featheredragon (featheredragon) wrote in artists_beware,

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I strongly urge prospective commissioners to avoid this artist completely. His art is fantastic but he simply is unreliable as a businessman. [2014 JAN 19]

I am wondering if anyone knows what's happened to this artist?
I am also wondering if there is another site (other than FA) where he is currently active where I could reach him?


I last heard from Zillford on March 7, 2011.  His FA has been dead for 2-3 months.
I've tried e-mailing him, left an FAshout on his page, and also messaged him on Deviantart.
He is inactive on Inkbunny as well.

He did a commission for me which he finished and sent to me via e-mail.  We had discussed him doing a second drawing for me and at which point I would choose which one I wanted colored and pay him extra money.

At minimum, I would like to obtain the hard-copy of the commission I paid for.
At best, I would like to proceed with the plans that Zillford and I discussed.

He's always been pleasent in conversation and does excellent work.

He has been a bit difficult to contact in the past but always eventually ended up replying. However, to my knowledge he's never been absent this long before.

From his FA journal entries I know that he was under stress, busy, and was possibly having some money problems.  I think it's likely this may be why he's been absent on FA.

Other than the fact that he has vanished there's no problem.

So, if anyone has further information on his current status or online whereabouts please post here and let me know.


[[ UPDATE: May 25, 2011: http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/458146.html?thread=16498850#t16498850 Zillford is back now. :3 ]]

[[ UPDATE: 2011 OCT 10: http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/458146.html?thread=19071138#t19071138 STILL NOT RESOLVED]]

[[ UPDATE: 2011 OCT 26: Help!   This artist is STILL MIA!!!  He has not personally contacted me for months!  At this point, I just want to get the commission that he finished for me months ago and leave it at that.  And if he wants extra money to do the 2nd one he promised for me, then he's welcome to do that at his own lesuire--but I want the 1st one!  If anyone knows the best way to contact him or if he will be at MFF2011, please let me know.  *Is frustrated at waiting so long*  I know the guy is nice and has things to deal with that keep him busy--but this kind of wait is too much.  >_> ]]

[[ UPDATE: 2011 NOV 03: Zillford has finally contacted me and is proceeding with the 2nd commission.  Both are to be picked up at MFF 2011.  Will update again after MFF. ]]

[[ UPDATE: 2012 JAN 06: Positive conversation with Zillford at MFF 2011.  Decided to continue with the original plan to color at least one of the commissions; also, spoke with Zillford about interest in obtaining other commissions (to be paid for after completion).  Following the convention, Zillford has been slow to produce art and I have not seen any yet, however, he has occasionally replied to me and for the moment I remain positive that things are indeed moving along although slowly.  Will continue to update this thread as developments arise.  Current recommendation for new commissioners considering this artist: pay only after commission is completed or incrementally as updates get sent to you. ]]

[[ UPDATE: 2012 MAR 26: Last heard from Zillford sometime in January. He showed me a sketch. I made some suggestions and e-mailed him back.  No reply to my messages.  Still waiting to hear back from him.]]

[[UPDATE: 2012 APR 4: Zillford posted a detailed journal explaining his circumstances:  http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/3329633/ .  I commented and made some suggestions, one of which is that it would be more helpful if instead of infrequent damage-control journals every 4-6 months to periodically post new journal updates every one to two months.  Bottom line: I still think he's a good honest person just having a hard time in real life.  He's indicated he still intends to fulfill his commitments to commissioners--but quite understandably this takes second place to staying out of poverty.  Commissioners are advised to be patient for the long-term.]]

[[ UPDATE: 2012 JUN 23:  Despite noticing activity on his FA account, I have not received any replies from Zillford since January. Sent him a message a month ago in May and another yesterday.  I will continue to be patient as per my last update.  Even if he is busy trying to get out of poverty, it would be nice to get a quick reply; all I was asking for is an idea how he's doing and if he has any guess as to when he might be able to resume working on my commission.  I don't think it takes much time to do that.  Anyways, given his circumstances (as explained in his April journal) I am content to continue being patient for the time being although I'm not going to wait forever.  Will continue to update. . . .

