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Advice on how to handle being posted here.

You've Been Posted to Artists Beware... Now What?

Artists Beware can be a powerful place. With thousands of members and readers, that is a lot of people who will see your name. It is completely understandable the stress, frustration, anger, worry, and anxiety having a beware posted about yourself may bring.

However, many times it is not the actual post on its own that will ruin a reputation. Instead, it is how the artist or commissioner reacts to it. This post is here to help you figure out what to do if you end up here, and sincerely want to smooth over your newly ruffled reputation.

  • First thing's first... DON'T PANIC. The absolute WORST thing you can do is respond while you're emotional. Get a hold of yourself, walk away and calm down before coming back to defend yourself.

  • If the beware is a result of genuine wrong-doing (even if accidental on your part), don't make excuses, or try to guilt trip the OP with your problems. People will see right through it and it will definitely lower their opinion of you. It makes you sound insincere in wanting to fix things when you come off as if you are looking for sympathy or to get out of your responsibilities instead.

  • Be respectful and polite, it will go a long, long way. Many times, people earn business if they handle a problem gracefully and with tact. In turn, the opposite reaction will net you the opposite result, and I'm sure you don't want that.

  • Do not ask/demand/blackmail/hint for the OP to delete the post! I can't stress this enough. It makes you look shady, and people WILL take note of it. If things are resolved, we have a 'resolved' tag specifically for that, and the OP can update their post to reflect the resolution. Deleting the post is unnecessary and contradictory to the purpose of AB as a whole, as well as disrespectful to the userbase. Do not do this. It will most likely end in getting both you and the OP banned, and the post will merely be reposted anyway.

  • DO NOT send your friends/SO/whoever to fight your battles for you! This is one of the worst things you can do. You WILL be judged to an extent by the company you keep, and if someone you know comes in frothing at the mouth in defense of you, cursing and raging at the members, it will be theirs AND your reputation that will suffer for it. Try to avoid 'whiteknights', and understand that you yourself coming in and being respectful and honest with an explanation, apology, and resolution will do far more for you than your friends ever could.

  • Ultimately, your goal should be fixing the problem and earning that Resolved tag. After all, if you messed up, why wouldn't you want to try to make everybody happy by fixing the issue? Keep that in mind at all times when you are replying.

  • When defending yourself against genuinely untrue claims, do what you can to show proof as politely and calmly as possible. If the OP is downright lying, or omitting information, and you can prove it, AB will react appropriately.

  • Understand that AB isn't a group of dramallama meanie jerkfaces who want nothing more than to see you suffer. The members of AB work with the information they're given at the time, and they will be honest, even if it's not something you want to hear. But if you've made a mistake and are genuinely apologetic, you will be surprised how helpful and sympathetic the members will be. Treat them with respect, and they'll do the same for you.

  • Never pull the 'I have a life' excuse. Everybody has a life. Rarely is anyone's life so busy that they can not do what ended up getting them posted here, and if it is, you shouldn't be taking commissions/getting commissions/whatever to begin with. If something does come up, update them personally! Don't leave them in the dark or expect them to search for information. Fulfilling the agreements you make, whether you are a customer or an artist, should be an important part of your life and sense of character. If it isn't, well, that's probably why you're on AB.

    Photobucket

    Okay. Just keep this in mind, then. Don't freak out, be respectful when replying, don't send your friends or SO to whiteknight for you and don't demand the OP take down the post. If you genuinely want to fix things, behave like it, and you'll be fine!

    If I missed anything or anyone has anything to add, feel free to do so!
  • Before commenting, please read our Community Rules.
    Do not go after persons posted about here, by leaving comments on their art pages.
    If you have been posted about, please read I've Been Posted on Artists_Beware, Now What?

    Comments

    ( 129 comments — Leave a comment )
    celarania
    Aug. 12th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
    I think that the genuinely untrue claims should go up further. In most cases there will be two sides of the story and I think it's usually better to have the do's before the don'ts (more of a guide, less of a lecture).

    One thing I would add is that it isn't the end of the world to get posted here, particularly if a resolution is reached. This is a community to warn against ongoing problems and patterns of behaviors, not to penalize someone for a simple mistake.
    hbruton
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
    Well written!
    neolucky
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
    Absolutely love this. I really hope those posted read this and take it's advice!
    kayla_la
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
    Me too.. we've had a rash of people freaking out in posts about them and sending whiteknights, lately. If even one person catches sight of this and reads it before they react, it'll be for the better. I understand being upset, but I'll never understand the people that come in and downright troll people in posts about them.
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    ginkaruja
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
    'AB isn't a group of dramallama meanie jerkfaces who want nothing more than to see you suffer'......'don't make excuses, or try to guilt trip the OP with your problems'.

