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First thing's first, polite niceties: Hullo hullo!  Name's Niko and I've been a long-term watcher, but only recently clicked the darned join button.  I'll admit that my largest reason for doing this is a friend's nudging to post here about semi-recent experiences with an artist, something I was resistant to doing while in the midst of the below-mentioned drama with them.  But, now, I fee it more than wholly justified. 

I apologize in advance for the lack of brevity.  Cut, for your pleasure.

A little backstory:  Wanting to try out unfamiliar artists, I commissioned LatinVixen for two products when I was at EuroFurence 15, last year.  The first product was for a sketchbook drawing (NSFW), which I got back, along with the book I gave her, somewhere around the end of the convention.  The second product was for a badge, seeing as she has an amazingly cute toonish art style .  We discussed it at her table, and I told her that I'd love to have one of her digitally colored badges and would not mind if she had to do it at home and send me a repro once she finished. She was paid up front and I received my sketchbook back with the pencil figure sketch some days later, towards the end of the con.  The badge would take more time. 

You might be seeing where this is going.

Now.  EF15 was at the end of August 2009, and early that September we spoke again on whether she could post it online, which is fine with me, so long as I could also get a high quality print for badge-printing purposes, too.  I hadn't heard a single peep from her for three months afterward. and upon messaging her about this she proceeded to tell me that she lost my commission detail information (but apparently not my contact info to ask me about it, since all it would take was checking her FurAffinity PM history from September to learn who had been in touch with her about commissions).  So I re-wrote the details I had given her a few months prior, to her resolute word that she would have something finished sometime that month.  Yeah, yeah, I know...

I was counseled by a friend that I just go on and ask for my money back.  Believe me, I was highly tempted.  But I decided to give her until late January, then go ask what the deal was and if she had done anything.  I heard nothing back.  Meanwhile, I'm seeing her continue to take new requests on FA.  In comes February and I'm more than a little pissed, preparing to write her something cross. Then, lo and behold upon scanning her gallery to see how many names had come in after mine and gotten their badges before me...I spot this badge, by then two weeks old in posting.

She had already finished it two weeks before and simply not notified me.  Just threw it up on her gallery and moved on in the assumption I'd run across it sometime.

Her response as to why she did/does that is down in the post itself.  Frankly, I find her modus operandi to be lazy and unprofessional.  You are doing this for a customer (who could praise you to others if you do well or spread bad reviews about you if you screw them), not to pad your gallery.  Were it me, I would have sent my client a proof to make sure all was in line with what they wanted first BEFORE I posted it to my public gallery for dissemination with third parties.  Unless I already had a conversation about what the customer wanted done with the picture otherwise.  And where was my high quality version for printing? It's over a month past discovery (and the time she said she would postal mail it when I PM'd her about it in February) and I still have nothing.

So I suppose this is word of warning about commissioning this person, as well warning about the perception of poor service.  As a customer I hate it when artists do this, because if anything, the way someone is treated has an effect on what they see in the product they get.  When I look at this cute badge, I forget its notable cuteness that drew me to commissioning the artist in the first, and am instead reminded of an artist who seems so occupied with filling up her work queue that it seems like relating to a customer was just a sidebar.  As an artist, I would feel ashamed at keeping someone who's trusted me with their money in the dark in this sloppy fashion.  As a customer AND an artist, I can't recommend LatinVixen to anyone who wants assurance that they'll get what they pay for in a timely manner, if at all, without hounding them.  It's up to you if you wish to try your luck or not.

I know I won't.

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bladespark
Mar. 30th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
*blink* WOW. I'm a little startled by the whole "can't be arsed to talk to my customers" thing.

That's... I'm not even sure what to call it! Kind of rude, for starters. Egotistical? You can be bothered to talk to them individually when taking their money, you'd think you could also when delivering their product! Sheesh.
grimmhooke
Mar. 30th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Same! Considering LatinVixen's popularity and skill, I would've thought that fantastic customer service would be in the package.

