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Thread: The Ideal Commissioning Experience

  1. #1
    Junior Member Chesapeake Pod Coral Captain's Avatar
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    The Ideal Commissioning Experience

    Edit: {{This thread is for describing your ideal commissioning experience and what you want to see from Any artist working on your tail}}

    Silicone tails are widely known for being the most realistic, detailed, and costly tails available. As a Special Effects Artist I'd like to know your ideal commissioning experience- What qualities and expectations do you have when commissioning a custom silicone tail?

    -Define what you believe to be standard communication. Would you expect daily, weekly, or monthly updates?
    -What do you look forward to in commissioning a silicone tail?
    -These tails can take months to finish at a time. Multiple commissions can extend years- What time frame would you wish to see a tail completed in?

    ***Do Note: This thread is for sharing your ideals Not discussion of specific tail makers***
    Last edited by Coral Captain; 11-29-2019 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    So let me start by saying I do not own and have never owned a silicone tail. I would like to have one someday and I'm not sure if I would get one via paying to have a custom one, buying a pre-made one, or making one for myself.

    I certainly wouldn't expect daily communication but maybe somewhere between weekly and monthly would be nice. I would also like to see photos of the tail's progress a little later down the line just to be reassured something was being created with my money.

    I think I would most look forward to working with the tailmaker on my design. I would tell them what I'm inspired by and likely have my own sketch of what I want, but ultimately I would be interested in seeing the tailmaker's take on my design or even if they had a better way of combining my various inspirations into a tail.

    Other than cost, the major reason why I'm not in a hurry to get a silicone tail is how long they take. I think I would be okay with waiting a year to a year and a half for a silicone tail, but past that is lengthy in my opinion. Maybe that is all the more reason to get one sooner than later haha.

    However, if the wait time wasn't overly long, I also expect that the tail will arrive to me completely finished. No uncured silicone or areas missing paint. I don't want to wait forever, but I also don't want to rush the tailmaker because I know rushed art isn't always the best art.
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    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
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    Updates: I would say 4 to 6 or so updates over the time period it takes to make the tail. Perhaps the biggest thing is for the customer to have an idea as to when to expect an update. If I see "next update in 3 weeks", I'll not worry or bug you until the 4th week.
    Communication: I look for cooperative problem solving, rather than having the tail maker throw up problems that I have to solve, then convince the tail maker that my solution works.
    Time: I think there is a big disconnect here. If you really spent months making a tail, 40 hours a week, doing nothing but making that tail, it would cost $100,000. If a tail maker costs their time at $100 per hour ( including all overhead: shop rental, tools, materials, taxes, medical, and profit) then a $3000 tail represents 30 hours of work, less than a standard work week. The only reason it takes longer is silicone curing time. After that, additional time is planning and logistics due to working on multiple tails at once, or waiting time due to too many orders. Other than the too many orders issue, I'd expect 1 to 2 months between start of work and tail ready for delivery. That's what I had with my Spellbound.

    On the other hand, I tried to have Mertailor make a silicone sling tail for my Lunocet monofin. After over a year of them thowing up problems and me trying to convince them my solution is viable, they gave up. Also, they are so far behind, weird special orders are really low priority.

    Are you interested in a weird special order? I need it for a trip in early March....
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  4. #4
    Junior Member Chesapeake Pod Coral Captain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merman Storm View Post
    Updates: I would say 4 to 6 or so updates over the time period it takes to make the tail. Perhaps the biggest thing is for the customer to have an idea as to when to expect an update. If I see "next update in 3 weeks", I'll not worry or bug you until the 4th week.
    Communication: I look for cooperative problem solving, rather than having the tail maker throw up problems that I have to solve, then convince the tail maker that my solution works.
    Time: I think there is a big disconnect here. If you really spent months making a tail, 40 hours a week, doing nothing but making that tail, it would cost $100,000. If a tail maker costs their time at $100 per hour ( including all overhead: shop rental, tools, materials, taxes, medical, and profit) then a $3000 tail represents 30 hours of work, less than a standard work week. The only reason it takes longer is silicone curing time. After that, additional time is planning and logistics due to working on multiple tails at once, or waiting time due to too many orders. Other than the too many orders issue, I'd expect 1 to 2 months between start of work and tail ready for delivery. That's what I had with my Spellbound.

    On the other hand, I tried to have Mertailor make a silicone sling tail for my Lunocet monofin. After over a year of them thowing up problems and me trying to convince them my solution is viable, they gave up. Also, they are so far behind, weird special orders are really low priority.

    Are you interested in a weird special order? I need it for a trip in early March....

    Thank you for your feedback. All these notes are well placed and bring up some interesting points.

    *As far as the "weird special project" goes- I'm booked through the beginning of January and don't currently offer tails to the public. I wish you the very best on your quest.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
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    I guess that's the exact opposite of what I consider the "ideal commissioning experience"" You ask a tail maker to make you a tail, and they say "No".
    Are you a Frozen fan? Frozen fanfiction:
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10952902/1/Rain-of-a-Child-s-Tear

    Let the storm rage on!

  6. #6
    Junior Member Chesapeake Pod Coral Captain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merman Storm View Post
    I guess that's the exact opposite of what I consider the "ideal commissioning experience"" You ask a tail maker to make you a tail, and they say "No".
    A very true statement. If a tail maker has open commissions and denied creating the tail to a client, that would be frustrating.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Chesapeake Pod Coral Captain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Alea View Post
    So let me start by saying I do not own and have never owned a silicone tail. I would like to have one someday and I'm not sure if I would get one via paying to have a custom one, buying a pre-made one, or making one for myself.

    I certainly wouldn't expect daily communication but maybe somewhere between weekly and monthly would be nice. I would also like to see photos of the tail's progress a little later down the line just to be reassured something was being created with my money.

    I think I would most look forward to working with the tailmaker on my design. I would tell them what I'm inspired by and likely have my own sketch of what I want, but ultimately I would be interested in seeing the tailmaker's take on my design or even if they had a better way of combining my various inspirations into a tail.

    Other than cost, the major reason why I'm not in a hurry to get a silicone tail is how long they take. I think I would be okay with waiting a year to a year and a half for a silicone tail, but past that is lengthy in my opinion. Maybe that is all the more reason to get one sooner than later haha.

    However, if the wait time wasn't overly long, I also expect that the tail will arrive to me completely finished. No uncured silicone or areas missing paint. I don't want to wait forever, but I also don't want to rush the tailmaker because I know rushed art isn't always the best art.

    These are also wonderful points and notes, Thank you for sharing them! All this information is helpful to me in organizing my own thoughts about what it means to host commissions in the future.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Coral Captain View Post
    A very true statement. If a tail maker has open commissions and denied creating the tail to a client, that would be frustrating.
    But it is also an honest tailmaker! The very popular tailmakers get overrun with orders very quickly and instead of having a 5 year waitting list they simply stop taking commissions until they are caught up.

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