Realistic Crafts, Unrealistic Expectations

, , , , | Right | January 14, 2020

(My business makes high-end, handcrafted, custom items for customers. My online store has a gallery of past custom work I’ve created. This is apparently confusing to one person.)

Customer: *via email* “How do I check out to buy this piece?” *link to a photo*

Me: *via email* “Thank you for your interest! That piece was handcrafted for a customer last year. If you would like to commission a similar piece, please read the following instructions for custom work and fill out the custom order form.” *provides link*

Customer: “Okay, then how do I buy this piece?” *link to different photo*

Me: “All of the work I sell is custom made, so it is created specifically for the customer who ordered it. The gallery shows examples of past pieces so you can see the craftsmanship. I do not have any items in stock. I’m glad you are interested in ordering, though, and if you would like to have me create something for you, please visit [link].”

(Four days go by.) 

Customer: “Okay, but I really wanted this piece.” *link to first picture* “Please ship.”

Me: “That item, like everything I sell, was handcrafted specifically for the person who ordered it. I do not have finished products to ship. I only make custom items. I would be happy to create an item for you from the beginning; please see custom work instructions at [link].”

Customer: “Okay.”

(Two days pass.)

Customer: “Please custom make this item.” *provides a link to the third picture*

Me: “Instructions for beginning a custom order are at [link].”

Customer: “What do I need to do?”

Me: “Full instructions are at [link]. You will need to pay a deposit and approve sketches, and I have four- to six-week wait.”

Customer: “I will pay the deposit when you send photos of the finished item. Just like [link to the fourth picture].”

Me: *sends custom order link, no further text*

(Next day:)

Customer: “Please ship by tomorrow. It’s a birthday present.”

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Unable To Design A Way To Get Paid On Time  

, , , | Right | January 9, 2020

(For the past few months, I’ve been doing graphic design commissions for money. I get a message from someone I know from a mutual community asking for pricing on a couple of things, and I am told that his friend also wants some stuff done and that his friend will be messaging me soon. What follows is probably the most impatient experience of my life so far.)

Me: “So, what do you need done?”

Client: “A stream header and a profile pic. I don’t care about the theme as long as it represents me.”

(I take “as long as it represents me” to mean “as long as it has my name on it” and whip up a basic patterned header for something to go off of and send a Photoshop screenshot of it.)

Client: “I was thinking something having to do with cars and skid marks.”

(I’m a bit frustrated, but I start Googling some graphics I could use — in the “Labelled for commercial reuse” section, of course — and send him a screenshot of a concept that he approves of. After I get the header done, I move fairly easily through getting the profile pic finished.)

Me: “Okay, that will be $30 plus a couple of bucks to cover the PayPal fee.”

Client: “Okay, I’m trying to see if I have the money right now.”

(It shocks me a bit when he says that, as that’s something most people would make sure of before they even consider commissioning someone, but it’s not a big deal as I think I’ll be waiting no more than a day or two. I’m also going on vacation very soon, so I upload the files to my Imgur just in case I don’t get the money before I leave for two weeks. During my vacation, I make sure to try to get updates from my client and am repeatedly told, “Soon,” as they have a lot of bills. My patience is wearing thin but I try to remain understanding. About a week after I get home, I message him again for an update after I am told he’ll have the money that week.)

Client: “I got a $200 speeding ticket recently and won’t have the money. Sorry.”

Me: *internally* “Fuuuu******!”

(I message him another week later to see if he has the money yet.)

Client: “I can’t pay via PayPal; my account is locked.”

(I set up an account on another site and gave him my link. No response. After two days of trying to get a hold of him, I slightly snapped and messaged him again telling him to “just freaking pay me already,” and to my surprise, he did so. After a MONTH of waiting, I was finally paid and I sent him his files. Now I know to charge upfront unless it’s someone I can trust to pay after the fact.)

