How to keep artists committed?

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Message
Author
User avatar
vorgbardo
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:28 am
Contact:

How to keep artists committed?

#1 Post by vorgbardo » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:58 am

My project is currently in crisis due to problems with character sprite artists. The first character artist I hired took several long hiatuses and finally quit when three main characters were still missing, citing a family emergency. The second character artist delivered first two sprites in a very professional and timely manner, had a long delay delivering the third citing hardware problems, and now appears to have quit as well as she no longer replies to my queries about the schedule of the remaining characters.

This is disastrous, because at the very least the main character sprites should be created with the same art style; hence I cannot use the already paid work of the sprite artists who quit mid-project, I have to order the whole set again from a new artist. Now, after two failed attempts, my budget is almost spent and I still lack usable full set of main character sprites.

How common is it for the artists to fade out in the middle of the project like this? How could it be prevented? The only method I can think of would be paying for the whole set only after it has been delivered (either the whole sum, or the majority of it), but I can't see any artist agreeing to do this, as it would pose too great a risk of never getting paid properly for them.
Last edited by vorgbardo on Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

User avatar
Mammon
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 699
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:09 pm
Completed: Pervert&Yandere, Stalker&Yandere
Projects: Roses Of The Thorn Prince
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#2 Post by Mammon » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:38 am

This isn't an uncommon problem from what I've heard around here, unfortunately. Plenty of people who choose to become an artist, especially an internet-paid artist, come with a personality that sees dropping projects and duties half-finished as more normal than the rest of us. Sorry for the artists of Lemmasoft who read this, but that is an unfortunately common trope around your members. Not saying you are, but your diligence is not a staple of your kind.

Note that I don't have an awful lot of experience with working with other people, nor was this with payment involved. Therefore it's advised to take this with a grain of salt.

The first thing I'd recommend is to gage the artist's personality a bit before involving yourself with them. This can be their portfolio; if it's expansive and well-organised it's a good sign. Look at the quantity of work they uploaded, the consistency of the uploads, both the style consistency and style variation of their work, and their effort on everything around their art. If they have a lot of art on their deviantArt or whereever but their page's outlay is a mess, that might reflect onto their work-ethic around the art. And see/ask them if they also finished other projects before. Look at those projects, perhaps even PM the project manager for their opinion on the artist, and see if the artist finished a project of the same size as yours before.

Don't let a single piece that looks real good impress you, I bet those three sprites you got looked good too before the artist quit. Look at what they finish. Also look at how they speak and deliver. There's a simple but vast difference between artists regardless of their experience, some have the work ethic that others simply don't. Find someone who does, avoid the ones that seem like quitters or who want to feel involved in a great and exciting project. Spoiled alert: Real game development never is.

Secondly, talk with the artist. For example about deadlines, a system to follow and what their work ethic is. Don't neglect to discuss these things because you feel it's rude, as long as you remain civilised they too may appreciate talking about it. Make sure you mention things to them like how you cannot and won't be able to use the sprites they made if they drop out halfway. Don't make it too much like a contract though, make it short and open for interpretation, asking further if they interpretate your questions with an answer that's unsatisfactory. Don't do what I'm doing, walls of text like this are disheartening and either result in them not reading it, skimming through it or feeling like the project is homework. If you feel like the personality of the artist is too risky or incompatible, don't feel obligated to continue. Thank them for their time but tell them why you're not comfortable with working with them and then continue searching.

Thirdly, make a system that you can oversee. Preferably one where you create a great many small deadlines rather than a single big one or no deadline at all. (No deadline works for some artists, but for most and especially the ones who want it it's a big red warning sign). By chopping their workload in small manageable chunks, the artist is less likely to run into one big challenge because they waited until the last moment or because they work inconsistently whenever they feel like making art. It also increases the communication between the two of you, a good thing considering this aids your social bond and thus makes them more invested in the project themselves. You can do this by f.e. chopping up a sprite in outlines => base => completed => with expressions and poses. The outlines will allow you to much easier give feedback to change the sprite according to your vision, certainly a lot harder and more time-consuming to do for a completed sprite. And it will help preventing that the artist makes all the completed sprites but never their additional expressions and such, which is the most boring and time-consuming part of the project easily forgotten about or skimmed over.

