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I'll just get right to the point.  Also, sorry if things are kind of rough, this is my first time on artists_beware!

WHO:  Jirris Midvale. 

WHERE: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/jirris/, also on FurBuy as jirris.

WHAT: Fifty-page sketchbook commission auction.  I won it on FurBuy at a value of $175, $155 of which I paid over several payments with his permission. ( http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12121478/jirrispaypal.png )  He asked me to leave the last $20 until he had finished and sent the book, as an incentive to work on it.

WHEN: The bidding ended March 10th of 2010 if I recall, and Jirris was eager to work on it.  I received a number of scans as he had worked on it, but after a few months he became less and less visible.  I found it difficult to get ahold of him via email, FA notes, text messages, or tweets, and his friends were reluctant to talk to me about it as well.

PROOF:  I must apologize again for not having the original auction page screencapped, as it's been so long ago, but I do have my paypal transactions and log files from times we've spoken.

(10:08:21 PM) Mobile lynx: So when would you like payment?  :>
(10:09:04 PM) Jirris: Congrats you magnifcent bastard xD
(10:09:07 PM) Mobile lynx: B)
(10:09:35 PM) Mobile lynx: [REDACTED] is the name that shows up on Caller ID when I call people.  :x
(10:09:56 PM) Jirris: Ahhhh.
(10:10:01 PM) Jirris: Weird xD
(10:10:03 PM) Jirris: Why?
(10:10:21 PM) Mobile lynx: I dunno!  Probably the person who had my cellphone number before me.  :x
(10:10:31 PM) Mobile lynx: On my previous phone I kept getting calls for a [REDACTED].
(10:11:03 PM) Mobile lynx: So how's it goin'?
(10:12:36 PM) Mobile lynx: PS please keep my secret identity a secret :x
(10:12:49 PM) Jirris: Well, I have to look up prices for the sketchbook and order it. Jenn said she found some online for 15 bucks. Let me figure out some costs, and I'll let you know.
(10:13:03 PM) Mobile lynx: Alrighty.  If at all possible, I'd like to work out payments.
(10:15:49 PM) Jirris: Of course!
(10:16:10 PM) Jirris: I'm doing ok.
(10:16:30 PM) Jirris: Had kind of an annoying day, but better now.
(10:16:34 PM) Mobile lynx: Awr.
(10:17:44 PM) Jirris: I wouldn't expect almost 200 bucks in one go, especially considering everything you'd had to put up with.
(10:18:22 PM) Jirris: What kind of payments would work easiest for you?
(10:18:34 PM) Mobile lynx: Well... How's about like... $60 right now, another $60 when I get paid next Thursday, and the final $60 when the book is finished?  Something along those lines.
(10:25:06 PM) Jirris: That is totally cool. I'd be happy even to do 60 now, 30+ cost of book (about 45 total) later, 35 (30+shipping), and then 60 when it's done.
(10:25:27 PM) Mobile lynx: Toss me a paypal, pally~
(10:25:41 PM) Jirris: So the payments are smaller.
(10:25:43 PM) Mobile lynx: And whenever you're ready I can beat you with sketch ideas.  :x
(10:27:50 PM) Jirris: [REDACTED] make sure to send it as a gift, so I don't get dinged a percentage.
(10:28:15 PM) Mobile lynx: I'll just add the percentage with my calculator, okay?  If you accept too many gift payments Paypal tends to freeze your account.
(10:28:55 PM) Jirris: And you can compile a list of sketch ideas, and email them to gamingpope@hotmail.com
(10:29:03 PM) Jirris: Oh! I did not know that.
(10:29:05 PM) Jirris: Ok.
(10:29:46 PM) Mobile lynx: Yeah, Link Wolf had it happen to her once.
(10:31:06 PM) Jirris: Ooph. Thanks for the tip.

