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UPDATE November 5, 4:39am EST: This Beware has been resolved. I have received payment for my work, the client has agreed to my ToS and has taken the necessary steps to comply with my new rules regarding the artwork (with much grumbling and complaining of course; it is actually funny).
For this, I no longer plan to sell the artwork; I have finally received the minimum of my original requested amount of compensation for my work, and will no longer pursue the matter.

WHO: Talen27 / Talen / Seagull / Seaguii
WHERE: FurAffinity, Discord, Telegram
WHAT: Design and reference sheet
WHEN: July 8, 2018 to October 27, 2018
EXPLAIN: Before I start, most of what happened between us happened in voice chat, so any evidence on the matter is scarce. I am fortunately able to salvage enough from our text chatlogs (that he didn't delete) that should be enough to piece together what happened .
[TL;DR]
This person commissioned me for a design for his character, along with a reference sheet. I charged him $50, and since we were lovers, I told him to hold onto it so we could put it towards a commission for us both. We fell out, I lost my desire to take any commission with him, but he refused to give me my $50 back.

To begin, Talen and I used to be in a relationship, and I was the one who introduced him to the scalie community. As a symbol of our love, I made for him, for free, a design for his character along with a reference sheet for it.
I'd like to say here that the process of creating that reference sheet for him was painful, with me streaming the process of the art to him and creating design after design that he kept asking for tweaks or redesigns on, bouncing between every little detail asking me to make drastic changes again and again. Nevertheless, I completed it and sent him the finished file. The date was July 8.
After a week of finishing the reference sheet, though, he asked for changes to the design, and along with some other personal disputes, I told him that I would charge him no less than $50, and he agreed. [1]
Honestly, $50 for a full reference sheet at this quality is one hell of a deal, so to this day, the fact that he is unwilling to pay up is due to pettiness.
I continued to stream to him, in the exact same process of him asking for change after change after change on the designs that I came up with. I finished up the reference sheet on July 30, and told him to hold on to the $50 so he could pay that much in my stead when we decide to go for a commission together.
Fast forward to early August when he broke up with me for other relationship-related reasons. He still wanted to be friends, and though it hurt me, I continued to be friends with him, and he was still holding on to the $50 that he owes me. [2]
Since then, throughout the next two months, I've made repeated mentions for him to just return me my $50, though every time he tried to convince me to just get a commission with him. He never denied it, but he knows he owes me $50. [3]
Fast forward again to mid-October, I made a request of him to stop mentioning all the new friends he's trying to date because I was still hurting from the breakup, and he straight up flamed me in voice chat, in the most toxic manner one can imagine, all for being "soft" or "overreacting". At that point, I snapped, and demanded my $50 back, but he refused, going between excuses such as "I can pay you the $50, but I won't" to "I only have $7 in my bank account, I can't pay you", all between a lot of name-calling, flaming, and accusing me of "blackmail" (in his technical terms, "defamation for the purposes of monetary gain", which you can totally twist "I'll tell peeps you're a thief if you steal money from me" into). He proceeded to block me from all communications. [4][5]
Upon contacting one of his friends who know him better, I learned that Talen is simply that way and that my $50 is lost.
I have contacted another of his friends recently, who willingly acted as an arbiter between me and Talen, and given him an ultimatum: pay me, or stop using my design. At this point, Talen had removed my reference sheet from his gallery, and currently plans to use one of the art commissions he got from another artist as his new reference sheet, except that commission's character was fully taken from my design and refsheet.
[Proof]
I have blacked out all things related to our personal issues; I can provide the non-censored text if inquired.
The "Option A" and "Option B" was, explained simply, "cut off contact from each other" and "remain friends and help each other recover" respectively.
This one is where he suggests artists and I explain fully what I meant. In the end, it is still clear he owes me $50. I have blacked out the exact values that he had bragged about spending on commissions and toys already as well as how much he still had at the time. I have also blacked out other names and the segue into the discussion about our own personal issues.
This is our full conversation on FurAffinity directly after the last straw. Since they were all separate responses, I have taken the liberty to format the screenshots into a chatroom structure for the sake of readability; no content has been altered. Personal issues and discussions have been blacked out, except for the final one.
These are excerpts from our final argument in a separate Discord server, highlighting his denial and hypocrisy. There have been many repeated mentions of "blackmail" and threatening legal action on his part that do not contribute to the discussion, so I have cut those out. I have also blacked out what he claimed to have in his bank account; the decimal place should tell you enough.
Honestly, I was very angry at that point, so some things I said was cringe-worthy; I have left those in for the sake of context.

