Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Beware: Kurisutaru

As a follow up to the before post here, from October last year, I felt I needed to give a possible follow up on this as before, both for a little advice as the situation has not changed a lot and a beware based on my friend's work etiquette, as she has stated she is considering opening commissions in the future to start earning some funds for herself.

First off, the artist is Kurisutaru. She has been a rather good friend of mine and back in mid to late 2009, we were talking about her art. She was entering an art contest of mine, but complained about her current art tablet she had.
Basically, the agreement was made that I would purchase her a tablet for her and she would repay me in the equal amount of commissions.

First tablet went missing. It is believed a family member stole it and sold it from what she told me, so I had already made a loss of about $100 or so.
The second one arrived safely and she was happy with it.
Over the next few months, I was somewhat coaxed into several other items that she was wanting, but could not afford with the agreement of commissions to repay for them. There was a World of Warcraft plush toy, several virtual in game items in World of Warcraft and a few other items. Effectively, no direct money was exchanged but there was the agreement for the commissions in their place.
In total we worked out and agreed that she owed me approx 7-8 commissions based on the monetary value (more if I had charged her for the first tablet, but I felt that would be a rather harsh thing to do).

Now, the time during 2009 to the above post, there was effectively little work done. I saw one WIP sketch she showed me in person when we met in June 2010, but besides that, there was no other works. Questions about it yielded that she was working on them and planning to surprise me with them all at once and that she had several ready and such.
Once confronted in November last year, she admited that she had done no work on them. There were a number of personal issues, however she effectively did lie about her working on them to me and several others. Myself and two other friends (all artists), effectively told her that she needed to get her act together and she accepted this and began to work when she could, despite a few personal issues.
There is also no money and many of the items were virtual and cannot be returned, so refunds is somewhat out of the question.

There was a little after we confronted Kurisutaru and she vowed to start work, a rather large personal loss to her, that resulted in her having to move and her entire lifestyle being turned upside down. Now, I am not a heartless wretch and I gave her the time to adjust, grieve and such. However her new situation as well, has her having an excessive number of personal issues, which does impact on her time rather considerably as her time for art is severely limited and often because of these issues, they do not feel like doing the work.
Often, I am aware that she is busy playing Minecraft or other games, choosing to ignore messages from me, but happily talk to other mutrual friends, which frustrates me more so as it seems that she activately avoids me when topics are about the work she owes me.

In the approximate six months since Kurisutaru was confronted about this, there has been one picture completed, one picture effectively halfway done and one sketched. All others have not been touched or started.
Now, the half completed picture, I understand the content is a little uneasy for her to draw openly in front of family (A nude pin up of a character) and I am content with her reasoning that she cannot draw it much in her suitation. The sketched picture, is slightly also questionable in the same sort of aspect, though that is more so from what she questioned me she could draw for the particular commissions for it than my original intention for the picture. I do not mind it however, so again, somewhat content.
I have suggested offering Kurisutaru the more 'cleaner' options to work on, however, their answer to that is that the other pictures I have waited long enough, so they want to get them done. Which of course, they aren't getting done.

Do not get me wrong.
She is a hard worker when she puts her mind to it and a decent friend and I do not hate some of the wait coming from her personal issues. She has streamed to let me watch and she has done decent work on the pictures I have seen.
However, her motivation seems to evaporate quickly and she allows herself to become distracted easily and slack off for very long periods of time. She is aware of how long I have waited for repayment, however it seems to not be important to her.

This sorta brings me to my overall point, that their current situation prevents them doing the commissions, yet there seems to be no sign of change anytime in the future. I am unsure how to confront this situation, as the best advice all I seem to get is to wait, which I have been doing for almost two years now, with little in the way of results and confronting her either results in a rage fit, guilt trips or flat out ignoring.
With her hoping to open commissions, this is a warning that if anyone that may want to commission her in the future, that there will need to be quite a bit of paitence required, as well as potentially occasional proding to make sure she is doing the work she has been paid to.

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2011 03:46 pm (UTC)
I don't know what her situation is (obviously) but she may be in a better place to repay you in cash, so I'd offer that option to her.

