How to get the Most out of the Convention Commissioning Process

If you’ve ever gone to a convention where artists are available for commissioning, such as the upcoming Texas Furry Fiesta, you might be wondering how you can:

  1. Have the best chance of getting to all the artists you want to before their spaces run out.
  2. How to make sure your artist knows precisely what you want and has the right tools to keep in contact with you
  3. Help your artist get your commission done faster, and make their life easy
Man using stylus pen for touching the digital tablet screen
Courtesy Pexels

I’m going to share some tips on how you can do all of these things, and some tools to help you get organized.

Identify Your Artists Ahead of Time

Furry and similar cons have two main places where artists gather to sell their wares: The Dealer’s Den and the Artist’s Alley. The Dealer’s Den requires reserving and paying for a table and the placement of each artist is published online or in your convention handbook, so you can know who’s available.

Screenshot from Texas Furry Fiesta’s Dealer’s Den page.

The Artist’s alley is more variable– it can vary from day to day who is there to draw, and artists may move during the con or they may not win the table lottery on each day. You may not be able to know which people from the Alley are available ahead of time unless they declare their intent on social media.

If you know where artists are stationed in the Dealer’s Den, you can map out a plan of who to visit first, and where to go next, so that you’re sure to hit all of the artists you’re looking to commission.

Print out Descriptions and Reference Images

If you’ve not read our article on how to describe what you want to an artist, you should really check it out. Having a written out description and references of what you’d like to see drawn ahead of time allows you to make the interaction with your artist pleasant, quick, and fun.

Click here to download a generic order form template you can use to specify to an artist what you’d like!

Take the filled out order form and any reference images you have, and paperclip or staple them together. When you go to meet your artist, all you’ll have to do is hand them the packet and they’ll already have everything they need to get started! You’ll put a smile on their face and reduce the chance that there will be any confusion about your order.

Have Cash Ready

While ordering from Artconomy.com makes it very easy to pay with the safety and convenience of your credit card, not all artists at a convention have a card reader available and many will only accept cash. This means that in order to be sure you will be able to pay artists, you will need to have plenty of green set aside.

Rolled 20 U.s Dollar Bill
Courtesy Pexels

Do not wait until the convention begins to visit an ATM. ATMs at convention sites deplete quickly, as many people forget to bring adequate cash. It’s difficult to know what artists will charge ahead of time, as conventions may prompt special pricing and offers that exist only for the duration of the event, so bring more rather than less. If possible, try getting some smaller bills as well, like $5s and $10s, as most ATMs only give $20s and higher numbers, but many commissions don’t evenly divide into $20 increments. This can mean that you might spend extra time trying to make change.

Consider Springing for a Sponsorship Pass

A standard event pass to a convention will give you access to the artists available in the Dealer’s Den and Artist’s Alley, but if you want to be sure you’ll get a spot, you’ll need to pay for a Sponsorship or Super Sponsorship level pass. The exact names of these passes vary from convention to convention, but one of the key features they have is the ability to enter the Dealer’s Den a few minutes earlier than anyone else.

For popular artists, those few minutes can be the difference between getting a spot and having to find another artist to draw what you want.

Manage Your Expectations

If you’re familiar with an artist’s work, you may expect that the piece you receive will look like their gallery postings. They may, but more likely you will only be able to get a piece done at a convention which is a basic sketch, inks, or rough colors. Full blown digital art is rarely performed at cons. This is because commissioners expect to get their pieces turned around within a day or two while they are at the event. Many artists are amenable to ‘take-home’ commissions where they will complete an order and send it to you after the event online or through the mail, but this depends on the artists and their workload.

Person Sketching
Courtesy Pexel

The probability of getting a spot for an artist to draw your commission is directly tied to how well you prepare. Following this guide will give you the best chance at getting everything you want, but if you don’t end up quite as prepared as you’d hope, remember that there are many other artists at a convention that would be willing to draw what you want.

