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Scammer: Akarui-Kurai

I apologize if I've worded this incorrectly to how the norm is for reporting people but heres a doozey from me.

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/akarui-kurai/

I comissioned her intially about 7 months ago and received the comission back a week or so after, I was very pleased. Recently after, feeling I could trust this comissioner as a friend, payed for 2 full coloured, full shaded, dual character comissions up front, as in payed in full rather then half now/later.

During the first few days she responded somewhate often, promising their completion within the next few, due to being behind on a few other things, only to completley dissapear off all sources of contact afterwards. I did manage to get a message or two off her after a couple months of asking for a reply and/or progress on the comissions, but only got a reply after sending a small threat of asking for a refund if it took much longer with such a poor concern for keeping in contact reguarding completion.

2 months after initally paying for both comissions, she haddn't done more then a single, rough sketch. After my threat she uploaded a rough coloured sketch and I got off her back, assuming she was back on track and that she would complete them eventually. I did continue to send messages reguarding them from week to week, but they now met no reply.

6 months in total later after paying for the comissions, half a year. She has now said on her profile she will no longer be doing any comissions, and mine are not even on the list she plans to do before she does so. She says on her profile is her lack of "inspiration" which is also what she said all those months ago when I asked for progress. When I asked for a refund, she said she couldn't afford it. So since I'm neither getting a refund nor what I payed for, I've come here. I know friends who have had the same happened to them due to this artist so please beware.

I also feel very stupid for paying in full, I even offered her a tip if she atleast completed them but to no luck. Please be wary of this scammer.

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Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
connorgoodwolf
Jan. 5th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Sounds like she lost all interest in art from her latest journal.

The least she could do is refund you.
purpule
Jan. 5th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Judging from her journal she probably took on more than she could handle, and has hit a wall - however, in that case, instead of just relying on "ugh, I'll finish it up at SOME point" she should just refund you. Hell, it would do her OWN mind good, to have one less thing to worry about.

Of course, she could have already spent the money, but that isn't your problem, and she should still refund you. Her not being able to afford it is NOT your problem. She shouldn't spent a penny of that until she's completed the work, and if she does she should have something in place that she refunds with her own money.

I wouldn't feel stupid for paying in full. Hell, that's actually how I work - being paid in full before I produce anything, but I think I've built up enough trust that commissioners know I wouldn't run off with their money. I suppose people work differently.

connorgoodwolf
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've a feeling I know what happened.

Someone called her on the bullshit, she has traced and heavily referenced all of her work.

Here is a post on her:
http://altmarket.net/index.php?topic=40714.0
kakabel
Jan. 6th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
I've got to ask.
As a traditional artist, I do a lot of portrait paintings, so my artwork (and fanarts!) come very close to the original photographs.
Enough so, that I could be accused of tracing.
I'm confused as to why people are being accused of tracing, "painting over", or "heavily referencing" their artwork as if getting close to the original is a bad thing.

Is this something that is only relevant to digital works, or is it because these people are not crediting the photograph the artwork is based off of?
connorgoodwolf
Jan. 6th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
For starters they're usually not sourcing the works. Said methods are also frowned upon, people want to see original works from the artist's imagination.
kakabel
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
Right.
I forgot this comm was mainly for the FA groups, where it's anthropomorphic things.
So yeah I get some of it now. :)

But for things like the NON-antropomorphic things,(like the images linked to, why is it bad to be so close? I mean one can only have so many poses for given animals, so unless one's going for the animation styled critters, what's the harm in referencing?

I'm asking as one who is thinking of entering this field, but as a portrait artists, looking "almost exact" is what one is supposed to be doing. I don't want to be putting in the effort, and then getting a bed rep because I'm doing what I trained to do. i.e. drawing and painting a picture that's very close to the source photograph.
kayla_la
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
The world where you're paid to draw a portrait based on a photograph and the other world are extremely different, and I advise you not try to mix them.

When someone comes to you with a photo and asks you to draw a picture based off of it, they know what they're getting, they've asked for it.

However, when you waltz up to most other types of artists, you give them some references and a concept, you don't usually go 'I want this exact thing, except in 2D'. The vast majourity of people who commission artists do it because they want the artist's interpretation on something, and if someone blatantly traces/lifts something, then it's basically lying to the commissioner. They're stealing someone ELSE'S idea and making a profit (monetarily or with attention).

