awww yeeah babushka babooooshka baboooooooska yaya
me rn studying for finals (but my bathrobe is pink not yellow & :( no tea (will get tea! determination!)) (the stars are imaginary and the hearts r for my friends who are helping me)
Waiting on staff to tell me if I'm making bad decisions (I think they fell asleep after I asked them to review it) but here's the current plan, as is being written now, from an artist's perspective.
First, you head to the CM and hit the "become an artist" button. You'll be given a special TOS to read, as well as the list of requirements. The requirements are a bank account, being a resident in any of the countries in this list, and being over 18. If you're under 18 but over 13, we'll need parental consent. Still figuring out the best way to handle that, watch this space.
Once you agree to it, you'll be walked through connecting a Stripe account. This takes about ten minutes when I set it up, and it's pretty easy. When that's done, you set up your basic artist profile. Brief description of who you are etc, any pertinent info, any won't draws etc. You can aalso set how many commission slots you have here. As a quick note - PLEASE be realistic when setting this. When setting up templates you'll be giving an estimated time to completion, and if you're consistently overrunning on them by a lot and we check you out and you have 20 commission slots, we'll be having words with you. Other stuff here is what kind of copyright you do work under, based on a few templates (this is being done because in a community I used to be in, some artists claimed they retain rights to character designs if you didn't have sprites of them beforehand. I think that line of thinking is bullshit, but this is to eliminate any confusion ahead of time), and whether you're accepting NSFW commissions or not. You can also set yourself to adult only, which you'll be expected to do if you predominantly do NSFW/your brand is built on NSFW, but can also be used to just set a minimum age limit on who commissions you. You also pick which of your blogs you want associated with your listing at this point - this particular choice is permanent and cannot be changed (you can, however, change your URL still and it'll update accordingly).
Once that's done, it's time to set up your templates. Here, we're defining templates as a basic, bog-standard commission outline - let's say a bust for $25. Create the template, give it the name "Bust", and set a price of $25. Add a sample - the same kind of thing you use in a commission post with the price scribbled on it is perfect. Add a brief description, any price modifiers (e.g. $10 for extra characters) in there, and now we're on to milestones. You can set as many or as few milestones as you like, but for most things you'll probably want three or four - sketch, lineart, colour, shading. You give these a value that works as a percentage on the final price - for example in a lineart, colour, shading situtaion, you can set it to be a 25/50/25 split. 25% payment on lineart being finished, 50% on colour, and the last 25% when shading is done. More on this later.
Once you have your templates saved, you can preview your ad spot, and if it looks good, you can hit go live. Now you can start accepting commissions.
Commissions aren't auto-accepted. When a buyer hits the button for the template they want, it opens a secure area for you to discuss it in, and make any changes to pricing, requirements, or milestones. It starts with the buyer having auto-accepted the current situation, and then requires the artist to do the same. If the artist changes anything - price, milestones, etc - it updates to both parties needing to approve the changes. Once both have approved any changes, you start.
At any point during the process, you can upload a sample - samples will be automatically watermarked and converted to very low resolution. When it comes to a milestone, you upload a sample, mark it as part of a milestone, and the buyer will be alerted - this'll be a slightly higher resolution sample, but still heavily watermarked. While you wait for them to approve it, feel free to work on other stuff. When they approve it, they get a payment link to send the first part of your payment. When they send it and the system processes it, the commission gets updated and it marks it as paid for. The buyer then gets access to the full resolution image, and you can start working on the next milestone. The intention here is that you don't spend days on a piece only for them to not pay - if you only did the lineart, you've not wasted too much time. Conversely, if you can't finish the commission in its entirety, you both still get something. The secure area stays up perpetually, so you caan always refer back to it and buyers can always go get their image back if five years down the line they lost it.
This continues until the final upload. When it's accepted and everything is squared up, the commission is marked as complete, the buyer can leave a review, ebay style. More feedback means more trust. Reviews you think are unfair can be challenged and staff can make them not count if there's no reason for a negative review to have been left. You can also leave a review on them for other artists to help weed out problem buyers - the ones who fuck you about a lot.
If the same person commissions you again - even if it's from a different blog - you'll be able to see the past commission you did for them. Group blogs cannot use the CM, and blogs cannot become a group blog while they have open commissions. If an artist makes their blog a group blog, it's automatically removed from the listings. Reviews and scores are tied to the user rather than the blog - essentially, if money is involved, there needs to be accountability on both sides.
WF's fee is taken automatically. The only thing to be aware of is Stripe sometimes holds funds for 7 days for fraud prevention purposes - this is normal, and as you (and Waterfall) build up a reputation, this should happen less.
Feel free to ask any questions.