Cover Your Bases

Some congoers may find themselves unable to stay the entire duration, either because of an emergency or other reasons. Some people also like to bring their own sketchbook for an artist to draw in.

If for any reason you have to leave a con before an artist is finished with your sketchbook or piece, make arrangements for someone to be your point of contact to retrieve these items. Artists should not be expected to ship sketchbooks to you at their own expense.

Flat Lay Photography of Calendar
Courtesy Pexels

Make sure you have time on the last day (usually Sunday) to pick up any last remaining pieces from the artists you’ve commissioned. With everything else you have to do in order to pack up and head home, you wouldn’t want to leave your commissions behind in the process. Try to do some prepacking the night before and when planning your trip to the convention, strive to add in time margins for last-minute pickups.

Make Sure to Have Fun

Conventions are a great way to meet and spend time with other people who love what you love, and being open and ready to enjoy that special time with others who are passionate about your interests is something to be cherished.

It’s All About Trust

One of the most challenging parts of making one’s living as an artist is ensuring that payment will come through. In a world where chargebacks and other issues with customers are common, it can be difficult to know who to trust.

Image courtesy pexels via rawpixel

Artconomy works to provide a trusted service by delivering a stable, consistent service experience when working with financial transfers.

How Artconomy’s Escrow System is Designed

Artconomy is unique among sites for Artconomy Shield, our escrow system which ensures that there is a layer of separation between buyers and sellers to prevent issues such as commissioners performing chargebacks and artists not completing work.

Escrow systems must be designed to ensure that both parties are safe, but how does Artconomy do this?

Picking the Correct Processors

When customers purchase a piece of art from a Shield protected artist, it uses our credit card processor. Artconomy works with a card processor that specializes in expressive freedom. Most card processors, such as PayPal and Stripe, have restrictions on adult work. We have specifically selected a processor which permits it.

Likewise, we also have selected an ACH processor so that money is transferred right into your bank account. Like us and our card processor, they are proponents of freedom of expression.

Card transactions are reversible, so Artconomy is able to refund payments in the event that an artist does not complete the agreed-upon work. Artconomy uses industry standard AVS and CVV2 systems to combat credit fraud, and meets PCI compliance standards for encryption, cardholder data management, and server security. We also meet security requirements to authorize automatic transfers to your bank.

We do not store credit card numbers, but instead “tokenize” them so that in the extremely unlikely event that our database had been hacked, your card numbers would remain safe.

Image courtesy pexels via pixabay

Account Management

A common pitfall for escrow services (and one that has often caused them to fold) is the temptation to operate with reserves insufficient to make all customers whole in the event of a disaster.

Artconomy:

  • Never places escrow held funds in investment accounts
  • Never holds more in escrow than we have reserves to cover in the event of loss
  • Does not hold a ‘fractional’ amount of escrow reserves under the assumption that a large number of people will not want their money at the same time
  • Has more money in the escrow account than the total amount held in trust, and money in non-escrow accounts elsewhere to pull from in the event of an emergency
  • Has no debt, and is self-funded by its CEO
Image courtesy pexels via pixabay

Artconomy contracts the assistance of an outside accountant to advise and inform us of any issues. We also have breakers in place for transactions to ensure that we do not have a sudden change in account holdings, allowing us to retain the ability to reverse illicit transactions.

To ensure the integrity of the system, Artconomy fights chargebacks so that fraudsters do not get away with skipping payment.

Using Best Practices

Our technology is built with industry best practices. Artconomy’s software architect has years of experience building services that handle and protect sensitive data, and he has selected libraries, tools, and coding practices that minimize attack surface areas.

Our servers are automatically patched with the latest security updates and use the long term maintenance versions of their operating systems for maximum stability.

We also have security at the network level with a state-of-the-art firewall designed to repel real world attacks such as SQL injections and common DDoS techniques.

Artconomy does not store passwords directly, but uses multi-iterative and salted hash technology. We also offer two factor authentication to our customers and all of our staff is required to use it.