10:08:30 PM) Jirris: Kesdur!
(10:08:30 PM) Jirris: I got the sketchpad today.
(10:08:37 PM) Mobile lynx: Eee~
(10:10:33 PM) Mobile lynx: What's it like?
(10:11:05 PM) Jirris: Hoorah.
(10:11:56 PM) Jirris: It's a 50 page ringbound sketchbook full of marker paper.
(10:12:01 PM) Jirris: Black card cover.
(10:16:29 PM) Mobile lynx: Nice.  c:
(3:42:35 AM) Jirris: hey, would it be too much to ask for me to get some of the remaining bookfunds?
(3:42:49 AM) Jirris: not all of it, as I want to wait until I finish it to get paid for all of it!
(3:43:00 AM) Mobile lynx: How much do you need?  I'm a little low on funds at the moment, but my next paycheck is next week...
(3:43:06 AM) Mobile lynx: Just tell me what you need.
(3:43:18 AM) Jirris: ah, well like, 30 bucks would be a huge help.
(3:43:36 AM) Jirris: if you can't get it to me asap, don't worry about it!  I'll dig the funds up somewhere else.
(3:43:58 AM) Mobile lynx: Hmmn... yeah, I can do that.  :>
(3:44:43 AM) Jirris: come up with anymore ideas?
(3:45:18 AM) Mobile lynx: I sent one yesterday, I think... I might have one or two kicking around though.  :x
(3:45:30 AM) Jirris: yeah, the fatmerkess XD
(3:48:08 AM) Jirris: thanks D:
(3:48:12 AM) Jirris: it makes a big difference!
(3:48:17 AM) Mobile lynx: What happened, pandaperson?
(3:48:52 AM) Jirris: hah, just have checks coming out at the end of the week.
(3:48:56 AM) Jirris: bills and such
(3:56:33 AM) Mobile lynx: Anyhow, I have an idea for another three pics.  :>
It just kind of goes on from there; we had worked out a thing where I would send ideas of what I wanted for each page via email, which I did over the next few months.  Starting in August he began talking less and less often, which from what I understand coincided with a period where he just, holed up and was reluctant to talk to anyone.  I sent a number of emails and notes to try and get ahold of him, along with poking him on MSN every time I saw him, but not much luck.
This begins a cycle that's been going on for the past year and a half, unfortunately, where I get stonewalled at every opportunity.  His friends are reluctant to contact him for me on my behalf, and on the surface it seems like nothing's wrong; he posts new art and takes new commissions and all is well.  But any time I try to ask about my sketchbook or have someone else do it on my behalf, he goes cold.

Eventually I just, sort of snap and fire this off:

For once though, he actually replies!

I'm just sort of shocked at this point.  Because I've been spending the past year and a half just getting increasingly bitter and hot under the collar, not realizing how much of a jerk I've been to him with the specifics of the sketches I had in mind, but nevertheless, I'm writing this now because it has been a lot longer than two weeks.

EXPLAIN:  I legitimately like Jirris and consider him a close friend. I tried to wait this out, hoping it would sort itself out.  After all, I was (am) busy with college and my girlfriend and such, and I know he has his own life to life; among other things, he got married to his fiancee at the end of October and went on a very lovely honeymoon for a week.  I've honestly bee afraid to post this because Jirris is a cool, well-respected guy, and here I am raining on his parade.  I tried to find mention of his sketchbook auction in the backlog of his FA Journals, but can't seem to find anything.  Strange.
I'll be the first to admit that, more than likely, I have been kind of leery and overly demanding, but I honestly didn't see myself as being that bad.  But, well... I'm not sure what more I can say.
In response to the "If I can't have you no one will" vibe that Jirris mentions in his note... I'll admit that I originally bid on his auction in the first place because I paid him for a colored sketch back in June 2009 that I hadn't received.
So by the time I was going into this I was already a little steamed, and I'm not going to deny that it was bad on my part.

But nevertheless, here we are, over nineteen months after the auction ended, and all I have to show for it are about five scans.  I've told him that I was going to post to FurBuy at the end of October if I didn't have the sketchbook by then, but got cold feet when I remembered that his wedding occured at the same time.  I'm at a loss for what more I should do.

Also, sorry that this was so incredibly long!  I've really been sitting on this a while, and if there are details that I've left out I'd be more than happy to provide them when asked.

EDIT: Fixed some link formatting and removed real names and paypal addresses as requested.  Sorry about that!

Community Tags:

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


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
Having been on the other side of that I understand why he got increasingly bitter about the sketchbook commission- it sounds like a lot of money at first, but then when you break it down, yeah, the wages really suck. However that in no way justifies it of course, he can set his own prices!

Have you contacted him since August? Having just gotten married last month too, I can see how things could have continued to fall by the wayside.
Nov. 20th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC)
I sent a note to him at the beginning of October, stating that if I didn't receive the sketchbook by the end of that month I was going to write out this post, and simply got a single-word response in return.


I'll be the first to admit that I got more than a little emotional, but at this point I've been getting stonewalled for over a year.
Nov. 20th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I think this is a well-earned beware, honestly.
Nov. 20th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Augh that sounds like a really tough situation. Commissioning friends, or being commissioned by friends, can be tricky business. I really hope Jirris can send you the book soon. I agree with Growly, weddings can be pretty time consuming - hopefully he means well and will send it soon, but perhaps he just is a bit more tied up than he thought he would be. From what I've read here, you both do seem like good people, just caught in a sour situation. Good luck.
Nov. 20th, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
Just a quick note to the mods, I noticed the post is tagged artist-jarris but the artist's name is Jirris with an I! :3
Nov. 20th, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
Re: Oh~
Nov. 20th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Mod post
Please remove the real name(s) and the paypal address mentioned at the top of the first log. Anything other than the artist's screen name must be omitted unless they use it freely themselves and I don't see any indicator on their page that this is the case.

