[identity profile] laughsatthunder.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] artists_beware
Back in January I was interested in getting sticker designs made to put into my fursuit packages. 2 people brought this up on me: one I was interested in and another kind of forced their way in. I'll label them as persons 1 and 2.

Person one delivered within a week two gorgeous designs. No problem.

Person two is where my question comes in:
On that same day [January 30th] I give them a rough sketch and we negotiate a price. They say they'll send me their PayPal soon. February 5th they give me an update saying there'll be a slight delay. At this point I inform them that it's okay and that they don't have to do it anymore, as personal issues came up and I lost interest. They completely ignore that and two days later give me a sketch. I play along with it and ask for a small change.

Last night [February 29th] they send me the sketch but now digitally done. It's been a long time and I forgot about the commission. Since the last update I also made the financial decision to severely limit how many commissions I buy this year, including this one.

I'm not sure how to word myself to ask to back out since they already gave me a sketch after I said I wouldn't like to continue the commission. From what I see on Twitter they get frustrated about this kind of stuff and I don't want it hung over my head, I already feel bad enough. :(

So how do I politely ask to cancel the commission in a situation like this?

Date: 2016-03-02 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kayla-la.livejournal.com
This is sticky. I suppose it's possible they didn't deliberately ignore your telling them you weren't interested, but if they did see it they shouldn't have ignored it.

Unfortunately, you more or less sealed the deal by accepting the sketch. Now that the work is done, it would reflect poorly on you to not pay. You should have stood your ground about canceling.

Date: 2016-03-02 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestinaketzia.livejournal.com
^ Came here just to say this. Pay them. Be more adamant next time (hopefully there won't be a next time).

Date: 2016-03-02 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayv.livejournal.com
You could request the price for the work completed thus far as you'd no longer like to continue the commission. So you'd be paying for the completed sketch rather than a full commission and waiting it out on a wing and a prayer.

Date: 2016-03-02 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poizenkat.livejournal.com
I think if you didnt want it anymore then you shouldn't have played along since that sounds..very confusing. If you cancel it i'd say to at least pay for the current progress. you losing interest is sad but it's not on the artist to know that if you weren't firm.

I can't think of any way to say it besides just being straightforward and offering to pay for what was already completed.

Date: 2016-03-02 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] huskypaws.livejournal.com
^^ I agree with this. You led them on, you made an initial agreement. You "gentle" no sounds phrased more like letting the artist opt-out if they would like to.

I feel you owe them a clear statement of cancellation and a payment for work done thus far. Or follow through completely, let them provide what you agreed to and pay they full price.

Date: 2016-03-02 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neolucky.livejournal.com
You accepted it and asked for a small change, thus agreeing to it. Even if they didn't understand your note (ignore is quite a harsh word when you continued the transaction) you still went along with it.

Ask them if you can pay for the sketch instead of getting an entire image, and make it clear that's as far as you want to take it.

Also IO see that you mentioned you agreed to pay for the complete work - so I think this situation has played out. Definitely don't play along and agree or ask for edits if you don't want the image.

Date: 2016-03-02 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chronidu.livejournal.com
Basically what the others are saying, you should pay them for the finished work you accepted.

Date: 2016-03-02 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maned-scruff.livejournal.com
Honestly, just reading this I would never have known that you had backed out and cancelled that "person 2" commission. You told them it was "okay" that there was a delay, this means that you don't mind waiting for your commission. If you told them "it's okay if you can't finish this commission" then they probably tried even harder to complete it for you, to deliver and please their client. Honestly, you should pay them for the work they did, they can't read your mind and I don't know the exact words you used to cancel the commission. You really let the commission go on for too long, so you should at the very least pay partially for the art.

*Edit To add, I know that sticker designs aren't a "heavy" commission request, but waiting less than 1 month is not a "long time". I'm wondering if the wait time added to you wanting to cancel this commission? Every artist is different, but if I had a client expect the art in less than 1 month without upfront discussing a deadline, I'd be a little frustrated, too. At least this is a learning experience :)
Edited Date: 2016-03-02 04:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-03-03 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maned-scruff.livejournal.com
Oh sorry, I didn't read the part about the artist telling you it would be done that evening.

Date: 2016-03-02 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enn shaw (from livejournal.com)
Once you approved the sketch, you're stuck. Pay them, as not paying would make you look bad. Be firm with cancelling a commission next time :/

Date: 2016-03-02 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestinaketzia.livejournal.com
Did they voluntarily cancel it, or did you cancel it anywaydespite the comments here?i

Date: 2016-03-02 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestinaketzia.livejournal.com
"I appreciate the work you've done so far. Despite the cancelation, can i still have your paypal to send a tip?"