Image courtesy pexels via snapwiresnaps on Tumblr.

We Do Hard Work to Protect Your Hard Work

Artconomy promises to keep your data safe and to make you whole in the case of any error in our system or processes. We will continue to work on more ways to improve our systems and keep abreast of best practices so that you can rest safe and focus on art!

New Filetype Support!

Hey folks, just a quick update this time – but an important one! Ever the crafty coding canid, our Fox has been hard at work expanding the filetype support for Artconomy!

Here’s a list of most (but not all!) of the currently supported filetypes:

  • Image: GIF, JPEG, JPG, BMP, PNG, TIF, TIFF, SVG, WDP, AI, DGN, DWFX, DWG, DXF, PSD, EPS, FS, IND, LR
  • Audio: MIDI, MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, OGA, ACC, DW, VTX, F4A
  • Video: AVI, MP4, MPEG, MPG, WEBM, MOV, WMV, M4V, OGV, MKV, SWF, AN, F4V, FLV
  • Document: DOC, DOCH, DOCM, DOCX, TXT, PDF, RTF, AE, PS, DOTH
  • Other: ZIP

Many of these even support in-browser previews/embedding:
MP4, WEBM, OGV, SVG, TXT, MP3, WAV, OGG, and SWF.

As it says in our FAQ…

We currently support most file formats used for artistic expression, with a few caveats:

• We do not do automated video conversion (though it’s planned!). You should upload in MP4, or else some viewers may not see your work.

• Not all file formats will have useful previews. JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG, and similar are supported by all browsers, but whatever you upload can be downloaded. You’re advised to set the preview icon of any piece that doesn’t have preview/embed support, such as .PSD files.

• The file size limit is currently 100MB. We intend to raise this in the future as we scale.

• .TXT files will be previewed with Markdown.

• If you’re using a file type that is not supported, please upload a .zip file. Do note that uploads to Artconomy are expected to be artistic expressions and renderings and they may be removed if they are found to be primarily data sets (such as database dumps), non-game programs, or other work not reasonably understood as art.


Interview With An Artist: Dinocanid

This is a part of an ongoing series of interviews done by Artconomy staff with various artists in the community. We’re hoping that through these interviews we can help the artist and commissioning communities at large.


What name do you go by?

Dinocanid/Dino, or Alex.  

What’s the URL for your Artconomy profile?

https://artconomy.com/profile/Dinocanid

What sort of art do you do? Any type/subject you enjoy the most?


I draw animal based digital art, including furries when I have time to practice.

How long have you been doing art? And how long have you been taking commissions?

I’ve been posting art online for about 6 years, but I’ve only been doing commissions for almost 2.

Do you have a particular piece you’re proud of and would like to share?

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the process?

My favorite part of the process is showing the customer my work and making adjustments to make sure they’re happy with it. My least favorite part would be sketching, since I struggle a bit with composition and it can be difficult to get things to look just right.

Before Artconomy, how did you handle commissions?

I would take commissions through DA and FA, and occasionally different forums.

What would you say is the hardest/most time consuming part of the process for you?

I think the hardest part for me would be workload management since I have struggled a lot in the past when I end up accepting too much work for my own good. Artconomy has helped with that due to its workload management system though!

Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d gotten when you were starting out? And/or any tips for other commission artists?

Make sure to keep practicing, nobody becomes an expert overnight! Work on developing your own style that you are comfortable with, and don’t feel pressured to copy the style of popular artists.

My art style is something I’ve struggled with for a long time, since I used to believe that unless it looked like [insert popular artist here] nobody would bother looking at it. Now I’ve learned that it’s not about that, but tuning and refining your own style so it improves even more.

Anything else you’d like to share with us/other artists/commissioners?

Don’t give up! I might not be a popular artist, nor am I where I want to be, but I’m going to keep striving for it!