There are lessons to be learned from this story, in particular for me. I have learned to recognize red flags that would ruin a relationship, and I have also learned that I should never provide the final finished commission without payment first, whether I trust the person on a romantic level or not.
I understand that this may be a more "special" case of Artist Beware in that the business is intertwined with personal feud; I have tried my best to omit most of the personal stuff from my images, but some I have kept in due to their vague relation to the transaction at hand.
Another thing I am unsure of is whether I should include the artwork in question in this post for clarity and also as proof in case he actually does continue to get commissions with the same character design. I'll edit it in underneath all this if you guys want me to.

I currently plan on selling the character design and reference sheet to someone else with little to no changes to the actual design, since the design of the character is still mine.

Community Tags:

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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

( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
leongon
Oct. 31st, 2018 05:40 am (UTC)
More of a question to AB staff:

Is it okay to allow a beware based so heavily on a personal relationship dispute? The artist here allowed it all to work out of norm because of trust, it wasn't handled as a regular transaction, leaving payment for a future possible favor and stuff.

Me ex borrowed art related cash from me aswell before breaking up, but I wouldn't consider bewaring her over it without having at least ONE other case besides mine. I consider it part of the break up.

Yeah. This one feels a little questionable, so I'd like to read what a staff member thinks. :)

Edited at 2018-10-31 05:41 am (UTC)
fawkatronic
Oct. 31st, 2018 06:18 am (UTC)
I'm not a moderator here but rule 5 states "Do not comment in a post questioning its relevance to this community. Posts are moderated, thus it 'belongs in artist's beware' if it's been posted."

There is a lot of bewares where people were originally friends and someone refused to pay owed money because their friendship broke up. Whatever personal feelings there were do not matter. What matters is that one person agreed to pay another person money for art and then never paid the money.
(no subject) - leongon - Oct. 31st, 2018 07:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Oct. 31st, 2018 06:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - leongon - Oct. 31st, 2018 07:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Oct. 31st, 2018 01:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
poizenkat
Oct. 31st, 2018 06:46 am (UTC)
So...this guy has the money to commission ANOTHER artist for a full reference but not pay you back for the hard work you've done? Not cool. Thanks for the heads up and I hope you get the money somehow.
grayestREM
Oct. 31st, 2018 03:20 pm (UTC)
I'm aware that this is not an advice post, but I hope it's alright that I share a few thoughts anyway.
Selling the character in question 'with little to no changes' is a phenomenally bad idea, since whether or not you actually own it is murky at best. You stated in the beginning that "As a symbol of our love, I made for him, for free, a design for his character along with a reference sheet for it." That's a gift, cut and dry, even after it had been completed. The $50 agreed is definitely owed to you in some way, but from the evidence I see, that $50 was for ADJUSTMENTS made to the character, not the character itself. (I of course can't see the adjustments, so maybe they were drastic enough to warrant it being considered an entirely new design, which would change my opinion if you only planned on selling the 'original design'). If you do decide to go ahead and sell the character anyways, I really hope you'll make sure the buyer is fully aware of the delicate nature of this character's creation, and that there's probably a doppelganger floating around somewhere.

I read everything over a couple of times, and some of the chats were a bit tough to decipher, so if I'm missing something that would discredit what I'm saying here, please feel free to point it out, and I'll be happy to re-evaluate my stance.
celestinaketzia
Oct. 31st, 2018 04:41 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with you.

While the OP should definitely be compensated for what was agreed upon, I wouldn't touch the character with a ten foot pole.
(no subject) - HatchetHaro - Oct. 31st, 2018 09:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
spytdragonfyre
Nov. 1st, 2018 02:14 am (UTC)
My thoughts are similar to what Gray already said. You are definitely entitled to the $50 for the agreed-upon edits.

I'm ehhh about the idea of selling the reference/design with not/minimal edits, especially given the gray area around the entire design aspect. Unless it was fully disclosed that the design/reference is from an unpaid commission when being sold, I think it would be somewhat unethical to sell a design with so much drama around.

