discrepancies. Could be that I have been in sales my entire life and like to interact...I guess some could see that as off putting. I'm a hugger....what can I say?

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I recall once Chris Claremont telling a group of us at a con that most artist he knows and/ or worked with were never "People Persons"

He asked us to think about it, you have a person who, basically its their job, to lock themselves in a room for 8 to 10 hours a day, drawing.

So when they show up to a con or whatever, sometimes they may not be the most friendly person in the world.  

I have had my mix of kind or nasty artists, 

 

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I've had one bad experience with an artist being rude for no reason so, I just don't deal with the guy anymore. 

Like some have said, maybe they were just having a bad day or it's possible they just worked with someone that really pushed their buttons who knows.

With your situation though (assuming they're a bigger name artist), I think they're probably not use to people having a back & forth with them about commissions & they probably don't like dealing with it. People get set in their ways & don't like change....some are just not friendly folks 

 

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1 hour ago, BCarter27 said:

I'd have thought you were completely off of commissions by this point. :baiting:  Published pages might be more expensive in some cases, but they are a LOT less stress. :foryou:

I just don't want to see any new-ish enthusiastic collectors get frustrated with the hobby or leave because of the typically high-risk commission experience. That's a tough road even for the more experienced collectors.

I will say...buying someone else's commission that they fall out of love with is a win/win. Much cheaper and you see the end result ahead of time. 

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1 hour ago, Blastaar said:

That’s why I’m cutting him slack. May just not be a people person and that’s ok. Specially people with a creative mind   can tend to be a bit awkward or curt. But the interaction was enough to put a bad taste in my mouth. I see know why so many go through a middle man. 

You are trying to engage his services. He felt like you were too high maintenance, probably causing his spider-sense to tingle as a result of wanting to talk about a commission on the phone. painters, plumbers, lawyers and professionals from all walks of life respond similarly every day. There are lots of people who want to be left alone to do their work and there are lots of people who want to be involved from start to finish when they are paying for something.  When those two get together, aborting before it gets off the ground is beautiful for both parties.  I support this type of communication - it avoids unrealized expectations. It may have been brusque, but it was likely a blessing for you both. 

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1 minute ago, seanfingh said:

You are trying to engage his services. He felt like you were too high maintenance, probably causing his spider-sense to tingle as a result of wanting to talk about a commission on the phone. painters, plumbers, lawyers and professionals from all walks of life respond similarly every day. There are lots of people who want to be left alone to do their work and there are lots of people who want to be involved from start to finish when they are paying for something.  When those two get together, aborting before it gets off the ground is beautiful for both parties.  I support this type of communication - it avoids unrealized expectations. It may have been brusque, but it was likely a blessing for you both. 

Let's chat more about this. I'll give you a quick call. 

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17 minutes ago, Blastaar said:

Just curious...why is that? It's a few seconds out of your life to clarify discrepancies. Could be that I have been in sales my entire life and like to interact...I guess some could see that as off putting. I'm a hugger....what can I say?

I completely agree. Any miscommunications can be clarified and resolved in 2-3 minutes on a call rather than 20-30 minutes of back and forth emails. This is especially important with anything artistic as one misinterpreted word in an email may change the meaning of the piece for the artist.

That being said, yes, artists are people and any of the previously stated reasons for his snarkiness could have been the reason.

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1 minute ago, stinkininkin said:

Gotta admit, if I'm asked to take a phone call for art direction on a commission, I'd probably bail. Not saying your request is unreasonable, but I really just need commissions to be as easy as humanly possible.

 

I get that...but if I'm handing over $700 and the participant is not fully understanding what I am looking for i'd rather clear it up before he gets started. It was one of his covers and I was asking for several modifications that would make it special to me....without those changes it would not be what I was going for. Again...probably a blessing for both of us but a quick phone call and he would have money in his pocket. 

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