Artist’s responses have been edited by Artconomy staff for grammar and spelling only.

Interview With An Artist: Silnat

This is a part of an ongoing series of interviews done by Artconomy staff with various artists in the community. We’re hoping that through these interviews we can help the artist and commissioning communities at large.

What name do you go by?

Silnat.

 

What’s the URL for your Artconomy profile?

What sort of art do you do? Any type/subject you enjoy the most?

Anthropomorphic cartoons and semi-realistic.

 

How long have you been doing art? And how long have you been taking commissions

I have been drawing online since 2004, and taking commissions since 2008.

 

Do you have a particular piece you’re proud of and would like to share?

 

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the process?

The process of creating an illustration for a customer is challenging. I enjoy it, but when it’s time to show the sketch there’s always something inside me praying: ‘omg, please – I hope he/she likes it’.

 

Before Artconomy, how did you handle commissions?

Mostly in FA and some in DA. In DA was more fanart (vs. anthro), but I like doing those too – mostly MLP illustrations.

 

What would you say is the hardest/most time consuming part of the process for you?

I have to say flat colors is the most terrible part. It’s incredibly boring and time consuming, but it has to be done.

 

Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d gotten when you were starting out? And/or any tips for other commission artists?

Never give up, practice, be patient, and keep trying. We all start on the ground level, but we need to push forward; keep going and never stop practicing.

 

Anything else you’d like to share with us/other artists/commissioners?

It’s been a long journey, but I have a lot of experience with other artists and clients – most of whom with I’ve built strong bonds of trust. Thank you all so much for trusting in me all this way.

 


Artist’s responses have been edited by Artconomy staff for grammar and spelling only.

Interview With An Artist: Halcyon

This is the first in what will be an ongoing series of interviews done by Artconomy staff with various artists in the community. We’re hoping that through these interviews we can help the artist and commissioning communities at large.


What name do you go by?

Haley or Halcyon

 

What’s the URL for your Artconomy profile?

What sort of art do you do? Any type/subject you enjoy the most?

Digital illustration and painting mainly, but I am practicing other media lately. Some oil painting, some jewelry and craft projects. And soon, I’d like to try some screen printing.

 

I enjoy creating and designing interesting characters and depicting cute situations. I’m mainly known for illustrating transformations; human to anthropomorphic and gender transformations.

 

How long have you been doing art? And how long have you been taking commissions?

I’ve been doing art for most of my life. Eight-years-old is my earliest recollection. I remember drawing spaceships with rainbow lasers, Bugs Bunny, and Cheetara from the original Thundercats. Or, at least, trying to. So about 33 years now.

 

The earliest commissions I’ve taken was back in 2000. I scanned in the picture of a jackal girl I drew for them and emailed it. They sent me a 10 dollar bill in the mail. I didn’t take them regularly till I set up a PayPal account.

 

Do you have a particular piece you’re proud of and would like to share?

 

 

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the process?

My favorite part of the process is trying new techniques I may have learned and having it come out well. A technique I see from an online video, a new brush I found or I made in Clip Stuido, or something I read in a book. It’s exciting for me.

 

My least favorite part is thinking I did well on something only to go back to look at something months later and seeing the imperfections. But I try not to dwell on an art piece and think only about moving forward and learning from a mistake. Remembering what to look for next time so I don’t make the same mistakes.

 

Before Artconomy, how did you handle commissions?

I have typically done my commissions by receiving an email from a client, telling me what they’d like done and I quote a price. If they agree to the price, I send an invoice. Correspondence through email helps me keep record with gmail’s system. Artconomy certainly streamlines the process and makes the client feel more secure with their purchase.

 

What would you say is the hardest/most time consuming part of the process for you?

Time management is the most difficult for me. I feel pressure to work on commissions till they’re done. Putting in 10-12 hour days. But that can easily burn anyone out. I’ve learned to take breaks, pace myself better, take time between commissions to do personal artwork.

