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Critiquing a commissioned piece; also, holding fees?

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CrazyLee

Biggest buttplug ever
So I commissioned a cheap traditional art piece from someone who's starting out on anime and furry art, and she's pretty new at the whole thing. She sent me a WIP to evaluate. http://i.imgur.com/KG3SG1a.jpg
Yea, it's not that great, but everyone has to start somewhere.

What I'm wondering is about the possible ethics of using this moment to critique the anatomical flaws in this piece. Is it the right thing to do? I mean, I figure this is an art piece I commissioned, and the whole purpose in her sending the WIP is for me to approve it or suggest any changes. Plus I figure any suggestions may make her a better artist. But, it may not be my place as a customer to tell her how to draw. Plus, she seemed to have a bit of an attitude that she's already an "awesome" artist and might not take to me suddenly sending back a copy of her WIP with lines all over it telling her how to fix it.

If you guys think it's okay to give her critique I wouldn't mind some from you guys as well, if there's anything I'd miss since I'm not a skilled artist. Just from looking at that, though, I can already see that the abdomen is too narrow, the neck too long, the shoulders shouldn't be flat but sloped, that angle at the shoulder tip on the right arm is too sharp, the ball at the top of the left shoulder shouldn't be so.. bally, the arms need to be a bit more curvy to fit the muscle shape underneath.. ect. Ironically the girl had a stack of about 10 different anatomy books and 2 furry anatomy books as well, she should really practice the lessons in there more.


One one hand suggesting changes to improve the image would give me a better image AND help her become a better artist, on the other hand I don't want to go at her saying something like "YOUR ART SUCKS THIS IS HOW TO FIX IT."


Holding fee
Another thing she mentioned was a holding fee... If I do not pick up the art after our agreed upon time to pick it up, she charges a $3 a day holding fee. She says that other artists do this but I have never heard of a single artist that does that. And I've been in the furry world for a while. Anyone else hear about this?
 
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Tigercougar

Active Member
The very fact that you are her customer means you can in fact dictate to her how you want your piece drawn. (And if she disagrees with that she has the right to withdraw her services and refund you). Looking at the picture...yeah, I think some anatomical suggestions are in order. I think a polite note is in order, or if you know how to redline, that would also be of service to her.

I haven't seen the holding piece practice but I'm sure some furry artists' do that. If they are prolific with traditional work I can actually see the logic - work long enough and you get to the point where you're wondering where the heck to store all your pieces, lol.
 
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Zenia

Member
Holding fee
Another thing she mentioned was a holding fee... If I do not pick up the art after our agreed upon time to pick it up, she charges a $3 a day holding fee. She says that other artists do this but I have never heard of a single artist that does that. And I've been in the furry world for a while. Anyone else hear about this?
What? That is stupid. There should be no reason you need to "pick up" your art.. unless you are going to her house to get it or something, and even then $3/day is extravagant. Especially when the picture itself couldn't have cost that. She should email it to you. No one charges this that I have ever seen. Ever. Don't pay it if she asks for it, just ask her to email you the picture or send you a imageshack/imgur link so that way it would be taking up any of her personal webspace.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
A holding fee makes sense if you are taking your sweet time to have the physical piece delivered especially since you need to preserve the art so it arrives in optimal condition upon delivery. Digital, not so much. I mean unless you're delaying payment or something it might be some kind of interest? But still doesn't make sense - least from a digital perspective.

I guess the better question is while you can make suggestions, if the person's gallery already had this level of quality of art and anatomical flaws? Because you got what you paid for. The artist may not have the capacity to fix it no matter what your suggestions. Though the image looks like testicles are hanging way off to the side and over each leg or something.
 

FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
The holding fee is bogus. Have her ship the damn thing to you for 5 bucks max.

Honestly if she was terrible before, has a 'tude that she's amazing, you're doing nothing but backing that thought. She probably thinks she doesn't need any help improving, and until she crashes and burns a few times, will she realize that maybe she needs to take some time and improve. I hate to say "Don't give crappy artists commissions" , but backing that mentality and those practices was a bad move.

What's wrong with the image? p....pretty much everything. Eye's enormous, face is misaligned, does that stupid "My hand disappears into the black hole that is my hair" Necks too long, forearm is...wider by the wrist for some reason. The other hand looks backwards , what i assume is supposed to be a scythe is hilariously undersized, * deep breath* Pectoral muscles are too low, torso too long, she has stolen your character's ass, and legs don't look that way. She needs to go back into fundamentals and try not to hop straight to stylizing to cover her anatomical errors.

