What’s the line between asking gently and being passive-aggressive when you ask?
I’ve almost reached the point of messaging the person about my commission. Almost. But I can’t figure out how to word it. Or if I’ll actually do it.
It’s like… I want to spent the whole message apologizing. But I feel like that’s a bad choice. I guess? Maybe?
My first draft of the message so far: Hey! Uh. You… probably don’t remember me and that’s fine and all. But I kinda commissioned you at Cap and it was really a stupid, general commission and I know you’re busy and I’m so sorry to bother you! But I was wondering if you’d thought about it. I mean, it’s not a big deal…
Yeah, even I know that’s a bullshit message. I just… AUGH. I am not equipped to commission people. Srsly.
Hello, OP (and anyone else in this situation), I hope that I can be of assistance. Don’t be afraid of contacting an artist (especially if you commissioned them irl at a convention.) Most likely the artist has a list of commissioners BUT there are times when one forgets. Even if the artist does have you in a queue it’s helpful for both parties to have an exchange of emails to know what is going on. So here is my suggested initial email to your artist.
Subject: [Con] Commission - [Your name or subject]
Hello, [Artist]. I met you at [con] and commissioned you for [description of piece] under [the name or email address you left them] for [price you agreed on or paid]. I forgot to inquire how long it will be for my commission to get back to me. It has been [however long it’s been] since [con] but I’ve yet to receive any word from you. If you could confirm what kind of deadline I’ll be looking towards or if I could receive some progress shots of the commission I’d be very appreciative.
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
I would wait a few days to receive a response from the artist in question but if they have no contacted you within the week send another. If they don’t respond to you in two weeks do some research. See where they are active and if they are still doing things online. If you have already paid for the commission don’t be afraid to track them down. If you HAVEN’T paid for the commission but still would like to continue with this artist I suggest the following.
Hello, you haven’t gotten back to me but I’ve seen you actively posting [in such and such website/forum]. If you’ve forgotten to message me and are embarrassed then that’s fine, we’ve all been there, but if you don’t want to take on this commission then please inform me. I still very much like your style and would have loved to see this vision come to life in your hands but if you’re uncomfortable or unmotivated by it then I’d like to not keep my hopes up for a response.
Please inform me either way, and I hope to have better communication with you in the future.
If that doesn’t get you a response I’d mark this artist as a lost cause and just add them to the “do not try to hire again” list.
If you are hiring an artist it’s alright to ask for updates or soft deadlines if you know they’re busy. And if you want hard deadlines then ask how long it will realistically take for them to finish a commission and work around that. If they say about 18 hours, don’t ask for it the next day unless you want bad work or an angry artist. It’s probably 18 hours cumulative and will take them the better part of 2 weeks along with the rest of their life if not longer.
If you are an artist and taking a lot of commissions at a convention make sure to have your list of commissioners/commissions properly organised. If they’ve provided email (and really, I would make this mandatory) then send out a mass email a week after the con with the expected return rate for commissions and perhaps a list of the queue so everyone knows where they are at and have a chance to back out if you have a return policy.
Communication is the key to any good relationship between an artist and commissioner.