A Mourning Star (spearcarrier) wrote in artists_beware,
A Mourning Star

Introduction and a beware

Hi all!

First, I'd like to introduce myself. Most folks call me Spearcarrier or Blue. I'm an artist and I format e-books & flat comic pages for a living. It's really the only "job" I've ever been able to stick at. =^-6=

Now for my beware. Well, I have a lot of them... but this one is my worst, and I've sat here long enough on it. I've often over the past few months wished there was a place like this so that others won't be hurt or scammed by this person. Came very close to making one myself. Glad I stumbled across this one through DA instead.

Anyway, this person is not a DA member. They're a writer. They go by the pen name Charles Jolivette and wrote Etouffee, for which I did the cover.

They paid me for that, and on schedule. I have to give him credit for that. Then he had me format his book and paid me a reasonable price for the work promptly.

But then it was like I was their personal inhouse slave artist. I like to do things for my clients like give them extra freebies so long as it doesn't take me a long time (like resizing the artwork I'd already done for something). He started with needing that. Then he started asking for other work that shouldn't have been free, expecting to pay nothing.

At first I went along with it because he'd paid me so well to start with. But when the requests kept coming with no end in sight I finally had to tell him I was too busy to keep that up.

Then he contracted me to design three t-shirts for him to sell to promote Etouffee. He promised payment. Weeks later I still had not received it. Then he disappeared.

A couple of months later he asks me to format the sequel to Etouffee. Despite the t-shirt fiasco, I agreed and did so. I set aside everything else just to get his book done. I sent him his book and once again he fell silent.

I checked Amazon and sure enough, he'd went ahead and uploaded the newly formatting book and got it going. So I knew he was online. Then he contacted me again and said he'd only formatted it as a test, and as one last favor I ended up fixing his cover image for him. He'd tried to upload CMYK as his cover. I probably shouldn't have, but remembering the start of our working relationship I decided it was his LAST chance to make good.

I billed him a composite bill that included the price of formatting AND the t-shirts, which was about 1/3 or less of what he'd paid me before. Still nothing. I sent and resent the bill, and nothing. I emailed him privately and explained hey, I have bills too and I'd done him a favor and even put him first. He wrote me back and said he wasn't aware of the t-shirt amount and that he'd pay me. Then nothing again.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from him saying he was having hard times and really was going to pay me. The thing about that?

I accept partial payments. $10 on the amount due here and there would have paid off the bill by now. It's only $40. It could have been paid off several times by now in increments of $5 even.

I don't know. Maybe this person truly is having hard times. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt on that. But if you are contracted by this person, know that they haven't paid me for a lot of work. They may not pay you.

To end on a positive note: I'm happy to say 90% of my clients are good people. But I intend to use this forum from now on to keep an eye out for who to look for and beware of!

Thank you to whomever founded this place.

Oh, and as per request, here is a screenshot of the bill to at least back that part up.

And another edit: here he is using artwork he never paid me for... and obviously he has the money. I'm going to reiterate: beware this guy! And now my complaining is done. If he ever comes to me again, he's going to get told off quite good.

Tags: artist-charles jolivette, beware

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