Should you tell her this? I don't think it's gonna do much. Crash n' burn needs to happen first. If you tell her this, she'll probably drop the commission and never finish. It might just be best to take this one on the chin, then lead her to this thread after your commission is done. 20 bucks half those books are chris hart. The style's somewhat similar to his furry art books.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
The holding fee is bogus. Have her ship the damn thing to you for 5 bucks max.

Honestly if she was terrible before, has a 'tude that she's amazing, you're doing nothing but backing that thought. She probably thinks she doesn't need any help improving, and until she crashes and burns a few times, will she realize that maybe she needs to take some time and improve. I hate to say "Don't give crappy artists commissions" , but backing that mentality and those practices was a bad move.

What's wrong with the image? p....pretty much everything. Eye's enormous, face is misaligned, does that stupid "My hand disappears into the black hole that is my hair" Necks too long, forearm is...wider by the wrist for some reason. The other hand looks backwards , what i assume is supposed to be a scythe is hilariously undersized, * deep breath* Pectoral muscles are too low, torso too long, she has stolen your character's ass, and legs don't look that way. She needs to go back into fundamentals and try not to hop straight to stylizing to cover her anatomical errors.

Should you tell her this? I don't think it's gonna do much. Crash n' burn needs to happen first. If you tell her this, she'll probably drop the commission and never finish. It might just be best to take this one on the chin, then lead her to this thread after your commission is done. 20 bucks half those books are chris hart. The style's somewhat similar to his furry art books.

Yeah well the holding fee is to keep a commissioner from sitting on a traditional commission and not pay shipping or decide "oh I don't want this shipped to me". It's not so much bogus but to get people to get the damn thing if they want the original. I wouldn't want to waste time working on an oil painting and some fucker backs out at the last minute, or say "oh I will have to wait next month to get monies to have this shipped'. So it scares people into picking up their feet and buying it because it's much cheaper to ship it than let it sit. At the same time however, I'd negotiate a discount fee on shipping if she can't ship that shit in time. You pay for shipping, she needs to deliver it on time or you get to talk to paypal for no service.

I should note however, that's ONLY if you didn't negotiate shipping as part of the price beforehand and that you already agreed to buy the original once the piece was finished.

I can't gauge one way or the other if the person the OP commissioned has an attitude in the first place. I mean OP said he decided to commission someone NEW. That itself is a problem if they're new to art and new to commissioning. Granted being new to commissioning is another thing since you have to get commissioned to get experienced in commissions. I mean the OP copped an attitude with another artist he commissioned prior but I believe he's learning from that experience.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
A holding fee for something as trivial as an A4 sheet of paper is fucking ridiculous.

And all the anatomical mistakes in the picture have pretty much been pointed out by FF. It would be hilarious if said artist comes on to FAF and finds your thread...
 
A

Ansitru

Guest
OP: you get what you pay for, to put it bluntly.
And personally I wouldn't like to do business with someone who takes it to a group of people behind my back, instead of telling me what the issues are so I can work on fixing them.
 

UnburntDaenerys

R'hllor Coaster
My oil painting teacher charges "holding fees" but he is a professional artist who works on huge canvases and doesn't have space to let them just stack up*. An A4 paper is not the same, as Toraneko said.



*you'd be surprised how many people are just too lazy to pick up a multi-thousand dollar commission
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
My oil painting teacher charges "holding fees" but he is a professional artist who works on huge canvases and doesn't have space to let them just stack up*. An A4 paper is not the same, as Toraneko said.



*you'd be surprised how many people are just too lazy to pick up a multi-thousand dollar commission

I know, but people were saying holding fees were a scam. I was saying why they were not and why they exist.

But the question is, is the sketch going to stay on paper or is she transferring the image to a canvas? Because the details of what was commissioned isn't clear, just someone who started out and is a traditional artist.

I still unsee those "udder/testicles" I know they were supposed to be "ball joints" for the leg, but someone forgot to make the appropriate size for the pelvis and it's causing that unfortunate genital issue.
 
D

drpickelle

Guest
You get what you pay for... and if you looked over their gallery before hiring them, and that's what the quality of art looked like, then it's not your place to critique it. She's not magically going to get better because you told her to fix some things. Chances are, if you ask her to fix the problems, she wouldn't know where to start or even how to fix it. That takes years of practice and study. That-- and that's a traditional sketch-- which means she'll have to erase most of it and start over-- all that will do is frustrate her, and you in the long run, when she comes back with the sketch, and it's still anatomically flawed.

The only things you could ask to have fixed, would be character flaws in your sona, if she missed a marking or something... and if you asked for a scythe, I think you got a sickle.