I can understand being busy and having a lot of commissions on your plate, but not taking a whole two or three minutes to shoot your commissioners a simple e-mail or PM saying you've finished the work they paid for? Zounds.
wyngaed
Mar. 30th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
I've only dealt with her for the fursuit business aspect, and I can say that she's been nothing but polite, friendly and quick to respond about anything fursuit-related. My commission was done within the quoted time frame, all emails responded to promptly, I received the item quickly and in time for an event I needed it for.

Maybe she's just a little crummy at handling other types of commissions? I'm sorry for your trouble, either way. Kind of weird her work ethic and customer service for fursuits doesn't also apply to her 2-D art?
silverfalln
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:17 am (UTC)
She's not 100% perfect with fursuits either. A close friend of mine, several years back, commissioned her, specifically requested certain features on the hand paws... And didn't receive the requested featured. Not to mention they weren't well fitted and the paw pads were felt that seemed to have been glued on in a rush.

This incident occurred several years back, before I met the commissioner, but a mutual friend of ours was the one to eventually fix the hand paws.

I've been told she wasn't rude or anything, mind you, but what was asked for wasn't received, and it was not dealt with with her because sending them back would have been more trouble than it was worth.
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gel_wolf
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:14 am (UTC)
wow, for a professional, that response to your comment was horrendous! She just...expects people to refresh her gallery til their badge shows up? That's incredibly unprofessional and her response was BEYOND rude.

Though, I can't say I'm totally surprised. I had heard from several sources that she seems stuck up in person. =/ which is sad, she does such wonderful work.
spiffystuff
Mar. 30th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
I really wouldn't say her response is /rude/, she's not being insulting or anything.

But I agree it's really bad business policy not to notify customers when their work is done. And also to not send them high res copies/prints.
lichdog
Mar. 30th, 2010 09:34 am (UTC)
It really comes off as odd about this behavior. Honestly, it's not that hard to say "Yo I'm done! Here you go, give me an email and address, etc"

Even if she has to copy and paste the message. Even if fursuiting is her main gig, she should be takingf art just as seriously. :/ I don't really wanna rip too hard into LV because I have nothing against her personally and like her art and her suits, but this stuff's uncalled for
thaily
Mar. 30th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
Weird, telling a customer I'm done is my favorite part of doing commissions :/
nikkyvix
Mar. 30th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Likewise! It's why I enjoy personally giving gifted art so much.

It's like an additional reward of sorts, seeing someone pleased with a drawing.
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agoutirex
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:16 am (UTC)
Not the best way to endear yourself to customers, but who cares? She needs to make money like any artist, so obviously she has to take on a lot of work - and if that means that she can't give each customer an extra sloppy personalized blowjob, so be it. You're paying her to complete a piece of art for you, not to be your friend. As long as you got the pic you paid for in the end, then I don't know what you're complaining about. Latinvixen is good enough and popular enough that she doesn't need to reply on repeat customers so she probably doesn't feel like she has to mollycoddle every single commissioner like most artists do.
agoutirex
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:17 am (UTC)
I meant "rely on", not "reply on", obviously.
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purpule
Mar. 30th, 2010 10:58 am (UTC)
Dude, that is kinda rude. I think I've accidentally not told a commissioner once or twice after uploading something, and then remember the next day and apologise profusely.

But this "oh, I have SO many commissioners, how do you expect me to remember someone as insignificant as you among the thousands" sorta attitude is really unprofessional, and must make you feel as if she doesn't really care that much about your commission.
wingywoof
Mar. 30th, 2010 11:06 am (UTC)
That's kind of strange to think I (and others) saw your badge posted before you did. Also, forget about any comments regarding your boobs being too big. If someone doesn't like it, it's just more for the rest of us. ^^
purpule
Mar. 30th, 2010 11:08 am (UTC)
haha wow sleazy
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thornwolf
Mar. 30th, 2010 11:38 am (UTC)
If you have soooooooo many customers you can't keep track of them all, enough to shoot them a simple email even saying "hey I posted it online here", you've probably bitten off more than you can chew. That's really lame :(
yelth
Mar. 30th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
I agree.
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sigilgoat
Mar. 30th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
I at least link a shout to commissioners. It's really not that difficult to copy paste the URL.
film2edit
Mar. 30th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
I normally request a copy if contracting a project, but I also send someone a copy when I finished so they can keep a nice large backup in case a hard drive fails or the file is misplaced.

