I commissioned Artist A for two things back in September: One was for my husband for his birthday which was done relitively on time. My husband has commissioned this artist in the past, so said artist was fine with putting me at the top of the queue since he's fairly familiar with my husband. Now, Artist A has a pretty hefty backlog, they have this posted on their FA profile for all to see. I wanted to get something else from them as a little surprise for my husband and told them to just stick me in the queue and work on it whenever. They said okay, took my money and my refs, and that was the last I ever heard from them. Correspondance ended on September 23rd. They're not THAT active on FA, but they post the occassional artwork and they do a stream every Wednesday so it's not like they're overly busy and are never on FA. Months went by and I never saw my name in their queue yet they continued to post doodles and do their weekly stream. I sent them a note on January 10th asking about my commission, if they had started it, how things were going, etc. I was very polite, nothing rude or demanding. The note was read, but never responded to. I sent them another note on February 7th with almost the same content, still being polite about it. Same thing happened: Note was read, but never responded to. My husband was about as shocked as I was, given that he's done business with this artist in the past and has never had any issues with them not responding to notes. I know that, given this artist has a large queue, that they may be overwhelmed with owed art or something could have come up in their personal life that's keeping them from getting things done, but that's no excuse for not responding to a commissioner when they're asking about the art they paid for. I also noticed on their FA page someone has posted shouts on their page asking about their commission, so it looks like I'm not the only person having this issue. Said person isn't listed in their queue either.
Artist B is someone who my husband and I have admired from afar but never had the chance to commission. They were doing some pinup-style pieced back in January and I snagged a spot. The first note was sent on January 1st and correspondence ended on January 2nd. Payment and refs were sent. Again, this is someone neither myself or my husband have done business with so I'm not aware of how they handle commissions. I sent them a note on March 4th asking if there had been any updates to my commission. As with the notes sent to Artist A, I was very polite and simply inquiring about my art as I hadn't gotten any messages or updates regarding it. The note went unread for several weeks, then was marked as read several days ago. I got no response to my message but noted that they posted a journal yesterday opening up for their March commission slots. I checked their journal posts and saw that from March 23rd thru March 27th, they were advertising their March commission slots. Prior to those journals, they posted something on March 17th saying that their tablet was dying and for all commissioners to be patient. ...They could have sent me a note apologizing and reassuring me that my commission would be done as soon as they're able...but yet they're advertising more commission slots. I've had a tablet fizzle out on me before, so I know what that's like but I think that, even with a dying tablet, you should get through what you already owe before taking on more. I don't know. As I said, this is my first time working with this artist. Also, they don't have any kind of public queue as far as overall commissions are concerned, so I don't even know if mine is being worked on.
What should I do in these situations?
Artist A: Should I request a refund if they don't respond? I've been waiting 6 months for this piece with no updates, but I don't want to do anything that may spoil any future business with this person. They're someone my husband and I absolutely love and love working with.
Artist B: Should I continue to be patient? I know three months isn't that long to wait for a commission (I've waitied longer, but the artist kept me informed of what was going on and when my commission should be started/finished), especially if the person has a tablet that's starting to go and a queue of other commissions to do.