Requests and Commissions (R&C) is a subforum of the Mini Shops forum where users come together to buy and sell one of a kind original artworks.
Remember that all rules in the main Mini Shops FAQ apply here. Please familiarize yourself with them as well as the rules given here.
That's great, but what does it mean?
It means that if you are an artist who wishes to earn Gaia gold or items by creating original art, you can come here and make a store or auction thread to sell your skills to willing buyers.
It means that if you are looking for an original artwork you can create a thread looking for artists or look through artists' threads. Do remember that this is a forum for paying commissions, though, so if you want free art, please make a thread in the Art Freebies Forum.
What falls under 'one of a kind original art' in this forum?
The only art sold here is commissioned art that is entirely original and built from the ground up according to user specifications.
The most common sort of art users offer or request is avatar art, art of your Gaia character. However commissions are by no means restricted to this. Many artists are willing to do fan art or art of your own original character. Some may even offer original writing or other non-visual art.
While creations such as dolls, plushies, or banners for example are all also 'original' in that each is a unique creation, they are constructed around a specific template that the artist and buyer then work together to customize. As such, stores and auctions offering these products should be made in the main Mini Shops forum.
For further information and elaboration on the R&C Rules and for guidelines on how to go about properly selling and requesting art, please read the following posts before you get started in this forum.
As described above, R&C is only for one of a kind original art commissions.
Under no circumstances is selling art you personally have not made permitted.
Modifying the artwork of others is still art theft, as is copying other images. Art theft is a serious offense and can result in a permanent ban from the site as well as potential legal action from artists whose art is involved. Selling or attempting to sell stolen art is also scamming, which recieves a permanent ban with no warning.
If you suspect someone is stealing art, please do not confront them, but instead contact a mod with relevant information, including a link to the thread containing the art, a screenshot of the post if you are able to in case the thread maker takes down the art, and if possible a link to the site the art was stolen from as proof it is stolen.
When you buy art here, it is yours to use, however that use may be limited by terms the artist dictates which you legally must abide by. If you plan to use it for something off site or as a commercial peice, discuss this with them first to clarify the rights and useage of the work. To be safe, both artists and commissioners should keep a copy of the terms for future reference.
Obtain permission to alter art:
For example, if you receive lineart that you wish to have colored, you must obtain the permission of the artist before modifying their work.
R&C Appropriate Threads
Only two types of threads should be made in R&C.
Store threads offering original commissions.
Threads seeking artists to commission for pay.
If your thread does not fit into one of these two categories, it belongs in a different forum. (Auctions belong in the new R&C Auctions subforum)
Please remember that there is a seperate forum for Art Contests.
Graphic design images and works based from an original template or other standard form that is then altered to user specifications are to be sold in the main mini shops forum. This includes but is not limited to: banners, wishlists, plushies, dolls, and avatar edits.
This applies to auctions for these items as well, such as auctions for custom avatar edits or dolls. Selling original line art that is not commissioned should also be done in the main mini shops forum.
Art commissions are a contract between users.
Refusing to pay for art once you have agreed to the terms of the commission is not allowed, nor is accepting payment without either providing the product or refunding the payment if you are unable to complete the commission. These are considered scamming, which is a bannable offense on Gaia.
Art can only be sold on Gaia for Gaia Gold and items.
Selling art for real cash on Gaia is not permitted. You may link in your thread to a webpage that has your cash commission options but you may not advertise it or directly take commissions for cash on gaia.
We strongly encourage artists to follow all these guidelines in order to eliminate any potential problems that could arise from a lack of clarity in art selling threads and make the selling process as smooth as possible.
SHOP: for all shops
REQUEST: for all request threads
[O] and [C] for shops open and closed.
So an open shop would then be SHOP [O]: My shop name.
A request thread would then be REQUEST: My request thread.
We hope that by adopting this way of naming threads, we can improve the community and make it easier for everyone to find what they are looking for.
Use the Mini Shops Assistance and Suggestions forum. There you can find other users to set up stores/auctions with, get helpful advice on setting up your own thread, and see what prices users are willing to pay for your art.
Only offer commissions when you think you have the time to do them, so that you don't have customers waiting forever. Close waitlists or keep them small if necessary.
Inform customers of the realistic time period it will take to complete a piece before accepting a commission.
Let users know what sort of art you are willing to to draw. Willing to do couples? Original Characters? Or just want to do single avatar portraits? Make sure you specify.
If you wish to have specific restrictions on the useage of the art, make them very clear and keep a copy of them for your records to avoid later problems.
Include samples of your work and keep samples accurate to the quality of the art that will be received for the commission. Do not show a very high quality sample that took many many hours, give the impression the buyer will receive a work of that quality, and then deliver a peice that took half that time. This is gross misrepresentation and is not permitted, as it is a form of scamming.
Clearly mark how much you want for your commissions in gold and/or which items you will accept as payment and what you value them at. If you are uncertain as to what items you will accept, request that users ask before bidding/commissioning.
We understand that real life commitments sometimes interefere with your ability to complete a request or end your auction on time. If for whatever reason you do need to close your store before requests are completed, give a reason and state if/when you will be operational again. Give plenty of notice in advance if possible. Refund the customer's money if you absolutely cannot complete the commission.
