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Artist Beware: Aurasoul

Introduction:
As a note, in the end I am getting the item she made.

However the entire ordeal of two and half / three years of stress regarding this commission really has pushed me to write this, especially since she's looking to expand her client base.

I absolutely hate writing negative reviews about people, but I honestly am under the impression if you're operating as a business (taking money for goods/services), you need to also provide good follow-through, reputation, and customer service.

WHEN she did reply, I will give that she was always very polite in dealing with me.


I had planned on writing this for a very long time, and then debated it when it appeared I may be getting my item. I lucked out in getting my item. I'm not sure why, but I am grateful for that.




Artist: Aurasoul
http://www.furaffinity.net/user/aurasoul/ (active)
http://aurasoul.deviantart.com/ (she got herself banned)



Other Posts/URLs of Note Worth / Complaints:
http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/345411.html
http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/362541.html
http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/237438.html
http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/221900.html



My Issues

My fiance ordered a plush in Fall of 2008 for a Christmas gift for the sum of $90.
Basically we were strung along, yelled at, ignored for months. When concerns of whether or not she had the time to complete or would like to refund us partial (minus the parts already used), we were ignored.

Basically every note was ignored for months at a time which lead us to be very concerned about whether or not this was going to be completed or not. The screenshots below also include a few conversations with Ratchet, her boyfriend/husband. Since he had been helpful in getting a refund with another person on AB, it seemed like a good idea to contact him if he was more likely to respond.


As a note, Ty and I have no problems being patient. As we told both Aurasoul and Ratchet countless times, but we do request communication every half a year or so. (We rarely got that).

Again. We got our item in the long run, but I would strongly encourage people who want to commission this particular artist to never pay full up front -- and be aware that communication issues will be a very big factor.




My complaints will be under the cut. This is a very long dated issue




Disclaimer
Please feel free to commission Aurasoul or have dealings with Ratchet at your own risk. I know I would not deal with the pair again. Communication issues with Aurasoul is one big problem, but the other is Ratchet's attitude in the end as well. I understand that Ratchet may had been put in the middle of this, and realize that it may be stressful him, but this is also a product of Aurasoul's inability to communicate with her commissioners. I was NOT the first to turn to Ratchet in hopes of getting help. I understand his point of view in "not being her keeper (something he said before), however if I did the same thing, I'd expect my boyfriend/husband to give me a sharp poke to get my butt moving if I were slacking on these issues.

Also, there may be some notes I've lost in the course of 2-3 years. I tried to be as thorough as possible. I cleaned out my FA box due to the FA hack leak about a year ago and I think I've mistakenly deleted somethings I had intended to keep. I tried to keep every single response from both my side and their's.

---------------

NOTE:
For the first YEAR of this ordeal, I was not involved. The notes I have are after I got involved when I felt that Ty was getting scammed and was out nearly $100. That right there pissed me off to no small degree.
In fall of 2009 is when I got involved in this on behalf of Ty.
In summer of 2011 we saw the an upload of the final item completed (and item was given to someone in EF con to deliver to us in the states. )


-----------------------------


In late October / early November of 2008 my fiance commissioned Aurasoul for a Christmas gift for me. He did pay the full amount up front. He was told at the time that the item would be completed by Christmas of 2008.

When the time come and gone, Ty had spoke with her in regards to what was going on when January rolled around, he was told that she had school going on and that delayed her -- as well as still gathering materials for the item. Being the patient type, Ty sat on it.

He sat on it more, checking in every 3-4 months for a progress report. Rarely did he get an answer. At this point, we had gotten little communication, no item, no progress report and Ty so far was out $90.

Ty had faith in Aurasoul. Mine had started to wane when I was reading numerous complaints and witnessing problems ongoing in real time through Artist Beware and other channels, such as the banning of her DA account.

Again, any limited time Ty got a response, it was an excuse. No confirmation of anything. No item. No progress. Communication was like pulling teeth. Due to she being in Germany, we assumed that maybe she was not as well versed with English as many of our other German friends.. So we often simplified the conversation so it would be better converted in translators if she happened to use those.