    In the time that I've been watching AB, I have seen actually seen people become more hostile, especially towards artists. I can understand when some people do try to make excuses, but as time progresses, people seem to be more and more unwilling to accept that sometimes...life DOES throw some pretty awful curve balls at people and they can't control it or even work around it. So if an artist says 'sorry, something came up, I'll be back to it asap', they'll get the shaft...if they try to explain the details so people know what's going on exactly...they'll get the shaft and be told they're guilt tripping, all thanks to the people who are scammers and who have made up excuses or such. A few bad apples has apparently are ruining the possibility of understanding in this line of work. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground as much(because of the bad stories and cases, I think people are becoming paranoid), and forgiveness seems to be harder and harder to find as time goes on in the group here. I haven't said anything because I haven't been able to word it or point it out before.

    Sadly, art on a commission basis is not like having a store, where if need be you can shut it down, or pass your duties off to someone else. There's still scammers everywhere, in every line of business, but in art-it's one specific person being commissioned, there's not really way to have back up. I think it does need to be taken into consideration as well. So sure...by all means, don't make excuses and don't guilt trip, but also for people to understand that things DO HAPPEN.
    kayla_la
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
    Personally, I disagree. Many times I see people sticking up for the artist here if things went wrong and the artist seems genuinely apologetic. It's just that people are becoming stricter about not letting someone go on and ignore their responsibilities for months on end.

    A recent entry here is actually a pretty good example. Everyone admits the lack of communication is bad, but most people are siding with the artist and suggesting something might have happened to keep them from sending it sooner or what have you.

    Mind you, not every person in AB is going to react appropriately to every thing, and I'm not trying to imply that. But as a whole, I feel the group is pretty understanding. It's just there's a difference in tone between excuses and explanations, and people will be called out on excuses, and I do think that's how it should be.

    TL;DR, I don't think people IN GENERAL here are becoming more hostile so much as they're becoming less tolerant of genuinely bad behaviour and quicker to call people out on it.
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    TL;DR but bears discussing - kadaria - Aug. 12th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
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    puritikoneko
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
    I think this is a very much needed post. Hopefully it'll help some people in the future with dealing with their situations appropriately.

    marus_puppy
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
    Would it be possible to say... link this to the subject of any/all future posts? I don't know the best route to do that, unfortunately.
    kayla_la
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
    No, that would require us to have editing access to other people's posts, and we can't do that. It's the same reason we can't fix other people's broken LJ-cuts or broken links or what have you. All we can really do is put it in the user info and hope someone sees it.
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    latiro
    Aug. 12th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
    I absolutely approve of this
    frazzled_niya
    Aug. 12th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC)
    should totally be stickied or something...
    kayla_la
    Aug. 12th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
    I would LOVE to, I really would, but I never figured out how to sticky items in a community. I know how to do it in a personal journal, but not a community entry.
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    sovy
    Aug. 12th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
    "AB isn't a group of dramallama meanie jerkfaces who want nothing more than to see you suffer."

    One of the problems I find is that an artist or commissioner makes an entry on this comm and it is taken as the gospel truth. More directed at the community than the original poster but for the viewers out there should reserve judgement before both sides explain their story. Otherwise you end up with one of these awkward moments.
    celarania
    Aug. 12th, 2011 06:55 am (UTC)
    Well, we can only make judgements based on the facts we're given. You can't expect good or right advice if incorrect or misleading information is given.

    Also, it seems like people were asking questions to get a more accurate idea of the situation based on this summary.

    Generally we find out if the OP is lying or otherwise being deceitful, but until it's a point of contention, it seems silly to labor over every detail. Not to mention this community is very easily swayed by proof. (Also, the liar is the one that looks bad in that situation, not the people who gave advice based on false information.)
    wolfofwind
    Aug. 12th, 2011 04:17 am (UTC)
    This is a great post, I just want to say that people need to take more care here in what they say and how it can hurt the artist in question- especially if they don't know the whole story. I think this is a great community but it needs to work on making it an easier place for the artist to communicate back with the commissioner and others.. all too often I see unwarranted heated comments, that can be very hurtful. I understand no one here wants to make the person in question suffer but I tend to see a lot of accusations and assumptions here that can be completely wrong- and I may be thinking of my own a_b post, that I emotionally reacted to.

    "First thing's first... DON'T PANIC. The absolute WORST thing you can do is respond while you're emotional. Get a hold of yourself, walk away and calm down before coming back to defend yourself."

    This.. I wish someone had said this to me or there had been a post on this before, because to be honest, it's hard NOT to freak out when you read some of the AMAZINGLY misguided assumptions.

    Hopefully I don't get too much hate for this.. >_> lol
    sbneko
    Aug. 12th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
    I don't think you'd get hate for it c: You're right, things can get heated here.