 

Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d gotten when you were starting out? And/or any tips for other commission artists?

Be patient with your clients. Sometimes they have trouble putting what they’d like into words. Sometimes you have to explain why things might look better. Luckily, most clients trust an artist enough to leave things to them. And sometimes I have bowed to a design decision I know is wrong.

 

Anything else you’d like to share with us/other artists/commissioners?

Don’t do art if you’re not doing it for yourself or if you don’t have the dedication to stick with it. If you don’t enjoy making art, it may not be for you and it will become a chore. Personal projects that you’re proud of might get the least attention. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t compare yourself to other artists. There will always be someone that is better at it than you are. But they’re only better in different ways you may not have had an opportunity to try yet.


Learn from other artists, many other artists. Don’t try to emulate one artist you like. Find things from many artists and incorporate elements from all of them to make your own style. Always be learning. Try new things, new mediums as often as you’re able. This breaks monotony and can give you new ideas.


Your style SHOULD change gradually over time and some of your audience might not like how you evolve, but you’re more likely to attract more people who appreciate the effort you put in. If they really enjoy your art, they will be more likely to stick around to see how you evolve as an artist.

How to Describe What you Need to an Artist

Every so often you get an idea in your head that needs to be visualized– a character that yearns to leap from the page, or a logo to express what your organization is about. If you’ve never commissioned art before, or you’ve had trouble doing so in the past, you may be confused on how to give an artist what they need to bring out the best version of your idea they can.

If This is your First Time

Art is how we communicate ideas and emotions through media. If an idea is best expressed through a visual medium, for example, then this leaves you with a chicken and egg problem: how to show the artist what you want without already having the piece done!

If you’re having a character drawn for the first time, the best thing to have is a description.

Writing a Good Description

https://images.pexels.com/photos/210661/pexels-photo-210661.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&dpr=2&h=750&w=1260

They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, however you can usually get away with far fewer. When writing a description for an artist to reference, you do not have to be the most eloquent prose writer– you just need to communicate the physical attributes of the subject and what you want them doing or wearing.

Method One: Roleplay Description

One character I’ve made is a fennec fox named ‘Zorro’. As part of my records about him, I keep a description for art or role play, which you can see here:

This less than towering creature, five foot four inches tall (if you
include the ears), has a markedly expressive face that makes him quite memorable. Tawny colored fur ruffles in the wind, and brown eyes scan about.

His twitching nose always seems to be finding some sort of scent, or perhaps his eyes are just wandering and surveying the beauty of life. He wears a nice sort of school uniform– though it seems quite worn, a thread here and there sproinging off like an unruly child rebelling from its mother textile.

His bare footpaws leave little dents in sandy soil, but are otherwise silent when he scurries around. His voice, however, seems surprisingly flexible, as do his expressions. Generally he seems quite happy, and he carries with him a bag that has a few fountain pens and several sheets of paper. Some of them are poking out, little scribblings shown on them.

The above description is enough for an artist to work with, though it has some limitations. The biggest limitation is that it’s hard to see, at a glance, all of the details. The reader must go through the entire paragraph and hope to catch everything. Below is the resulting sketch I got back from Michelle Light:

Take a look at the description and compare it with the result. As far as the character goes, I’d say this piece does an excellent job of portraying Zorro. However, there are a few things to note:

1. Details which weren’t mentioned were filled in – The description I gave does not go into detail on Zorro’s fur patterns, other than mentioning his general tawny color. Likewise, no real detail was provided about Zorro’s bag or school uniform style. This means Michelle had to come up with something and infer what might be best. Anything you do not describe is up to the artist to interpret.

2. The art style and medium meant some loss of detail – Zorro’s fur color is brown. As this is a sketch, he could be blue for all we know. Additionally, the description gives an account of the texture of his uniform, mentioning a lightly worn appearance. Michelle’s art style, which is a smooth, toony look, would have a harder time conveying this than a more realistic style.

