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A warning about Jailbird

 Ok, I'm posting this as a warning so no one else has to go through the hell I did with this artist. She goes by Jailbird on FA. Back in December, I commissioned a 2 character adult piece from her, since she's my girl's favorite artist. I didn't expect it by Christmas, but I had assumed it would make a nice Valentine's Day gift. It took me a while to get ahold of her to confirm the commission, which looking back, should have been a red flag. She asked for the payment in full up front, so I sent off a large sum of money to her for this piece. I then noted her, asking approximately how long it would take, just because I was excited and curious.

After about a week and a half, I get a reply from her, stating that it would be done sometime in February. I thank her for replying, and go about my business. Valentine's day comes and goes, and I hear nothing. I let it go, since she said it would be done in that month, but when it gets to be February 26th, I start to wonder. She's been taking and completing iron artist pieces all month, and I haven't heard a word, so I just note her, considering she had said she would send me an approval sketch. She didn't respond, and it took me posting publicly on her page to even get her to read the note.

She finally responded, apologizing for the wait and told me she would start my piece that night, and I would have a sketch by the next day. I thank her, still being extremely polite and kind at this point, and go back to my business to wait for this piece. The next day comes and goes, and I get nothing. I note her AGAIN, asking for an update. I tell her I don't mind if it has to take longer than expected, but to please just let me know. If something comes up, I understand, but I would just like to be informed. She tells me my sketch is complete and she just needs to scan it.

A week later, and I haven't seen anything. I note her again, asking to see the sketch. She responds fairly quickly and I receive the sketch of my piece. She claims she had a lot of fixing to do with it online, but I approve it, because the sketch looks good.

She notes me a few days later, asking what sort of background I want. I tell her whatever looks good for the picture, because I was giving her artistic freedom to begin with. So another week or so goes by, and I hear nothing. She posts a journal, opening for more commissions, so I comment on it asking about my piece. This was the beginning of last week. She tells me my picture will be done Thursday.

As expected, Thursday comes and goes, and I hear nothing. So I note her again, just wondering what happened. She sends me my piece on Sunday, telling me she couldn't do a background on it, and would refund me the extra for a background. So hopefully that happens. But it wasn't the lack of background that bothered me. It was the obvious rush job on the coloring of the piece. Not only is there strange shading and lighting, that makes the whole picture look a bit warped, and the light seems out of place, but she completely forgot all facial markings on both characters. I'm not one to nitpick markings, but when you forget my characters patch on her eye, or my girlfriend's distinctive orange star on her face and her raccoon mask, along with her ear tips? That's something I'll nitpick.

So this is where it stands currently. Here's some screenshots of the notes and comments I sent and received:
Notes inquiring about my piece after it had been due:
Notes about my sketch:
Her telling me my piece would be done last Thursday:

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( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
sounds like she has bitten off more than she can chew. Which is no one's fault but her own. of course I mean no offense to her. You are well within your rights especially if they did your chars wrong. It's very rude/not wise to take on more commissions AND complete them when you have older ones.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC)
Yea, and I mean no harm towards her. She's a very talented artist. I just hope this gives her a reminder to pace herself a little better so she can avoid this situation in the future.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Bitten off more than she can chew? How so?

Posted a day ago
"Bought the Sims Medieval, played the crap out of it."

Sounds like another artist accepting commissions and playing games.
Mar. 28th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
well I was going based off of the info that she was taking iron artist pics and completing them
Mar. 28th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)

You know I'm still not sure why people do those. Don't they realize it will take time?
Mar. 29th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
I think people over estimate themselves when getting it done in a timely manner. I don't think there's anything wrong with it; but at the same time it should be done in batches
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
Wow that sucks. I took a quick peek at the gallery and it seems like she works pretty quickly. Opening up for more commissions while she still owes some is pretty shitty. My guess is she wasn't inspired/interested in working on your piece. But if that was the case, she should of never accepted it or at least refunded you when she realized she was having trouble!

Do you have pics of what the piece looks like? Is it even in her gallery? If she hasn't even uploaded it, that's definitely a huge worry, if she doesn't even like it enough to post it/show it off, you know its a rush job... x_x
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
I just added it to the post.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
ohey K2. Fancy seeing you hur. :P

I'm curious, since you made a point about the piece not being up to Jailbird's usual standards, any chance we could see the final piece? Also, I think in your case missing your character's facial marking is incredibly indicative of them not caring AT ALL about your commission =/ I mean, it's not like you're some crazy rainbow, tribal markinged madness, you have a fairly simple and easily recognizable character.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
Added a link.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
Since part of the problem is the rush job, could you please link the peice (with a NSFW warning of course =3)

Mar. 28th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
Added. Sorry, completely blanked on it.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'll be honest, looking at the final piece, sans background it looks completely up to her standards and the shading doesn't seem that bad at all. From the looks of it she added a "Light through a window" effect thus the odd shape but beyond that, it looks like most everything else she's done.