----

It was after the year mark had nearly rolled around in 2009 that I got involved. After seeing nothing other than Ty's money being taken, I decided it was time to get involved. I first and foremost contacted Aurasoul asking for her to reach out to Ty to get in touch with him. We did not try to reverse action Paypal at this time, because we honestly wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt despite negative reviews and give her a chance to complete the item.


In the beginning she was very willing to respond. She had even claimed he had photos for us! It quickly declined from there, however.


Some Screenshots:

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So after the one promise of seeing progress reports, she had dropped off the face of the planet again, despite her account being active favoriting and commenting on art / responding to people in general.

All the while, I was watching my notes being a mix of being read and unread status in her account. It was clear my notes were being avoided. Again, as we stated in the notes, we did not mind being patient but do require communication and some effort to give us progress. If you say check back in X time, that's what we'll do and not a moment before. However if you blindly ignore us while clearly being active, it paints a very drastic picture.


It is what prompted the following screenshot.

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---------------



Fast forward to the year 2010!

It was at this point there were numerous negative posts about Aurasoul being posted up in various more spots and it was getting scary. Some were saying how she would outright destroy the item.

A few claimed they got resolution through her boyfriend/husband, Ratchet ( http://www.furaffinity.net/user/ratchet ). I had high hopes with this option, because at this point we were worried we were getting strung along and the best option would be a refund since we never got progress photos.

At first, Ratchet was helpful, and then he turned rude - my guess in frustration with many other people who had commissioned Aurasoul contacting him as well. I do not know this to be the case firmly, but I do know I was not the only one worried about a commission.
I had very limited conversations with Ratchet.


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Color us shocked. Here was progress and Aurasoul didn't bother to even notify us. Not one bit. We were happy to see the progress shots, don't get us wrong. We had waited a very long time for this.

Again this really speaks for her customer service / organization. She didn't notify us that we had WIPs to view. She didn't respond to our notes in a timely fashion. However, we were happy. This what we wanted.


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By this time we were really happy. Here was news that it was finished and ready to be shipped. We promptly supplied the shipping information and then waited.


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And waited some more.

And contacted our friend who had not gotten the item and waited some more.

Friend contacted me to see if anything was heard. We waited more.


Eventually we just waited to hear back from Aurasoul. We hadn't. We saw she was being active so it prompted us to write more notes. Many of which went unanswered.

I hate doing it, but I DID leave a shout on her page to get in touch with me (it was promptly deleted).


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We supplied mailing information (for the second or third time) on January 21st, 2011. I had waited in sending it again because I wanted to make sure my friend would still be willing to be a middle man in this situation.


We waited some more! By this time I was concerned. Seeing how Ratchet had been helpful in the past in prompting Aura to respond, since it had been so many months, I decided to give him a shot again.

I was taken aback by how just down right rude he was. Unfortunately in my clutter of notes I do not see my original first note to him regarding asking for progress on behalf of Aurasoul. I only have his reply after this one.


Photobucket

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So we're back to waiting again. No direct communication with AuraSoul through this whole ordeal. Frankly it angered me a good bit to have him snap when I see both of them active, commissioning art, and neglecting their own commissioners. This is hindsight I suppose.

I was a little confused to see that Ratchet was saying the item wasn't completed at this time, but it was hinted/ready to be shipped by earlier comments/notes from Aurasoul.


Somewhere down the road I thought to contact her again. After all, 3-4 months in between notes isn't too short of a time I'd hope. Especially since the last WIP was over half a year ago. Correction. About half a year ago when she said she was SHIPPING it.


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After that last one, I decided to wait a bit again. Like before, it was waiting and my friend waiting and nothing coming of it. Once again I started noticing her being very active on FA, but not taking the time to read/respond to anything.


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The next screenshot had information pertaining again to my contact's address. I've blurred it out for privacy's sake but the meat of what was said is there. Despite me having sent the address numerous times before, I was requested again to send it. Again no final photos of a finished product, but just the idea of getting it and getting this ordeal over was a blessing.