I don't know if this will help you avoid a third failure with your artists, but hopefully it will be of some help. Don't forget that your previous two artists might be unfortunate and not your fault entirely, but that this isn't the third artist's fault either. Neither in pay nor paranoia should they get the brunt of their colleagues failure. I don't know if you'll manage to get the full cast financed with your remaining budget, but the new artist shouldn't be paid less because the last two screwed you over.
ImageImageImage

Want some CC sprites?

User avatar
trooper6
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3402
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:33 pm
Projects: A Close Shave
Location: Medford, MA
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#3 Post by trooper6 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:20 am

A few more thoughts.
You don't have to pay the artist the whole thing up front. You can ask for something like wanting to approve sketches first before payment. Once you see the sketches, then pay them half. Give them the rest of the payment after they deliver.

Also, you can ask for references. Ask them for references from someone they've worked with before. Hire someone who has worked on projects previously and talked to the people they worked with to see what they are like to deal with.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

User avatar
gamerbum
Regular
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:40 pm
Projects: Reflections ~Dreams and Reality~
Organization: Reine Works
Tumblr: reineworks
Skype: reineworks@gmail.com
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#4 Post by gamerbum » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:01 am

What Mammon said about many of the artists you find, even here, being unreliable is very true. I've had quite a few artists dip out on me and even one who broke our contract almost immediately by quitting and then was shocked when I asked for a refund...

Anyway, yeah. Get everything in writing before you start. Detail your expectations on timelines, deliveries, and communication clearly. If you go the contract route (which I personally recommend but make sure to keep it simple), don't assume it'll actually prevent anyone from doing you wrong; it won't, but it will at least give you some reassurance, should things go wrong, that your fault in the incident is minimal.

As trooper6 and Mammon said, look for artists with past experience in completing projects (the more recent, the better, too; don't rely on work they did 10 years ago). I also recommend seeing if you can't budget for an hourly artist. In my experience, artists will be happy to devote more time to your project on a regular basis this way. You may end up paying a bit more overall, but I've never had trouble with any hourly artist who signed a contract with me, not even once. I suppose it's also a great way to weed out anyone who might agree to your project per-asset but then not have the commitment to work on it regularly.

User avatar
morinoir
Regular
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:55 am
Deviantart: pepapen
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#5 Post by morinoir » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:20 am

I'm an artist myself and I'm really sorry to hear about what happened to you. I can't even disagree to what Mammon wrote about artist in lemmasoft because what happened to you actually happened every now and then here. Mammon has covered the important part very well, but hopefully my suggestion can help you too.

First is about payment. I don't want to sound like a money-oriented person, but you can buy someone's commitment with money. If the pay is good, they will more likely apply or accept your job offer. That, or your project interests them so much they'll be happy to be part of it and getting paid is a bonus, even though it's rare for that to happen. But of course, respect and kindness will bring you much further than money can.

Second, make sure you're collaborating with each other. Different artists work differently, but asking their thoughts about the character they're drawing or letting the artist have some freedom in designing the character can built the sense of ownership in them, making them committed.

Third, do your research. Not only check their portfolio, you should also check their social media. Talk to them beforehand if you can and let them know about your concern and your expectation. If they have list of past clients or, like in lemmasoft where people sometime leave review in an artist's commission page, you can ask them privately about their experience with the artist.

Also, try to lean towards professionals. However, professionals often require higher pays and they're not always available. I'm not saying that you should close the opportunity with newer artists because sometime, newer artists take their job very seriously because they saw it as an entrance to even more better job in the future.