What I would do is tell her that she needs to make you even in one way or another. Whether that's art, cash, and/or returning the items she can, that's what she needs to do. Press her for a deadline of some sorts (even if it's "Have sketches for everything by June 15, and for everything else, plan on repaying me in another form). One thing you might want to emphasize is that you paid real money for your commissions (not like you had an old tablet lying around), so she's not even to begin her commissions. If she can't finish your stuff, what makes her think she's ready to take on 10 different clients for 10 different pieces?

At the end of the day, don't feel bad about guilting her a bit. She's being a pretty bad friend by taking advantage of you.
May. 22nd, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Sadly, a refund is out of the question at the moment. She's unemployed and basically has little in the way of support since her personal loss last year, with her living with other family. This has resulted in a lot of her personal issues, so I have been somewhat leniant with the time frame, however their attitude towards the situation has me bothered about it and the results, even six months later, are barely there.

I do believe that she didn't intend for most of this and had the best intentions after she was confronted last year, but the events have delayed things. However the fact that she seems unwilling to do any of the other work until she's completed the first ones and seems to get distracted and ignore the artwork for weeks/months on end is bothersome, plus dodging me and the issue whenever its brought up.

Me and the other two artists have had words with her about it, but she seems to more complain about her own problems that prevent it (which some are legitimate, but others not so) than take the issue on the head and deal with it.
May. 22nd, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
Well, a refund might be a return of the tablet too.

I'm not trying to say that the artist is necessarily a bad person, and this situation could be rough on your friendship. I'd just emphasize that she has (essentially) unfinished commissions already.
May. 22nd, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)

I curious as to why you'd keep buying her stuff when she hadn't completed the prior commissions?

I'd lay down a hard deadline for her myself (via letter via registered post, say allowing a month for it to be finished or you'll take her to small claims court to recover the funds), if she still fails to deliver start small claims proceedings against her using your proof of her failure to fulfill agreed terms. She might well cry about it but if she'd done the work, then she wouldn't be in this situation.
May. 22nd, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
In regards to the purchasing of items, that was done during mid to late 2009, where she was drawing quite frequently and often did a lot of sketches. At this point, there seemed little in the way of problems and we were really close friends, so I was fine with it.
It was at about the start of 2010, when there seemed to be little progress that I started asking and stopped purchasing things.
I think the only time I did anything for her after that was near December 2010, straight after her personal loss, I paid for her WoW sub one month to give her a small thing to distract her. Never asked for anything for that though.
May. 22nd, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
Yuck, sorry she seems to be blowing you off :(

I have to say, while I personally might be willing to be patient if I really valued the friendship, but the fact she wants to open commissions when she hasn't been able to do YOUR work in years is INSANE. I am betting she will give her commissioners the same attitude and it will be a disaster.

Question - has she ever taken commissions before? Did she pretty much do the same thing?

Anyway, advice wise, it sounds like your options are to either just write it off or to put your foot down and tell her you want a picture done each month or you'll figure that she actually doesn't give a poop about you (or something to that effect. IDK, sounds guilt-tripy but it's kinda true I think)
Better even if you can get your mutual friends, who seem to be supporting you on this, to also keep track of it.

... honestly she may hate it but if she wants to do commissions I even think getting some consequences to blowing work off would be GOOD for her.

Edited at 2011-05-22 04:18 pm (UTC)
May. 22nd, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
To be honest, no, I do not think she has.
She mentioned once that she was approached, but before details could be set down, the person realised they had to actually pay for her to do the art and backed off.

Personally, I haven't taken commissions myself, solely because I haven't found a balance in my life between work, drawing and other things I want to do with my spare time, however, two mutural friends regularly offer commissions and deliver their goods. I also have followed up on her often for the past few years, so I've become aware of many of the pitfalls and such that can happen.
We've had words to her about her work ethic if she was to accept commissions, however often it results in her feeling attacked and/or depressed at their current situation.
May. 22nd, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
I do commissions /very rarely/ because I have a lot of school and other obligations. Frankly until one is a well established artist with a solid base and a solid workflow, commissions aren't going to be as lucrative as a minimum wage job.

I'm sure there's exceptions to this but I think this is the norm.

