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Missing Artist: Belialchan/Plui/PandaPlui

In December of 2009, Plui/Belialchan posted a journal on her deviantART page saying that she and her mother had been wrongfully evicted from their home, cutting all of their sources in the process. She goes on to say that they have no family that would have been willing to help them, their bank accounts were drained completely, their lawyer ditched them before they were able to go to court, and Plui and her mother had been sleeping in their car, selling most of their remaining possessions to a pawn shop and looking jobs to attempt to sustain themselves.

(Original journal entry HERE.)

And as such, Plui opened up her commissions in her journal, explaining her situation and hoping for some help. She offered her original commission prices, plus a free pencil sketch to anyone that helped her cause. She wasn't asking for donations, she was looking for work. Seems like a good reason to help out someone in need, right?

Plui quickly gained over 30+ commission orders (before I stopped counting, anyways), as well as a few months later in May 2010, she posted another journal about a doujinshi she recently published, and got another high number of orders for that.

However, it is now August 2011, and Belial seems to have disappeared altogether from the internet. There are countless inquiries on her page from people who have not received their commission/book from her. It apparently seems that Plui took their money, and then stopped replying to people. Absolutely nobody can get into contact with her, and all of her online accounts have gone inactive.

After she posted about her book orders in May 2010, she went inactive for about 3 months, then returned to her deviantART account on August 19, 2010 and submitted 5 completed commissions. Any attempt to get into contact with her is useless. Any email, comment to her pages, private message, etcetera goes unanswered, and other than the 5 commissions she posted, none of her commissioner/people who bought books from her have gotten what they paid for. Even today her deviantART page still continues to be swamped with comments from fans and commissioners alike asking where she is, or if anyone else had gotten their commish.

A lot of people seem to think that this was a scam; but perhaps it didn't start out as one? Plui has such a high reputation in the art community, so many people believe that she wouldn't tarnish her name by doing that, but it's been over 18 months, and close to nobody has gotten their artwork.

Does anyone know anything at all about what happened to Plui? Was this perhaps a scam? Or has something maybe happened to her?
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Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
domyouji_love
Aug. 21st, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
I've been one of the most active commenters on her page, and have gotten quite a bit of flack due to Belial's reputation within the art world, and originally posting about her on this community.

I can only hope that she simply hasn't gotten around to fulfilling commissions, but at the same time I won't be holding my breath any longer. =/
otherscape
Aug. 21st, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
Was the other entry to A_B deleted?
(no subject) - domyouji_love - Aug. 21st, 2011 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - otherscape - Aug. 21st, 2011 04:58 am (UTC) - Expand
millislim
Aug. 21st, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
sounds a little scammy to me...when ever someone gets too personal with details right before opening commissions/asking for donations I'm always skeptical. I never understood the need to guilt trip people into working with you even if your cause is legit. I also find it suspecious that she was kicked out and living in a car but could still post journals and I would assume cash out from paypal any/all donations and payments.

Maybe I've just become cold over the years after working within the fandom...how could someone work on, what I am assuming are digital art pieces, when they're living in a car with no one offering them a roof over their heads let alone a computer with internet?
jadinerhine
Aug. 21st, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
I know of an artist who had this same situation and I asked her how she was updating and working. O: Apparently she used (or uses? I think her situation has improved since then) internet cafes.

Which I guess is fine except I don't know if there are any more free internet cafes, so >_> On personal experience, I've had to pay by hour for internet access, since I've never seen a free Net cafe in my life.
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Aug. 21st, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crssafox - Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bluualuu - Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crssafox - Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - duster - Aug. 22nd, 2011 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - notorious_hunty - Aug. 21st, 2011 12:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - millislim - Aug. 21st, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thetiedtigress - Aug. 21st, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - millislim - Aug. 21st, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bluualuu - Aug. 21st, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
ljmydayaway
Aug. 21st, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to say that someone can make a gift for someone else without being in contact with them. :P I do this for my friends, and I rarely talk to them anymore.
bluualuu
Aug. 22nd, 2011 08:03 am (UTC)
True, but even if they weren't speaking, for Plui to receive the gift from Kaoru-chan, they would have to have at least some type of communication.
kikai_saigono
Aug. 21st, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
This makes me sad. I was really sad to hear about her situation and considered buying a commission from her, but as much as I loved her artwork and felt sympathy for her, it just smelled a little scammy to me.

I had a feeling it would turn in to another situation like Naughty-kittykitty's, but hoped for the best so I didn't say anything (though others did, and they commented on the journal warning people that this could possibly be a scam and were quickly told how cruel they were to say this about someone in her situation, etc.).

She claimed she had her laptop and charged it in like an internet cafe and that where she got the internet, but now she's just dropped off the face of the planet.

I do hope she's alright, I do. But at this point I feel like it was just a scam. :(

I'm guessing the gift was drawn by Kaoru-chan (or maybe Inma?) who are good friends with her. I'm not saying that ANYONE should harass them for information about her, because there is nothing I hate more than guilt by association (a lot of that happened with Naughty-Kittykitty), but I wish that if they knew she was still around if they could talk to her in some way or another, even if she just comes back to say a quick word about the commission s taking longer. I'm sure her commissioners would like at least that much.


