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Beware: Tortle/ Gatorbite

WHO: Tortle/ Jay/ Gatorbite

WHERE: http://tortle.tumblr.com/
https://www.furaffinity.net/user/gatorbite/
https://www.weasyl.com/~tortle

WHAT: Multiple commissions, including an art doll and a customized adoptable

WHEN: Art doll was purchased in May of 2013.

PROOF: Proof of payment for the art doll and adopt:
https://41.media.tumblr.com/5d2465c81301f52d9dee05dc058c5587/tumblr_nvjm8fRnfo1u6i3n1o7_r1_1280.png
https://41.media.tumblr.com/e903d972329aa3a623cf7929c0b31176/tumblr_nvjm8fRnfo1u6i3n1o9_r1_1280.png
There were other commissions that were not completed, but I don't remember exactly what they were or how much they cost.

EXPLAIN:

In May 2013, I commissioned Tortle for an art doll. Over the next 2 years I commissioned him for many more things, as well as buying adoptables he put up for sale. While I recieved most of these, the doll and a handful of other commissioned pieces were not completed.

In late 2014, Tortle became inactive on Tumblr and FA for several months, all the way up to May of this year. During this time, he would not respond to messages sent by myself or my partner. I have learned since that he did not respond to multiple other commissioners, either.

In May of this year, I checked his Tumblr after waiting for a couple months– only to discover that he had been active again for weeks– dispite the fact that he STILL hadn’t replied to the multiple messages my partner and I had sent him.

I sent Tortle a message asking for him to get in contact with me reguarding my commissions, which did not get any reply. However, my partner sent Tortle these two asks on Tumblr:
https://40.media.tumblr.com/22b485b4e20c76afd639f130133d8013/tumblr_nvjm8fRnfo1u6i3n1o3_1280.png
https://41.media.tumblr.com/617c1f179e4b603be035eabdee3b1a5e/tumblr_nvjm8fRnfo1u6i3n1o2_1280.png

Tortle's response:
https://40.media.tumblr.com/902f1208dc49364191ab6c9618a13937/tumblr_nvjm8fRnfo1u6i3n1o1_1280.png

This was the last and only message we’ve recieved from him since. He never got back to us to work anything out.

We sent him multiple other messages, as well as messaging his partner in an effort to get into any kind of contact with him, all of which recieved no response.

About a month ago, I was browsing the front page of FA when I saw an adoptable posted to a new account: gatorbite, which makes no reference to and does not link to his Tortle accounts. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and hoped that he was making money to pay people back, and that he would get to people eventually.

After a month or so of him posting adopts and commissions almost constantly, however, it became clear that this was not the case.

Frustrated with Tortle’s unresponsiveness, I decided to note him asking what he planned to do about what he owed me and when – only to find out that he had blocked me on his gatorbite account, despite the fact that I had not watched him, favourited his art or interacted at all with him on that account previously.
https://36.media.tumblr.com/e7a1f7e01b4d1df90dd7c11dd2d47db0/tumblr_nvjm8fRnfo1u6i3n1o5_r1_1280.png
https://40.media.tumblr.com/0ca6959ffcba7392358b4bd9f567e883/tumblr_nvjm8fRnfo1u6i3n1o4_r1_1280.png

This gives me the impression that Tortle created his Gatorbite account to avoid the people he previously owed art and money.

At this point, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do except post a beware. Tortle is not trustworthy and I strongly advise against commissioning him.

Edit: Fixed a date that I thought I had already fixed, sorry
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Comments

( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
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tylociraptor
Oct. 2nd, 2015 02:50 am (UTC)
I noticed many of his posts being reblogged on tumblr, selling this adopt or offering that commission... I couldn't help but wonder if that meant he'd actually caught up on his backlog and finished what work he owed.

But it is clear now that he is actively avoiding his responsibilities to his prior clients, and that is really, REALLY terrible!

The message on tumblr is ... really painful. It's sad that he had problems, but that isn't your fault, nor your problem. The fact that he considers a message from a customer trying to find out where he is "upsetting", and claims to have been putting it off because his "feelings were hurt"... that's very unprofessional, completely unacceptable.

Blocking you before even having contact is unreasonable, completely. He owes you money or work, he knows this, and at this point it could be considered outright theft.

Edit: Oh goodness, I overlooked the "I thought we were friends" quip at the end there. Guilt tripping you... for... his own absence and ignoring you? I... have no words.