3. Something was missed, but that’s OK – One of the details in the description mentions that Zorro has ‘fountain pens’. Zorro was written for a steampunk environment, and so this technology is what would have been prevalent. In the picture, we see a pencil and a capped modern pen (possibly a permanent marker). Small details like this may not stick as well when the artist is reading a description– they’re human like everyone else and make mistakes! However, when I got the piece back, I should have examined it more closely, given feedback and asked for her to adjust it. I did not do this, and I’m sure Michelle would have corrected it if I had brought it up.

Method 2: Bulleted List

An artist usually doesn’t need to know, in too much detail, about the character’s background to draw them–in fact, too much additional detail can be very distracting!

For example, take this excerpt from the role play description:

His voice, however, seems surprisingly flexible, as do his expressions.

An artist cannot easily draw how a voice sounds, so this information isn’t very helpful. A more succinct, less ambiguous way to describe your character is with a bulleted list. Here’s the same character, described in this manner:


Zorro…

  • is 5’4 (if you include the ears)
  • is a fennec
  • is male
  • has a very expressive face
  • has tawny colored fur
  • has brown eyes
  • has a small frame
  • wears a nice school uniform, though it’s a bit worn with the odd thread here and there
  • doesn’t wear shoes or anything on his feet.
  • carries a bag, specifically with fountain pens and papers with scribblings
  • lives in a steampunk world

Please draw Zorro looking over a piece of paper he’s written on.


This bulleted list is much easier for an artist to track, and makes it more likely that no important details will be missed. The last listed item, referring to the character’s environment and background, will help the artist with any judgement calls for things such as backgrounds. The final line, not in the list, describes what we want the character doing.

This method does not guarantee the artist won’t miss something, or that you won’t have notes for them, but it should make miscommunication less likely, and less severe.

Don’t Forget!

Here are some things you’ll want to include in a description for an artist:

  • Height
  • Build (petite, skinny, average, lean, swole, etc)
  • Species
  • Coloration, hair/fur/skin details and patterns
  • Sex
  • Demeanor, eyes and expression
  • Clothing, tattoos, or piercings as applicable
  • Any other unique attributes of their physiology (Extra long tail? Additional or fewer fingers? Scars?)
  • The pose you want the character in, or what you would like them doing.

Reference Images

If your character has a detailed feature, such as a tattoo or a sword or some other outfit, it can help to provide to the artist a reference to work from.

I once had a character with an oversized sword, and wanted that sword to look similar to (but distinct from) the sword wielded by the character Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII. To convey this, I found a reference image. Here’s one from the game’s concept art by Tetsuya Nomura:

Cloud Strife.png

Here was the resulting piece by Dark Natasha:

Having that reference made describing the proportions of the sword much easier. You’ll note the sword is not exactly the same, either, though it is reminiscent of the source.

Reference Sheets

If you’re planning to get many pieces done of a character, especially from more the one artist, you’ll want to get a reference sheet. A reference sheet is a standard method of showing off the physical appearance of your character (and sometimes includes tidbits about them on the side). It typically contains nude portrayals of the character as well as clothed versions.

Much like a character description, a reference sheet does not have to be the highest quality to serve its purpose. Its purpose is to make sure that you and the artist are on the same page about how the character looks. Some artists insist on having a reference sheet for characters to reduce the chance of miscommunication or hurt feelings.

I’m not ready to sell art of my own, but I am able to do enough drawing to make a basic reference sheet or ‘refsheet’. Here’s the one I made for Artconomy’s mascot, Vulpy the ArtFox.

Here’s some of the art that I commissioned using this refsheet:

https://artconomy.com/media/art/2018/11/10/art/2018/11/10/6F7E8378-E342-4DD3-8C2E-4D1760406BE2.png.1000x700_q85.png

By Betsy the Beaver

By Halcyon

Halcyon was able to find something I’d forgotten on my refsheet– pawpads! We had to discuss what color the pads would be and settled on pink.