[[ UPDATE: 2014 JAN 19 ]]  So, as you can see, I have been "exceptionally" patient with this artist, only waiting for them to mail me a piece of artwork they finished for me "years" ago.  He keeps saying he doesn't have enough money to mail it.  On December 29th, 2013, I offered to pay him to ship it to me and only asked him to give me a quote on how much that would cost me.  On January 16th, 2014 I asked him again since he hadn't replied.  Unfortunately this is typical of him; often he doesn't reply to questions and I keep having to follow-up with him. At least half the time he ignores my messages and when he does reply, he gives what I can only interpret as one excuse after another so as to keep on procrastinating.  I know others have had similar problems with him--they have left posts on the front of his FA page which he tends to delete.   I believe him when he says he has his own problems and while Zillford seems to be an otherwise nice person he is a master at procrastination.  Because of how slow he is and his unreliability with respect to replying to messages, as well as the fact that he is demonstrably unmotivated at shipping my already paid for and finished artwork, I strongly urge prospective commissioners to avoid this artist completely. His art is fantastic but he simply is unreliable as a businessman. It's one thing to have problems but if you can't ship artwork in more than a year and often don't reply to messages--seriously....  A long time ago, I had intended to pay pay him for more commissions but after realizing that he is extremely unreliable all I've ever wanted from him since then is only to get the one art piece that's finished shipped to me.  I just hate having to nag him to ship my artwork.  I think he just hopes I'll give up and let the whole matter die.  I don't hold him any ill will but it's vexing, it's not right, and it makes me angry to have to chase after people like this.  I will update this thread again if I ever actually get my artwork shipped to me.

