• Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Commissioned costume inquiry

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I finally found a person who seems willing to do my customized costume of Klaymen from the Neverhood.
I'm not sure what kind of things I should look for in the contract.
The designer mentions a company name, but is there some kind of business certificate or such I can and should be asking for?
He expects to have the costume finished in 6 months. I can wait 1 full year. Maybe a refund clause minus $50 or $100 that I could request my money back if the costume if not finished by then?
I'm not sure about materials or what works for comfortability.

Maybe I should hire a lawyer to help me draft up a contract?

He has certain details such as:
Eva foam that will be sealed and than painted with acrylic to look like clay.
Fans will be installed in the head for cooling purposes.
Clothing worn by the character will be hand sewn and included in the commission price

Any thoughts on what should be added and/or asked?
Thank you.
 
Last edited:

LuxLuca

Kermit the Frog
I feel like reading up on the laws that apply to your situation for starters might be a good idea, depending on your location there might already be some rights to keep in mind.
 

Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
Wait, what the heck kinda setup is this that would even conceivably require some lengthy contract and a lawyer and such? Or anything of that level?

Long-time cosplayer here. Have done all sorts of outfits of wildly varying complexity. I cant make things on my own, so I paid others to do it. Typical commissioned work, and no cheapo junk, I've never been one to hold back on money and I'm an obsessive perfectionist. But there's no bonkers contract or any of that nonsense. You find the person, you make sure they dont have a horrid reputation and check for examples of their previous work, you point out what you need, they tell you if they can do it or not and how much, and BAM, there you go.

Even particularly ridiculous props going along with said costumes aint exactly hard to get.

Just talk to the person as if in a normal conversation. Believe me, if they're even remotely good at what they do, they're used to having confused customers who dont know much about things like materials and whatnot. If they dont know the right questions to ask you to get things figured out WITHOUT stressing you out to the point of things making no sense... then you've found the wrong person to make it.

Seriously, even a complex costume isnt going to be hard or unusually complicated to get... if you're going to someone that is actually any good at making things.

I will say though, it's a good idea to make sure you truly understand what you're getting yourself into. And I mean that in a very literal sense. The costume itself. What you're talking about sounds like a "heavy" costume (which has little to do with actual weight, I just cant think of a better word for what I mean). And I'll tell you this right now. Even with fans in it (which sounds a bit of a red flag to me, particularly if they're in the head, I can see multiple problems with that one), wearing a heavy type IS going to drain you in ways you arent going to expect. You best be prepared for that. Costumes are super fun, but hurting yourself because you wore one kinda ruins the fun.

Lastly: Be aware of the possibility that even with someone who is good at what they do... you may not get *exactly* what you're after. Making this sort of thing is pretty much an art form, and a difficult one. Sometimes, even with great skill and the best of intentions, there may be details that arent quite what you expected. That's how it goes with commissioned work sometimes.

And that's that. Good luck with it.
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I got the idea of fans because the first one told me she did a lot of costumes with fans in them and that full body costumes can get hot without them. You do have a good point though. Maybe, I don't need the fans or I don't need to replace the ones that go ka-blooey right away if at all.

This is, hard, lol .. . .
I think for something that costs like $1-700 or $1- ~1000, I can understand just having casual conversation or maybe having only a word document with 1/2 - 1 page at most.

If the amount gets more than that for one item, my concerns are things such as what if the designer wants to take 4 years instead of 1?
What if the fit isn't so great anymore? What kind of things should I consider?
 

VictorR

Random Member
V.I.P Member
Generally speaking the agreement shouldn't exceed 1 page. As Misery noted, we don't need to get too into technical details - keep in mind that some of the best creators may not be someone with a brick-and-mortar business, but rather, a dedicated hobbyist.

As for payment, for custom work like this, I'd suggest breaking it up over several portions.

As for an agreement/contract, you may wish to specify
* what you want
* materials
* sizing (and ensuring that you provide accurate measurements, and how much wiggle space you want, etc., if you may need padding or other support...)
* approximate timeframe (you may wish to include incentive bonuses for hitting certain deadlines)
* how much you'll pay to get started (e.g. for them to work on a drawing / blueprint)
* how much you'll pay on approval of the final sketches/plans (the payment should cover all materials needed and a portion of the labor)
* how much you'll pay upon completion and receipt of the product (which should cover the rest of the labor)

And again, as Misery noted, even with the best designers and creators, it's possible, given the nature of custom costumes, that you may not get exactly what you want, but if you're happy, you can always throw in a tip at the end and/or write a testimonial for them.
 

Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
I got the idea of fans because the first one told me she did a lot of costumes with fans in them and that full body costumes can get hot without them. You do have a good point though. Maybe, I don't need the fans or I don't need to replace the ones that go ka-blooey right away if at all.

This is, hard, lol .. . .
I think for something that costs like $1-700 or $1- ~1000, I can understand just having casual conversation or maybe having only a word document with 1/2 - 1 page at most.

If the amount gets more than that for one item, my concerns are things such as what if the designer wants to take 4 years instead of 1?
What if the fit isn't so great anymore? What kind of things should I consider?

Honestly the fans could become an issue just by themselves.

Firstly, that means a costume with some sort of power source enough to actually power the fans, which must be attached constantly. A battery-powered whatever could be an issue at times, particularly if it gets overheated. But also, you have the weight of the fans themselves. This might not seem all that much, but trust me, enough of those putting weight on your head/shoulders and it sure will be a problem after not too long. And even then, there's no guarantee that the fans are going to truly dissipate the heat. Even moreso if you should find yourself in a place that's too warm.

Also be very, very careful about spending that kind of money on a costume. Usually, even detailed costumes in my experience tended to be more like, say... 200-300, when done by someone with enough skill to be efficient. If you're spending $1000 on a costume... customized and detailed though it may be... that might be an issue. No matter how you look at it, that's a risky purchase. And you have things like wear and tear to deal with, unexpected comfort/sensory issues, or problems you never thought you'd have, like not being able to get through a bloody doorway without something going wrong (been there, done that, got stuck on doorknobs, 0/10 do not recommend). While costumes are great fun they can create all sorts of incredibly aggravating problems. A costume like the one you're describing is likely to be very bulky, very hot (fans or no) and very fragile (and very, very hard to repair). Not to mention restricting mobility and probably making it hard to use your hands. Whenever I would see someone wearing a "heavy" type costume like this at a convention or whatever, they tended to move very slowly, very gingerly, and no wide sweeping moves, and often even had a friend or whoever near them at all times in case something went wrong (keep in mind, you're stuck IN the thing if the thing itself should go funky on you... makes it hard to extricate yourself from the situation).

Not to mention that, from looking at the character myself, it seriously should not be that insanely expensive. A creative and talented hobbyist could likely make something darned good and darned accurate without getting anywhere near that cost.

Always always always shop around when dealing with commissioned stuff. Dont just go with the first guy you find. It may be worth $1000 to him, but that doesnt mean it's *actually* worth $1000 at all.

Really, the main complexity here isnt truly in the buying process, or any sort of contract, or whatever... those parts are easy. The complexity is everything else. The need to research costume makers, the need to check out prior works of theirs, the need to shop around to make sure you dont get ripped off, and then the many, many, many wonky aspects that go with costumes like this. It's all sort of just an unavoidable part of the whole thing.

If it's something you really get into though, believe me, you'll learn as you go. It's just best to take it very slow and careful, since you'd rather learn the easy way instead of the hard way.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The thing that you need to develop are the important deliverables and specifications of the design.
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Generally speaking the agreement shouldn't exceed 1 page. As Misery noted, we don't need to get too into technical details - keep in mind that some of the best creators may not be someone with a brick-and-mortar business, but rather, a dedicated hobbyist.

As for payment, for custom work like this, I'd suggest breaking it up over several portions.

As for an agreement/contract, you may wish to specify
* what you want
* materials
* sizing (and ensuring that you provide accurate measurements, and how much wiggle space you want, etc., if you may need padding or other support...)
* approximate timeframe (you may wish to include incentive bonuses for hitting certain deadlines)
* how much you'll pay to get started (e.g. for them to work on a drawing / blueprint)
* how much you'll pay on approval of the final sketches/plans (the payment should cover all materials needed and a portion of the labor)
* how much you'll pay upon completion and receipt of the product (which should cover the rest of the labor)

And again, as Misery noted, even with the best designers and creators, it's possible, given the nature of custom costumes, that you may not get exactly what you want, but if you're happy, you can always throw in a tip at the end and/or write a testimonial for them.

I don't know what materials I want for sure. I'm depending on a designer to make an educated decision.
I've been doing a good job with understanding and setting up payments. The concern I have is if it's worth it or not.
Cosmosii is a decent website, although the navigation could be corrected better. Some qualifications are listed and I can see experience based on what they list or don't etc.
I've considered brick and mortar as there's a reputable brick and mortar near me, but they're too concerned about copyright and won't even try to look into the process and cost to get permission for something that might be copyrighted. So, my only option for the costume I want is from someone who works on a more personal level.
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Honestly the fans could become an issue just by themselves.