Edited at 2011-11-20 02:42 am (UTC)
Nov. 20th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
Re: Mod post
Just to restate what I said in my PM to you, Kesler, you can leave the initials in so you can show the payments are all to the same person. And make sure to get both Paypal screencaps. :)
Nov. 20th, 2011 09:10 am (UTC)
Re: Mod post
Done, sorry about that! My apologies.
Nov. 20th, 2011 10:31 am (UTC)
Perhaps I said something on the matter.

No, not to defend myself as to the realm of bad business practice, because as I had said myself the situation is indefensible and frankly irresponsible on my part. Yes, I admit fault here, firmly upon my own shoulders. I allowed this to fall on the wayside since the last note due to the increase in RL activity due to my wedding. I'm just now starting to come back into a reasonable work flow. It slipped my mind. My bad.

This entire situation I put forth as an object lesson to the community:

Don't take commission work when you're desperate.

I can't stress this enough. At the time I had taken this, I was between jobs and I needed scratch ASAP. Rather than going about this in a reasonable matter, I decided to throw down a lot of work for a cheap price and pretty much ended up hating myself for it. Thinking about this damnable book still makes me a slight bit nauseated and a fair deal ashamed.

If there is any part of this tawdry situation I would like to defend myself in, it would be allegations that I'm mongering drama. I cracked a joke about something that had happened to a friend of mine in the past and involving someone I've since made up with. As can be seen in the context of my reply, I was not in a good place. I had spoken out of turn due to this. For that I apologize most profusely and if she whom I cracked wise at the expense of happens to read this, I didn't mean anything by it. I was being a dickhead.

If at all possible, I would like mentions of my sicknesses and treatments redacted from said image file, if possible. It's embarrassing personal information and something I do not want openly bandied about on the internet. As for my disparaging comments to other parties, that can be taken out or left alone. I earned the lumps that may or may not occur as a result and I will man up and take it.

As to the matter at hand, perhaps I should get off my ass and do something.
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
I will do the editing as you requested. Are you on MSN, by any chance?
Nov. 20th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
Actually, I'm terribly sorry, but... the more I read and reread this, the more it comes across as evasive and, well, trying to dodge the issue at hand, wherein this "damnable book" that I paid for is not in my possession.

Jirris... what happened? Like, all around. Seriously, I'm amazed that you can sweep something like this under the table for so long. You're better than this.
Nov. 20th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, I'd be considered 'desperate' with setting up my commishes, but I'm doing it in a way where I can't possibly touch the money until they're done.

I actually did it that way due to artists_beware!

I think another good point: Don't spend the money before you finish the work! And make sure you have repayment in case of cancellation.
Nov. 20th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
I feel that I should speak up a bit and just state that you tried to get in contact with him via mutual friends and guilt tripping and bad-talking him. Or at least me. It was extremely unpleasant and creepy, and you didn't mention the degree to which you attempted to contact him in the post that I saw.
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
As someone a little bit on the inside... I know that this project has eaten at Jirris since it started. There were a lot of revisions for every single sketch on every single page, so that each page ended up being hours of work. I did a similar auction at the same time and I did 2 sketchbooks that sold for similar prices ($180 on both). However, my customers gave me a general theme and told me to run with it. I filled both books within a couple of months and got them mailed out to them. I did not do revisions or anything and both of my customers were pleased with what they received.

The situation with this book for Jirris/Kessler was different as Kessler was very very specific about every single detail of every single sketch on every single page. To the point that Jirris had to redraw almost every sketch. Jirris was going through some personal troubles at the time, not to make excuses but life sometimes happens and there's shit you can do about it.

I understand Kessler's frustration at not receiving his book yet, I really do, but I also feel that it should be taken into account that a general themed sketchbook should not have to have 50 seriously specific sketches that need to be checked and rechecked and redone. If that was the case I would charge a LOT more than $175. Sketches are sold for about $20 each, if you want 50 very detailed sketches where things can be reworked or redone, then you should pay the appropriate price, which would be about $1000.