Usually, these people also give no credit, and will outright lie and claim the entire thing is their own. It's dishonest, and just nothing alike what you're referring to. Apples and oranges. It's okay to use references, not so much okay to be a human photocopier and then make money off of people who are expecting original, creative work out of you. It's all about the expectation.

If you went into furry art going 'Give me a photo of yourself and some monies and I'll draw you as close to the photo as I can', that would be fine. But if you go into it going 'Give me some refs and some monies and I'll do you some art!', you would be cheating people to trace/copy the art you make for them. Just make sure you're clear about what you're doing and it'll be fine. It's the feeling of being cheated and lied to that makes people hate tracers so much, for the most part.

Edited at 2011-01-06 02:39 am (UTC)
kakabel
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
Aaahh. *lightbulb goes off*

I'm getting it now! :) ( I think!)
This was what was confusing the heck out of me.

Even my if portrait commissioners don't come up with a photograph of their pet, they want one "like" whatever, and they know upfront that I am working from a photograph.
I also contact the photographer for permission or purchase the image to paint. I also credit the photograph it was from.

These people are not informing the commissioner upfront about working from photographs.
So it'd be like me taking a commission for a fantasy building and hodge-podging together say the Capitol Building, St. Peter's and Neuchswastein Castle together and trying to say it ALL came out of my head.
Gotcha!


And thanks to both of you!
The different types of art worlds, each have different "rules" and "Taboos", and they don't always connect! :D
kayla_la
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
You got it! As long as you're honest and ask permission for things you'll do fine! And you're welcome. :)
frisket17
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'm also betting you're in the same boat as my husband and I (regarding a different artist) where the payment was too long ago and Paypal or whatever service you used can't refund you due to time lapse :/

I really wish I knew what advice to offer you - as it'd also help my own dilemma. Good luck to you and sorry this happened
ariakitty
Jan. 5th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Don't feel stupid for paying in full. A lot of artists won't work on the commission until they have recieved payment in full.
That's how I work. However, I let that money sit in my paypal account until the commission is complete, just in case I do need to refund the client for whatever reason. I realize some people may not have that luxury, though.

I think she'd be better off if she would just refund everyone rather than waiting around for her inspiration to come back. Even if she can only do it in small payments, she NEEDS to do it. :/
dazen_cobalt
Jan. 5th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
That is what I do. I can't transfer it or spend it because then I feel like I am stealing. Anywho I love your icon o.o
ariakitty
Jan. 6th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, it doesn't feel right to spend the money if the work isn't completed.

And thank you! X3
kappyjeanne
Jan. 5th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
I would imagine if this is related to her being called out on tracing, her "inspiration" can very easily disappear when brought out into the open. It makes sense but is still disappointing to hear.

It's still her responsibility to refund who has not received the proper artwork. Like the above poster said, even in small payments - but it must be done.
duster
Jan. 5th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
She posted her "I dont have inspiration anymore" journal shortly after she was outed for tracing. Sounds like her "inspiration" dried up because she got caught.

And saying she can't refund you because she doesn't have the money is hogwash. It's not her money until she completes the work and it's in your hands.
shukivengeance
Jan. 5th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
Ah yeah I remember her getting busted for tracing her furc ports. Seems like she hasn't really drawn anything since. I'm afraid you may be out of luck regarding getting the work but I hope you can get a refund.
n
Jan. 5th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
The link that leads to FAM leads over the full thread on FAZ, and if you notice on the last post by a moderator, there's a link to a FA page.
http://www.furaffinity.net/user/toradoshi/

Supposedly this is Akarui's secret account, but there hasn't been confirmation on that, yet.
Being a part of that community for quite some time now, I wouldn't put it past her nor anyone for being secretive about their work. So, perhaps, attempt making contact there?
As they're fairly active on Furaffinity

Edited at 2011-01-05 10:02 pm (UTC)
connorgoodwolf
Jan. 6th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
If this is the case, I think the FA mods need to know.
venatorrooc
Jan. 8th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
I remember you guys telling me about this and this is why you paid me half now half later, but I honestly didn't think to see you here though because of it.

I wouldn't give up on trying to get either your art or a refund from her. She has to know that she just can't throw up her arms, say she can't do it, and run off with people's money without some consequences. And if the FA link to this Toradoshi is really her then yeah.

I hope you get your money back Afex :c
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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