I would just note her about the markings and ask her to fix those and hopefully be done with it.

Regardless it sucks to be jerked around so much and have to fight just to get her attention on the matter.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
I can tell what she's trying to do with the light, but it seems off to me that there's a dramatic lighting effect in a piece with no other hint of a background.

But again, that's not what really has me upset. It's mainly the fact that she completely disregarded markings that are very important to the characters. I mean, I don't really care about body markings. If she forgot the tips on Jae's fingers, or the patches on K2's arms, I wouldn't be all that upset. It's the fact that she forgot major, distinct, facial markings.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)

I'd like to the see the references but I definitely see what you mean about the shading and color job. It looks really rushed and some of it doesn't make any sense, she only had one light source but it seems like the two people are lit from several directions and have random shadows in places there really shouldn't be shadows unless something invisible is blocking the light but only on them, yet in other places shadows that should be there are missing.

I wouldn't term it "warped and stupid" though, that's likely to upset the artist.

I'd suggest notifying the artist that the piece is not satisfactory since markings have been left out and the lighting on the figures is incongruous when compared to the floor. Simply ask her to fix it, she should do so. If she doesn't, I ask for the lineart, a refund for the color and permission to get it recolored by someone who will do the shading properly.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yea, I asked her to fix the markings, so I'm hoping to get that sooner than later.
Also, here are the refs:
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)

I would possibly miss the star, it's small enough that it's easy to overlook but she also flipped the bottom character's arm markings and I don't know how she overlooked the bottom character's face markings.

That said, looking through her work, the shading is something this artist apparently struggles with, quite a few of her images have lighting issues and she always has a single light used regardless of what the background is. So perhaps expecting lighting coherence might have been a bit much since it does seem to be an issue for the artist.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
Yea, though I wasn't expecting anything more than what she was capable of. It's the fact that the example she gave me of the quality is nothing like what I received. These were the samples she posted for what I was paying for:
Mar. 28th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)

I don't mind NSFW stuff but others might, please remember to warn for it. :P

The lighting looks off in those as well. Not as badly as yours which is obviously rushed but still off. I think even if she redid it, there would still be errors.
Mar. 28th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, your commission is obviously well below that quality, errors of lighting aside.
Mar. 28th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yikes, that doesn't look up to snuff for what you paid for. (Although to be honest I wouldn't know good lighting if it bit me in the butt.)
Mar. 28th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
What about the colours? Jae's markings appear to be a kind of sunshine orange in the ref, but in the pic they're tan?

I hope you get it fixed.
Mar. 28th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
Seems the colors is cause of the dark lighting, but I'm not too sure.
Mar. 28th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
Like Neko said, it's probably the shading. It looks like she based colored the characters from their ref sheets and then tossed a blue overlay layer for shading. Then she left the window area blank so the base colors show through, and put a luminosity layer over that.
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
This is off topic, but to be honest, I've been waiting a long time on a trade from you and I'm a little annoyed at this point that you haven't read my note, but have favorited things on FA, replied to shouts and posted here.
Mar. 28th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
To be more on topic,

I checked the artist's gallery and you're right. You're commission looks extremely rushed in comparison. It seems as if she just threw something together to get you to stop bothering her.
Mar. 28th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
I am sorry you've had a bad experience from this artist.
IMHO, I don't think that what you received was far from this artist's usual work. I'm sort of glad they didn't add a background, because I feel that it would have detracted from the characters. I don't know if you actually think it looks bad because you had a crappy experience and it's warping the picture for you or if you'd received this when you expected it, that you'd feel differently.

I hope they add the markings that you requested.
Good luck!
Mar. 28th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Considering when she commisioned this, the artist's coloring style was very different. Much more painterly, and she's switched to a more cell-shading type of style for her recent iron artist thing. I think the OP was expecting something more in the realm of the softer shaded pieces than the more simplified piece that she got.

Then again, it may be sort of an overall change in style that the artist didn't think she needed to update customers on, but I don't really keep close tabs on her art so I dunno. Personally, I'd say her work in the last ~3 months has been inferior to her work prior to that, but that may just be personal preference for a more detailed and painterly style.
Mar. 28th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)

has she refused to change the marking errors, or something? it's easily done.

i dont have a problem with the lighting, i just see them on the floor in front of a window, but i do agree that the other pictures had BG elements and props and yours is lacking. but she's refunding you for that, right?
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )


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