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WHO: Vani/Vanimute/Vanillakitsune
aka Stripesandteeth/Ash

WHERE: VanillaKitsune.deviantart.com (now deactivated)

WHAT: Digital chibi, Digital Portrait

WHEN: August 6th 2009
up until 20th December 2011

PROOF: Proof of payment http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/ashpayment-1.jpg
Original commission request was made on her Vanillakitsune DA account which has now been deactivated. I have placed screencaps of what conversation I could get, they are in the explanation.

EXPLAIN: I have been a customer wronged by Vani/Ash.
At one point I thought we were on a very good level, enough to say we were sort of friends.

While my situation has a better ending than most as I received a refund in the end, I will share it. I've wanted to share it for a long time but always felt the need to tip-toe around her feelings and her fans. I'm done hiding though, because her behaviour is not on.
I was happy with my outcome, despite having to fight for it for so long. However, after seeing her open more commissions, well, that angered me! I feel upset and sorry for the people who are still waiting, and those new commissioners who have no idea.

I commissioned Ash on August 5th, 2009, this was on her VanillaKitsune DA account. She was wanting to save up for some ragdoll cats. Her art was an inspiration and I think this was around the time we were acquaintances. I ordered a chibi ($15) and a digital portrait ($50). I am a very trusting person and I really wanted to help. Full payment of $65 was sent upfront, I was extremely excited! Here is the payment proof http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/ashpayment-1.jpg
A few months passed and I finally received a my chibi. It wasn't the highest quality of art (pencil sketch coloured in) but I still did enjoy it, hey I got art for one of my biggest inspirations, yipee! Here is the chibi commission http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/Art%20for%20me/Kyle/Kyle_Commish_by_Vanimute.jpg

At this point I was pretty confident I will get my digital portrait soon. I waited.. and waited. Ash has changed accounts to Vanimute on DA so I found her there and watched her. I continued to see her upload new art (none being commissions) but still I waited patiently! I take commissions myself and understand that sometimes you don't have the right inspiration. I also kept into account she was in college.

A while passed and I discovered she was active on FA under the name Vani, not only uploading personal art but.. taking more commissions? I made an account on FA just to follow her and wait, still very patiently though! It came to the point where she was continuously opening commissions, until finally making a journal about her to-do list/queue. The one we know ever so well http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1953643/
My commission is a year and a half overdue at this point, you would think I would be at the top of the list? I am all the way down the bottom! At this point I was done patiently and silently waiting. I voiced my feelings, albeit in the open but I think I had the right to. You can find the conversation here http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2014394/#cid:16534744
I generally like to be a kind person and give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even after being told it was my responsibility to keep in touch with her. Also if you read her reply, it is full of excuses (valid or not) and not one apology to me (I ended up being the one apologising?). As a commissioner myself I feel it is my responsibility to let my commissioners know if there will be a delay, also at least have the decency to own up to your mistake, have some humility and apologise??

So after feeling like the bad guy, I noted her on FA, here is a print screen. Note how I am still very understanding! http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/Ash1.jpg
Well, that note was never read. I couldn't understand? I was told to note her! I waited months for a reply, it still says in my outbox that it has not been read. So I sent another one, this time I did not sugar coat my feelings. I was done, this was unacceptable. She still had $50 of my money and not one apology. Here is the note http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/Ash2.jpg
After this on not being read, I discovered I have to email her school account? Awesome! So far we have gone from Vanillakitsune@DA, Vanimute@da, Vani@FA (all of which have been abandoned) and now her school email.

I sent the same message to her but via email. To my surprise I got a reply. I got an apology, we worked out what I wanted. I gave her 5 different characters to choose from. All different species and levels of fun in hopes this would be helpful. In these emails I reverted back to being kind and understanding, hoping to not upset her. I understood she was stressed and made a mistake and honestly didn't want to ruin any chances of receiving my art. This was the 7th/8th of June 2011. I received an update 2 weeks later, with some sketches. Awesome, it looked like we were getting somewhere. I replied saying I liked them, thanked her and hoped for her to continue.
2 months I waited, and sent her an email wondering what was going on. I didn't receive a reply.

This is getting quite long, I promise it ends soon!
I then discovered her on TUMBLR. We are so far away from commissioning her on Vanillakitsune. Tumblr has an ask system so some months after the email I sent, I sent an ask about it. I don't have records of what was sent, but I expressed my unhappiness again and stated this was unfair. I was told since I found it unfair I would get a refund. If I remember correctly a few weeks passed and I had to send her an ask again! This time the reply I got was her paypal email, telling me to send her an invoice for the refund and that she would have it by the end of the week. I sent it on the 6th of December.
I received the refund 2 weeks later, on the 20th of December, 2011.
I commissioned her on the 5th of August, 2009.

I am happy I got a refund, although it took a look of persistence. I remained nice and understanding the majority of the time. Forgave her constantly and chased her around the internet. While I finally got my money back, so many others are not this lucky!

More of us need to share our stories. People need to know that commissioning Ash is a bad idea. We need to stop being scared of her fans and hurting her feelings. She may have nice art and be popular, but not saying anything in public seems to be allowing this behaviour. She has run away with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of dollars, and continues to do nothing to right her wrongs but rather make it worse!