    The problem is that it's rare someone posts with ought asking for some sort of advice. So of course you'd be forced to make assumptions with what you you're given since what else can you use? And it's rare an artist comes to tell they're own side, I've noticed. The one good thing I've noticed though, if someone comes in to prove you're wrong, people more often then not admit to it and change they're minds about the person.

    To add on to that, when someone shows a lot of proof, even if some is missing, we're gonna think it's all of it because it sure does look like all of it. I do think it's best not to assume too much when you don't see any proof or the poster only posts the other's convos, which looks suspicious, as though they're hiding they're own responses.
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    mactonight
    Aug. 12th, 2011 06:41 am (UTC)
    I think this is an extremely helpful and much-needed post. I kind of jumped the gun the last time I got posted here and ended up making myself look way worse than I already did. It didn't help that I wasn't home when I got posted on AB; I was staying with my grandma for the month with no internet. My friend happened to see a shout from someone about me getting posted on AB and went to defend me in the comments. He has major anger issues and went off on everyone and I couldn't side against him (in the comments) or he'd be pissed at me in person, so it looked like I supported his raging attitude.

    It's really hard to keep your cool in a situation like this. Especially in my case. I've been posted here in the past and reacted calmly because the customer was calm, but in the last case the customer pretty much labeled me as a scammer from the get-go, even after I gave her the information that proved I sent her stuff. And even worse are the photos she took when she got it of the head base falling apart, when I would never mail anything out like that. Even after everything, I asked her if she wanted a refund and she declined, so I bought her a pair of latex pawpads for her new fursuit.

    (As you can see) this has been bothering me since it was posted. I wish I would have handled it better and I wish my friend never saw it. He doesn't understand that he wasn't being helpful; all he sees is that he was defending me. He made everything worse. And I quickly lost patience because I knew I did nothing wrong but sent the base late and I was being accused of all of these things. And even with proof nobody wanted to believe me. It all went down so horribly and it haunts me almost every night.

    I hope more people see this post so it prevents them from doing what I did. :T
    kadaria
    Aug. 12th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
    A much needed post though a lot of this should be common sense. Thanks for posting it on the front page along with the rule changes and positive reviews.
    alex_dachshund
    Aug. 12th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
    I agree with this. ^_^

    I was posted here once along with Stellary and I figured the best thing to do is to not freak out and go emo. True it kinda made me feel bad, but it also showed me what I did wrong and acknowledge my mistakes, cuz otherwise, if you don't know what you did wrong, how would you go about improving it?

    Thanks for posting this. :D I think that a few people assume that this place is here just to bash others which is not true at all, and showing a person this post will hopefully change their outlook and show what they think is wrong, and will also show artists how to react properly when dealing with their own article. ^_^
    wolfofwind
    Aug. 12th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
    Yeah, I actually didn't even KNOW about my article until 10 months later.. you'd think you'd get a note or something, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. lol
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    selunca
    Aug. 13th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
    I love this :) Great tool to use for people who are new to AB along with older folks who have been here forever to refresh on how to behave.

    or you could just lurk moar like me :D
    makealittlewish
    Aug. 13th, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)
    This is wonderful. I think it should also be made mention to apply to those who make posts as well, and the majority disagrees with them (or everyone does).

    Since you linked my recent post here in a comment, I'll elaborate based upon that example. I posted for advice because I needed it. I didn't want to mistreat the artist if I were the one being a dumbdumb. Sure enough, everyone responded 100% disagreeing with me, even misinterpreting my post thinking I was unhappy with the shipping time and the pricing.

    Boy, did I feel ashamed and stupid. And I realized that even before I came back to read the comments. I gave myself a few days to breathe and calm down before even looking. I, in a way, prayed that my post got rejected, because I realized how much of a dick I looked like.. and rightfully so.

    People WILL misinterpret what you are saying. At the same time, artists/commissioners being transparent is easily mistaken for making excuses, when really, they are just explaining themselves but are in total agreement. I went through and responded to nearly every comment, thanking them for the advice, explaining a little when things weren't interpreted the way I was trying to convey them, and agreed with them because I could see clearly I was in the wrong.

    Just because you know the intent behind what you are saying, your whole side of your story, and know the details that you may have intentionally or accidentally left out doesn't mean everyone else does, or will even remotely pick up on it. If they don't? Be cool about it. Freaking out about it just upsets you even more, and upsets everyone. Sometimes freaking out encourages others to try to freak you out even more. And in that state, the careful prods can work. And that can destroy your reputation. There's nothing wrong with being in the wrong, admitting it, agreeing you are, and actually trying to make it better. What's wrong is doing the exact opposite of what is written here, causing a scene, throwing a temper tantrum, and making an ass of yourself.
    familliaraver
    Aug. 13th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
    What a great thread! I never post here but I always read it, and I feel like throwing in my 2 cents about the subject.