[[ UPDATE: 2014 JAN 24 ]] Sent Zillford a brief FA-note and one brief FA-page message asking him to please reply and asking why he has been taking so long to reply.  Zillford replied with an angry and rude response but offered to refund me if I e-mailed him my Paypal e-mail--he also told me to never speak to him again.  He then blocked me on FA so I couldn't directly reply to his message.  I e-mailed him my Paypal details and indicated the refund value at $30 but he only refunded me $20 out of $30.  However, since I do have a digital copy of the commission I suppose that's reasonable--although, I would have liked to have the physical copy.  Zillfords two main issues with me as a commissioner seem to be that (1) my commission details were far too long and complicated, and (2) that I've been "abusive and disrespectful" and treating him like an "art vending machine".  Responding to those two points, I'd like note on AB the following: (1) Zillford is right that I gave him too much information.  However, when I first commissioned Zillford it was the year 2009.  Back then, I lacked experience and didn't know how to commission artists properly.  My error in this regard doesn't justify Zillford ignoring my messages though.  How does he expect problems to be resolved if he does not communicate?!   Anyway, the commission's been long finished and for more than two years now I've only wanted to have it mailed to me. Plus, if I hadn't tried to follow-up with him, he'd never have refunded me. (2) I don't at all agree with Zillford's description of me.  I certainly am not abusive and disrespectful and never treated him has an art vending machine.  I am a very nice person but it does upset me when people abuse my patience by not communicating and ignoring me.  And as far as patience goes, I think my track record as pointed out here on LJ speaks for itself.   As I mentioned to Zillford he completely misunderstands me.  I think Zillford is fundamentally a good person but my caution for commissioning him still stands.  Anyway, I consider the matter as far as he and I are concerned now closed and wish him the best.  In my last e-mail to him, told him I'm sorry he feels bad but that was never my intent and I wish we could have parted on friendly terms.
        The problem with Zillford is that he takes offense when people who paid upfront for commissions and who tried to accommodate him with patience end up repeatedly having to message him after waiting months and years *only* because he *repeatedly* ignores or refuses to reply and procrastinates to the point of absurdity and incredulity.  As a customer who paid in full and for which the commission has been many years complete (and let's not forget I waited over a year for him to message me back 'cuz he had said he was going though a very difficult time in his life), I see nothing wrong with trying to ask him to ship it and trying to periodically message him when he doesn't respond while at the same time I see him otherwise posting journals, commissions, etc..   My alternative otherwise is to have gotten completely ripped off by an artist who doesn't seem to care much for his customers and resorts to personal attacks when those customers try to confront him when it's clear he is being deliberately uncooperative.  If I pay for something, I expect to get it or I want my money back--I'm not giving away free money here.  Let's also not miss the fact that he's never denied the fact that he repeatedly has been bad with replies--in fact, he has previously admitted it (http://postimg.org/image/nylvka7qt/).  For any artist, I've always been happy to discuss any problems or concerns they may have with me and try to work with them.  That's exactly what I tried to do with Zillford in the past but apparently my attempt was unsatisfactory to Zillford.  But how was I to know that he was displeased with my attempt to accommodate him when he never said anything to that effect.  If he felt he couldn't work with me, he should have either said something then and there or offered me a refund but he did neither at the time--he simply dragged his feet and tried to brush me off.  In his last message to me he said, amoung other things, that he doesn't "feel especially enthused to jump through even MORE hoops for [my] sake".  (And he capitalized "more" by the way, not me.)
        Well, no offense intended (honestly, I mean no offense) but, if I may say so, I wasn't aware that him doing nothing for over a year when I agreeably and politely offered to give him time to resolve his problems so that he could ship the art, and then me messaging him in September last year to ask how things were going, and then following up in October, and when he then said he didn't have the money but that he might be able to get it from some art he'll be doing I said I'd wait until mid-late December before sending him another message to ask how things were, and then messaging him in December AND offering to pay him to ship the already finished commission (I never asked or wanted a refund), and then waiting weeks into late January and messaging him *again* when he failed to reply on more than one occasion constituted "jumping hoops".  I must have missed that in the 'How to Commission Artists handbook' I never had--'cuz we all know that every time there are problems it's always the commissioner's fault but never the artist's.  I mean, that's the way it works in real life, right?  (No, it really doesn't.)  Plus, it's amazing how quickly he suddenly and miraculously found money to refund me when he got angry but couldn't be bothered to ship the commission especially when I'd be sending him money to do just that.  He's always posting about how he needs money so I should think it would have been more advantageous for him to oblige me.  Plus, it's his duty to send me what I paid for now that it's finished.  He also must have known that he's refusal to respond would cause me to keep messaging him every now and again.  Plus, it's not that hard to mail a piece of paper so I'm not sure what kind of special "hoop" he would have been jumping through there.  I get the impression from his final message to me that he thinks I expected him to drop everything and focus 100% on just me because he says: "My life is full of many more things than just dealing with you.  I don't know if that's hard to understand or what, but some of us are more run ragged, short on time, long on work and just generally more of a mess than others."  Let me be crystal clear here: That is NOT true; that is, I can wait for him to reply and get around to shipping it no problem BUT because of his long tardy track record of not replying to me I don't trust him to be honorable or trustworthy so I need some grantee in the form of an actual date by when he is going to be able to mail my commission or at least signs that he intends to deliver such as him giving me an approximate quote on what the cost shipping is.  