I don't think I've covered everything, but that's all I can think of for now. I sincerely hope you'll find luck with your third (and hopefully last) artist.
Image

A team of professional illustrator available for commercial project.
Discord : morinoir(#1034)
Email : morinoirblackforrest(at)gmail(dot)com

User avatar
vorgbardo
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:28 am
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#6 Post by vorgbardo » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:07 pm

Thank you for the replies, several excellent insights. It was also comforting to hear I'm not the only one who's faced this kind of problem, unfortunate as it is.

I realize the basic problem is that I can't afford to hire true professionals with extensive portfolios and great reputation. They are simply beyond my means. I still tried to pick the freelance artists I started working with very carefully, but obviously not carefully enough. Hopefully with these advices I'll be able to choose a perfect candidate next time.
Mammon wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:38 am
Thirdly, make a system that you can oversee. Preferably one where you create a great many small deadlines rather than a single big one or no deadline at all. (No deadline works for some artists, but for most and especially the ones who want it it's a big red warning sign). By chopping their workload in small manageable chunks, the artist is less likely to run into one big challenge because they waited until the last moment or because they work inconsistently whenever they feel like making art. It also increases the communication between the two of you, a good thing considering this aids your social bond and thus makes them more invested in the project themselves. You can do this by f.e. chopping up a sprite in outlines => base => completed => with expressions and poses. The outlines will allow you to much easier give feedback to change the sprite according to your vision, certainly a lot harder and more time-consuming to do for a completed sprite. And it will help preventing that the artist makes all the completed sprites but never their additional expressions and such, which is the most boring and time-consuming part of the project easily forgotten about or skimmed over.
I quoted this because this is excellent advice for a sprite review and payment method in general, I used very similar system and it seemed to work great both for me (from project management point of view) and for the artists (it was always clear what they needed to do next, it minimized revision work, and they got steady flow of payments). Unfortunately this method does not seem to ensure artist's commitment for a longer commission, possibly because there is no monetary incentive to complete the whole project.
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

User avatar
Aviala
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:40 am
Completed: Your Royal Gayness, Our War Everlasting, Love Bug
Organization: Lizard Hazard Games
Tumblr: lizardhazardgames
itch: aviala
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#7 Post by Aviala » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:19 pm

I agree with trooper - choose someone who has worked on a released game project. That way you know they have the work ethic to stick to a project. Maybe it's a little unfair to artists who are just starting out, but if you have a big project it's better to get someone who has proven they can handle more than one or two commissions. Emergencies etc can still happen but at least you know your artist will keep working unless they break their arm or something.
You can hire a less experienced artist for a single commission or a very small project.
vorgbardo wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:07 pm
I realize the basic problem is that I can't afford to hire true professionals with extensive portfolios and great reputation. They are simply beyond my means. I still tried to pick the freelance artists I started working with very carefully, but obviously not carefully enough. Hopefully with these advices I'll be able to choose a perfect candidate next time.
In the long run it's cheaper to hire someone dependable than someone who'll disappear in the middle of the project. But I do understand - custom art can be expensive for games with a small budget. Maybe you could cut the number of sprites and backgrounds needed so you can hire a more experienced artist? EDIT: The artist doesn't have to be an industry veteran who has worked on AAA titles: someone who has completed at least one project should be fine.

Speaking of artists... I feel like I should mention my own services: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=27853

User avatar
vorgbardo
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:28 am
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#8 Post by vorgbardo » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:35 pm

Aviala wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:19 pm
In the long run it's cheaper to hire someone dependable than someone who'll disappear in the middle of the project. But I do understand - custom art can be expensive for games with a small budget. Maybe you could cut the number of sprites and backgrounds needed so you can hire a more experienced artist? EDIT: The artist doesn't have to be an industry veteran who has worked on AAA titles: someone who has completed at least one project should be fine.
The number of sprites and backgrounds (as well as their variations, like poses, costumes, night/day versions etc.) is already at the bare minimum due to budget restraints.