As a sidenote, I'm not trying to say I'm an expert in the ways of the world and foreign governments, but her situation... Could that really be happening in any first world country these days? When I watched her she seemed pretty well off, and I'm not 100% sure where she's from, but I just don't feel like these kinds of things could happen anymore with there being no way she could fight back. I don't know, I hope I'm making sense. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!
neolucky
Aug. 21st, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Everything else aside Libby (NKK) is active on facebook and has pretty much ditched even her friends (we were close friends online for a long time, and she owes me stuff too arg) so...NKK is still around, just basically acting as though the hoard of ex commissions doesn't exist -_-. Sadly, NKK wasn't scamming, but fell into a bad situation and then simply stopped caring altogether...she's kinda basically hiding behind "I live in another country" as her excuse to not get in trouble.
bluualuu
Aug. 21st, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
I believe Plui is from Germany, though the only evidence I have to support this is various comments on her pages from people calling her a "fellow German." I'm about 99% positive that she is at least from somewhere in Europe though.

And yes, the gift was drawn for her by kaoru-chan, however the gift drawing was not the first instance when kaoru-chan indicated that she had contact with Plui. In a journal entry on her LiveJournal (original entry found here: http://lexi-nyanko.livejournal.com/185434.html), in one of the very last sentences, Kaoru-chan remarks that Plui was supposed to attend Japan Expo with her in June-July of 2010, but didn't make it because (allegedly) her car broke down.

I have to agree, I also do not like the idea of harassing her friends for information about her, (because, as you said, guilt by association is a terrible thing to be a part of), but I still can't help to think that they are indeed covering up for her. If they are, the one thing I can't understand is why (if Plui did scam us). All of her friends talk about being so against scamming and just general dishonesties and defraud in the art community, so I understand that Plui is their friend, but... enough is enough, y'know?

At this point, everyone that paid her for work is considering this to be a loss and a scam (except for a small handful of dedicated followers).
(no subject) - domyouji_love - Aug. 22nd, 2011 07:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bluualuu - Aug. 22nd, 2011 07:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - domyouji_love - Aug. 22nd, 2011 07:49 am (UTC) - Expand
ogawaburukku
Aug. 22nd, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
It's a shame this artist seems to be hiding out somewhere... They are quite good! I know of plenty of artists who use personal stuff to get more commissions. It only bothers me when I know they are exaggerating...
lexi_nyanko
Aug. 31st, 2011 12:23 pm (UTC)
Hello, I'm Kaoru-chan from DevArt.

I made that bday gift you linked to for her back in December 2010, that's when her birthday is.

The last time I talked to her was in January 2011. She had limited access to internet, she had to share a laptop with her mother who was busy all day working out some serious legal issues they were in.

She told me back then that she had about 20 commissions finished. I advised her to post those to DA. She refused, saying she wants to post everything in one go when all commissions have been completed. I told her this is a bad idea, that she might lose her limited internet connection any given time and that she should do it right away so at least people would know that she IS in fact, working on the commissions. She didn't listen to me.

I lost contact with her around the end of January and haven't heard a word from her since and haven't seen her active anywhere online. I wrote her several emails and got no reply.

I contacted one of her friends who I know she kept contact with, who told me she last heard from her in March when she contacted her through phone, saying goodbye and telling her that her family was moving to Romania to some relatives who live there (she used to live in Germany). That's the last thing I managed to find out.

I'm sorry for everyone who's been scammed...I can only tell you what Plui last told me herself: She WAS working on the commissions whenever she managed to get hold of the (rather slow and old) laptop (usually at night). She also planned to pay back everyone full after she's finished all the work. But as things are now...I think we can all give up on that now.

I also commissioned her although I dont really care about the money nor the picture sicne I considered her a friend and just wanted to help. I am disappointed though that she refused my advice and just left me hanging, making me worried... I feel betrayed as a friend and that hurts me more than anything. I know how hard a situation she was in (I'm not going to give more details on that, I'm sorry but I still respect her privacy...) but that still doesn't give any excuse to how she handled the situation so I'm not going to defend her on that.

That's all I can say.
bluualuu
Sep. 1st, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Deep apologies if I came off as rude when I described Plui's friends or the gift that you drew for her. I was mostly just going off of what others had told me and how they thought the gift was suspicious.

At the most, I'm just going to agree that this case is a loss. If Plui ever does resurface on the internet, I wouldn't doubt it if she was under a new name/accounts or something.

I do understand that she is your friend, though, and I hope you can get contact back with her soon to ease your worry.
(no subject) - lexi_nyanko - Sep. 1st, 2011 03:10 am (UTC) - Expand
domyouji_love
Sep. 12th, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
I appreciate it that you posted this; I was wondering if Belial/Plui had been posting elsewhere, and while I figured this was a loss I was hoping otherwise. But at least her commissioners now know a bit more information, so we won't be compelled to continually try and get into contact with her.
kyoukisumeragi
Nov. 1st, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm the lucky one
See I'm one of the lucky ones, I got mine from Belial. I kinda have "survivor's regret" cause I feel bad that so many others haven't gotten theirs. Mine even got a DD.

But I fought hard to get it. Not as hard as Domyouji but still.

I'm one of the lucky ones and I go check her profile on occasion just hoping she's returned for the other commissioner's sakes but to no avail.
domyouji_love
Nov. 20th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
Re: I'm the lucky one
To be honest, I'm just happy she actually fulfilled a few of her commissions. I rarely check her profile any longer; I have to take it as a loss. Sad because she was the first artist I bothered to commission before.
Re: I'm the lucky one - kyoukisumeragi - Nov. 20th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC) - Expand
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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