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War Is A Cartoon Joke

, , , , , | Learning | December 9, 2019

(I live in Israel where military service is mandatory and there’s no shortage of conflicts. But as a mostly non-political cartoonist, I tend to stay away from this subject when drawing, except for this one time. I am sitting in the house of a thirteen-year-old kid to whom I am giving private lessons in illustration. While he works on the comic I assigned him to draw, I sit down to work on my own comic series, which is about stories from my life. He leans over and reads the page I’m working on. It talks about me preparing to get on a bus and head to fight in a war.)

Student: “You were in a war?”

Me: “Yeah.”

(He takes a moment to process this, since this isn’t something I typically talk about, nor do I look like much of a typical “fighter.”)

Student: *now poking my shoulder with his stylus* “I’m just imagining you walking up to enemies on the battlefield and kind of… poking them with your drawing pen.”

(I stare at it for a moment before turning my sight back to my drawing.)

Me: “You’re joking, but I’ll have you know it was a pretty aggressive war.”

Student: *immediately looks regretful and withdraws the stylus* “S-Sorry.”

Me: “We lost a lot of–”

Student: *interjecting with guilt* “I apologize.”

Me: “–good pillows that day.”

(It was silent for a moment. Even though I was not looking directly at him he was glaring at me so hard I could basically feel it on the side of my head. He got up, threw his hands and stylus in the air, and noped out of the room as I burst out laughing.)

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Jeepers, Creepers, Where’d You Get That Sketchbook

, , , , | Right | October 31, 2019

(I eat really fast and don’t chat incessantly as my family does at meals, so I bring my new sketchbook with me. We are in a booth and I sit in the corner with the sketchbook only facing me. Afterward, I forget to take my sketchbook with me but when I remember, I go back just in time to see [Waitress #1] handing my sketchbook to [Waitress #2], but it slips and falls open on the counter.)

Waitress #2: *screams*

Waitress #1: “What…” *sees sketchbook and jumps* “Oh… my.”

Waitress #2: *runs to the back*

Me: “Sorry, sorry, that’s mine! I’m really so sorry for the scare.”

(I had been drawing, in full color, bloody ripped out eyeballs and a bloody dripping heart held by a hand, and had started on a dude with his bloody intestines coming out of his body since it’s Halloween soon.)

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Just Shout “WRONG” To The Lefties And Hope It Sticks  

, , , , , , , | Working | October 18, 2019

(One of our designers brings his daughter in as an “intern” over spring break as she is studying art and he wants her to get some real-world experience. Ugh, right? But no, she is great and, even though she was foisted on me, we have a great time. One day, we are making some signs from start to finish: design, print, mount, cut. We are on the last step when I notice the resident mansplainer watching us. After a few minutes, he comes over and takes the straight edge from her.)

Mansplainer: “Here. You should put it this way.”

(He puts the ruler on the line she was cutting and moves back for her to cut it with the knife she had. The intern looks at me and I shrug, with a look on my face saying, “This is totally normal. Why don’t you humour him for both of our entertainment?” She steps in, holding the ruler, then crossing her cutting arm to the far side of it in a ridiculous position.)

Mansplainer: “No, no, no. Not that way.”

(He takes the knife from her and deftly cuts the line.)

Me: “Why don’t you try it her way? Then, you can understand what she’s doing wrong better.”

Mansplainer: “Yeah.”

(I nod encouragingly at her to line up the ruler.)

Mansplainer: “Not like that. That’s wrong.”

Me: “Wait. Wait. Just try it.”

Mansplainer: “No. That’s the wrong way. You women always do it the wrong way.”

Me: “You mean lefties.”

Mansplainer: “What?”

Me: “We’re not doing it the ‘women’s way,’ we’re doing it left-handed.”

(I wasn’t training her that way; she happens to be a lefty, too.)

Mansplainer: “You always do it wrong. You’ve done it wrong since you got here.”

Me: “Wrong for you.”


Me: “Okay, then. But we’re just going to keep doing this way because it works for us.”

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