Edited at 2015-10-02 02:51 am (UTC)
tinypup
Oct. 2nd, 2015 04:08 pm (UTC)
To be fair, I still feel really bad about the stuff that he's had to deal with and go through. I understand what it's like to go through mental health stuff like that but like.... honestly? Finding out that he just blocked me after waiting /four months/ for another reply just tells me that he straight-up lied about all the "friendship" stuff. You don't go out of your way to ignore someone for nine months and then block them so they can't message you /just so you don't have to do their art/ if they're your friend.
kayla_la
Oct. 2nd, 2015 02:55 am (UTC)
"I thought we were friends too"

He has a lot of nerve, trying to guilt you for wanting what you paid for. That line alone says a lot about his work ethic.
anuvia
Oct. 2nd, 2015 09:59 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say thanks for posting this! I was very seriously considering commissioning them for one of the "teeth" icons but having read this, I'll be sure to steer clear!
kamilamutt
Oct. 2nd, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
Seconding Anuvia, I was looking forward getting a Teeth Icon as well, but no way I'm supporting that work ethic. Ignoring and blocking you is unaceptable.
likeshine
Oct. 2nd, 2015 06:28 pm (UTC)

People like this make me so mad. They ruin things for the rest of us who actually do the work and keep in touch with our patrons. OP, I hope you get your art, but the passive aggressive/guilt trip response you got on Tumblr makes me feel like blocking and running is all this artist is going to do. What a shame.
bonesmirk
Oct. 2nd, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
I love me some snarly and teeth, and I've been seeing their work popping up on FA and enjoying it. Thanks for posting this beware; like anuvia and kamilamutt I was planning on commissioning them, but after seeing the lack of communication and out-of-the-blue blocking? I can't support that.
tinypup
Oct. 2nd, 2015 06:55 pm (UTC)
His original "Tortle" FA had many shouts of the same nature, but, as you can see, he's deactivated it.
(Deleted comment)
tinypup
Oct. 2nd, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC)
At this point, and from what I've heard from other people, I strongly doubt that I'll get anything at all.

And yep!! His art is really good, and his style is super neat. If all this stuff hadn't happened (and if I wasn't blocked for whatever reason, ha ha) I'd probably still be getting more of it. :/
cidal_fun
Oct. 2nd, 2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
I think the "I thought we were friends" comment from your end was kind of guilt-trippy. Not saying that you're the bad guys in this, he's totally in the wrong, but saying "I thought we were friends" (even if you did think so or were friends) for a business transaction sounds inappropriate, like you're a pre-schooler who wants their friend to share a cookie.

I hope you have luck getting what your owed.
tinypup
Oct. 2nd, 2015 10:53 pm (UTC)
Well, the thing is , at the time it wasn't just business. We WERE friends, as far as I knew, so it was really hurtful to send half a dozen messages over MONTHS accross different platforms just to have none of them responded to, even for WEEKS after he had gotten back online. (remember, he replied to my partner-- he never actually replied to me.)
kaiiju
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
I have at least two friends who Tortle owes stuff to, one of them also being an art doll, from around the same time frame.
Thanks for writing this up. I'm glad to see it's deterring business because until he clears everything up with his past commissioners, he doesn't really deserve more customers.
underfaces
Oct. 3rd, 2015 01:43 am (UTC)
Im thinking of making an artist beware tumblr post to circulate around, Would you be okay with me linking this journal?

I'm just so mad cause I've been given the guilt trip stuff, they're incredibly unprofessional. I remember it hit a point where the only way I could get a reply was contacting their roomie.
kayla_la
Oct. 3rd, 2015 01:45 am (UTC)
We have absolutely no way of stopping you from simply linking to posts. However, if it's simply an attack blog, we'd rather not be associated with it if possible.

Basically, please do not use us for any sort of harassment.
(no subject) - underfaces - Oct. 3rd, 2015 01:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - clockmagic - Oct. 4th, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
hazama
Oct. 3rd, 2015 06:41 am (UTC)
I'm waiting on a refund myself, he claims he's refunding people starting with the oldest, so I should be refunded soon.
Or so he says. That was 16 days ago at the time of posting, so we'll see.

Beyond terrible that he blocked you on that new account. I do wonder if he's blocked other people that left shouts on his tortle FA account asking for their money back?

Utterly shameful.
tinypup
Oct. 3rd, 2015 07:00 am (UTC)
Funny thing is, I never left a shout on his Tortle FA page. I didn't even note him there. So if he blocked someone who only messaged him privately about it, I honestly wouldnt be surprised if he blocked people posting public comments, too -- even if they were perfectly justified in doing so.
(no subject) - figgetywinks - Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hazama - Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - figgetywinks - Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hazama - Oct. 3rd, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tylociraptor - Oct. 3rd, 2015 10:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
blot
Oct. 3rd, 2015 09:55 am (UTC)
Damn, I had wanted one of those teeth icons too. Ugh. Here's hoping someone opens something similar.
jackryan999
Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:02 am (UTC)
Thx for the heads up, was planning to commissions this artist but hearing this story, won`t be doing it.

That people treat their costumers so badly.
sapphistscot
Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:28 am (UTC)
Yikes, this is awful behaviour. Preemptively blocking people they owe refunds/work to on their new account is terrible, it really does look like they've made the new account to avoid all their previous commissioners so they don't have to refund them.
bearprince
Oct. 3rd, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC)
It's completely understandable that mental illness and personal distress can interfere with work, and someone shouldn't be punished for circumstances beyond their control -- but using that as an excuse to keep commissioners waiting with no explanation & to act as if they don't still have to behave professionally is SUCH a pet peeve of mine. Beware very much noted, thank you.
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