I've been having a pretty good day. I'm actually on the road, touring the great postage stamp that is the Ocean State, seeing its little-visited western half. On the way, I got some photos of this gorgeous marsh ringed by peak-autumn foliage by with silvery pampas grass in the foreground and lilies on the surface - just a stunning contrast. I note that my first day's destination is near Mystic, CT, where I had a memorable day trip with my father when I was a kid, so I nabbed what turned out to be a good hotel room at a reasonable rate, went downtown, ate at Mystic Pizza (veg pie, could used more salt), had a delicious lemon-choco-chunk and Indian pudding ice cream cone, and so enjoyed window shopping that I've decided to stay tomorrow, see the aquarium, and tour Mystic in earnest. I snagged a replacement charger for the one I forgot to bring from home so I could relax with a little Dead by Daylight and the brand new tome with cosmetics for my beloved Yun-Jin and Trickster (man, that is a Blanche Devereaux starter outfit they gave Yun-Jin - which is fine for Blanche, but not for Yun-Jin).

Then I'm getting into bed, and I think, oh, wait! In the rush out the door this morning, I forgot not only my laptop charger but to check Akari Funato's Skeb! I didn't expect commissions to reopen so soon, but to my delight, I find - success! She's Seeking once more. At last, the hour is at hand...to correct the error of my stupid bank from...what was it, a week ago?

I see, though, that the suggested starting bid for a commission has gone up significantly - from 20,000 yen to 33,000 yen. That's...a lot. Furthermore, I had put a significant bonus on top of my initial bid to attract attention and maybe a little extra detail in the work. I can't afford that bonus now - the minimum's a hefty ask as it is. I won't have an attention-grabbing bid, and I can't guarantee an extra-nice piece. But, you know, the heck with it! I'm still cursing my bank under my breath for not getting in at a lower price point, but this is a once-in-a...well, not lifetime, but a several-months purchase, at least. An Akari Funato image of Morris in 2021 is still worth a hefty price to me. It's been a long day, but I'm ready to babysit this commission and/or bug my bank - all night, if need be! All right, at least until 2 or 3. I sign in, fill in my request, hit "Submit," and...

I'm greeted with another error message. Not remotely the one I expected, though.

The text includes the creator-specified premium term "Vheen".
Please submit an offer of at least 60,000 yen or try revising your request.

60,000 yen. That's over $500 U.S. as of this writing. What I feared happening seems to have indeed happened - requests for Lunar work (Vheen Hikuusen in particular) started coming in after the Ghaleon piece, Funato took umbrage at being pigeonholed by her Lunar stuff as she was back in the '90s, and so she set a price high enough to deter anyone from making the requests in the first place. I doubt getting my request in last week would have mattered - she takes offense to being asked to do Lunar stuff at all, even of her own creation. Even if I were in a position just to burn $500+ outright, if an artist doesn't want to do a request, you're not going to get a good piece.

Even though I love Vheen Hikuusen to death and think it's absolutely Funato's masterpiece, I understand her frustration with being identified with a work that's part of another creator's franchise instead of her own stuff. I think I would have had more respect, though, if she had just refused requests with "Lunar" or "Vheen"/"Vane" in them outright rather than charging double for a begrudging commission. For $500, I could get a lot of fan art from fan artists who would most likely put more love into the final product. I'm happy that Skeb is working out for Funato, but at this point, I'd rather give that money to someone else.

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