Customs: Commission Etiquette: Communication and Duration

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by supervir2, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. supervir2

    supervir2 Feels like the kid in Big everyday.

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    Hi guys! I've spoken with several of you and commissioned pieces from several of you. This post draws from some of those experiences and ultimately asks what your feelings are regarding communication between radicons/customers and the duration of time a project should take. Also, any advice on how to handle a situation when a radicon doesn't meet up with those expectations.

    (note: I am leaving out all names and hope you all do the same. This isn't intended as a platform to chastise OR reward particular radicons...rather, it is meant to see if there are general expectations and feelings on certain issues)

    I've been commissioning custom TF's for about 2 years now. In that span I've dealt with 14 different radicons on a good 30+ items and am about to get projects underway with 2-3 more. The artists range from the well-known to some of the lesser-known and the projects have ranged in cost from less than on hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars. One universal across all of these transactions is that the artist has taken longer than anticipated to finish the project. I've had a project finish less than a month after it started and I've got one project that is 2 years old now. Yes, two years old! Further, I've dealt with radicons that communicate VERY well, always responding in a timely manner and often with pictures/update. At the same time, some of them have disappeared from months on end. So far, they've returned and resumed patchy communication, but it is harrowing to say the least.

    I don't mind waiting for quality work - I know radicons have lives outside of building my custom and likely have other projects they're working on. What really bothers me are two things. 1) Poor communication (not responding to emails/PM's) and 2) promising and then not delivering on a timeframe MULTIPLE times. If you combine the last two, the experience is no longer exciting.

    So, to the heart of this post:
    1) What do you all feel is a reasonable time frame to complete a project? (I realize this will vary by size/complexity) Rephrased, how long can you realistically ask a commissioner to wait?
    2) What do you all feel is adequate communication? How often is too often?
    3) When a radicon takes an excessive amount of time (eg. years), what course of action should be taken? At that point, presumably, the commissioner hasn't had results with pm's/emails. Public action has many ramifications for all involved...at what point is that merited?
     
  2. G60Force

    G60Force World Smallest Mini-Con

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    Not a bad idea... I like this post... I can learn something from all of this thnx!! Anyways since I'm new...
    1. I haven't gotten to commission anything
    2. I haven't made anything for a price yet (just for free)
    So I'm not sure I can be of any help, but I do know what you are talking about since I have a huge imagination ;) 
    thus would feel terrible if I needed to wait extremely long or don't get responses :( 

    Good luck with this thread!
     
  3. SCPrime

    SCPrime Well-Known Member

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    I've only had 1 piece commissioned. Was told it would take 3 months but end up taking 6 months. I was happy with the result though. But I do hear yah about being frustrated with delays and such. At the same time I understand things come up and delays are to happen. 2 years though, wow, that's a serious delay unless you were promised it would take 2 years, lol. If it's taking going on 2 years then the artist needs to maybe not take on as many projects or something. Again delays happen and sometimes it's out of the artist's hand. Answering PMs/emails though needs to be prompt. Even if it's just to say sorry still working on your stuff.
     
  4. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    1.) The duration of a commission should be between the client and the artist. If the artist promises they can deliver a product in a certain time frame, the artist needs to do whatever they can to make good on that. If the artist foresees a delay then . . . .
    2.) . . . . that needs to be clearly communicated, as well as an agreed upon adjustment. If the client wants something specific regarding communication (photo updates, etc.), the client needs to simply communicate what they want to the artist. In communication, it's better to have more than not enough.
    3.) If there are problems between an artist and a client, they need to work those out between them to the best that they can. As far as Radicons goes, if an artist promises to do something, but either stops communicating totally or does something dishonest, said artist can be banned from TFW2005.com permanently. Scamming others is not tolerated on TFW2005.com. TFW2005.com Staff should only be contacted as an absolute, last resort.

    As far as what to do publicly, an artist should have a Commissioner Listing and Feedback thread posted. This sub-forum is specifically geared for a client to post feedback (and not for an artist to argue back). Those threads function where the client simply posts about their experience as well as if they would recommend the artist to others. Simply follow the forum rules when posting in that thread, as the board rules still apply even if a deal has gone sour.
     
  5. supervir2

    supervir2 Feels like the kid in Big everyday.

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    All good points SQ7. I'm well aware of the feedback threads and definitely use them to help decide if I want to work with a radicon.

    I've spoken with a few other customers and the concern (in situations where time is an issue) is that a public comment will lead the customizer to rush the item out resulting in not just a wait, but a wait and poor result. This would depend on the professionalism of the customizer I suppose.

    My personal approach overall, is to - as best I can - let my expectations for the custom be known. This includes my overall vision as well as the little details I have strong feelings about. Settling on a price, or at least a ballpark price is necessary as well. I haven't, as a rule, discussed communication, but my unsaid expectations would be that someone gets back to me at least within a week. If the radicon is open to communication, I'll be more expansive and write a little more, but in general, I'm fine with updates 2-3x per month. That doesn't seem too intrusive. Pictures and descriptions of the work are always appreciated. Those customizers that will present a photo and offer to make changes if needed are at the top of the game - flexibility and communication really go a LONG way toward happy customers.
     
  6. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    They have the same issues in sketchcards. One person is miffed at a commission going on 3 years now and lie and lie or no communication.

    I think communication is the key thing. I'm going on 6 months for a few headshot commissions from a sale I ran (big regret) but I constantly inform my clients to the progress.
     
  7. brr-icy

    brr-icy G1 Collector

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    i'm working on two commissions right now, one is a rather big one, and haven't been able to spray it yet, but try to keep in contact with him, the other is a wst i'm just waiting to hear back about the decals so i can finish it up and send it on it's way, but you have to communicate with the people that commissioned them, or they will think you scammed them
     
  8. GrandMaXimus

    GrandMaXimus Party in my tummy!!! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Good post. I have commissioned a bunch of people as well. Like you, I have a couple of projects going on 2 years as well. What bugs me is that you see new stuff coming out from people and you wonder where is mine? It makes you think are they that back logged? I know as a artist that they have to be inspired but sometimes you just wonder if you can't be inspired in 2 years how am I going to put my trust in you?
    Communication and honesty is a must. A monthly update letting me know what's going on with the project whether it be it's almost done or nothing got done goes a long way. Even a friendly hello would suffice. At least I know your alive. I have gotten anywhere between 3-9 mos wait time for a project. Some even longer. Honestly imo some of these guys have so much commission work that I would rather you decline or put me on a wait list or something. Be honest, even if its going to take you a year.
    I have called out publicly on the boards (after pm'ng certain people that I can trust with their opinions). I don't want to take that route but when money is involved and your reputation is on the line and I'm not getting a response through pm or email, I feel it's warranted.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  9. MyTea Boc

    MyTea Boc Beardy Boyo!

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    Regular and honest communication is important. Even if its just 'hey man, haven't had the chance to work on it for a few weeks/months because im busy picking cheetos out of my belly button.'

    At least then you know that you haven't been forgotten or their ignoring you.
     
  10. hthrun

    hthrun Show accuracy's overrated

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    Agreed! The customizer then shouldn't get upset with the customer. The customer can only go off of what they're told. If the deadline has passed several times and the customizer is not returning messages, what else is the customer supposed to do?

    Also, if the customer has acted appropriately and isn't happy with the service or the custom, the customizer should apologize and try to rectify the issue. This will go a long ways in helping the customizer's reputation, as opposed to if the customizer tries bullying the customer into removing legitimate negative feedback.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

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