Unfortunately (based on my limited experience) the price real professionals ask can be tenfold or more compared to what freelance artists ask. It is simply too much for my self-funded project. And good, affordable freelance artists who have already completed projects are both hard to come by and in great demand, but I'll continue my search. :)

EDIT: This is off topic, but perhaps useful information to someone: one thing I've learned during the process is that portfolios and alleged completed projects DO NOT guarantee anything as such. Mammon's and others' tips for gauging out the artist's personality, true quality and consistency were excellent in this regard also. I have had two artist candidates with great portfolios, who were unable to deliver anything even closely resembling the quality presented in the portfolios. Either for some reason they did not feel like really putting in an effort, or the portfolios were fake (not really their work). For this reason I now always start with a new artist by committing to buy one basic sprite before making a larger order.
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

User avatar
Aviala
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:40 am
Completed: Your Royal Gayness, Our War Everlasting, Love Bug
Organization: Lizard Hazard Games
Tumblr: lizardhazardgames
itch: aviala
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#9 Post by Aviala » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:16 pm

If you don't mind me asking, what do you think is affordable? I think that means different things for different people - for someone it could be 10USD and for some 100USD. Because when I think of really professional, successful artists in the industry, they could probably charge 300-500 for a sprite set - easily. Compared to "real life" prices the artwork on lemma soft is really cheap, even the more expensive artists. Paying artists fairly for their work is important - I imagine a lot of artists here don't even earn minimum wage from their art since there's pressure to keep the prices low.

I understand that doesn't make your budget any bigger but it's something to consider. I don't know your situation but if you don't have enough money to pay an artist, delaying your project until you've earned enough money from your day job or whatever is an option. If indie dev is your full time job then it's a little bit more difficult...

Sorry if I sound harsh - I guess this topic is close to my heart since I'm a freelance artist myself and it would be nice to like... pay rent and eat :''D

User avatar
vorgbardo
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:28 am
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#10 Post by vorgbardo » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:45 pm

Aviala wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:16 pm
If you don't mind me asking, what do you think is affordable?
Prices I can afford. I have a budget, which is the amount of money I have saved over years to make my game reality. That money has to cover everything. There is no way to magically make that pile larger. I ask what the artists want for their work, and if I can pay it, we have a deal. If I can't, I say sorry and thanks and sigh deeply and ask the next one on my list.

I have worked as a freelancer myself, so believe me, I know exactly how hard earned every cent can be, and I pay every cent I can afford. My budget for the whole game is around $3000, and character sprites are the most important single asset of the game. I don't pay like a game studio, but I don't pay peanuts either. I don't see how this discussion is related to honoring a commitment already agreed on by both parties.
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

User avatar
trooper6
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3402
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:33 pm
Projects: A Close Shave
Location: Medford, MA
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#11 Post by trooper6 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:42 pm

The reason why price is important to the honoring of commitments is because it sometimes happens that a game designer here wants sprites and also wants to pay $15 per sprite. They get an artist who has good skills, let’s say, but also very little experience hiring out their talents. It might be their first or second time doing commissions. So they accept the job...then only halfway through realize they are being criminally underpaid and they really misjudged the time to do the sprites...then they get demoralized and just...fade away.

I think it is much less likely to happen if a person is paying more for those sprites. Maybe not $500 a sprite set...but if you want 20 sprites and only want to pay $200 total...you may get someone who accepts only to realize later it really isn’t all that acceptable.

Please note: I’m not saying you are underpaying, because I have no idea how much you paid. I’m just saying that underpayment + new artists who don’t know the worth of their time often = a situation where flaking might happen.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

User avatar
Imperf3kt
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1843
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:05 am
Location: Your monitor
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#12 Post by Imperf3kt » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:00 am

If I had any artistic skill, I'd probably offer a hand for free, but alas, I lack any artistic quality whatsoever.

I hope things turn out well for you and agree with others here. Some of the points mentioned are really good, especially the one where you are encouraged to look into an artist's social life as well - it'll give a good, somewhat accurate impression of their brhaviour and work ethic.
Warning: May contain trace amounts of gratuitous plot.
pro·gram·mer (noun) An organism capable of converting caffeine into code.

mikolajspy
Regular
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:05 pm
Completed: Jake's Love Story
Projects: NEKOKORO
Deviantart: mikolajspy
Location: Wrocław, Poland
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#13 Post by mikolajspy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:56 am

This is problem that exists in every field when comes to hiring someone. Either they dissapear, the work doesn't match portfolio and so on. But it also can happen with "professional" freelancer too. That's why I decided to learn drawing and created sprites on my own.

