Commision artists of the fedi
Have you ever had to deny a job because the request was too technical or beyond your abilities to do?
@Red are you trying to weasel out of whittling me those goats?
@taweret no, but I'm am thinking of selling stuff when i get good and I'm curious what it's like selling art
@Red no bc i’m epic
@Red seriously tho i have heard of other ppl doing this/pointing ppl in the direction of an artist who could help them and if i got a complicated furry request that would probably when i would be like uhhhh check out xyz artist instead
@Red not so far. I try to rise to the occasion
@interneteh have you ever tried and had the buyer pull out because they didn't like the execution?
@Red nope. They've always been happy. That includes a few technical things I've never done before, like doing lettering or painting on metal
@Red not beyond my abilities, but too mentally taxing, yes. most of that wasn't so much the work itself, but the incessant complaints and corrections by the client, who i suspect commissioned me not because they liked my work or style, but because i was available and within their budget.
now, i've done countless jobs that i felt i did not do to the best of my ability at the time for whatever reason and those still haunt me.
@Red now, the times i've denied those jobs were because i'd done work for the person previously and knew how they were to work with.
@extinct that part is my worst nightmare of selling art. Highly demanding customers.
@Red it's definitely a very thin line. i like to think i'm easy to work with and accommodating. i'm cool with making changes and fixes most of the way through the process and actively invite the client to brainstorm things with me when i give progress updates.
but when every little thing is nitpicked, including things that were approved previously, all the way up to the end, it just gets tedious and demoralizing. like, why did you come to me if you hate how i do everything?
@extinct have you ever had to scrap a project because the customer was endlessly picky like this?
advice on dealing with customers (long)
So you've decided to offer bespoke art? Good for you! Here are six ideas for dealing with your clientele:
1️⃣ Use an order form, such as a Google one, to list line items for your customers. You can eliminate a lot of confusion and guesswork.
As an example, here's mine: https://forms.gle/53NfBZ5ykt4zeKFR6 . I've worked to be as disarming and as friendly as possible. Note page 3 asks them to confirm that they aren't minors and that they're not stealing characters.
2️⃣ Get money up front. (Especially if you're doing commissions that have physical materials, like wood carving.) For pricey stuff (>$80?), consider asking for a deposit of, say, 50%. You will feel a little better about dealing with customer's numerous requests if you got some insurance in the form of money down. If the customer doesn't like paying up front, politely turn them down. (I will only do art on spec if I have a working relationship.) You might remind the customer that if you don't deliver, they can file a dispute with their credit card or bank.
3️⃣ Consider adding a note to your form that people can ask for up to three changes, with specific charges for changes after the fourth or more. Some artists have that proviso. (I don't, but I've not had major issues with that yet, knock on wood.) Most customers are nervous: they are spending money but don't have much input after that, so they want to feel involved. Speaking of that....
4️⃣ A professional artist once told me about the "hairy arm". When you send a rough sketch or preliminary to the customer for approval, put one thing in it that is deliberately wrong, like a gross arm. The customer can request that you change it. There you go: they got to have input in the process, and you get to change something that didn't matter anyway. 😎 Everyone's a winner.
5️⃣ Post regular updates. Again, when the customer isn't privy to your process, they can be nervous about what's going on. Direct-message images of your work in progress. Consider setting up a Trello or the like to show progress. Streaming your work on twitch.tv or picarto.tv not only lets the customer see you working but can also entice more customers.
6️⃣ You may have a customer who cannot be satisfied. If you believe your work was not up to your own standards, offer a full refund. If you feel your effort was worthy, consider refunding 50% of the money, or 100% minus cost of materials, if you're worried about the damage to your reputation. Trust your heart; it's better to cut and run from a problem customer early than to kill yourself struggling for an impossible standard.
Your communication and exchange of money is a contract between you and your customer. They want something special, and you want to make them feel special. Both of you want the same thing! Make your terms clear up front, make the customer feel involved with the process, and make the best art you can do.
And good luck! 💙
advice on dealing with customers (long)
@xinjinmeng this was super useful info! Thank you :)
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