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The last few conversations were of me confirming with my contact about it not arriving, and bringing it to Aurasoul's attention. She said it was still there and had not had time to ship it.


At this point we had not seen any photos of the final product. I was not contacted directly, and would have missed the uploads (as I had when she originally uploaded WIPs) if I weren't watching her on FA.

Holy cow there it was completed..

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/6346025
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/6346032



Creatively since EF Con was right around the corner, to save on shipping fiascos (as one unfortunate person in Artist Beware had dealt with) I asked if she was going and could drop it off to my contact directly.

While Aurasoul wasn't going, she had a friend who was. It was agreed (and this can be seen on conversations/replies in the actual finished product) that it'd be dropped to my contact.







TL;DR Version

I finally am getting my product and it looks good from what I can see in the photos. My contact is bringing it to me when we meet up at a US con.

While Aurasoul has been very polite in her responses to me, her responses in general are like pulling teeth. She is not timely or professional in this manner.

I do not recommend anyone paying full price for anything up front.


Ordeal has taken place over the course of Fall of 2008 to Summer of 2011 to get sorted.



I'm probably missing things. I tried to keep this as short, but as thorough, as possible. (Yes I could have written more believe it or not!)


Ending.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.
https://artistsbeware.info/

Comments

( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
shukivengeance
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Post approved, and I tagged this as resolved since you are getting your item.
connorgoodwolf
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
I remember her, she stated she was no longer commissioning Americans last year. Her attitude is terrible, but the fault is her own.
frisket17
Sep. 26th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
I remember that comment/post... Saying how Americans were all rude or something akin to that.
mazz
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
Wow. She was polite but so extremely slow.

The final product is adorable but man... if she takes that long on items she needs to prioritize or take less commissions.

This is a beware that I hope the artist sees and learns from. She's not bad or rude but needs to make sure she doesn't overwhelm herself or take commissions she won't do in a timely manner.

I'd be ok waiting almost a year for a custom plush but... 2008?
She needs to mature her work some before she ends up ruining herself.
mpd_84
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:46 am (UTC)
Intentionally getting banned,and thanking the admins for it,is a huge red flag on its own.
Am I the only person who thinks it's a bad idea to set a plushy on the ground outside to take pics of it,even if the ground looks clean?
kerstin_orion
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:55 am (UTC)
That thought momentarily crossed my mind, too... But it seems common; I've seen lots of plush/suit parts photographed in grass and on sidewalks. I suppose it's for the better outdoor lighting. I'd personally put it on a towel or chair or something, but to each their own.
(no subject) - mpd_84 - Sep. 25th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amocin - Sep. 25th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
veeveedesu
Sep. 25th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
Sorry you had to go through all of that. :/ Least you're finally getting your plushie. I kinda gave up after her comment on my page.

It was pretty frustrating considering she did trades with other people and when I asked the people she traded with, they'd claim that they got their half of the trade fine from Aura. Yet she still would ignore my notes.

It only took my boyfriend accusing her of thief on DA did she ended up showing me WIPs of the plushie months after commissioning her. After the WIPs were shown another few months later, she would then say that the reason why hadn't gotten my plushie was because my 'address was weird'. And just... Ugh.

I'm pretty sure I stated all of this on my A_B post about her, but seeing her name posted here again makes me wonder why she hasn't been banned yet on FA.
frisket17
Sep. 25th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
I remember and read your entry on her!
I definitely am sorry you had gone through hell regarding a transaction too :/

I don't recall, but did you ever get your final item?

And honestly not sure (about being banned from FA). My guess is that she's still producing art/commissions. It'd be terrible thing for those that are sorta in limbo, as I was not long ago, to have their only way to contact her taken away. It's both a good and bad thing she's still active on FA --- good since those still waiting for product/refund still can monitor and/or contact.. Bad because I'm partially worried others will be sucked in too.