Date: 2016-03-02 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spartanwerewolf.livejournal.com
"I felt incredibly pressured by the comments that I HAVE to go forward with it or else, even if the artist agrees not to.

Excuse me, but you were the one who a) didn't have the guts to cancel the commission outright and "played along" asking them to do more work on a piece you didn't want, and b) came here to ask for advice.

You've been in the comm for a long time, what exactly made you think that you were going to be patted gently and told it was fine, you didn't have to pay for work already done?

In future, I would advise that you not string artists along, and instead state outright that you don't want to work with them. On no planet is asking for a change to a sketch any kind of signal that you want to cancel; just state it outright.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in commissioning you at this time" is a perfectly acceptable thing to say to someone.

Date: 2016-03-02 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enn shaw (from livejournal.com)
Agreeing with you. The OP pretty much shot herself in the foot here. Tipping doesn't ring well with me either.

Date: 2016-03-02 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kamilamutt.livejournal.com
If the artist agreed to cancel, you shouldn't have to /make/ them finish it; cancelling was what you wanted, no? And if both you and the artist reached an agreement, all should be good by now, no need to feel pressured into doing something else.

Though like you said, since they made the sketch, just tipping would be cool and I'm sure the artist would appreciate it a ton.

Date: 2016-03-02 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sbneko.livejournal.com
I don't see anywhere that has a comment saying you have to keep going along with the commission (and is there is, it'd be one out of all comments here). Each comment says you should simply pay for the work done as, based on the information you gave us here, you were not clear about cancelling this commission. So I'm not sure why you think people think you're a bad person who needs to pay for the full commission to be finished.

If you wanted, you could always copy paste what you told the artist when you tried to cancel. But based on what you said here, it doesn't sound like you actually told them you wanted to cancel and just hinted it.

Date: 2016-03-02 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enn shaw (from livejournal.com)
If they already agreed to cancel, there's no reason to make them finish it. At the end of the day, the choice is yours alone, so you shouldn't feel pressured or shamed into doing anything otherwise. I'm not okay with tipping after putting the artist through all that, but that's just me.

Some people on this site are harsher than others, and not all answers are going to be favorable, so you need to have tougher skin.

Date: 2016-03-02 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sbneko.livejournal.com
Where did someone say you're ripping people off? All I can find that's similar is advising to at least pay for the sketch as it would look bad on your otherwise.

Date: 2016-03-02 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestinaketzia.livejournal.com
Whoa whoa whoa

Okay, let's back up. Feel free to clarify if I misread anything.

"They agreed to cancel it" reads like you brought up cancellation and they agreed, yes?

If so this simply falls under a client canceling mid commission. When you cancel you owe the artist for work done. If the artist already said "it's okay you don't have to pay me" then you're absolved of debt.

If you want to send money anyway, that's a nice gesture.

Date: 2016-03-02 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestinaketzia.livejournal.com
Personally, I feel you're good to go.

Date: 2016-03-02 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kayla-la.livejournal.com
If people outright flame, we'll take care of it. But people are getting snippy with you because you started putting words in people's mouths.

You can, however, turn off notifications for yourself for this post in the settings, and that's what I recommend. That way you won't be notified when people comment.

Date: 2016-03-02 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestinaketzia.livejournal.com
If you take down the post we will have to ban you permanently. There is no slap on the wrist for that. Just turn off comment notifications and walk away.
Edited Date: 2016-03-02 08:12 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-03-02 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestinaketzia.livejournal.com
You can either click on "track this" and unfollow this specific post or go to your global LJ account settings and have all comment notifications turned off. (I recommend this, and only turning it on on posts you really want to follow. It keeps your email uncluttered.)

The docket on your friend's page that shows all comments can't be selectively disabled, unfortunately. For that you will have to either turn it off entirely or just clear it without reading comments.

Date: 2016-03-02 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enn shaw (from livejournal.com)
LOL when did anyone say you ripped them off? You wasted the artist's time and energy and then you want to tip them AFTER the bs? I would block you.

To answer your question: No, I don't do commissions, but I have a good number of artist friends that are in the commission business so I'm knowledgeable of what to and not to do as artist and customer.

Good luck out there.

Date: 2016-03-02 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spartanwerewolf.livejournal.com
"Playing along and asking for a small change" is, in fact, stringing the artist along. Why would you do that if you didn't want their piece? Kind of implies that you'd like to continue the commission, rather than cancel.

Please don't try the guilt-tripping on me, it won't work. I am not being mean to you, I am being honest. No one said you had to "make them finish it". At all.

