To better understand how my concept works, I figured it would be better to go through how standard art commissioning works by art community members.
One person requests/commissions an artist based on set requirements by the user - this becomes the order. The order is sent to the artist and the artist decides whether to accept the order and continue - If accepted, the artist will have to meet requirements such as a ‘deadline’ or ‘timescale’, the user is charged according to the set amount from the order and goes as ‘counter credit’ to the artist’s bank account. If the project is successful, then the artwork is either/or displayed publicly or sent as a private message with the artwork. The service for this order ends, if the artist had declined the order, the service for that order also ends and may specify a reason for declining.
This is a rather straightforward and linear process of how art commissioning often works with novice artists or artists who prefer not having to go through a professional network or platform.
The reality is, this process can be altered due to circumstances and are not as fixed and linear as mentioned above - to deal with such issues, problems must be addressed throughout the process to make it as flexible and open to both the user and the artist.
There are questions that require addressing such as - how does the artist want their users to pay for their commissioned artwork? PayPal? Bank Account? Cash/Cheque? What are the dangers of using this service? What if the artist doesn’t complete the project on time? What does the user do? Request a refund? If the artist refuses, what does he/she do? Offer a deadline extension? What social network mechanics are required to make this efficient and useful?
For standard art commissioning (not professional), they often have a page with an order form already attached as a blog post, a typical post may look like:-
- What the artist does in the subject of field
- A description of what the artist has to offer including restrictions or exemptions (such as NSFW is forbidden, certain characteristic styles like robotics)
- Optionally, the artist may link a page to a site that may feature their portfolio (deviantART, Behance or another blog post).
- Styles or characteristics that the user can choose from offered by the artist i.e. a sketch, a digital painting, black and white, coloured. These would include prices.
- Method of payment (PayPal mostly) and ordering (e-mail, Facebook Message, dA Notes System or Tumblr Ask Box).
- Order Form
This kind of page is often seen on a single page much like a boring letter on a side of A4 paper. The matter is how to make this experience more seamless, easier and less intimidating (thus making it friendly).
The issue with the current system is that often, the order form goes to a messaging service that may be mixed in with both home and work-related messages i.e. using an e-mail address for everything. This creates a confusing experience for artists and may cause them to use a work e-mail address, which works when the service is up (there can be outages, see the recent iCloud outage for details).