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Another victim of Jace

Brian Harp (He uses his real name openly on his current place of business, http://www.furaffinity.net/user/jace/ ) aka Jace, owes me for ~300 dollars of money and goods paid for two multi-character full color commissions never delivered, one ordered in 2005 and the other in 2008. This year I offered him a final chance to do right by me, giving him four months to deliver what I was owed. That deadline passed May 31st, thus this account to warn potential commissioners of his inexcusable behavior.

I approached Jace for a commission in 2005 when he still did business out of his website www.sharkie.net, requesting a piece of traditional art using one of his established characters and my personal character. I paid his rates at the time for a color piece, and though it's been so long I could have sworn it was more, the one reference I could find below indicates the first payment was $120.00 Jace insisted on being paid via check or money order instead of Paypal. (This of course prevented me from disputing the payment via Paypal. Small claims court is not an option for me, as {as I understand it} I would spend more than I've lost simply flying to California to attend the first court session.)

4245_original
(The mailing address is censored, as are a couple words to keep the rating down. This one-sided conversation was drawn from my web-mail account. My side is missing because apparently my web-mail doesn't retain the contents of my outbox nearly as long as the inbox.)

Over the next two years I received nothing, not so much as a sketch, though Jace claimed he had gotten to work on my commission and had produced a sketch. I communicated with him every few months, not wanting to annoy him into giving up on my commission entirely. I had commissioned him expecting there to be delays, based on what I'd heard from some of his former customers, and I was prepared to wait months, even as much as a year. As the occasional pokes continued to produce no fruit, I grew increasingly frustrated.

In 2008 Jace commented on a photo of some painted Nerf guns I had done and posted on Furaffinity, expressing enthusiastic interest in doing a trade for some Nerf work. I reminded him he still owed me art, and he said he'd finish the first piece and do a second for me if I would send him some guns...and some more money. I foolishly believed that now, having captured his attention, (I have personally witnessed that he is much more willing to actually deliver on his promises to people closer to him) that he would deliver on his promises. I boxed up several Nerf guns, some off-the-shelf, some personally modified, sent him another sum of money as well, and gave him the specifics on the second commission, another multi-character full-color traditional piece, which he showed every sign of being enthusiastic about. I had to go back through my notes on Furaffinity to find the details about the original commission for him, because he didn't have the faintest clue about what I had ordered from him.

JaceNerfTradeProof
(Censored to keep it SFW.)

Jace fell into exactly the same pattern. He told me he was working on it, then stopped communicating. I gave him a few months between reminder-pokes, and each time he had totally forgotten that he owed me anything, and made excuse after excuse about why he wasn't working on my commissions. These included medical complaints, 'I am moving,' 'I have a block on [that particular subject matter] right now,' and more.

I watched with growing outrage as despite these excuses, he continued to draw for other people, taking their money and actually producing for them.

January 2013 I finally emailed him and confronted him, kid-gloves off. I told him I'd been waiting eight years for one commission, five for the other, that I had been more than patient with him, and that I would give him one more chance to make things right between us. I gave him a deadline. I wanted my art by the end of May 2013. It was near the end of January when I contacted him, so realistically this gave him four months to deliver. I did not specify what would happen at the end of the deadline if he did not deliver; I made no threats.

He opened the excuse floodgates again. Medical issues, moving... He insisted my deadline could not be met. I told him if he couldn't meet the deadline he could always refund my money. He said that was impossible, and claimed he was doing commissions for medication and food to live on at that point. To meet the deadline then, I told him he may have to put everyone else who was waiting on art on hold. I seriously doubted anyone on his current queue (that hadn't given up already) had a longer-standing claim than I did. I told him I would not yield on the deadline.

Then he told me both commissions I had placed were impossible for him to complete. The character of his I'd wanted him to use was too personal and spiritually-linked to him for him to use at will, and the content of the second commission involved something he found repulsive. You can imagine how infuriating this was to hear. If these things had been true all along, he had never intended to do the work. If these things weren't true back when he took the commissions, it certainly looks like he's just inventing reasons not to do the work.
He also insisted he could not do color work and still meet his deadline. I told him that if he wasn't able to produce the quality I had paid for, then the quantity must necessarily increase, so two color commissions should become three inked commissions. He stated he did not feel this was a fair exchange for me, and while I privately agreed, I told him *I* could decide that, and had.

JaceProofFairExchange

Literally having nothing to lose at this point but time and patience, I told him 'Fine, I'll come up with new commission ideas.' I came up with five new concepts. He rejected all of them.

He suggested a sequence, using a new character. I set some parameters, and he told me he would create a concept sketch of this new character for me to approve.

It was mid-March before that sketch appeared. (Given some of the things I suggested that he rejected for the character, it's possible he had already drawn this character and just pulled it out, claiming he'd just sketched it. I'll never know.) He even seemed excited about the character. I approved of it, and we agreed on the last details for the commission.

JaceProofSketch1
JaceProofSketch2

Before that sketch, and since, he has streamed almost weekly, and submitted other art on FA. He is working steadily, just not on my pieces. I told him back in February I would not be hounding him. It hadn't worked in the past, and I didn't expect it would work this time around. As long as it was done by the end of May I didn't care what pace he worked at. He could do it all the day before for all I cared, as long as the work was up to snuff. But he delivered nothing, has probably forgotten about me again, and I am finished wasting my time trying to recover what he stole. I have other emails and IM logs available for anyone desiring further proof.

Whatever his intentions were, Jace took my money and my goods while reneging on his side of the deals, exhibited extreme disrespect and callousness in how he dealt with me, and betrayed my trust. Even after being offered a chance to make things right, even being permitted to completely change the deals he had entered into with me to accommodate him, he failed to put things right. By most accounts he does indeed suffer from serious medical problems, but they don't prevent him from drawing and they don't prevent him from keeping his promises. That's all his doing.