I only do commissions when I have some spare time and because I find them fun. I like having stuff like that to work on when I'm hanging out at a con. I'm not going to pretend I'm a wildly successful artist or anything, art is a hobby and I've had very little time to devote to it. But I've always gotten my work done within a month (and that was for big projects like a series of 10 inked characters) and I've never had any complaints. So, when I say I think your friend needs to work on herself and her situation before she even thinks about taking commissions, I'm speaking with /some/ experience! XD I don't think they are the solution it sounds like she thinks they are.
May. 22nd, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
As an artist, I know it can be hard to sit down and draw the same/similar theme for someone 7-8 times in separate pieces. However, that doesn't excuse her work ethic. I think the suggestion of deadlines is appropriate, or even paying back in cash. But really, I don't understand the idea of doing a favor for a friend and expecting so much work. I mean... it's mostly WoW items, yeah? I guess I have different views, but if I was going to get someone a virtual item I'd just write it off as a gift.

Still, a good amount of time has elapsed and you're entitled to be upset. It's just unfortunate that it seems you won't be getting what you expected in return.
May. 22nd, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
The picture themes I try to mix up. Having a vivid imagination and several worlds I've created means there's a lot of variety there, ranging from dolphins, to dragons to WoW characters.
As for the favors, there were gifts I offered as a friend, but often, these were things that she approached me, offering to repay with a commission for it. I'm not heartless and would charge her for everything, but there were quite a few items that they appproached me with the offer beforehand.

And yeah, the time frame seems to be an issue. I do believe she has the best intentions with it all, but the way they get distracted and such and their current situation seems to have caused a lot of it.
May. 22nd, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
Not to butt in, but there are about 100 bucks of tablet on the stakes. Yeah, she said someone stole it and sold it, but first off, it sounds really odd, and second, it's not Wannabe's fault if she can't keep her things safe. Zie (don't wanna be offensive, I just dunno Wannabe's gender) paid one hundred bucks and was even too nice to accept a payback in commissions, yet zie's been even nicer and considered one hundred bucks (I don't know you, but I can't get over the amount of money she wrote off as lost) just simply gone. Then zie bought zer friend new items, and this person still hasn't done much to pay zer back. I'm sorry, but at this point the 'idea of doing a favor to a friend and expecting so much work' is quite simply called 'being just fair'. We don't know the exact amount of what Wannabe paid, but it's probably safe to assume it's over 120-150 dollars, and may I be damned if I would tolerate a friend scamming me out of my money like that. Bad things in life happen all the time, but not hiding from someone that spent over 100 dollars to make you happy is quite honestly the very basic human respect one could be expecting from this person.

Personally, if a friend I trusted had so blatantly disrespected me, I would consider our friendship done and over with. It's not so much for the images she's not done, that may be caused by real life/art blocks and so on so forth, but the fact that she's been hiding from Wannabe and is planning on opening new commissions are on a brand new and unseen level of rudeness and incorrectness.
May. 22nd, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying he should forget about it and move on, but it's looking less likely that he'll get anything, considering the actions of this person. And I'm not on their side, either, I was simply playing devil's advocate.

The tablet thing is a much bigger issue and that should be paid for in full, if not that and then some because of the insane wait he's been put through. If I was put in her position, though, I wouldn't feel expected to put out a lot for WoW items. I don't know what they've agreed on, I only see "7-8 commissions" which is pretty vague.
May. 23rd, 2011 05:36 am (UTC)
The WoW items are in actual fact, coming from the Blizzard Store via micro-transactions. Link to the sort of items that were purchased are found here.
I paid real money in agreement to give Kurisutaru the virtual codes so she could redeem for them. While the actual money wasn't exchanged, it was done in agreement.
In fact, she actually is the one that approached me with the offer on them.

