So tell me: When you're looking to commission an artist, what do you look for? Do you like cartoony drawings? Realistic drawings? Portraits? Do you prefer (undersale) cheap, reasonable, or expensive prices?
In addition, what do you look for in the artist(s) you would like to commission? Age? Plenty of samples? How they convey themselves in their commission information page?
I'd like to know what you guys think! Have you had a bad experience commissioning an artist? Has it changed your outlook on commissioning again?
Personally, I look for a diverse artist who's capable of drawing a horse, a dog, a baby, or an adult (and making them look like they're supposed to). I don't mind cartoon drawings but I prefer semi-realism and realism. As for prices I base it on their art; if the art is "bad," I expect cheap prices (why would I pay a large amount of money for poor quality art?). If the artist is more "high end," with more details in their drawings, I expect a higher price. In addition I don't appreciate when I want to commission an artist and they tell me, "I will only draw ...," limiting themselves to a single animal type (most of them only draw wolves/canines, and nothing else -- not even for commissioners).
The way I see it: Once you're commissioned, you're working for the commissioner. They're your customer and it's your job to please them, not the other way around. If they ask you to draw them an owl portrait and offer you $xx, draw them an owl.
I was told by an artist I commissioned that she "wouldn't draw humans" after I asked her to make a cartoon-style sticker of my son. She would only draw wolves. Had she not been hurting for money I would have taken my business elsewhere. (Oh, lo, the soft-of-heart lament.)