Learning from Negative Experiences

Wow, it feels a little strange writing because I haven’t been here in what feels like a really long time.

I’m glad to be back though, I’ve missed you all. I’ve been quietly lurking around my favourite Nigerian blogs but jeez, people are so slow to update their blogs.

Kettle meet Pot.

Anyway, it’s been a so-so start to the year. Some ups and some downs. Mostly downs but I’m hoping there will be more ups soon.

Speaking of the downs, at the end of January, I got a commission request from Atilola. If you don’t know her, she’s an awesome, natural haired Nigerian blogger that is also the author of Antonyms of a Mirage. (Which you should totally buy and read by the way, if you haven’t, but I disgress).

She wanted a cover image for her podcast and I told her I could do it. Everything was very straightforward, she paid, and I started work on her commission.

Unfortunately, not long after, in a stupid, stupid moment of carelessness, my clumsiness led to my cintiq (my drawing tablet) being catastrophically water damaged. I’m pretty sure everyone here knows just how well water and sensitive electronic devices mix.

Yeah, my cintiq was a goner.

This led to a few weeks of me running all over the place trying to find somewhere to get my cintiq repaired.

Three expensive “repairs” and even more weeks later, it was still malfunctioning terribly, and practically unusable.

I then had it sent to the manufacturer to repair.

More delays…

…And here we are. A super simple, super straightforward commission that went terribly wrong and three months of inexcusable delays.

Atilola was a trooper through the whole thing, and I issued her a refund this week because she simply couldn’t wait any longer, and it would have been incredibly irresponsible not to mention unfair (and maybe borderline wicked) to ask her to wait one more second.

And my cintiq still isn’t back.

What I have learned from this though is I need a better contingency plan for when everything that can go wrong does go wrong. No more As and Bs. Be prepared! Like the Boys Scouts. All the way down to Plan Z is possible.

I’m always thrilled when my customers have a great commissioning experience, which I’ve worked to ensure so far but sadly, this time wasn’t one of them, and I’m going to do the utmost to make sure something like this never happens again.


I’d like to thank Atilola for being so gracious and patient.

You win some, but sometimes you don’t.

There are 6 comments

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  1. abokishop

    cintiq tablets are one of those things u dont bother repairing…best way to handle it is be careful with or have a spare incase of issues like u expirienced which u probly already know since days back…sorry about how a random accident stole away the thrill of woWing your client bcos I am sure u would have delivered over 100%…like u said, u win some…you lose some…

    • sugabelly

      Thanks, I think the experience was awful on both sides. On my side I was having panic attacks, and I couldn’t sleep because I was so worried and just ashamed to be disappointing her.

      I think it’s one of the risks that you take going in, no business is going to have a 100% success rate. Some times there are pitfalls. It happens.

      I actually have a spare cintiq. I have two cintiqs. The huge 24HD and the small 13HD. The 24HD is so massive it can’t be moved. It’s sitting at home in Nigeria as I type this. I use the 13HD to travel, and that’s what I have with me here, and that’s what was destroyed.

      Cintiqs are also ridiculously expensive. I don’t know if I can afford to buy another one so soon.

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