Personally, I think the entire situation is a bit of a mess and you selling the character could be interpreted as vengeful, especially given some of the tone in this beware. I'd have to see the character(s) in question before I could make a solid judgement, but unless there were major differences in color and all-around design, it seems like a bad idea to sell someone else's character (especially if the original design was done as a gift).
Dragon Talen
Nov. 4th, 2018 09:17 pm (UTC)
I’ve already taken the ref sheet down and stopped using it. The idea and design of the character is mine though, I provided many references for him to work off and asked for many changes to be made to represent my character better. With the amount of detail I gave I undoubtedly own the concept.

The fact that he would not work on it at all without me present in a call to watch and guide him is evidence enough that he did not come up with ideas for this design.
rayesesshyfan
Nov. 2nd, 2018 05:19 am (UTC)
Ugh, gross. That is so terrible to treat anyone the way he treated you.

He clearly won't pay you for obvious reasons in the screenshots above so I think it's your best bet to go an alternative route: make edits to the design you made that it's not the same and sell that for 50$. That way you can get your 50$ back and wash your hands clean from his nonsense.
(Screened comment)
celestinaketzia
Nov. 4th, 2018 11:16 am (UTC)
Re: My Defense
Howdy!

While this is something that is extremely personal, and we would not normally allow it in the community we will let it slide. However, we do not accept copy and pasted text as proof. Please provide a screencap. Though you will have to censor the irl name. Do not provide irl names.

Your comment will be screened. Do not delete it. You may repost it, but with the corrections that we've asked.

Edited at 2018-11-04 11:17 am (UTC)
Re: My Defense - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 11:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Dragon Talen
Nov. 4th, 2018 11:31 am (UTC)
My Defense
Alright, I think it's time that I show some truth to this story.

Yes we were in a relationship, things are really tense for him but I've moved on. I'm not surprised that he has posted this here to spite me much like some other things he has done in the past few weeks. Here is his full ultimatum that he gave me a while back.

Here is the ultimatum that HatchetHaro chose to leave out of his post, for obvious reasons because it disproves his libel.

https://imgur.com/a/fnAnkjz

I obviously agreed to option B here to avoid him spitefully exploiting the connections I gave him (AKA outing me as gay and a furry), which paying for $50 in a commission as compensation for the ref sheet was included, no denying that. I never denied that I owed him that and I'm still happy to pay him in that way, he just refuses.

"I made a request of him to stop mentioning all the new friends he's trying to date because I was still hurting from the breakup" This is a huge understatement, he didn't just ask me to stop mentioning people I was trying to date; he asked me to never share any artwork, never share any contacts in the furry community whatsoever and never share any experiences relating to furry stuff because it triggered his envy.

"accusing me of "blackmail" (in his technical terms, "defamation for the purposes of monetary gain", which you can totally twist "I'll tell peeps you're a thief if you steal money from me" into)" This is not the blackmail I accused him of and he knows it, he demanded $50 from me or else he would tell my IRL friends who I WAS closeted to that I was gay and a furry, which he did end up doing and was devastating to me. I could bring one into voice with an admin at their request to verify this as he outed me entirely over voice to avoid screencaps. Seagull#9032 on discord.

I provided description of my character in meticulous detail and even gave many references for him to work off at his request, this is a concept I've had for months. When he decides to go off and sell my character that he has no rights to and I've grown to identify with it's just to spite me. If you commissioned a ref for your character does that artist own them? No. His entire post, contacting my friends, telling me to kill myself over telegram and discord, it's all just spite because he hasn't been able to move on. I'm happy to contribute $50 of his part on a split commission as was agreed on, whether he chooses to accept this or continue to harass me through my friends after I've blocked him is his choice alone. His own evidence shows that I'm willing to pay with the agreed method.

-Talen27
celestinaketzia
Nov. 4th, 2018 11:42 am (UTC)
Re: My Defense
I really don't have any words concerning that first option other than disgust. There are a lot of people in this community, myself included, who are not out to family. Ew.

Out of sheer curiosity why even continue with option B? Why not just pay for the commissioned portion of your art when it was being asked for?

Edit: And to be very clear I'm not asking to victim blame you in the slightest. This person has already threatened you. They're not entitled to have access to you or your time.