To the subject - As others mentioned, payment is important. Second, the project should also be interesting, so they will also want to see it finished. Also, don't be too picky, too many revisions and pointing out errors might cause them to quit too. Sometimes we just need to accept their work and understand that it's almost impossible for someone to match our vision in 100%, as they're not us. I personally accept like 70% similarity to my original vision I imagined.
I had similar issue with BG artist, who just vanished after project, so I couldn't work with him again and had to find someone else with similar style (I want to have my games in certain style) and in the end I paid a lot more than I planned, but it also turned out a lot better than I imagined.

It's a bit too late now, but for future, and for others, I have an idea.
Try to ask artist to draw batch in stages.
For example - sketches of all characters first, so you can check if they're similar in style.
Then, lineart of all characters. This will also help - in case artist quits, you can hire someone else to just do coloring/additional expressions and not start everything from scratch.
And finally colors/shading. I would personally try to split payment for everything in 2 installments, one for sketch + lineart, and second for colors.

But the question how to keep people committed is never really answered. Try to remember how many times you quit something, be it some project with friends, or even cancelled meeting. The point is - behind every "machine for art" is a real human and there are many factors that keeps them interested or not.

User avatar
namastaii
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 961
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:35 pm
Projects: What Life; Barakana, Truth Beneath the Rose, Water Girl
Organization: Koompire, Clockwork Cafe
Github: namastaii
Skype: Discord: lunalucid#7684
Soundcloud: deadseed
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#14 Post by namastaii » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:17 am

Maybe you could draw up some kind of contract

User avatar
LateWhiteRabbit
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1813
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:47 pm
Projects: The Space Between
Contact:

Re: How to keep artists committed?

#15 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:27 am

trooper6 wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:42 pm
The reason why price is important to the honoring of commitments is because it sometimes happens that a game designer here wants sprites and also wants to pay $15 per sprite. They get an artist who has good skills, let’s say, but also very little experience hiring out their talents. It might be their first or second time doing commissions. So they accept the job...then only halfway through realize they are being criminally underpaid and they really misjudged the time to do the sprites...then they get demoralized and just...fade away.
This. It isn't right what happened to you, Vorgbardo - but this can be a warning sign the artist you are working with isn't experienced.

Unfortunately, a lot of artists that take commissions are new to doing so. They are either young, in school, or both. I see a lot of cases where they think they can make some extra spending money or are desperate for money for rent and think "Hey! I like to draw! I'll charge people for it and kill two birds with one stone!" So they make a post somewhere offering their services and do one of two things: They either make their prices too low to begin with because they underestimate the time commitment a commission will take, or they don't get any takers and think the pricing is the problem and make the price cheaper and cheaper to try and drive business.

This all leads to a situation where they can get flooded with commissions (if their artwork is decent) and they suddenly realize how overwhelming it is to produce so much art on that level. Sometimes they get enough money for the rent or to spend on what they want and quit because the motivation is gone for them. Or they realize that drawing for fun and drawing to spec for someone else are two very different things. And yes, sometimes they discover that "Oh, wow. It takes me 6-8 hours to draw a sprite and do all the revisions, and I'm only making $2 an hour!"

None of this excuses the behavior in any way. But realize that you are essentially dealing with teenage business owners who have no business experience when you are commissioning these cheap artists. Like most teenagers (sorry everyone I'm about to generalize) personal responsibility isn't a big thing on their minds at that age. Not to say there aren't also older artists doing this too, but there are a LOT of young beginners out there that give the whole paid art scene a bad name. There is always a new flood of young art students trying to make a living off of doing art and most fail.