Kessler, you should know that I have tried to get him working on this project and I have been asking about it. I do know that it is mostly done. I hope that you can forgive the fact that it hasn't been sent out to you yet, we had some personal craziness and then the wedding and we've both been sick since we got back. I make my promise to you to ensure that it is sent out to you ASAP after you guys get sorted out as to how you want to manage it (ie: finish the book? don't finish the book? you decide.)
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
I really, really appreciate hearing that from you, Moredena. I'm not going to lie, looking back on it I was really overly strict on it it seems like; it was my very first sketchbook commission experience so I asked around to make sure what I was doing (sending individual ideas, including a good pages where I just asked him to do whatever he pleased) was okay. Jirris seemed okay with it at the time and didn't stop me, but that doesn't excuse the fact that I just... got overly excited, it seems like, and for that I can't apologize enough.
I know it seems like I'm coming across as really passive-aggressive, but the truth of the matter is that I'm really terrified about this whole ordeal. I want to fix things.
As soon as Jirris is willing to speak to me again, at least.
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
It was funny because we were both working on them and my folks had given me themes (one was his character drawn doing cute stuff, mostly babyfur, no adult work. The other was to incorporate 3 of his characters, but other species were fine and a couple of fetishes that he liked but nothing super specific) I did ask them if they had specific things in mind and the second one did, but the other guy did not. He had been really stressed out by the constant revisions. So at least for that you're both at fault: you for asking a bit too much, and him for not telling you to knock it off. :) I kept telling him to! But confrontation is neither of our strong points. Especially at the time that this had happened due to mental health/loss of job/etc.

I am at work right now, I will see what I can do on my end for you though. Even if I have to work as a moderator between you. :)
Nov. 21st, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
This entire time I've kinda felt like it was my fault anyhow, what with having to badger mutual friends and pepper him with notes and emails and tweets and such. I'm really bad at confrontation as well, which is why it took me like three weeks to get the nerve to start this journal in the first place despite constant badgering and why I was willing to let the issue sit for as long as it has.
Still, thank you, Moredena. :> Whatever it is you end up doing, I really appreciate it.
Nov. 21st, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
I would say that just like in just about everything, you are both at fault. You messed up and he messed up, so don't take all the blame. And don't worry, maybe this was just the thing needed to get the issue resolved.

I just called and woke him up (oops!). He's been super sick for the last couple of days and was sleeping (that's why he hasn't responded to anything today). I told him that I am going to moderate between you so we can get this sorted out the easiest way possible. :) I am happy to help get this sorted out, as there shouldn't be bad blood between friends and I know this has been a frustrating experience for you both.

My email is moredena@gmail.com and my AIM handle is acciobrains, I can also email you my cell number if you'd prefer to actually talk. I get off work at about 5 (Pacific time), I need to feed cats and he and I and then we can maybe get this all settled out if you're going to be around tonight sometime? Go ahead and email me so we can get out of the public forum. :)
Nov. 21st, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
That's fine and all, I agree that for $3.5 per sketch, revisions aren't included (unless the artist originally specified otherwise); if need be they can keep doing the sketch theme and each sketch would count towards the 50.

That being said... it's up to the artist to lay this down for the commissioner rather than just going along with a demanding commissioner and instead of putting their foot down, ignoring them. That's the worst way to deal with the situation.
Nov. 21st, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Not trying to make excuses for him, he should have said something. However, dealing with a depressed introvert can be challenging. The fact that they are/were friends makes it even more complicated because we ALL want to do more for our friends.
Nov. 21st, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
Looks like things are being worked out. I hope both parties take a lesson from this, as experience and knowledge are powerful, valuable things.

Kesler, it sounds like you could could do to be less picky. Understand that work is work, and lots of revisions adds a lot to the work. It's in everyone's best interests if you learn when to back off and appreciate what's been given to you as opposed to having a very specific image in your head from the start and picking and picking until you force it out of the artist. That's just going to give you a bad name as a commissioner, most artists don't want to work with someone like that.

Alternatively, you can be picky and specific.. if you're willing to pay a lot more money. It's up to you, really, but lay it out upfront before someone takes your commission; "I have a very specific image in mind and am willing to pay for extra revisions until it comes alive. Is that okay?". At least then the artist can choose whether to deal with it or not.

But really, generally the best way to approach commissions is to give a general idea and a character at most and let the artist roll with it, without coming up with something specific in your head first. That way you'll most likely enjoy whatever they come up with and it won't be frustrating for them. Everyone wins!

This doesn't mean if a big detail of your character if off or whatever that you can never ask for revisions. Just try to be easygoing about it.
Nov. 21st, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)
Moredena and I just spoke; she's acting as a negotiator between Jirris and myself, and we seem to have things hammered out! The book should be shipped out by December 3rd at the latest, with the other commissions owed at December 10th.

Considering what's been going on, I'm not sure I can call the issue resolved until I have the product in my hands. Is that alright?
Nov. 21st, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Just let me know when you receive the sketchbook and I'll mark it as resolved.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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