If I attempt to recall most of the items that were exchanged, it follows like this;

Art tablet 1: $100-120 (Written off as lost)
Art tablet 2: $100-120
3 of the Pets on the store: $10 x 3 = $30
Celestial Steed Mount: $25
Wind Rider Cub Plush: $35-40 (including the shipping)
Loot Card code from eBay: $25

I may have forgotten one or two things there.
Given her pricing plan, it was agreed upon 7-8, solely on the basis that I had left approximately $50-60 I had not given her ideas for at the time. I have attempted to mention them recently, but again, Kurisutaru avoids the issue.
May. 22nd, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
Actually wouldn't it be closer to 200+ given that she got her a second tablet? That's quite a bit of money to write off as a 'gift' when you were under the impression it was a trade deal. Just saying.
May. 22nd, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Oh good god, I had missed the second tablet line! This is insane, I can't honestly gather polite words to express the situation right now so I better be silent. Sure thing is, I definitely would make sure to give this person a piece of my mind, before I closed all communication. I hope I'm wrong, but it seems highly unlikely zie will ever get what they had agreed upon.
May. 22nd, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
On the one hand, nobody should say they're going to do something (in this case, draw them art) and not do it. That's her bad, she needs to buck up and do the art.

On the other, I'm the same as you. I prefer to give my friends gifts and if they return the favour, awesome, but if they don't, I'm not then disappointed and feeling let down, because I wasn't expecting anything to begin with. I learned early on to never 'loan' to friends, and it makes me feel better to give it for free.

That said, I think it's too late to apply that here, now. It would simply be telling the artist that it's okay for her to not keep her promises, and that's not something I can ever encourage. I do think it's important to try to solve it in a friendly manner, though, but .. to still try to solve it.
May. 23rd, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, in the past I've had issues with loaning stuff adding a sour note to a few friendships. At this point, I've found that the friends I can really rely on never really ask for gifts or monetary help, as opposed to the friends I used to have who are fun but always seem to be in need of assistance and rarely in a position to give it.
Not to say one can't have a few friends like that but I got a little tired of the drama and being guilted into doing stuff. Sad to say once I stopped "putting out" the worst of that type pretty much never bothered to talk to me.
May. 23rd, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Ideally, friends should be giving to each other, without expecting anything in return, in such a fashion that this kind of resentment should never come up. I don't think there's anything wrong with asking for help if you really need it, but I would definitely expect any friend I'm helping to not be a 'fair weather friend'.

Of course, a friend shouldn't be saying 'Hey, I'll do you art for a tablet!' and then blowing them off for two years. There's no good excuse for that and they're being a pretty crappy friend for doing so.
May. 23rd, 2011 05:40 am (UTC)
I do agree about helping out friends that way.
Normally I don't ask for a lot in return and I think that's why I often end up worse the wear for it, as I'm a bit TOO giving. Like, I could have easily charged her for the tablet that went missing, as it wasn't my fault, but I felt it was unfair and didn't.

However, I suppose the main thing is, I was approached with many of these with the offer, 'Get me this cause I can't afford it, and I'll repay you with art', which I agreed to, but wound up in this mess in the long run.
May. 22nd, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Bottom line, there's a few issues here, and not all of them have to do with money.

1) She is immature and looking for a quick fix to her problems. That included getting you to buy her those various things and her current idea of doing commissions.

2) She is immature and doesn't really account for the work involved.

3) She is immature and disrespectful of your friendship, your money and your sincerely meant words of advice.

All in all, it comes down to this- you can wait her out, handing out deadlines, be her 'mother' about it and maybe she'll improve. I honestly hope this works for you. But you may have to face the notion that she doesn't really want to change right now because of 'personal issues' (whatever those may be) and that she will cry victim and ignore you/block you/run away every time she sees you.

You can also demand recompense for your money spent. Not sure how because of the joblessness and I'm not so heartless as to suggest she could just go out and get one but from what it sounds like, she's not exactly determined about some things.

You could also decide that her friendship is worth more than the monies spent and let it go. Accept that you may never get that money back and be pleasantly surprised if she ever gets the pictures to you. Frankly for me it depends on the sort of friend I had/how close I was to them. But I would feel dirtied for it and disappointed in them. And I wouldn't allow them to guilt trip me into anything else.

I can't think of anything else to suggest to get her ass in gear. Maybe show her your entries here and let her see what people have said? I doubt she's mature enough to handle it though.

Edited at 2011-05-22 09:09 pm (UTC)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


A_B icon
Commissioner & Artist, Warning & Kudos Community
Artists Beware

Community Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com