Firstly, that means a costume with some sort of power source enough to actually power the fans, which must be attached constantly. A battery-powered whatever could be an issue at times, particularly if it gets overheated. But also, you have the weight of the fans themselves. This might not seem all that much, but trust me, enough of those putting weight on your head/shoulders and it sure will be a problem after not too long. And even then, there's no guarantee that the fans are going to truly dissipate the heat. Even moreso if you should find yourself in a place that's too warm.

Also be very, very careful about spending that kind of money on a costume. Usually, even detailed costumes in my experience tended to be more like, say... 200-300, when done by someone with enough skill to be efficient. If you're spending $1000 on a costume... customized and detailed though it may be... that might be an issue. No matter how you look at it, that's a risky purchase. And you have things like wear and tear to deal with, unexpected comfort/sensory issues, or problems you never thought you'd have, like not being able to get through a bloody doorway without something going wrong (been there, done that, got stuck on doorknobs, 0/10 do not recommend). While costumes are great fun they can create all sorts of incredibly aggravating problems. A costume like the one you're describing is likely to be very bulky, very hot (fans or no) and very fragile (and very, very hard to repair). Not to mention restricting mobility and probably making it hard to use your hands. Whenever I would see someone wearing a "heavy" type costume like this at a convention or whatever, they tended to move very slowly, very gingerly, and no wide sweeping moves, and often even had a friend or whoever near them at all times in case something went wrong (keep in mind, you're stuck IN the thing if the thing itself should go funky on you... makes it hard to extricate yourself from the situation).

Not to mention that, from looking at the character myself, it seriously should not be that insanely expensive. A creative and talented hobbyist could likely make something darned good and darned accurate without getting anywhere near that cost.

Always always always shop around when dealing with commissioned stuff. Dont just go with the first guy you find. It may be worth $1000 to him, but that doesnt mean it's *actually* worth $1000 at all.

Really, the main complexity here isnt truly in the buying process, or any sort of contract, or whatever... those parts are easy. The complexity is everything else. The need to research costume makers, the need to check out prior works of theirs, the need to shop around to make sure you dont get ripped off, and then the many, many, many wonky aspects that go with costumes like this. It's all sort of just an unavoidable part of the whole thing.

If it's something you really get into though, believe me, you'll learn as you go. It's just best to take it very slow and careful, since you'd rather learn the easy way instead of the hard way.
Glad you added this. For one of the costumes, I gave a range of 1000-2000, and it seems that the designer asked for the maximum amount, but the lack of consideration of minimal protection on my end for what if he takes 4 years instead of 6 months to a year and the lack of detail for such an amount and a lack of a proper portfolio make me lean toward asking him to maybe do a smaller project that I would like first.

I know costs of material and such have gone up and that it is okay for a designer to receive an initial installment to buy materials and start labor. This particular designer doesn't seemed to concerned with how the costume might work with me emotionally though. So, it's very frustrating as it's been hard for me to even find someone willing to take this on.
I still need to put up two other projects on Cosmosii and my measurements to the best of my ability.
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Now that I think about it, it feels like foam is generally something people wear for costumes. But then, I might want a different material around the foam that has a more fuzzy feeling, but with the right colors. Painting over the foam is for appearance only, but I want more of a feel for the costume.

As for uncomfortableness, these are superb points you bring up Misery. I think I have a strange tolerance for certain things compared to people I run into, which may pay slightly in my favor, but I can still get annoyed about stuff too.

Maybe I shouldn't consider fans anymore unless the designer I speak with brings them up because if they don't bring it up, it is less likely they would do whatever might be a good job or "good job" if that's even possible to do whatever might be a good job.

I generally don't get bothered by textures of food or clothing, and I can sleep through fire alarms and have a general tendency to be at least slightly more desensitized to (some) things than the average person.
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It was difficult for me, but I got an opinion on a cosplayer's insight through a friend of a friend where we haven't kept in close touch. She felt that my costume estimation was very good for the costume and that the eva foam alone and then mixed with fabric underneath was not a good attempt to keep the look of the character fairly enough.
The complexity for this particular costume is that it appears that it can be made with one material for wearability, but then another layer of another material would go over it for a respectable appearance. A good designer trying to have astuteness to create look for this and a reasonable attempt to embody the character itself is necessary for a quality costume for this character.

I've been able to determine that the lack of quality communication should lead to me considering other designer(s) if at all and to ask person to do one of my lower commission requests.
 

New Threads

Top Bottom