So there is a Sunstreaker commission that I wish was currently mounted on my wall. You see, commissioned artwork is by far my favorite convention souvenir. The artwork you see to the right are some of my prized TF possessions. While toys may come and go off my desk, that artwork is always being displayed.
Unfortunately there is a piece missing, specifically a Sunstreaker sketch from Windblade comic artist, Sarah Stone. The second unfortunate fact is that the piece is complete, but I unfortunately do not have it at this time.
I want to start by saying, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be an in-demand comic artist. Being an artist is hard enough as it is, but being popular must ratchet it up further. Artists are pushed and pulled in a million directions.
I also know that things take time, and there are other priorities. It took me 2 years to complete TFA Brawn, and took almost a full decade for me to get my novels printed. People get busy and things fall through the cracks.
Finally I do not wish to shame Sarah on this, nor give her more stress for an already stressful line of work. That is not my goal at all. My primary wish is just have the artwork. But at the end of the day I’d really just like to know if my messages were delivered or whether they fell through the cracks. I’ve become a pest at this point, and I do not like it.
There is a bit of a story behind the sketch, that I will briefly try to cover. I apologize if this gets a bit “venty”, but its easier to explain my concern with all the details laid out.
The sketch in question was commissioned at BotCon 2014 in Pasadena, CA on June 20, 2014 . I did not originally plan to attend due to budgetary concerns. However, several things came together and I was able to make the trek to California on a shoe-string budget.
One of those bigger factors to attend was to get commissions from artists I had not yet gotten artwork from. That included Andrew Griffith and Sarah Stone. As such, as soon as I got my walk-in boxset, I went to Artist’s Alley in the dealer room to get on Sarah’s commission list. I had to wait for about ten people ahead of me to buy artwork and place orders, but I was fortunate in that I was able to get on her list (and show off my custom TFA Windblade to both her and Mairghread). I said I’d be there all weekend and that I was looking forward to seeing what she produced.
As the convention went on, I would stop by occasionally to ask the status. Obviously she was super busy, and so I said no worries and that I’d check back later.
Come the close of the show on Sunday, unfortunately she had not gotten a chance to get to the sketch. So she took down my address and she said she’d mail it to me. I said that would be great, and so I said my goodbyes and thanks for coming to the show.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, and I pinged her on Twitter to see if she had gotten to it. Unfortunately other duties like having to finish the comics had taken up her time, and I said okay just let me know when she might be done.
Thankfully, come the days leading up to TF Con 2014 in Toronto, she was able to squeeze some time in and finish the sketch. She posted a photo of it to Twitter and I was ecstatic (seen above). The sketch looks amazing. I connected with her on Twitter and she’d let me know when it would be in the mail.
I did not hear anything for a couple of weeks, so after some time had passed into August, I asked if she was going to mail it. Unfortunately deadlines were looming, and so she said she’d let me know when it was in the mail.
Fast-forward again to TF Con Chicago and she was fortunately able to complete some of the commissions she took in Toronto, and people who could attend both were able to pick them up. I also had a fellow TF friend actually ask her in person about my status, and she said she was sorry and would look into it.
So a little while after the convention in October, I pinged her again on Twitter with a DM, and unfortunately got silence. I tried to send a mention via Twitter asking whether she had seen the DM. Again I got no response.
I then sent an email on November 4, five months after BotCon, hopefully trying to get a response. Once again I got no response. The email I sent to her is listed in full below:
At this point, I’m kind of tired being a pest with regards to the status of the completed Sunstreaker commission from BotCon 2014. Even one of my friends pinged you about it in Chicago. Others have been able to pick theirs up at later shows, but that isn’t possible for me.
I’ve honestly been waiting almost 5 months to receive the sketch. I’d like to get it so can frame it and then put it on my wall. It’s a beautiful piece of art that I would love to have.
I know that your talents are in extreme demand, and you’re probably being pulled in a million different directions trying to get tons of paying projects done.
I also know that you charged an extremely low rate for commissions in Pasadena.
I have previously tried to reach out on Twitter to say that I am willing to reimburse you if you were to just take it to a UPS store or something, and have them safely pack and ship.
I unfortunately will not be making it to any other conventions anytime in the near future, so self-pickup isn’t an option.
If mailing isn’t an option, then I’m going to just consider the whole commission thing a wash and call it done with. I’ll consider it a $30 tip to an artist who’s talent I appreciated.
Again, I’d love to have the piece if you could get it in the mail somehow.
Now had I known whether she got this email and/or the other messages, I might have considered the thing truly “a wash”. Unfortunately, since I did not get a response of any kind, and that has led to this silly little sketch thing becoming an issue that I cannot seem to get out of my mind. The whole transaction feels unfinished. There is no closure.
Sadly, there are other side effects from this silly, stupid little thing as well:
- I have stopped reading the comics entirely as of a couple of months ago
- I think, “Why go to a con when something like this may happen again”
- I have not mounted any other commissions yet (3), because I was waiting on this one from Sarah
- I pretty much can’t stand looking at my custom TFA Windblade anymore. A thing of pride for me has now soured.
Again, I know it is really silly and stupid to have this as a hang up, but that is just how it is. Maybe it’s because money changed hands (as miniscule at it was), that things are different. Maybe it’s because the piece is done and complete. Only the shipping is in the way.
So again, I’d really, really love to have her art hanging on my wall. It would be framed along all the other pieces I have. I would be proud to own it.
If I can’t have that, well then I’d at least like to know that she at least received my messages, and that they fell through the cracks again.