As for the holding fee. Are you picking it up at a con or something? Either way, that's ridiculous. That's nothing she couldn't stick in her sketchbook till you came around. A single piece of paper doesn't take up a lot of space.
 

Zenia

Member
I know, but people were saying holding fees were a scam. I was saying why they were not and why they exist.
I know of some cases (like you and UnburntDaenerys mentioned) where it is not bogus... I just figured that a pencil drawing on a piece of printer paper should not incur that kind of fee. In that case, a holding fee is pretty scammy.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I know of some cases (like you and UnburntDaenerys mentioned) where it is not bogus... I just figured that a pencil drawing on a piece of printer paper should not incur that kind of fee. In that case, a holding fee is pretty scammy.

I get that, but there isn't detail on specifically what kind of piece this was going to end up as? I mean I do prelim sketches on copy paper, but I have finished drawings by enlarging them and putting them on Bristol or canvas. Keep in mind I didn't have a lucigraph around to make an easier transfer like I did in art school and usually had to do that "grid" method and fix up proportions or things I did wrong afterwards.
 

CrazyLee

Biggest buttplug ever
I guess the better question is while you can make suggestions, if the person's gallery already had this level of quality of art and anatomical flaws? Because you got what you paid for.
Testicles. I just snorted out loud.
True. I knew what I was getting into when I paid the several dollars for this. But I did it figuring she could use the practice. But I also believe that if you're starting out in art you should probably give free pieces to family and friends BEFORE you start charging people, for the practice.

Honestly if she was terrible before, has a 'tude that she's amazing, you're doing nothing but backing that thought. She probably thinks she doesn't need any help improving, and until she crashes and burns a few times, will she realize that maybe she needs to take some time and improve. I hate to say "Don't give crappy artists commissions" , but backing that mentality and those practices was a bad move.

Should you tell her this? I don't think it's gonna do much. Crash n' burn needs to happen first. If you tell her this, she'll probably drop the commission and never finish. It might just be best to take this one on the chin, then lead her to this thread after your commission is done. 20 bucks half those books are chris hart. The style's somewhat similar to his furry art books.

I know many of her books were of the "How to draw Manga"-type books. One of the furry books I think was this one.
Also, what do you mean by "Crash and burn"? I'm curious to how this happens with an artist.

And all the anatomical mistakes in the picture have pretty much been pointed out by FF. It would be hilarious if said artist comes on to FAF and finds your thread...
Doubtful, she's not active in the furry fandom. Just wants to draw furries. She's more active in the anime/manga community. Also, didn't use her name OR link to her DA account for a reason. Don't want to name drop.

Why did you choose to commission her in the first place? And that scythe is ridiculous.
Trying to be nice I guess. Saw her posting in a local anime club saying she wanted to try drawing furries, figured I'd give her mine to practice on. Honestly I wasn't expecting much.

But the question is, is the sketch going to stay on paper or is she transferring the image to a canvas?
Staying on paper. Going to be inked and markered.


Hmm. Well after reading Firefeather's and Pickelle's posts I am more conflicted.

Did I know what I was getting into when I commissioned her? Yep. But it did sound like she was doing this to learn how to draw furries, and I figured I'd throw her a bone and let her do my character for practice. I wasn't expecting much and wasn't surprised when I saw the WIP sketch. I was thinking about sending her a red-line thing to help her out, but wasn't sure if it was my place, or if it would actually help her at all. But after hearing other's opinions I'm not sure I'd do that, except to have her fix a few things, like that bloody scythe thing (I thought I asked for a sword).

I think part of her problem is she's surrounded by friends who "yes men" and "white knight" her, the type of friends who will tell her "Oh, your art is amazing" because they're trying to be nice. Or they're stupid. I was asking a friend about her before I commissioned her, and he was going on "her art is actually really good" and I was like "uh wat? U serious?"

The other thing is her attitude. Yea, she did say she needed practice drawing furries. But she also seemed to act like she knew it all. When I asked about the holding fee (and the fee only applies if I don't pick it up when I say I'm going to), she said she asked graphic artists about it (people that sounded like they did pieces for hundreds of dollars) and that's where she got the idea.
When I mentioned my fursona's part "demon" she started going on about how she knew all about demons because she studied them and was all in the gothic culture and stuff. Which is probably why I have a crappy scythe rather than the sword I thought I asked for. A few times she even contradicted me or argued with me a bit. For instance, I mentioned I was thinking of giving my character a flaming halo. This was the conversation:
"Oh, that sounds kinda dumb. Why don't you give him a crown?"
"A crown?"
"Yea, demons wear crowns. Like a sliver wirey crown with a jewel."
"That sounds like a tiara. Like a princess would wear."
"No, a crown. All demons like crowns, I know, I study demons."
"Yea, nevermind."
"Well, you're the customer, I'll draw whatever you want."
So yea, there was a bit of a "I know everything" attitude that annoyed me.

