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Back-end pay is highly discouraged here. There needs to be some sort of upfront pay or like half now half later type of thing. I'm very sorry you got scammed before, but its no different for us artists. We risk the possibility of the client running off without paying us and losing countless hours and hours on nothing so our risk is even greater. It is even recommended by DeviantArt guidelines for artist to NEVER accept work before pay type of deals.
It is recommended you pay upfront or half now half upfront with a contract. You are buying something after all, you don't take an item from Walmart and pay for it later.
I apologize for the way an artist scammed you on behalf of artists everywhere. Not artists are like this. A lot of us work professionally with enthusiasm, dedication and dignity.
I agree any artist or buyer worth their salt (and also including to dA guidelines on commissions) knows artists are entitled and should ask for half of the fee up front and have the second half done upon completion.
It minimizes losses on both sides as much as possible. There will always be chancers/scammers though.
Sorry, I was replying on my phone and meant to reply to the original post. Fishagon hired me giving me a deadline half a month away. They're now mocking me and telling me they're going to use my art and there isn't anything I can do about it, and because there was no contract that they didn't have to pay for an incomplete set of work they aren't paying me. So getting involved with this company is a bad idea. They have 0 funding, and no customers.
We've had plenty of sales Justin, You never asked about any such thing and it seems now you are butt hurt there are people more than willing to replace you and that will get paid. So please, if you would like to keep slandering my company's name I will take legal action against you ^_^ And still you talk like I have plans to use your artwork which is extremely confusing... do you see the people applying here? They all have better artwork than you... Of course I'm only going to use the work of the person that gets hired and paid for it, that's how this industry works. I'm not going to use your three pieces, nor am I going to pay for them. Now please, grow up and do like you say on twitter: Past -----> Future.
I'll do a contract no problem. But I'm not taking the chance of an artist losing their drive for it half way taking that half and leaving me with half the artwork done and no artist that can match the style to finish. Paying half upfront just sounds extremely stupid. Even more when you consider the prices of this... 24 pieces of artwork... but I'll sign a contract for you to sue the shit outta me and my company if I use it without paying or fail to pay after a certain time.
There are contracts that minors can sign, I've signed quite a few as an author Justin. They just require more than one signature. For example my 18 year old CEO is an acceptable signature to add on with mine.
Then whats the point of the contract? A contract benefits both parties in that it holds the artist up to the job where if he doesn't finish it, you can take action. On top of that doing payment via paypal only helps the cause since you can open up claims and get your money back in the event that happens.
It's not extremely stupid as like I said, you are purchasing something. Art is no different from anything else. It does not excuse people from paying first. Some artists might work that way but they are normally newer artists who have not had much experience with the "business" yet.
Of course you can still chose to do it your own way. I have no way to make you change your ways, in the end its up to your beliefs.
Though I will say this to all artists: Please follow the DA guidelines to freelance work found here: [link] Considering DeviantArt is only an art website, what they have to say on freelance contracting is most certainly trustful and useful.
On a personal term, I never once have been scammed out of art and neither have my clients using these rules. It was great for both parties.