I had debated on putting the warning up on my FA journal too.. But feared that may cause drama-llama waves and more or less don't want drama for anyone, but I do sincerely think those that commission her should be fully aware of the potential risks involved in it.
(no subject) - veeveedesu - Sep. 25th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
lackoflollies
Sep. 25th, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC)
Never commissioning her, and advising others to do the same.
neive
Sep. 25th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
Just to clarify, does your friend already have the plushie in hand/was it successfully given to her at the con? Or are these still future plans? If so, I definitely wouldn't mark this as resolved yet. :(
frisket17
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
Yes. My friend has it in her hands. It was a HUGE weight off my shoulders knowing that... considering some of the mailing fiascos I heard about.

It isn't in my hands fully, but in the hands of someone I trust so I feel relieved about that.
holydust
Sep. 25th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
It's really too bad... if you can even look at that plushie without immediately thinking of the hellish ordeal you went through getting it, I applaud you. I wouldn't even be able to look at it now. :/

It's a waste of talent on her part... great work, but wouldn't go anywhere near her, nor would I ever let any friends do so. No one should have to be held hostage for that long for a commission. How you were treated was BEYOND ridiculous.
frisket17
Sep. 25th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
Agreed. :/
Part of me wonders if it was because I'm an artist myself I lucked out in getting my item / she was polite to me. In the commentary on the item she made a comment how I was apparently well known. I don't know if that has any sway in the outcome... But.. over all just glad to be done with it.

It was a good lesson though. Ty's very trusting with people as to where I am not. He's learned never to pay full up front unless we're aware of an artist's credibility / if there are AB warnings, etc.

Sorry this all sounds sorta jaded. This has been a lot of undue stress over a silly commissioned item :/
(no subject) - holydust - Sep. 25th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
cutewhitepony
Sep. 25th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
I have exactly the same issues with Aurasoul, except that mine are still not resolved and i still have not translated the conversation with all details into english and uploaded it here into an own thread. I am still a bit too shy for this.

To say it in short words here, i commissioned and paid an full fursuit in early 2009 with an deadline for Eurofurence 15 in the same year. The deadline passed and i had no suit but at least the only preview photos i ever got.

Since then she missed any date she promised. In middle 2010 things really cooked up and she canceled my commisison but kept my money. She told me that i should either accept to get some halfmade parts or she recycles it at all. Later she also told me that she could simply take my money and go away with it.

After two letters from an lawyer (spelled correctly?) (and possibly some nudges from her friends) she agreed an written contract to finish the suit until 31.12.2010. Now 2011 is almost over and still nothing happened except for new dates which she promised but missed.

I am currently doing the really last two attempts to get the suit done, if this fails as well i have to do something which i really dont want and take her to the courts because i see no other chances to get my suit or at least my money of 1200€ back.
frisket17
Sep. 25th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
I absolutely encourage you to write an AB article. Please :/

It is so that what has happened to you (and others) does not happen again.

I was very lucky I did not experience the behavior you outlined, but I had heard of the behavior.

Glad to be done with the ordeal, and honestly hope you get quick resolution!
(no subject) - kayla_la - Sep. 25th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Sep. 25th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Sep. 25th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Sep. 25th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Sep. 26th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Sep. 26th, 2011 04:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Sep. 26th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - otherscape - Sep. 26th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Sep. 26th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - otherscape - Sep. 26th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perrydotto - Sep. 26th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
marus_puppy
Sep. 25th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you finally decided to post this and I really don't blame you for putting it off until you knew you'd get your product since she seems to be a little vindictive about that... >> I'll never commission her and I'll recommend the same to those I know.
frisket17
Sep. 25th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Ya. I definitely wanted to post it, but also did not want to do it before I could safely say I was either getting product or a refund -- as too many horror stories about tantrums made me leery on how to handle a situation.

I dislike having to walk on eggshells with someone who has my (or my fiance's) money. :/
frazzled_niya
Sep. 26th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
Frisket you are a saint @_@ seriously, if I hadn't forgotten about it I would have been rope-able.

Communication is seriously one of the most important part of commissions......o_O;
perrydotto
Sep. 26th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
Man, I'm so sorry for you. I hope you can still enjoy your finished plushie despite this load of issues.

