by Patch O'Furr
Missing, flaky commissions suck. it’s a chronic problem that’s only modestly addressed by small watchdogs like the Artist Beware community.
Things should be smoother. But there’s a reason why commissioning is unpredictable. Things are dragged down by underbidding among artists. Nobody becomes an artist to get rich, and many don’t charge enough for the service they’re doing.
Why ask a customer to fix problems of a business? I get it… if someone promises something, they should deliver without expecting more than they earn. But give me a minute… if this is a passion-driven fandom and not a cut-throat market, maybe there’s a little room for common problem-solving and partnership.
Assume good faith. Give credit to artists for being full of love for what they do. But it’s awfully hard to get good and be competitive. That’s how so many of them plan to get things done on a thin margin and tight schedules. It’s easy for plans to go off the rails, people get sick, there’s unexpected mistakes or accidents, and burnout is common. Then commissioners are left waiting for extra weeks, months… or nearly forever.