She probably overloaded herself with requests. I'd personally limit myself, finish what I owe, then take on another load.
laneypanda
Mar. 30th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
I've dealt with LV both on the fursuiting and art aspects. Her responses to my emails about my suit at the time were fast and polite. She even offered to give me an extreme discount on my head because the head was originally suppose to have 2D, but she made the mistake of making them 3D and convinced me that they were awesome and that I would 'love it!' But at this point, I don't want another head from her, her recent style is not my cup of tea.

As for the art, I commissioned a badge from her I say about.. 7-8 months ago when she was offering digital badges on her LJ. I wasn't notified either, but luckily I happened to see it in her gallery just like you did. I wasn't really expecting a personalized notification since I'm a watcher on her FA anyway, but I can totally see how it can be annoying for someone that's not.

Either way, LV is hit or miss. She's nice to some commissioners, especially past ones, and may forget others. *shrugs*
nikkyvix
Mar. 30th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
I notice focus in replies seems to be put almost solely on the fact that it was two weeks before I stumbled upon the fact that my badge was done. Probably my fault there. To be perfectly honest, that's not my biggest beef with the whole issue. My biggest beef is...well...the whole issue, the way it was handled.

I'm certain LV is a good person who just gets overwhelmed at times either due to life situations or taking on too big a workload, leading to a dip in her business quality, judging by many of the informative replies here. So 'hit or miss' is probably a good way to put it.

Any lesson taken from this probably should be not to bite off more than one can chew in any reasonable time as workload is concerned. Also, being redundant with records and communicating with all the people who gave their money for somethin'. Communication could be at least keeping a written status queue for customers (like that which was promised for months by LV in a journal, but never made). Just seems fair. :3
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lilenth
Mar. 30th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)

The artist should have notified you and delivered the high res file suitable for printing as soon as it was finished, it doesn't matter whether she's popular or not, it doesn't take more than a few minutes to talk to a paying customer.

I hope you get your file soon from her and thank you for the warning, hopefully she will see this, realise that it is an issue and make an effort to notify people in future.
nikkyvix
Mar. 30th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
The way we Furries network, I'm almost certain she will catch wind of it sooner or later. Should my badge magically manifest in the mail, I'd still thank her for it.

I'm the sort of person who'd rather settle for no hard feelings. What this all boils down to is trying out an artist who was unfamiliar to me has left a sour taste in my mouth through subpar business practices.
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spiffystuff
Mar. 30th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
I definitely think artists ought to send an email notifying when commissions are done, particularly commissions that aren't taken through their online art gallery. People at cons are less likely to be watching said gallery closely.

That being said, I have the impression you didn't really tell her you were having such problems with her. I know you left the comment on the image itself, and she kind of brushed you off, but what you wrote there sounds a lot less bothered than what you wrote here. If I were the artist I'd be pretty surprised if that was the only criticism I got and then saw this here.

I'm not saying you have to call her out or be rude or anything, just that a more forceful (but polite) private note or email saying you are unhappy with the situation because you've not yet received your print and weren't notified the badge was done. You ordered the badge at a convention and don't watch her gallery closely, and moreover weren't expecting it to be posted without notification.

Something like that.

Edited at 2010-03-30 01:49 pm (UTC)
jurann
Mar. 30th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Heh, all hail the mighty LatinVixen, because if you don't you're a loser (being sarcastic, for the sarcastically impaired). Not surprising, honestly. She's got an alternating ego-complex with bipolar attitude. I asked her for a fursuit quote 3 or 4 years back, and she quoted me 50% more than her usual price citing "my boyfriend despises you, so we're charging you an extra 50% to make your suit". Really? How nice of you to point that out! And her queue was also nearly 2 years long... Who in their right mind has commissions lined-up for TWO YEARS OUT?! Definitely turned me off to doing business with her right-quick...
ariakitty
Mar. 30th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Wow that IS rude.

Also, if I had a commission list that was 2 years long...I think I would have an anxiety attack. DX
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