If your thread is on the first page, it is not necessary to bump it. However, conversation in threads is natural and encouraged to help enrich the R&C community. Threads do not need to be 'on topic' in posting, however thread makers do have final say over their thread content and are free to request users to end certain conversations or leave the thread.
Do not hesitate to contact a moderator if you have a problem with a user such as failure to pay for a finished commission or harassment for a commission.
Tell bidders what exactly they are bidding for. If you plan on only doing avatar art, or a waist up sketch, or a full body if bidding passes a certain point, please say so.
Inform bidders that bid retractions are not allowed to prevent problems.
Give a starting bid which you are willing to accept. Starting bids should be the minimum amount you'd accept for the auction. They are not a means to gain interest to the auction.
Set a firm time for when the auction will end, noting down the date, time and in which time zone you're referring to.
Do not extend auctions past the end time after they've ended simply because you aren't satisfied with the end price. This can generally be avoided if you've made a proper starting bid.
Keep note of the 2nd highest bidder in case the auction winner backs out.
Always abide by the thread makers rules. This is especially important when you wish to bid in an auction or request art.
Be polite to artists. Do not harass them, beg or whine for art or a spot on their wait list. Remember that artists are giving up their time to create art for virtual items, so treat them respectfully.
Do not bribe the artist so that you can be put on a closed waiting list or moved to a higher slot unless the artist actually states you can.
When placing a request, please include all relevant infromation about how you would like your commission to look, including the type (sketch, waist up etc.) and a picture of the avatar you want drawn or a detailed description. Use the order form if the artist supplies one.
Unless the artist states that it's negotiable, do not haggle prices. Also, do not complain about the price of art. It is the artists prerogative to price their at how they wish. Complaining about prices in a thread and demanding an artist lower them can be considered harassment.
Until they have confirmed it with you, do not assume an artist will take up your request when you place one. Whenever possible, check back to see if you have been added to their wait list. If it seems your request has been missed, post a polite reminder, but do be patient.
Be cautious about confirming a trade for art prior to seeing at least a watermarked version of it. Whenever possible, arrange to confirm the trade after the art is completed to avoid potential problems. If the artist wishes for the trade to be completed in full, check to see if they have successfully completed commissions for Gaians before and appear reliable. Sometimes users will try to scam gold by confirming trades and then disappearing, never delivering promised art. If this happens to you, please report it to a moderator.
Remember that Gaia is a PG-13 site. Keep your on-site commissions within that standard. Sexy is okay, however hentai should be commissioned through other means.
If an artist is selling their art for a price you know is undervalued, feel free tip them out of politeness. Everyone loves getting great art cheap, but be generous if you can afford it and don't take advantage of new users who don't know what general art prices are.
Before you bid, clarify any questions you may have about the auction if the artist is not clear. Know exactly what it is you are bidding for.
Always abide by the rules the thread maker has laid out. Failure to follow them justifies the thread maker requesting you leave the thread and if you fail to follow this request, a moderator will take action.
Do not place bids before the auction starts or after it ends.
Only place bids when you have the items/gold on you.
Do not PM bids unless the artist states that you can.
Do not withdraw bids from auctions. Placing a bid is an agreement and you must uphold your end of the deal.
Auto-bidding is generally not accepted. An example of this is asking to just put 1k to your bid if you're outbidded so that you always retain the high bid.
Watch the auction yourself or get a friend to. Do not ask for the artist to PM you if you do get outbid. It is your responsiblity, not theirs. If you cannot be there when an auction ends, you can ask a friend to bid for you, but be certain to okay this with the artist.
To help you protect your art from theft or scamming, we have come up with this section so you can be informed. We hope you find this helpful.
~The Gaiaonline Staff~
Hypothetically let's say you have a shop and someone commissions you to do something for them. They want to see the nearly finished product before they pay you. At that point they may turn you down or never pay you and you won't finish the image... however they would have access to the unfinished drawing and could try to use it without paying for it.
How is that allowed? It's not... but some people do it anyway. This is why we encourage you to watermark your unfinished pieces before you show them to the person that commissioned you.
What's an easy way to watermark?
Here we have a shady looking Labtech as example:
You want the mark to be large and obnoxious enough that removing it would ruin the image:
This is the easiest way to do it. Just open it in Paint or any similar editing program and place your marks in highly visible spots to make it clear that it is intended to be a sample.
If the commissioner complains, please remind them politely that it is good business practice to protect your work. If they further complain, please refer them to an R&C mod.
Sign your work
We don't mean in the margin next to the image. That is easily cropped out and could be easily stolen. Find a spot somewhere in the image and add in some form of identifying mark... if it's somewhat easy to read, then it can be traced back to you.
What is the safest way to complete a transaction?
1. Take the request
2. Commissioner sends a trade.
3. Artist draws request (rough drafts or final) and watermarks it before sending it to commissioner for review.
4. Artist confirms trade.
5. Commissioner completes trade and artist sends non-watermarked art.
If there are to be corrections made, go back to step 3 and repeat. You can also add in rough drafts for approval this way. When commissioner is satisfied, they can move to step 5. This way commissioner can't run away with completed image without paying... and the commissioner doesn't lose anything if the artist doesn't finish the piece.