Edited at 2018-11-04 11:43 am (UTC)
RE: Re: My Defense - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 11:54 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - celestinaketzia - Nov. 4th, 2018 12:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - oceandezignz - Nov. 4th, 2018 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - celestinaketzia - Nov. 4th, 2018 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - celestinaketzia - Nov. 4th, 2018 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: My Defense - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 08:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: My Defense - HatchetHaro - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
prettykittyaz
Nov. 4th, 2018 07:54 pm (UTC)
https://m.imgur.com/7yULthl?r
Honestly after reading this part... If i was Seagull i would have just paid them 50 bucks and ran.

They literally tried to force him to buy art exceeding over the agreed $50.

Personally my advice for Seagull is to pay the money and cut ties. To me the OP is way to emotional in this situation and it becomes very unprofessional. I get you two had a relationship but business is business.

That's my opinion. I think (if what seagull says is true about the blackmail) you both just need to never be around each other. Pay them and move on. Honestly its not worth it at this point. And my advice to OP is to not accept a commission from a lover as it seems it tends to become unprofessional if things get heated.

Hope this taken as lesson learned.
If i misread anything let me know as im on mobile. But this situation is.. Just a bit to personal.
Dragon Talen
Nov. 4th, 2018 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ties have already been cut, when I got tired of him and his drama I blocked him. Unfortunately that lead him to go through with outing me as gay and a furry to my friends and making multiple libel posts about me, as well as continuing to harass me and others in my social circles.
(no subject) - prettykittyaz - Nov. 4th, 2018 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - prettykittyaz - Nov. 4th, 2018 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 09:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - prettykittyaz - Nov. 4th, 2018 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - prettykittyaz - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Dragon Talen - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - prettykittyaz - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - HatchetHaro - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - HatchetHaro - Nov. 4th, 2018 09:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - prettykittyaz - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - HatchetHaro - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
mod comment - whoop_zi - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: mod comment - HatchetHaro - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dragon Talen
Nov. 4th, 2018 10:05 pm (UTC)
Declining Payment
Here’s an update, the artist has declined payment through splitting a commission, this is understandable. He has now declined payment from a friend of mine demanding the payment come from me, this is entirely personal when he declines money offered to him.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/498398608689987585/508762990405877782/image0.jpg
celestinaketzia
Nov. 4th, 2018 10:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Declining Payment
Well a few things here.

- Bewares are not removed. So please don't attempt to bribe anyone. And even if he does remove it we have a self hosted back up that is archived.
- Second, it is safer to not accept payment from a random third party account because that person can file a chargeback.

So essentially this proves nothing.
Re: Declining Payment - Drakians - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Declining Payment - celestinaketzia - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Declining Payment - Drakians - Nov. 4th, 2018 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
celestinaketzia
Nov. 5th, 2018 12:42 am (UTC)
This has been marked as resolved.
Dragon Talen
Nov. 5th, 2018 05:24 am (UTC)
Proof of payment
https://imgur.com/a/m4dq6SU after much extortion and harassment from the artist here is proof of payment through the different method.
HatchetHaro
Nov. 5th, 2018 09:59 am (UTC)
Re: Proof of payment
Something to remember our transaction by.

https://i.imgur.com/wX7E5Z0.png?1
https://i.imgur.com/K806hWr.png

Pleasure doing business with you, Seagull. :)
Re: Proof of payment - celestinaketzia - Nov. 5th, 2018 11:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Dragon Talen
Nov. 6th, 2018 07:38 am (UTC)
Resolution
Glad to have resolved things here, it's a shame you went to such lengths harassing me and complaining that I didn't give you the courtesy of paying in cash instead of an art trade like we agreed on and you ended up being banned from two communities. Wishing you the best in future.

Edited at 2018-11-06 08:18 am (UTC)
oceandezignz
Nov. 6th, 2018 08:59 am (UTC)
MOD COMMENT [DO NOT REPLY]
That is absolutely enough.

Both of you are utterly ridiculous in your backhanded attitudes and behaviors to eachother and you have both honestly made fools of yourselves in the eyes of this community.

I refuse to allow you to use this community anylonger for your personal vendettas.

Enjoy your bans.
celestinaketzia
Nov. 6th, 2018 11:27 am (UTC)
Further commenting has been frozen. There's nothing productive anyone can add at this point.
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