Remember: Refsheets are there to help you get started. You can always commission a new one based on the previous one.

Putting it all Together

Artists like it when you’re prepared with everything they’ll need ahead of time. When possible, I keep copies of my character reference sheets, and typed out descriptions of what I’d like drawn when going to conventions. Then all I have to do is hand each artist a packet containing everything they need. They read it over, give me a price, and then get right to work.

If you have trouble getting all of your descriptions and references organized, or would just like a good place to catalog your characters, might I suggest checking out Artconomy? We make it easy for you to find artists and keep a virtual reference sheet and portfolio for your characters!

When Things go Wrong: How to Handle Disputes

Art is a complex business. The time it takes for a piece to be completed can vary, details can be quite particular, and there are some artists and commissioners that are unable to meet expectations.

Traditionally, you might be out of luck when you come to an impasse. But with Artconomy Shield, you have access to a quality dispute resolution service that will help everyone get the most out of their commissioning experience.

How the Process Starts: Filing a Dispute

With Artconomy Shield, commissioners pay for the initial commission and Artconomy holds onto the money until the work is complete. However, if there’s something wrong with the commission, or if the artist has taken an extraordinary amount of time to complete the commission, the commissioner may file a dispute.

A dispute is not a guarantee that the commissioner will be refunded. It means that an Artconomy staff member will review the order to see what’s going on.

To file a dispute, click the File Dispute button.

The File Dispute button will be visible either under the final, or on the information panel on the order page next to the order’s current status.

Once the dispute is filed, a staff member will be contacted. They will comment on the order as needed. Staff members have a star next to their username:

Green stars are system administrators, while gold stars are normal staff members. The staffer who works your case might be either.

The Process: Making the Case

The staff member assigned to your case will read over the order and ask questions to both the artist and commissioner. They may elect to allow an artist more time to complete a work before making a final decision, especially if there is evidence that the work is in progress.

What Happens When a Case is Decided?

After a staff member reviews the dispute and has made a determination, they will either finalize the transaction, paying the artist the amount held in Escrow, or refund the commissioner. All refunds and payouts are always at 100%, minus the Shield fee.

Why no Partial Refunds or Payments?

Art is a very subjective endeavor, and relies on good communication between the artist and the commissioner.  Sometimes, the artist has put in a lot of work, but it’s not quite what the commissioner would have wanted. While we sympathize with the commissioner in this case, there is too much subjectivity involved in trying to decide what discounted rate should be provided, leading to significant costs attempting to make that judgement for all involved. We believe that if an artist has delivered at base what has been requested, then any further issues should be reflected when leaving a rating for the artist.

Likewise, if an artist has partially completed the work, but our staff determines that the reasonable time period for delivery has passed, we will return the money to the commissioner. We would prefer that artists focus on getting completed works to a smaller number of commissioners rather than several half-completed commissions to a larger group. Artconomy understands that sometimes commissions take longer then normal. We will always work with artists to give them a chance to complete the work if they get a bit behind.

How Does Artconomy Determine who to Decide in Favor of?

Artconomy’s staff will use a preponderance of evidence provided to make their decision. One or more of the following conditions will make an order eligible for a refund:

  • The artist has taken an extraordinary amount of time beyond estimate to complete the work (this will not be considered if the final is already delivered by the time the dispute is filed)
  • The artist has drawn something severely under their standard quality of work as depicted in their gallery.
  • The artist has drawn something completely different than what a reasonable reader would have expected the commission notes to require.
  • Sales involving original goods being shipped do not arrive or are damaged. The commissioner must provide proof of damage. Artists are expected to use trackable forms of shipment and buy insurance to cover damage so that they may claim the difference from their carrier.

What sort of things will not be refunded?

  • The artist’s time taken is moderately over estimate.
  • The final piece has flaws which were in previously posted revisions that were either commented on by the commissioner or which the commissioner had time for comment and no comment was made.
  • The piece is within reasonable variance of the artist’s history of quality, but it is not quite what the commissioner hoped for.
  • The final piece has minor differences from the description, or differences that could result from reasonable mistakes when reading the commission notes.