Did I know what i was getting into? Sure. But I figured I'd commission her anyway, and if I was pleasantly surprised, then so be it. If not...at least I'm being a stepping stone for her to become better, and I can give her some suggestions as well. But maybe Fire is right, maybe she just needs a crash to become stronger.

On an ending note, I once was someone's first commission. She wasn't that great back then but I saw potential. 2 years later, and she does awesome work, and even had a dealer's booth at FCN. So I don't mind helping noob artists.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I think a person should probably not have to give free pieces but practice overall. Art takes a lot of time to do. Why do it for someone else if you don't even know what the fuck you're doing? I don't know how to put it a nicer way. I mean people waste time doing art for others when they should do it for themselves so that when they do get paid it's for better wages and being able to put up with doing work for other people.

It's like kids rushing to be grown ups and not enjoying things like summer break. :p
 

mapdark

Fluffy as a shaggy carpet
You want my honest opinion OP , DO NOT SEND HER ANY MORE MONEY .

Demand a refund and go to a much more competent and a LITTLE more humble artist.
Her attitude is disastrous for an artist looking to do commissions , since part of the whole thing IS to get critique and
to do EXACTLY what the commissioner asks you to do.

The holding fee is a ridiculous concept , ESPECIALLY if it's going to be sent to you DIGITALLY.

May I ask you how she charged you?

And in fact , you know what , I think you're getting screwed over so bad here I'm willing to give you that SAME EXACT commission for FREE.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
You want my honest opinion OP , DO NOT SEND HER ANY MORE MONEY .

Demand a refund and go to a much more competent and a LITTLE more humble artist.
Her attitude is disastrous for an artist looking to do commissions , since part of the whole thing IS to get critique and
to do EXACTLY what the commissioner asks you to do.

The holding fee is a ridiculous concept , ESPECIALLY if it's going to be sent to you DIGITALLY.

May I ask you how she charged you?

And in fact , you know what , I think you're getting screwed over so bad here I'm willing to give you that SAME EXACT commission for FREE.

How is the OP getting screwed? He knew she was new and willingly took advantage of that fact. He knew she was cheap too.

And please, don't do that kinda shit that just utterly devalues the work people do. He didn't have to buy from her at all, he chose to and knew she was new. That's like wanting an intern to do paid work in a movie. The attitude is only a side problem the rest was a choice and then wanted to bring this up public like the last time. - Least he didn't call the artist a bitch this time in public.
 

mapdark

Fluffy as a shaggy carpet
How is the OP getting screwed? He knew she was new and willingly took advantage of that fact. He knew she was cheap too.

True , the OP is clearly naive .
But I think it's also obvious it's VERY POSSIBLY one of their first commissions and they didn't how this was all supposed to be like. In that optic , I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and offering advice.

I mean , I can't just encourage OP to go on with an artist who clearly has a superiority complex. Even if it's their fault they decided to go with her.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
True , the OP is clearly naive .
But I think it's also obvious it's VERY POSSIBLY one of their first commissions and they didn't how this was all supposed to be like. In that optic , I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and offering advice.

I mean , I can't just encourage OP to go on with an artist who clearly has a superiority complex. Even if it's their fault they decided to go with her.

He is not naive. He also has a superiority complex. I think he got what he deserved. If he was naive he wouldn't have done this. Read his posts like how he feels like he's doing her a favor by hiring her, and like somehow being the first makes a difference in commissioning. He wants cheap art. He knows better. He keeps going for the cheapest deal then exploiting the artist in some form or another like public shaming. It's not like he couldn't have walked away. "Give me a critique so I can point them to this thread"
 

mapdark

Fluffy as a shaggy carpet
He is not naive. He also has a superiority complex. I think he got what he deserved. If he was naive he wouldn't have done this. Read his posts like how he feels like he's doing her a favor by hiring her, and like somehow being the first makes a difference in commissioning. He wants cheap art. He knows better. He keeps going for the cheapest deal then exploiting the artist in some form or another like public shaming. It's not like he couldn't have walked away. "Give me a critique so I can point them to this thread"

WHOA! This is information that I DID NOT have .

God. ok , forget what I said , OP is an idiot.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I'm gonna close this thread, I don't think we need a repeat of before but I don't think we should be discussing a commission the OP admits paying "Several dollars for" and treating as a $50 dollar commission or higher :p
 
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