Hopefully one day this will end. I hope that she can change her ways, own up and make up for her mistakes and complete any overdue art/refund people. It will take some time but she has dug this hole and continues to to this very day! You can only be supportive and forgiving for so long before enough is enough.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2012 07:14 am (UTC)
This post is tagged as resolved, since the OP has received their refund and therefore their transaction with Vani is complete.

However, due to the large number of outstanding obligations Vani has, the 'beware' tag has been left on the post, as well.
Mar. 25th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Still waiting on one commission and... I guess you could call it a trade, as I over-night shipped her some material she needed for a cosplay (it ended up being QUITE expensive too) and she promised me a painting for that.

I'll admit I am nervous to post anything against her as I DO like her and I don't want to stress her out but yes, her behavior is unacceptable and the times when I have offered my advice to her on what to do in this difficult situation have been completely ignored.
It's very unfair to everyone that she continues to go to many cons, spending time she could be working on commissions making NEW merchandise instead of sticking to selling what she already has made. It would make so much sense to just sell what she already has and use the money she makes to refund people and the time she has to do commissions but... she just won't listen to my advice.
I can't ever imagine being in a situation like hers. It would literally kill me.

I really hope something happens soon. I'll try talking to her once more and offer my advice once more or I'll probably post her here too. =(
And I really don't want to do that.

And what happens when she tries to get a job? They're going to search her name, find her Wikipedia and online aliases, find she owes thousands of dollars (yes, it's thousands. She owes my one friend 300+ alone) and she won't get hired.

Edited at 2012-03-25 02:42 pm (UTC)
Mar. 25th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
That to-do list alone is a huge red flag O_o
Mar. 25th, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I need to pursue my refund with her. I've been waiting for quite some time as well, and there's no way I'm getting art at this point. Unfortunately I didn't see her unbelievable queue until after I commissioned and paid her : /
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 25th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
I know all artists work differently but holy Virgin Mary on a pogo stick how does anyone have a queue that big without having a breakdown?

I remember finding Vani when I was like 14 and idolizing her work. Kinda sucks to see old idols fall like that.
Mar. 25th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I have TWO pieces I am working on, one a commish from a friend and another a trade, and they have been so understanding...but I get so worked up over these two! I can't imagine that list.

And running away isn't going to help her...she should work in chunks, maybe. Sort commisions by sketches, to really detailed, and work from there?

Or even split into groups, work on 2 per week, as far as she can, then finish and go from there.
Mar. 25th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
I seriously hope she hasn't taken on more commissions recently. It looks like she's also completely abandon ship at this point and won't be working on commissions. Best thing for her to do is save up and refund her customers.

And she is/was in Ringling? She just wasted a whole lot of money then since being good at art means squat if you can't make a deadline.
Mar. 25th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
I would KILL to be in Ringling, but I know I can't do the deadline thing. I have some serious pain issues triggered by stress, so that just...is a bad mix. :/
Mar. 25th, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
Same here! Though I don't have the money for it and I have a speed issue when it comes to my art, so working professionally at my current speed would be a disaster. I don't think this occurred to Vani, unfortunately.
Mar. 26th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
Yeah. I am tempted to try super limited commissions (a certain amount of slots, a list of what I will do and that's it.) to get a bit of money, but I couldn't do it full time.
There's no way.
Mar. 26th, 2012 08:45 am (UTC)
I hope you don't mind me replying to you, but I think that you maybe right in the Ringling part.
(And Mods, please inform me if what I'm writing is inappropriate for this, because I didn't see it in the rules...)

I use to go to Ringling, and only lasted 1-2 and a half years there, because my health dropped suddenly (not to mention the workload in the Illustration major was really stressful, that it might have contributed to it...).
I thought this was all a coincidence when I saw the name 'Ash' come up, and it just became more apparent to me after hearing she went to Ringling, AND that she switched majors from Animation to Illustration... So as soon as I started reading the two recent bewares on her, I realized that I might have met her in real life.
I only had her in one class, which was figure drawing, but I have seen first hand how not only she doesn't take her art assignments seriously, but she would not show up to the class without an excuse. I think she might have done this to other classes, but I do not know.
Not to mention, her 'do not care' attitude really astounded me when we were suppose to do an assignment, and all she did was talk and not work. I just thought, "Why the heck are you here, spending a lot of money here, and NOT seriously working?"

Seeing these bewares on her, I shouldn't say that I am surprised. I thought her behavior in school was one thing, but seeing her apparent history in not taking responsibility to people online for their art or refunding them is just... wow... I would either feel guilty for holding up people on their art, or I'd just DIE from that many requests.
Mar. 26th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
Wow... Art school is really really REALLY expensive... Why would you treat it like that? ;_;
Mar. 26th, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
She was slacking off in Ringling? Yea, she must not want to do art professionally or have no knowledge of how the professional industry works, because you just wouldn't do that if you did. She must not be paying for it either, because you don't slack off while paying 50 grand a year.
Mar. 26th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Speculation on her schooling is a little uncomfortably personal and quite off-topic from her business practices so I'm going to freeze this discussion.
Mar. 25th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
That was suppose to be in general, not a reply to you. Sorry!
Mar. 25th, 2012 11:32 pm (UTC)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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