The above cases, while regrettable, will not be warranted against by Artconomy for the cost of the commission price. The commissioner is free to include any information about their commissioning experience when rating the artist.

The Last Word

Artconomy hopes that our commissioners and artists never need our dispute resolution services and will be able to come to agreements on their own. However, we recognize that things do not always go according to plan, which is why we made Artconomy Shield.

Remember: Products not covered by Shield will not be protected by our dispute resolution services. Look for the green shield icon!

Stay safe, and happy commissioning!

Referral Contest!

Hey everyone, it’s Eris again! We’ve got an exciting thing going on right now! Fox recently implemented the code for referrals, and to celebrate we’re holding a contest!  From now until November 5th 2018, whoever gets the most referrals gets a commission (up to $30) paid for by Artconomy!

A referral is anyone who buys or sells a Shield-protected commission after using one of those new referral links that are now in your profile.

In adddition to the contest,  any referrals will net you some free premium time!

  • Any time someone you refer buys their first Shield-protected commission, you get a free month of Portrait!
  • When a referral sells their first Shield-protected commission, that’s a free month of Landscape!

No go on out there and refer some friends! Good luck!

The Commissioning Process: How it Works

Artconomy’s primary goal is to make it as easy to commission online as it is in person. To do this, we have created a system that makes it easy for commissioners to order, easy for artists to communicate with their customers, and which fosters trust between the parties involved. Today we’ll be looking at how this system works!

 


Commissioners

Setting up your Characters

Before you begin ordering a commission, you will want to set up any characters you want to be portrayed on your profile. To do this, go to your profile page by clicking on your name/icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select the ‘Characters’ tab on your profile. You can then hit the green plus sign to begin.

You can set your character’s sex, species, and description here. You can also add tags for your character to make them easier for you or others to search for, and/or mark them private so only you can see them. Not only that, but you can set their colors, too, if you already know what their colors should be.

Placing the Order

Once you have your characters set up, it’s time to place the order. Find a product you’d like either by using the search bar, browsing recent products on the home page, or by checking the ‘Who’s Open?’ list.

If the product is covered by Artconomy Shield, you’ll see an indicater of that right below the product.

Click the order button and you’ll be brought to the order form. Add any characters you’d like, describe what’s needed, and click the Submit button in the top right!

 


Artists

Handling an Incoming Order

Once a commissioner places an order, you’ll receive a notification on site and by email.

Follow the link in the email or click the notification in your notifications center to visit the order page.

Here, you’ll have an opportunity to review the details of the order and make any adjustments necessary to price, workload, or timing expectations.

From here, you can decline the order or accept it. Once accepted, the commissioner will receive an email and notification letting them know the artist’s finalized price, and that it’s time to pay.

The Real Work Begins!

Now that the order is accepted, the artist can begin work as soon as they are ready. Artists, when beginning work, be sure to click the ‘Mark as In Progress’ button to notify commissioners when you’ve begun. You can even include a streaming link so that they (and your watchers) can see the work in progress!

As you complete revisions for the customer to review, they will be able to comment on the received work.

Once the work is completed, the artist can upload the final for review. From there they can either approve the final or dispute it through the Artconomy Shield system, bringing in a mediator from the Artconomy team. See our FAQ for how disputes regarding orders are judged.

Once the order is done, be sure to rate your buyer or seller!

Getting Paid!

Once the piece is approved, the money is available for withdrawal. If the artist doesn’t have Auto Withdraw turned on, they can then visit their settings page, and check their Payout Account under the Payment tab to initiate a withdrawal. The transfer should complete within 5 business days to their bank account.


If you’d like to see how you can make more on each commission, or how to know when your favorite artists are open, read our post about Artconomy Portrait and Landscape!

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