    I think that it's easy to confuse how to conduct yourself after being posted to AB and trying to explain or "make excuses" as to how you ended up here and I think this is where a lot of the disagreements are stemming from. This post isn't talking about how you ended up here, but how to deal with ending up here.

    Yes, everyone has things happen to them in life. Tires pop, people lose jobs, get sick, whatever. Finding a way to keep an open line of communication between commissioner and commissioned is the priority of both people. A large amount of the problems I see could simply be fixed by that. Making excuses and whining about life is what gets someone posted here.

    If you get posted here, just fix it. Find a common ground between you and the poster or posted and use this community as it's supposed to be used ; as mediation. Fighting with the community doesn't earn any points. If I'm at work and a customer isn't happy with what I make them or a service I provide, I want to know how it's to be fixed. The customer never cares if I've had a hard day. If it cannot be fixed , mediation is always best.
    anjel_kitty
    Aug. 13th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
    I know this took you a while to write and come up with Kayla and I appreciate the effort you put into this. It's a well written post and it covers a lot of the good points, and what we as long time members have come to hope for when a person is posted. While it can be amusing in a lulzy way when someone misbehaves on a post, in the end it is also all around disappointing and can damage their reputation. I know from watching some of the more memorable artist temper-tantrums, I will never commission those artists. And while I've long since retired from commissions, I keep tract of commissioners on here that are bad news so that in the event I have an artist friend who may unwillingly go into a transaction with them (though I insist on all artists friends joining this community) I can point them to the instances where the commissioner has been badly behaved as warning to get into business with them.
    The online artist commission market isn't like a lot of standard jobs where you have a lot of oversight to what you do. But that doesn't mean that treating it as though you do have to attend to details and deadlines, communicate with commissioners, and be professional would in any way harm you. In fact keeping this sort of professional attitude to something that is in many ways a casual home cottage industry only makes you as an artist more business and respect from a customer base that is completely flooded with other options. Often times it is not even the over all quality or talent that I seek for an artist's work (though I do appreciate uniqueness) it's the way the artist handles their customers and business practices.

    Finally on the note about A_B being a hostile environment, I would say that at one point I was rather tentative about posting here, but thanks to the coordinated moderation efforts of our dedicated team, I feel as though anything that is too off topic or inflammatory is handled, and the only time I've seen situations degrade is usually in cases where the OP is being defensive, or whiteknights with personal grudge agendas enter the scene. If the OP, the person in dispute, and all their friends can come to a post with a level head, make a point to try to communicate and resolve the issue, there is often very little chance for drama or hostility to arise, and often members of this community can give you lots of support, advice, and empathy if you try to deal with us fairly and reasonably. I have been a member of this community a good 7-8 years now, and it is by far one of the main reasons I've stuck around LJ. I hope that any person posted as a beware on this community will take the time to read this post and consider these important points about what the community is for instead of raging about what "meanie jerk faces" we all are, and I'm sure that person will find a much more welcoming reception.
    notorious_hunty
    Aug. 15th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
    This is a good piece; good job!
    >_> However I disagree about A_B not being a hostile environment. If it is plain as day that an artist or a commissioner is a scammer or some other kind of scumbag, they get eaten alive. PERIOD. That's just the nature of it that it's very difficult if not impossible to control. It's mostly under control here, thankfully!

    In any case, I hope that this will give a better understanding of A_B's purpose and the people in question can handle things better as well.
    nukawin
    Sep. 3rd, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
    I am totally lost.
    I'm new to this site, and I have no idea how to make a ''beware of artist'' post.

    I was recommended to come here by some members on dA regarding the situation that I had been ripped off by another deviant.

    I have screenshots of my payment sent to her, the dates they were sent, and the note where she has told me she is not refunding me, and that she has blocked me.

    How do I make a post about this here???
    kayla_la
    Sep. 5th, 2011 03:09 am (UTC)
    Re: I am totally lost.
    Hi! Go to Post to Community and that should bring up the posting page, and please use this template as a guide to flesh out your post:

    http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/432731.html

    Please either include links to your screenshots or make sure you put the entry under an LJ cut if you decide to embed the images directly: http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=75
    leeleemoreau
    Sep. 23rd, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
    WOW this is REALLY useful
    damn it all I never seen it before/noticed it
    could have saved me SO much anguish...
    (Screened comment)
    kerstin_orion
    Apr. 12th, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
    Hi there. Head honcho at A_B here. Please email me at kerstinorion (at) gmail.com and I can certainly help you via email, which is a more convenient avenue of contact. I understand your frustration and want to help minimize the impact of this issue on you and your art dealings.

    I'm going to screen this thread to prevent any possible drama coming from it for you, as this is a post that gets viewed frequently.
    ( 129 comments — Leave a comment )

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