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Here to report DefianceXS/VestigeWorks on Deviantart as a terrible commissioner and scam artist. It was my fault for agreeing to his terms when they weren't my usual way of doing things (I no longer make that exception). Below is what transpired, with screenshots linked for those who care. His email has been removed by me, for privacy.

7/30 : I replied to his thread in the Deviantart Job Offers forum (address has since been lost of the original one) looking for artwork of sexy women wearing Jim Carrey's the Mask. Applied as pin-ups are my specialty, and he responded with a Note requesting I email him with my prices and info. Emailed him my information, including a note about requiring payment either upfront or after the initial sketch is approved. He replied stating he pays after the work is done. I needed the money so I agreed, even though I should have known better than to break my own TOS. I replied with revised terms (later replied again with a price change, having overquoted him by $5). He replied, agreeing, and stating the specifics of what he's looking for.

I sent him the sketch later that night. I had gone with more of a vintage pinup style, the girl in a sheer nighty and putting her hair up, wearing the Mask and a coy smile. He contacted me on MSN to discuss it, and proceeded to tell me that it wasn't at all what he was looking for. (I have no screenshots as I didn't think it necessary to save it just yet.) He then linked me to a previous work he had done, which was a completely different mood, pose, outfit, everything, and told me that was more what he was looking for. This would have been a whole lot more helpful if he had given me the reference to begin with. So I agreed to redo it.

7/31 : I emailed him a brand new sketch with the changes he requested, sent to a new email address as requested over MSN. He asked that I adjust a very minor hair issue, and I did so, replying promptly with the edit.

He replied with the approval, but also with an offer of a comic series where I would get 75% of the project. I was flattered by the project, but I politely turned him down, stating I would not have time to devote to such a large project.

Saying nothing else about the comic project, he replied with a request to change the outfit, stating it was "too goth", after not having specified what kind of outfit he wanted to begin with. Apparently, pinstriped vest/top and mini skirt = goth.

8/1 : So I redrew the top into a tank-top with cinced sides that show off her midriff, and emailed it to him. Colors were a bit lost on me this time, so I threw something on and told him it'd be no problem to change those, as it requires no redrawing of the lineart. He responded with a request for the "goth clothes" to be put back on.

At this point, I'm getting very annoyed. a $30 commission allots me 3 hours to complete it in (a deadline of my own), and usually that's more than enough time. But with the complete redraw of the first sketch, plus redrawing the outfit twice, I was ready to put my foot down and charge him for it. My TOS states any excessive changes will be charged for every extra 1/2 hour I have to put into it (in an efford to deter change-happy commissioners). This is the first time I have had to act on it.

8/2 : I emailed him with the updated finished, low-res commission. Shortly after I sent an additional email (has since been lost), stating the finished price, with an additional $5 for all the edits (i should have charged $10 since it was an additional hour of work total, but I didn't want to scare him off).

Later that night, I hadn't received a reply, which I thought was odd because his communication had been so prompt over the last couple days. So I caught him on MSN (MSN saves conversations into a .doc file, so I've screenshot it). The conversation got very weird in a hurry. He asked me if he could borrow money to pay his rent. I considered this to be exceedingly rude and improper, and I didn't have any money to lend him anyway. Then he proceeded to ask me a second time about the comic project, and I pretty much copied and pasted my emailed reply. He badgered me a bit about it, then he signed off after I ask if he got the email update.

8/3 : I sent a second email asking if he had received the file. In the beginning, two of my emails never got to him, so I assumed Yahoo was being a dink again. So I resent it and waited for some kind of reply.

8/4 : Sent another email to see if he'd gotten it. No reply.

8/6 : FINALLY caught him on MSN after logging on nightly since the last time we spoke. I asked if he got my email. He said no. Told him I'd sent it twice. Then he tells me he's already hired. I'm of course very unhappy about this, and tell him so. Then OF COURSE MSN kicks me off. I get back on after a couple minutes of trying, responded twice, and find out he's signed off while I was gone.

He has since never responded to any of my Notes on Deviantart, nor any of my comments. He has a new thread up, asking for the same thing of other artists, and through this I've discovered at least three other artists he's pulled the same scam on (he's even asked them for money and asked about the same comic project!).

Please please PLEASE do not work for this guy. He will NOT pay you.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)

You really should have stuck to your terms and not done any work until you were paid at least half.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
So it was time, or rather way past time, to pay you and he asks you for money so he can pay his rent? Why is he commissioning wank material if he can't even keep a roof over his head?

Hope he ends up living under a bridge, scammer >:/
Aug. 22nd, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, payment up front, always. That'll at least weed out all the people who are 'interested' but don't plan on paying you for any work.

Never bend when it comes to this! Art is your job (at least, I assume if you're doing commissions) and you can't afford to be too flexible when it comes to making money.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
I always do payment up front too, but it's not your fault, this is obviously still all on him. You'll be more careful next time, but that doesn't make this your fault (seems like other people's responses were a bit critical of your choice). Seriously, what a nightmare.
Aug. 24th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, "fault" is a tricky concept - it's good to know how to prevent ___ from happening, but it's the perp (lier, scammer, whateverer) who's at fault / in the wrong / the bad guy.
Problem is we can't go and throttle him, so people settle for advising how to prevent... even if it's pretty obvious, etc.
Aug. 24th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
and i understand and appreciate the advice, but it tends to get damn old when you hear it 6 or 7 times in a row.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
I do 50% payment up front for larger commissions, that way it doesn't scare anyone off, and they don't get the final thing until they've paid, and it's finished.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Half-n-half is the arrangement I always work toward, so that neither the artist nor the commissioner comes away scot-free and both are invested in the project. I've seen too many go sour with either full payment at start or payment after.

Granted it's frustrating, but at least you were smart enough not to let him push you further.
Aug. 24th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
Re: O.o
urf. he's absolutely ridiculous. i can't believe someone has the guts to screw people like that. i'm glad you didn't get roped into it.
Aug. 24th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
AHAHAHAHAHA. oh god I can't unsee it! *shakes fist* and thank you! i'm glad you like them. :3
Aug. 24th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
oh, man. what a tool. :| it's a shame that you got burned the one time you faltered. the works are very awesome, though. it's a good thing you got to rework them! it'd be a huge shame if it was all for naught. :D
Aug. 24th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
naw i made the best of it. but it was still shitty. STILL being ignored by him. *shakes head and gives up*

and thanks very much! also your icon made me LOL!
Aug. 24th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
PFFT. feel free to gank it, it's one of my doodles, idc where it goes.
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
thank you! credited properly too. :3
Aug. 24th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
It looks like another version is up on your FA page as a "recycled commission"? I just ask because it's awesome and I'm glad someone else paid you for it, if that's the case!
Aug. 24th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
yeah I liked it in my post. the original sketch i recycled myself and it came out much better imho. and the second one I had a friend offer to pay me the full price for it and just adjust it to his character. she wears the outfit better anyway. :3

this like NEVER EVER HAPPENS. i just happened to be in the right place, right time, and know the awesome people.
Aug. 24th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, I liked it enough I was thinking about buying the commission ;D
So I'm glad you got paid in the end.
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
oops i meant linked, not liked LOL

and thanks! :3 i'm glad you like my work that much!

yeah i lucked out big time. *counts blessings*
Aug. 24th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
...best "I'm female" EVER. XD
Aug. 24th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
thanks! :3
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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