In addition to the suggestions others have made about doing the art commission in steps - I would say that a professional artist should be doing that with you regardless. When I was doing commissions, I never proceeded to final artwork without getting client approval of sketches first. Another thing with new artists is that they are used to doing commissions for friends or people online that are happy to get ANYTHING drawn, and the artist was allowed to do everything from start to finish with no oversight. (And an artist is not necessarily a character designer - they are two different skills. Some artists are great at drawing existing characters, but don't get good results coming up with original creations. If an artist's portfolio is nothing but fan art of existing characters I would say that is a red flag.)

Also, I wouldn't work with artists that don't give their real name. A dedicated artist that is doing commissions to build a career is going to be using their own name to build a brand. They are putting their real world status behind their work. It is easy for ArtGurl99 to disappear with no lasting personal repercussions, but much harder for Firstname Lastname to do the same.

Next, any professional should be willing to discuss hard deadlines with you. Any artist that has been creating art for a while has a good idea of how long it will take them to create. Get a deadline for each milestone. You'll want to work with the artist to come up with these, because each artist is different (some really good artists are slow as snails - see the number of comic artists who are only allowed to do covers because they can't turn around pages fast enough). As an artist, I would ask a client - "How much artwork do you need, and when do you NEED the artwork finished?" Then I could give them a timetable based on my working speed to try and find something that worked for us both - or to let them know that the two things (when they needed it, how much they needed) weren't possible. Then you should expect a DATE. Not "2-3 weeks" etc. A professional artist should really be giving you specifics, like "I'll have the character rough sketches ready for your approval by August 14th."

I can tell you that I always pad out the time I know it will take me in case difficulties come up. Internally, as the artist, I'm doing math with my time: I know it will take me X amount of days for X amount of character sketches, and I'm going to add X amount of time to that estimate in case something goes wrong or the designs prove tricky. Both of the day jobs I've had for last few years involve taking projects from customers and giving them a turnaround time that can be many days or more. I ALWAYS "under promise and over deliver". If you tell someone it will be 3 days and you deliver in 2, they are thrilled. If you tell someone it will take 2 days and it gets delayed to 3 days, they are annoyed or angry.

But no professional should be telling you "I'll add you to my commission list and I'll finish your sprites as soon as I finish the commissions in front of you." If they are giving everyone a date, they can give you one too, even if it might be further out. Remember that discussion I said you and the artist should be having about deadlines? They should be able to tell you, "I'm currently working on some other commissions that I'm expecting to have wrapped up by August 20th, so I should be able to get you the rough character sketches by September 10th. Will that work for you?" Again, as the artist, I am adding in padded time in case the other client wants revisions, but I shouldn't be bothering YOU with that concern as a new client. If the current commission goes well and there are no revisions, you get your sketches early and everyone is happy. If not, you get your sketches on the agreed upon date and everyone is happy.

But this is all just things you learn over time doing commissions and working professionally. I've brought this up before on here, but when I was working for Paramount at one of their subsidiary studios, we got hard deadlines for everything, and you were only allowed to be late THREE TIMES in your whole career. If you missed a deadline by even a day more than twice, it was automatic termination. If you were late, it would effect everyone down the line, and trailers needed to be put in front of movie releases, and marketing material for release dates had already been printed, etc.

Artists can be notoriously difficult to work with on a business level - Leonardo Da Vinci pretty notoriously took YEARS longer on art commissions than his patrons wanted. He had the same problem a lot of these young commissioners have - they want their art to be PERFECT. And the perfect can be the enemy of the good. But artists that take commissions should strive to be craftsmen instead.

Keep in mind, the artist community has it's own problems with commissioners that never pay or disappear after art if sent, so unfortunately this problem cuts both ways.

TLDR;
Get hard deadlines with specific dates.
Only work with artists that give you their real name.
Be aware that cheap artists are either: New, Not Good, or Very Slow or some combination of the three.

Again, so sorry you had a couple of horrible experiences with artwork commission. It's not excusable. Helpfully these tips will help prevent it from happening again in the future.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users