I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt every time or else I would never have waited as long as I already have.  By the middle of this month, I wasn't content to wait even longer in addition to the years I already have as he continued to procrastinate or fail to respond to messages and simply hope that he'd eventually just get around to it.  Been there, tried that many times; it didn't work.  They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again while hoping for different results.  Well, it would have been illogical for me to wait longer so that's why I confronted you Zillford.  At this point in the game, after waiting "years" in general, my generous patience came to an end.  If he had been responsive, I'd have been willing wait one more month him to ship it and not a day longer.  And failing that, I would have made a new AB post about him.  I probably should have done that anyway but really, I think this thread's enough.  So, if he wonders why, I messaged him all those times so we could please resolve this--that's why.  I'd love to explain it to him to him to but that's kind of hard to do when he's blocked me on FA and told me never to speak to him again.  I wonder if it's occurred to him that the real reason things feel apart between us is because he never really tried to hear me out or understand "why" things had gotten to the point where they are.  If he had, I'm sure we could have worked things out between us much better.
      I had sent him messages such as: "Hello Zillford,Hope things with you are going alright.We spoke last year and you said you would be mailing me the inked commission you drew for me a few years ago, however, I am still waiting for you to mail it to me," or months later when he ignores me and procrastinates more I send a message saying, "Please answer my messages. Thx." (Notice my use of "please" and "thanks".)  And when there is no response, I then ask and say things like: "I don't understand why you ignore some of my messages. It's very unprofessional of you. On December 29th I offered to pay you for the shipping but wanted to know in advance what it might cost. You haven't replied. You need to be more responsible and reply in a timely manner--not let your commissioners languish.  It's been weeks. Seriously, can we please get this done so we can both go our separate ways?"  Yet, Zillford took offense at such messages.  He seems to think I'm impatient and impertinent which is not true.
        I mean, after all, I have all the time in world to keep messaging him while and it's so much fun chasing after him and waiting for him to reply without any results or constructive conversations that result in action; and hey, I guess after waiting at least three years already I could wait another three more years or six, or nine....  I mean anyone in my position would have faith that'd he respond and get back to me eventually at some completely indeterminate future point in time.  What possible reasons would make me think otherwise?  Clearly, he hasn't a long track record not replying and always delaying things further and further into the future.  Plus, it's not like I'd rather bring this to a mutually agreeable speedy conclusion for both our sakes so that we can both go our separate ways and relax with peace of mind.  I mean, heck, it's not as if being ignored and made to wait that much bothers me--that would be ridiculous!  And, I'm also sure that when Zillford pays for things and acts in good faith but doesn't get what he paid for or decent costumer service that he likes be ignored to and would never think to complain or confront anyone about it.  After all, no one else besides me could possibly become upset by being treated like that, right?  (Normally I don't employ sarcasm but I thought in this case it may help to more succinctly get my point across better than my more normally restrained writing style.)
       So, mild but astute sarcasm aside (and no, I was never sarcastic when messaging Zillford....only did it here on LJ to help illustrate some points), I understand that he's mad at me because I confronted him but what else could I have done under the circumstances?  I only did this in the end as a last resort. I was even still polite if understandably stern when I did it--this despite my simmering anger over how I was treated. Believe me, I wanted to tongue lash him for what he did and the things he accused me off but I didn't because I know doing that is wrong. I tried to be as civil and grown-up about it as possible.  I also understand he's not happy about how I went about commissioning him in the past (ie. being specific with details) but until his latest message, I had no idea he was unhappy with my long-ago past attempt take his advice when I tried to shorten them (and today when I learned of his great displeasure I immediately tried to say I'm sorry he was offended only to find he had blocked me on FA, so I had to say that in the e-mail I sent to him as per his instructions to obtain a refund).  In his last e-mail to me, he even complained about my initial post about him on Artist's Beware saying that I  filed him "with Artist_Beware when [he] was in the depths of [his] horrific life struggles" but yet in his own journal (see the link I posted a few paragraphs ago) he himself wrote a year ago he acknowledged the fairness of the post--unless he was talking about someone else ('course, as I was the first to ever post about him here and he surface shortly thereafter, it's quite likely he was talking about me).  Either way, my JL post about Zillford started only as a "lost contact" post to see if anyone knew what happened or had a way to contact because he had been MIA (Missing InAction) for a very very long time.  As I don't have a crystal ball to know what is happening in everyone's lives and since his FA didn't offer any real clues at the time, well, you readers be the judge if you thought it was reasonable for me to ask about his whereabouts on LJ (Live Journal).  I'm glad my dealings with him are over.  I hope others have better luck.
    Oh, and one final point: While my last entry here is very long.  The messages I have been sending Zillford in the last few years to ask how things are going or to ask him to ship me the art or to reply have been very short and to the point. If fact, I never sent him a body of dense text like this when asking him stuff.  So, anyone who might think to say that my wordiness here is perhaps an indication of why Zillford may have chosen not to reply to me, think again.  The reason I am wordy in my final response is because I want to make it quite clear to everyone that overall, the fault here is not mine.  So, I put the effort into trying to explain my viewpoint. 
Tags: artist-zillford, lost contact
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