Customs: Commissions, scammers, and DIY...

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by payton34, May 15, 2010.

  1. payton34

    payton34 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Posts:
    4,049
    News Credits:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +13
    This is a line-of-though posting, so excuse me if it seems like rambling. :D 

    Customizing is a great art. To be able to see a vision of something in your head, and create a physical representation of that vision...well, it's one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. As with any art or skill, there are some out there who are better than others, and there are some that are so good that they try to make some money or earn a living as a result.

    That's perfectly fine. But you need to remember that regardless of how talented one is, there is NOTHING to protect you from being scammed by somebody.

    Some will tell you that it may take "X" amount of time to complete a custom, and more often than not, this is a legitimate estimation (due to the complexity of the work, how busy the commissioner is, or a combination of both). However you need to keep in mind that (1) the commissioners ask for the payment to be made up front 95% of the time (which is reasonable, due to cost of materials, making sure they're paid for their time, etc) and (2) you only have so long from the time of payment to do a paypal claim if something goes wrong with the transaction, and most of the time the estimated work time is just past that expiration date.

    This isn't to say that all commissioners are evil scoundrels out to steal your money, they're not. Most of them are very honorable and will give you the best work they are capable of making. However don't be misled into thinking just because someone produces work that is seen as some of the best around, that their customer service skills are as reputable. They will try to be friendly with you, apologize for delays, give you WIP pics that lead you to believe that they are actually working on your project (when it very well may be something else entirely). But at the end of the day, if it is their intention to NOT complete the project and still keep your money, you aren't really left with many options (outside of getting an attorney, and you could end up spending 3-5x as much on that option). Anybody...ANYBODY is capable of this, regardless of how nice they come off as being (just look at Chris Morada, for example).

    However, there is a solution. Learn the craft yourself, practice it each and every opportunity you can, study the work of others and see the little tips & tricks that they use, learn about how to prep your figure and what kinds of paint work for what kinds of materials, etc. Nobody is going to be perfect right away, I don't care who it is. But the more you work at it, the better you will become.

    I don't care how many great customs you own that have been commissioned (or bought from Ebay, etc) from other people, there is NO GREATER FEELING IN THE WORLD than doing a project on your own and having all of your practice coming to fruition. I can speak from personal experience with my Fort Max project. I don't have the years of experience or the lengthy portfolio of past great work that others do, but I put enough practice hours in (filled with many trial-and-error projects) and ended up with a project that 100% resembles the vision I had beforehand and I can proudly display it next to the other "commissioned" work that I own.

    So, in essence, there's nothing wrong with commissioning other people to do customs. Just keep in mind that some of them WILL rip you off. If you commission work from others because you're just too busy or something, then fine but PLEASE don't let it keep you from working on the craft first-hand, even if it's just a little time here and there. You are really missing out on a great opportunity for yourself.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  2. nellie131

    nellie131 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Posts:
    4,788
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Likes:
    +52
    those words are all so very true i whole heartedly agree with them!

    however i myself have only commisioned a couple of things from a selected 3 people and have done my own customs myself. learning how to paint and bash and all other techniques does give you a lot of self pride.

    i have just gotten into taking commisions i have finished one and that was back with the customer within one month which im proud of and currently working on a 2nd. i consider myself a lucky guy that people trust me with their money, time and toys for me to work on and being paid for it is a dream! i do these commisions as a hobby not as a job so would never rip any person off from their hard earned cash!

    so in summary well written words i like your thinking and encouragement for having people try it themselves! but on the other hand it sounds like you have been ripped off of some money which sucks totally and i feel for you!hope it all works out in the end.
     
  3. encline

    encline customizer of love TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Posts:
    5,620
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    261
    Likes:
    +11
    wait...I sent you those black and white blurry pictures.....

    First, I would suggest EVERYONE give this a shot if they want. For one, it can be really fun, and two..it helps us to understand what goes into this type of work....


    Now, speaking from experience, I have had the best clients in the field. Sure, I have made some mistakes, but I always fix them. I suggest that having an open line of communication with clients is the best. Even if it is to tell them what they do not want to hear. As an artist, sometimes our minds will only allows us to work on a project at certain times....I know, weird huh. So patience, communication, and being understanding on both parties is a GREAT benefit to the overall project.

    Now, on to the money. I have clients here so I gotta be careful what I say(hehe).....

    This is all my own personal thoughts and not directed at anyone, and just my OWN PERSONAL THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS.

    Payments: Why would an artist need more than 50% down? Granted, I have had clients desire to pay all up front, but I do not require it. 50% of the project should cover the materials and the part of labor. I know this because I have been in business for myself as a professional artist(airbrush artist/custom car painter before TFs) for 5 years. (If you have a contractor repair your house, they usually only get 50% down, or send a bill.) I feel this offers some piece of mind to the client. I have always felt that it is just not proper budgeting if an artist requires payment in full before they start, or if they come back asking for more money to finish a project. This usually means they spent your money and have not started your project. Not always, but something to think about.

    Time frame....yeah...It is best to be honest with yourself and your client...And paying with paypal is usually not a protection because of how long some builds take. So you must have a good rep.

    This community is too small. If you mess somebody over, it will more than likely come back to stomp you.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  4. nellie131

    nellie131 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Posts:
    4,788
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Likes:
    +52
    yeah i know what you mean encline when you get a brain freeze it SUCKS! but i agree with the 50% part about payments it seems suspicious if someone asks for all of a payment upfront!
     
  5. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Posts:
    10,980
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    257
    Location:
    Earth
    Likes:
    +19
    I've commissioned some work in the past, and still commissioning work now. I have never had an artist ask for more than half up front.

    Half up front is more than reasonable. And I don't see a problem giving that.

    On some occasions, where I have provided the materials to be used, no money was paid until after the job was complete, and this was at the artists request.

    As others have stated, communication is the key. But it is up to both parties to establish what the frequency of said communication is.

    Don't just commish a job, and then be like "Hey what's up with "___" These details need to be worked out in the planning stages. If you want weekly updates, then say so up front. You set the frequency of the updates....it is your money that's being spent.

    Here's what I usually do:

    Contact artist asking would he/she be interested in doing "___"
    If the answer is yes, then a time frame is established as to when to start job.
    Lay down any requests as to what it should look like when complete.
    Set up frequency of updates if any are required.
    Establish a job length time.
    Come to an agreed upon price, and payment schedule (up front costs, remaining balance due date, etc....don't forget to include shipping costs too)

    As long as you communicate up front what you expect, and the artist communicates back to you what will be. All should be good.
     

Share This Page