To put some more backstory about AuraSoul and her significant other into this:

I'm German and part of the German furry fandom, so I know a lot of things about her firsthand. She has a long history of being hard to deal with and having a bad attitude in general. Among other things, she has tried to scam someone from the German fandom out of a badge commission because AuraSoul claimed the work was "stickfigure like" and was not worth paying for. Curiously enough, when the artist posted the badge in question, it was top notch and generally on the level the artist usually provided. AuraSoul went on to threw a fit, badmouth the artist on other forums and trace the badge made for her (that she kept of course) and make it out as her own.

And all of this because of a badge for 8,50 euro. I wish I was kidding.

A furry friend of mine also made the mistake of commissioning a fursuit from her and her boyfriend before he did research on her. He is getting the exact same treatment as all the other people on AB and everywhere else - Horrible communication, lack of progress, excuses everywhere. There is a lot of miscommunication between AuraSoul and her boyfriend, too - They give different due dates, one of them promised my friend a discount and the other didn't, etc.
The suit was due November 2010. I really hope my friend doesn't have to wait another year. He just wants to get this horrible experience done and be over with it.

Another German furry got badmouthed by her because he didn't get his fursuit after a two year long wait and said he would bring an attorney into the ordeal. Being threatened with legal action prompted her to make angry forum threads about the dude and insult everyone who tried to understand what was going on.

Long story short/TL;DR: I can tell you guys firsthand that AuraSoul has a LONG history in the German furry fandom of badmouthing, stealing art and scamming. Her fursuit and plushie work is decent, but if you ask me, it's definitely not worth the hassle you have to go through.

I wish everyone who still waits on work by her the best of luck!
frisket17
Sep. 26th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you very kindly for the well thought out and informative post! I really do appreciate the time you took to elaborate on your own (and your friend's) experiences.

I know I lucked out huge in getting the item :/ It doesn't seem entirely common place.

Thank you very much again!
(no subject) - perrydotto - Sep. 26th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Sep. 26th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - veeveedesu - Sep. 26th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Sep. 26th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perrydotto - Sep. 26th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Sep. 26th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perrydotto - Sep. 26th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - veeveedesu - Sep. 26th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
cutewhitepony
Sep. 26th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
To everyone, and espically those who understand the german language:

Many more aspects can be found on http://www.happyfurry.de/ and espically this thread here http://www.happyfurry.de/showthread.php?t=3605&page=6 (you might need to sign up to read this).

Interesting is that she threats different people very different and places her priorities very unevenly.

The people which she doesnt like have to pay but wait for years and she intentionally delays things if someone asks again.

The people which she likes get their artwork; tails; plushies and fursuits very fast, sometimes within weeks. In return they defend her and support her behaviour, see the "Happyfurry" link above and espically page 6.

We possibly dont even need to post about those things here because she even clearly states in her own TOS ( http://www.repage8.de/member/aurasoul/agb.html ) everything she does to get in troubles with many of her customers. Unfortunately i didnt saved the old and much more friendly versions of the past years.

Also she stated somewhere (but i cant currently find this again) that she will non longer accept money transfers to her bank account (the usual way to pay here) but only cash on conventions and money orders through Western Union and similar services.


@Oceandezingz:
I still would be happy to get the Fursuit because the chance to get a good suit from her seems less lower that to get an refund of the money.
veeveedesu
Sep. 26th, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)
When I was on a German furry forum trying to get her to contact me about my plushie, I remember someone mentioning to me that she'll put porn related commissions on her top priority and get them done much faster oppose to regular commissions. Doesn't surprise me she'll do the same with the people she likes/dislikes.
(no subject) - perrydotto - Sep. 26th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
selunca
Sep. 28th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Oh man Frisket, you have the patients of a saint, and you were so polite the entire time. I probably would have blown a gasket after the first year of waiting.

I'm glad your finally getting your plushie, it is rather cute, I like the face, but I wouldn't be able to look at it without getting a little p.oed. :C
frisket17
Sep. 28th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
Don't get me wrong. I'm still very much pissed off at the situation. :/

Just very grateful the entire thing is over and done with.
( 48 comments — Leave a comment )

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