When a client wants "someone else" to finish an existing piece. This can be a very heated topic for some. I'm not exactly sure why, since it is not our bodies to be territorial over and or our artwork once we put it on other people that pay for our service. Most people that come to me are not looking for a deal to get their work finished. They just want to see their work finished and done properly. There are many variables to consider with this process. Over the years I've had this situation come up and have tried my best not to offend anyone. When a potential client comes to me to finish existing work, I ask them [the client] to let the other artist know first. This is not always possible. Since most times when these situations come up, it's because the client has had a falling out with the original artist, cannot find them, the artist moved to another state/country, or wishes to not have them [the artist] work on them [the client] any longer because they are not happy with the results.
I rarely get clients that will come to me from well established artists. Though it has happened in the past due to the artist/client not getting along and not seeing the relationship ever reconciling. In this particular case, a man came to me that had had a falling out with his artist and just wanted it done. I requested he get permission nonetheless. Which he told me would try. I finally agreed to help him. He had an outline established which I filled in for him, keeping to the integrity of the piece. I worked as if I was doing a collaboration with this artist. Of course after we completed the project, I find out from the original artist that they had reconciled their friendship. Go figure.
It's a rather delicate subject to consider, this helping people achieve a finished piece that was started by someone else. The end result is making the client happy and making effort to be respectful to the original artist if possible. So what if the client just doesn't like the results, because the artist working on them is not at the caliber that they had hoped they would be when deciding to take on a large project? Who is my loyalty to? After considering the options, my loyalty is to the client. And to this art.
There are enough botched attempts out there in the world. I'm sure I have many from my own efforts over the years at trying to develop my own techniques. Am I offended when someone leaves me to go to another artist to get the work I started finished? No. I'm sure it has happened many times over the years. If they leave me, it's most likely because they have good reason. I can only hope they leave me because they have found someone that can do a better job than I can, instead of their having found someone to finish the work for a deal or due to their impatience from having to wait to have the piece finished. In closing. If I can help someone not have to cover their arm in solid black or have to under go many sessions under a laser to remove the mess. I will, respectfully.