July 5th, 2017

telesto, depthsofthedrex, Jackydino

Advice needed: Artist breaking terms of agreement

So, I need some advice on this situation. I'm not sure if it warrants an Artists Beware yet, and I'm definitely worried about the artist in question retaliating against me even more severely should the artist find out.

I had commissioned an artist to do a private drawing of my partner and I's characters together. This was to be a fully shaded and rendered commission. From the very first notes I was clear with the artist that I did not want the artwork to be posted in any of their galleries, in any way, shape, or form. The artist agreed to these terms not in just the first reply, but also the second.

I ended up cancelling the commission at the lineart stage due to poor quality work and anatomy.

The exact same day that I cancel the commission, I find the lineart up in the artist's gallery as a YCH auction.

The artist changed the species and appearance of my partner's character but not mine. While the anatomy is so poor that it's probably hard to recognize mine, I was very upset by this and told the artist to remove the image. After confronting the artist I get my partial refund immediately. (The artist said they wouldn't give refunds for "work already done".)

The artist replied saying that the privacy only applied to the *finished* image and so they could "do whatever they want with it". However in no way, shape, or form did the artist ever inform me of that, it seems as though they decided "terms apply to final image only" AFTER I'd decided to cancel it.

I don't really think there's anything I can do at this point. I thought about demanding a full refund, but I feel like that will make the artist even more vengeful and they'll decide to post the other character as well, instead of the placeholder one.

So...was what that artist did out of line? What would you do in my place?

I even thought about paying the artist back, assuming I'd get the "rights" to the image back, but due to how it ended on such a sour note I don't think that's going to work either, and the quality is so awful that I don't want to give that artist a dime more.