sharpecostumes (sharpecostumes) wrote in artists_beware,
sharpecostumes
sharpecostumes
artists_beware

Red flags and cutting strings... help!(now with page cuts)

I had posted here about a month ago. ( http://community.livejournal.com/artists_beware/417996.html ) Was having some trouble with the commissioner. About a year ago I was commissioned to do a mask with LED eyes. Nothing complex and the first payment came in quickly and so I started. I usually send progress shots to the commissioner as I go along and things went well enough. They watched me pretty much each day on Skype so they saw the progress of their mask so no progress shots were needed.

They were on a payment plan since they had no job and were on a state paid welfare of some kind. Disability I think. Anyways. They acknowledged my payment plan rules (the initial $125 is nonrefundable as it is used for the materials. Once sculpted and approved, I move onto casting and furring. Once I'm to that stage, the commissioner sends payment two and so on, reserving the final $125 for shipping, etc. They pay me in intervals while I work. All commissioners acknowledge this and have paid me without the need of reminding. I had stated verbally several times, reminding them, making sure I got a response that they understood)

Thing is, I never once received any money in the meantime. The head was close to being finished (only needed the ears attached, back of the head, and mohawk. Since I hadn't received any more payments, I stopped and waited for payments. I told them but still, none came. I worked on other commissions. They left notes asking for more pictures and I sent them one showing where it was at.

Previously that year I had sent them a pair of video goggles in agreement that they would either replace them or pay me back. that so far has not been addressed. They had been living on their credit cards and were close to filing bankruptcy. Still, I finished the head and waited. We talked through notes and they told me that they were seeing the debt help folks and that an account of their was frozen. They said the debt help people had told them that placing me on the list of debts would most likely make it so they would not get the help. he discussed it with them and they said they would turn a blind eye and put me on the list. That right there flew a red flag. They say they can pay me in full via Paypal. I also know that using a credit card with Paypal, that if something happens with either deal, the money can be removed back out of my account and have an investigation started.

They told me that they had planned on going into deeper debt to pay me but if all this is happening I have my doubts. In a way I trust this person but all this going on I'm getting spooked. Several people, artists online, business majors, business owners, and an attorney alike are telling me to drop this commission and cut my losses. I have given them something of equal value to what they paid me. I know they came to me to commission and the goggles were not part of the original deal.

Either way I turn, I've got to do something. The goggles are long gone. They were MyVu goggles(dismantled by their hands in efforts to rig them to something else) so that's a loss of $150. I know I'm not going to get that back. I've put more money into this commission than I have received. They are fighting to get this but I'm getting rather worried about this. They have now taken into habit of verbally harassing me on my gallery pages and submissions. It's getting rather irritating, offensive, and uncalled for. I know I need the final $500 since I'm saving up for a wedding but there are lines being crossed that folks in general shouldn't have to deal with. I don't wish to block this fellow, but am being tempted to do so with each comment left. Their comments range from the blame game to verbal harassment to just plain attention seeking.

What do I do? Do I present the final pictures to the commissioner and see if the deal is still legit? If I go that route, how long does it take for an investigation (if one is filed) do go through or initiate? I don't want to get the money, only to ship the head and have the money removed.  I know they have stated that there is a deadline to when the debt help folks can no longer help him pay me but refuses to give a time of when this deadline is. Do I cut my losses, still posting the pictures in reference of what I can do then change the head so I can sell it?  I'm in need of help here please..


***Edit***

Here's some screen shots. I reuploaded the picture of the mask so it was larger. My camera butchered the colors slightly, but for those who wish to see the mask, here's the link: http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6213/nachtsh.jpg

I would do a video but one, I have a cold. Yes I could clean out the mask once more, but I really try not to handle the masks when I am ill. This one was only handled by the base and two, it's rather large on me and I need a bit of padding to get it to work properly for me haha.
.

(Going to add some information as well, in relation to something I wrote in the captions above. When He had stated he wasn't going to be able to pay, he had told me that there were his credit cards still. We had started this commission in March of 2011 and I received the knowledge of him probably not going to be able to pay the full amount. By that time I was pretty close to being done with the head. That's why I kept going)
Tags: advice for artists
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