Not Much To Draw From

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2020

(I am taking a call from a gentleman in relation to a claim. He has sent in some of the evidence, but not all of it. One of my colleagues has requested some more documents. It’s about an injury.)

Me: “Okay, Mr. [Client], I see you have supplied a letter from yourself, a confirmation from the company, and a completed form, but we will need some medical documents from the GP.”

Client: “That’s silly. I have supplied all the evidence you need. Have you even gone over the documents?”

Me: “I personally have not seen the actual documents myself. I’m simply going from the notes.”

(He reasonably requests that I review what he has sent whilst he holds, so I do so. I see the documents which my colleague refers to in her notes and then come across a letter. This isn’t unusual since older customers tend to think a “letter of complaint” will more adequately supply the claim than the telephone call we favor. I scan about a third into the letter to ensure I don’t miss any inserted documents. I go over the rest but I don’t see any. On the fifth page, something catches my eye. Intrigued, I continue to scan the letter. This guy has illustrated a fifteen-page letter featuring hand-drawn pictures of how his wife fell off of their raised decking onto a flower bed leading to her being injured. Whilst hilarious — not for her, obviously — and descriptive and actually, somewhat artistically accomplished, it’s still not medical evidence.)

Me: *taking him off hold* “I’m sorry, but there’s no medical report here; we do require that to continue with the claim.” 

Client: “Really? But I drew out how this happened.”

(I had to tell him that unless he could supply genuine medical evidence, we couldn’t proceed, and I hung up. Months later, though, I saw a print-out of one of the illustrations framed on my colleague’s desk and we shared a chuckle. Gladly, this was one of the easier cases to deal with. Thank you, random artist guy, for brightening up all our days!)

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The (Water)Mark Of The Cheapskates

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

I am an artist and I post my work online. In the early days, I only added my signature, next to the image. Then, my art got stolen, signature edited out. I posted my signature next to the image and added a digital signature over the bottom. My art got stolen, the digital signature cropped off. I added the digital signature halfway down the image, and it still got cropped off. Tired of all the theft, I created a large watermark. You can still see the image, but if you wish to crop it out, you’d only have like half a face. 

Two days after releasing my work with a huge watermark, I get a message from someone who has been following my work for a while, but always complained I was in it for the money, should do more freebies, and that I should think of the fans more; they are the base of my success!

“I don’t understand why you’d want to ruin your art like this. Please don’t use that ugly watermark any more. Now I can no longer print it out and hang it on my wall. You are losing fans, starting with me!”

I didn’t listen to him and am now bankru– Oh, wait, nothing happened. Still in the business, but the art theft decreased significantly!

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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.”


This story is part of our “Not Getting Art” Roundup!

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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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