|10-12-2010, 05:51 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North Hollywood
Need Advice: Commissioned Artist Won’t Deliver
Hey Digital Webbing,
The story is as follows:
March ’10 - I commission an artist from digital webbing to draw my 23 page one shot comic, pencils and inks.
We agree on a price and payment plan: 20% up front, the rest when project is finished. I pay for shipping.
I also hire this artist bearing in mind he tells me he can complete in one to one and a half months.
April’10 – we exchange e-mails, designs are agreed on, he is paid his 20%, and the pages are under way.
May’10 – On May 2nd he tells me there are all finished, and ready to be shipped. At this point he has sent he has shown me pictures of the first 16 pages. We agree on having the pages digital scanned/emailed and then the art by mail. We figure out shipping costs and everything is set. All he needs is the final payment and he’ll release the artwork. I pay him the final fee on May 11th on PayPal.
May 24th he lies about shipping the pages.
June 8th – He says he’ll check with US Mail, I ask for a tracking number to no avail. (He is still lying about finishing the project and sending the art work)
June 22nd – I receive pdf’s for nineteen of the pages, and he claims a mix up with the mail and he’ll resend the pages.
June, July, August – He ignores my polite e-mails inquiring about the last four pages of the project.
Aug 16th – after drafting a logical another logical plea I receive my last correspondence “Hey, they're on their way, and I all got to do is scan the last four pages. Can't wait to see it lettered and everything!!!”
So I’m pretty frustrated,
I’ve paid him and only received 19 pdf’s of the artwork, it looks great but I’m missing four pages which I am unsure are even penciled at all.
I believe he has no intentions of sending me the original art work.
He has breached our agreement, and essentially received his payment without fulfilling his services.
And worst of all I am left without my finished comic book.
What should I do?
|10-12-2010, 10:31 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Paoli, PA
I don't have very little experience with that, in fact, I recently hired an artist to work on my first project. But here are the things I'd do (or that right now I think I'd do):
1. Try to talk him into delivering these last 4 pages (which seems to be what you've been doing so far)
2. If/When I figure out he will never ever deliver those pages, I would ask him to give my money back and I'd return him his pages. I doubt he will accept this too.
3. If nothing else works, and depending on how much money I'd spent and how pissed I was I would be very tempted to let everyone I know in the industry about this guy. It might be unethical, but if this artist cared about his reputation he would act professionally, so you're probably doing him any harm, but warning others about this "trap".
Again, I don't have much experience and might be wrong in some aspects, but I think this is what I'd do (at least items 1 & 2 above, not sure about #3).
Let's hear what others have to say.
|10-12-2010, 10:36 AM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2003
Unfortunately, there really isn't much that you can do here.
Well, let's take a look at it.
First, you don't really need the original pages of art in order to make a comic. It sounds like you agreed to get the original pages, but they're not needed. What IS needed, though, are really good scans of the originals. If you have those, then you can continue the journey of making comics.
If you don't have the originals and you don't have good scans, then you're going to be out of luck. Your only true recourse would be to sue, and even then, there are a few caveats.
It's much easier when the two of you are from the same country. If you're both American AND you kept the emails from first contact all the way through now (on both sides), along with proof of monies paid, then you can go through the expense of suing. Just remember that you can't get blood from a turnip.
If either one of you aren't American, then I suggest you start looking into international business laws.
All of that, of course, is contingent upon wanting to and being able to sue.
Your best bet would be to see about the scanned pages. See if they're good enough to use, and continue to march.
Hm. There's also a dispute button at the Paypal site. Try using that. Otherwise, consider the money lost and lesson learned.
Not much help, but you have some leads, methinks.
|10-16-2010, 01:50 AM||#4|
The Killah Chinchillah
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Insert pithy witticism here
Ask for the money back and cut your losses. If he refuses to give you the cash back, sue his ass.
NOTE: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have some way of identifying your collaborators other than an email address or screen name. Preferably an address or at minimum a phone number. This comes in handy when they con you out of your hard-earned cash.
|10-18-2010, 12:27 PM||#5|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Keep a very fact-based paper trail.
Avoid statements like "he lied". Let the facts tell that part for you.
For you right now, it seems like you are nopt that bad off. You have most of your pages, and it seem slike this guy is not a straight-out scammer. I bet that if you continue to apply gentle pressure (artists are a gentle sort) you might actually get what you are after.
Come to him with "I am very frustrated that these pages are still not here. When do you think I will have the completed pages?" I bet you could even put it to him like "You clearly did not meet the predetermined deadline. As a professional artist, what do you feel is a fair adjustment of your original pay to reflect this ?"
In a broader sense, isn't there some kind "CarFax" or user feedback section for artists? Does that really not exist?
It seems like DigitalWebbing would be the perfect place for such a thing. You know, a forum that just lists an artists name and people who have worked with him or her then rate his or her professioanlism.
That is the kind of thing that artists might struggle to maintain a high rating on.