Everyone said you have to pay for the work they put in, which is on you, because you didn't tell them you weren't interested in commissioning them. You screwed up, so it's on you to make it right. That's part and parcel of doing business with anyone.

Literally all you need to do is say,"I'm sorry to have to cancel, but please let me pay you for the sketch. What are your sketch prices?" and then pay that amount. If you didn't want to be out the money, that's unfortunate, however it's your own fault for not being clear and upfront.

Date: 2016-03-02 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anuvia.livejournal.com
This seems like it was a tough situation, even more so after the comments here which, I will agree are mostly correct if even a little harsh!

In terms of why you accepted their work, I can understand. It's hard to be polite yet firm and not wanting to hurt feelings or disappoint someone can be a hard line to dance. In this situation, it seems like you accepted their work because of just that. It's hard, but sometimes you just have to politely tell people no; in the long run it can cause less trouble. That doesn't make it easy though, I can tell you from experience, but hopefully this is a situation you can learn from in that regard!

As far as the current state of things; from what I'm gathering, it seems the artist has agreed to cancel the commission and stated they did not want compensation? If that is the case, I'm going to disagree with many comments here and say I don't recommend trying to force a tip on them. Typically when someone walks away and doesn't want to be paid, they are trying to wash their hands of a transaction or simply just don't want to deal with it anymore. I would say it would be okay to send one final contact where you thank them for their efforts and offer a tip for the services rendered so far, but if they still decline then don't press it further.

As far as the community goes, while I think that some folks have been a little harsh, I don't think you should be trying to say they pressured you into any decision! You asked for advice and it was given, but it did not obligate you to do anything beyond what you already decided and it's not fair to pass any decisions made on your part off on the community. Overall, the community has good intentions and they're just trying to help out on a situation; we're not here to paint you as a bad guy or anything like that and I hope you don't think I'll of us collectively for it!

Hopefully you and the artist can get this sorted out and move on!

Date: 2016-03-02 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sbneko.livejournal.com
It's not that some don't want compensation, it's just, for example, maybe they have anxiety like you do, and having something pushed on them, even if it's a kind thing, may make them feel more anxious. Sometimes they just want it over with. Or maybe they feel they don't deserve it for whatever reason.

So it's usually best to just offer once, and if it's no, leave it be even if you feel a bit bad about it.

Date: 2016-03-02 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sbneko.livejournal.com
Basically, yes :3 It's kind to offer it, maybe they'll accept it, but best leave it otherwise. You did try so there's not much you can do otherwise.

(And I get you! I'm the same, and always feel bad about quirks due to it, as I forget others have them too)

Date: 2016-03-02 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anuvia.livejournal.com
This is a good explanation also!

Rough transactions can cause anxiety for sure so someone declining compensation may be trying to avoid the stressful situation and such!

Date: 2016-03-02 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anuvia.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's definitely a situational type of thing! In most cases I think artists obviously do want to be paid for their work, but this situation does seem atypical and sometimes things go a little different! Them declining compensation may be for any reason, honestly (could be a matter of pride, could be guilt that it took so long, ect; you never know!), so whatever their reason is, I think it should be respected if they still decline after you give them an offer!

Good luck though!

Date: 2016-03-03 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tifaria.livejournal.com
OP, as a fellow anxious person, I think this is the best advice here. I can totally sympathize with having difficulty putting your foot down in certain situations. Try not to stress too much about this one (I know, I know). It seems like you've come to a good place with it, and I think it's a good idea to offer a tip/partial compensation, but to not force it if the artist would rather just walk away.

Best of luck! You'll be okay.

Date: 2016-03-03 06:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bearprince.livejournal.com
I've been in similar situations before, where an artist I commissioned was taking longer than expected (since while 1 month is a long time, they did from what you said promise it that evening), then wishing to cancel it later on, but feeling nervous or guilty about cancelled once work had already been done on it.

If the artist said that they didn't need compensation, then you're fine. I've been on that end too -- as artists, we are the ones who choose to dictate our income, and in some situations we can be okay with technically "losing" money if it's in everyone's best interest. I've done free work for commissioners before after I've taken much longer than expected with their commission and such.

So I think with the situation as it stands now, you're fine. Try not to stress about it. It happens.
Edited Date: 2016-03-03 06:39 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-03-03 06:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kayla-la.livejournal.com
Heya, could you try to keep your edits down to a minimum? All mods get pinged for every edit you make.

Date: 2016-03-03 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bearprince.livejournal.com
Sorry, sorry! I only meant to make one; I'm on mobile and LJ was wigging out on me.

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