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Artist wants to charge double in "Pay What You Want" stream?


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So an artist was hosting a Pay What You What Stream, and I come in like "i have $30 to spend. Can i get two characters drawn?" thinking it's a "Pay What You Want" and $30 should cover some type of simple headshot nose to nose rough sketch or something of that nature. Something clearly simple and easy.

Well the artist told me that in order for me to get two characters, I have to pay double the price of what I want, thus rendering what I want to pay null to what the artist wants me to pay. And I was like "are these normal commissions or pay what you want? Because i want to pay $30 for "what I want" as the title says". At that point i was told basically the artist wasn't for me and was turned away from getting art because i wouldn't pay double what I was offering. The artist in the end went without a new customer for the day and money in their pocket, and I went without some cute art until i can afford to pay what they want me to pay in form of a full priced commission.

This is where I'm seriously questioning if this artist is doing true "PWYW" streams if they are telling someone "you can't have that, you have to pay more for it".

I thought the purpose of a PWYW stream was pay a price, get a doodle/piece of art. The more you pay, the more you get in quality. That is how i always ran those streams, since at times people only had like $5 or something and I just altered the art type to fit the budget. I never told someone "you need to pay double for that" because then I lost that person as a customer and maybe even future customer.

I'm just confused now how a PWYW stream works anymore. When is a stream a "PWYW" and when is it a "in stream commissions"? What is the TRUE way of hosting any form of a PWYW event anymore?

Edited by Luna996
Typos from using mobile phone
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The artist is in the wrong here; unless it was maybe a language barrier thing and they thought you were offering $30 for a character, and they said its x2 price if you want two.

PWYW art, as I have done, and seen, is buyer offers a price, artists draws for that price. I limit mine to one character, but it still makes no sense to have to double your payment for two UNLESS there was a minimum.

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It could be that there wasn't anything in their roster that would go for $30 for two characters. I know I don't personally, not even headshots.

Edit:  Although let me give you a more specific answer, even though this really feels more like a vent post than an advice post:

I've seen people run PWYW streams in a variety of ways.  Some are like you were expecting:  Individuals can come with any amount and get anything that matches with that level.  Or I've seen folks who are open for the range in their roster of commissions, and accept items that are near what the client asked for.  From observation and some personal experience the former tends to draw more nitpicky clients.  Either way, individuals are allowed to decline commissions regardless of what they are labeled as.  $30 for two characters is not a lot for a lot of artists, and they aren't in the wrong for turning you down.  

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This is 100% the reason I avoid PWYW commissions or streams. I don't like the onus of a fair price being on me when it's the artist that has to make the decision whether or not the price is within their range. I'm always worried that I will offer too low and the artist gets offended or thinks I'm lowballing (much like what happened to the OP). Strongly prefer there just simply being a price sheet and then paying that plus a tip if relevant.

Most situations I've seen in the furry community with "pay what you want" is really just "commissions, except you're socially obligated to tip or you're seen as cheap". I've seen "PWYW (minimum of $X)" where X is just their normal flat color commission price multiple times, and at that point I don't feel like that's actually PWYW; it's just a more socially accepted way of saying "tips expected".

As mentioned, the artist of course isn't wrong for turning you down as nobody should is required to accept commissions, but this has always been my main concern with PWYW stuff.

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The artist's stream showed their regular commission prices, and had a $20 as the lowest starting price they would accept for PWYW. I only had $30 to spare and was going to snag a slot because i was above the lowest price. The second I said I wanted 2 characters they expected me to pay double at normal commission prices.

I mean ive commissioned this artist before during their in stream commissions and paid full price for a thigh up single character. But when I see a "pay what YOU want" lable im thinking that very thing. I pay what i wanna pay and get art, not told to pay double at standard commission prices.

This is where I felt the artist was in a sense lying that the stream was truely a PWYW.

The artist had every reasoj to turn me down for refusing to pay double. But i honestly felt mislead by the title of their stream. Especially given looking back on my PC, their price guide was not a guide for "you pay this; you get this" it was their commission price sheet where you were paying full price for the artwork.

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I dont think the OP was asking if they were in the wrong being turned down, but if the artist was in the wrong for asking for twice the offer, which they were, unless there was a minimum. OP said there was a minimum of $20 in their last post, so they should be offering a minimum of $20 per character. Which would have been $40, not $60.

I think the miscommunication in this was that artist thought OP was offering $30 for a single, and then asked for two, and OP said they had to pay double for the 2nd character. Info was left out in the first post that is actually key.

In a PWYW stream/offer, the minimum would be for a single character. You would have to pay the minimum twice. (unless stated otherwise) $30 for two characters would have been below the minimum of $20 per.


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Yeah I always hated PWYW, name your price, or things like that. I'm not an artist so I can really judge the value of art plus something may worth x in one person's opinion, but be worth y in another's. But as far as PWYW my understanding as always been you give the artist an idea, pay whatever amount you want, and the artist decides how far to take the  idea. Whether it be a sketch, lineart, headshot, fullbody, or whatever.

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