i has a tower (haricotvert) wrote in artists_beware,
i has a tower

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Bad Commissioner/Scammer: DefianceXS/VestigeWorks

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.
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