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
norsepaw
Jun. 6th, 2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
How can people live like that, knowing they owe people over 300 dollars and still sleep at night. Now that is a beware indeed and thank you for warning us. Hope you will be able to get something back either money or art.
tealmoonxiv
Jun. 6th, 2013 05:16 pm (UTC)
These people sleep just fine. How about that other artist who owes thousands of dollars of art?

They don't care, they just see it as easy money.
funkicarus
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
some people are just...devoid of accountability i guess
had some housemates make off with 350$ of my money (they were totally going to pay it back, i swear!) and then skip town. i'm sure they don't lose sleep over it.

ah, yes, and one of them was an artist who took more than 100$ up front in FA adult commissions and then failed to deliver. they abandoned their FA account upon getting paid and skipped e-town, just like they skipped the real-world town with my cash.

if they ever resurface, you can bet i'd write a Beware on them.
mistresswolf
Jun. 7th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
Perfect icon.

hah I had housemates like that too. One owed me $50 and the other $150 all for bills (the one with the larger amount was because he owed two months). I moved out two weeks before the end of the month (although I still paid for the whole month) and when they didn't pay me, I didn't come back to help them clean... though that is justified since they NEVER helped me clean during the year we lived there and when I left, all the mess was theirs. I even offered to hire a cleaning service but that was refused and they both crabbed at me for not helping clean their mess AND never paid.

I don't know how they could go on, KNOWING they owed me a combined $200 (they are siblings) and not do anything about it. I recently paid off the last $50 that I owed my dentist... I had owed it for a bit more than a year and I felt badly every day until I paid them. (ironically, if the housemates had paid me that bill money, i could have paid the dentist a long time ago. XD)
neolucky
Jun. 8th, 2013 05:38 am (UTC)
Try to keep things on topic if you would, please! This kinda steers way out into personal info territory and isn't necessary.
mistresswolf
Jun. 8th, 2013 05:40 am (UTC)
^__^; Sorry! I guess it took too long to make my point. To make it shorter...

I had people that owed me $200 and I can't understand how they don't feel bad about it when I owed someone only $50 and felt like garbage every day that I didn't pay it off.

So I wonder how This Jace guy can just apparently not care that he owes so much money. It isn't the most I've ever seen, but it is still a lot.
wolf_goat
Jun. 6th, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately not surprised. He ripped me off on an art trade (that he requested) years ago and have heard nothing but similar stories from others.
mottenfest
Jun. 6th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
It's unfortunate, but this does seem to be a trend.
He asked to do a trade with me months and months ago. I agreed because I figured I could just wait for him to do his half first. I'd already heard that he has a track record for not delivering.
I have a friend that is still waiting for art from their trade with Jace too, but unfortunately he already did his half: a full chainmail bracer. In his case at least he can just sell the bracer, but still. :/
rimpala
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
Hate to say it, but same here, I usually blow off art trades if they don't come to anything... it's more like a happy surprise if someone actually comes through with their end.

It's gotten to the point that when I hear "trade" I translate it to "request"
wolf_goat
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately back then he was so friendly and interested, I sketched his part quite quick, he approved it, then I inked it. Thankfully I never got to putting color on it when I heard he was quite unreliable - though he got back to me to ask why and re-promise his part of the trade about 18 months later or something. D:
rimpala
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
Dang, well my end is done in full so I just have to wait and see if he ever decides to start his end on it.

I'm not holding my breath though
martes
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, same here. Art trade owed from about 10 years ago! I saw a couple of sketches many years ago, then he said they were stolen.

Since he's gotten so ill now it's hard to get on his case about it, at least for me. In RL he's always incredibly nice to me. I don't think these problems are caused by malice or contempt for the customer like some other artists, but that does not make it any less annoying.

When I see him doing the livestreaming art sometimes I'm tempted to go on and ask for my piece. Maybe I will, some day.
animakitty
Jun. 6th, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
If he wasn't drawing at all, I would have chalked it up as a loss and given up years ago. Obviously too sick to make art? I'm not so heartless that I'd badger him about it. But year after year, he kept drawing, kept drawing, and even this year, stream after stream after stream even during the four month period he should have been working on my pieces, if he genuinely wanted to do right by a customer he had neglected to a ridiculous degree.

You don't think it's contempt, to claim 'I'm working on it' when asked for an update by the customer, and when approached a few months later the artist has to be told from square one what they owe the customer because they've 'forgotten' and can't be bothered to keep notes? Now take that pattern and repeat it, over and over. What else can you call that but contempt? No one with a genuine interest in treating me like a customer would have behaved like that.

But regardless of whether the reasons for the neglect are rooted in malice/contempt or not, the neglect occurs, and it's a systematic thing as the other comments (and previous entries on Jace) show.
koohiimonsutaa
Jun. 6th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
One question for you.
If they didn't finish the commission in 2005, why did you order ANOTHER ONE a few years lateR?
animakitty
Jun. 6th, 2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
I mention this in the account, "I foolishly believed that now, having captured his attention, (I have personally witnessed that he is much more willing to actually deliver on his promises to people closer to him) that he would deliver on his promises."

Of course I regret allowing the second commission. He approached *me* that time, and I (wrongly) felt the situation was different. In hindsight I was an idiot and immensely naive to think it would be different the second time, and was taken advantage of again.
(no subject) - weepty - Jun. 7th, 2013 04:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
animakitty
Jun. 7th, 2013 02:37 pm (UTC)
Part of it is that he's charming, I'm sure. Those who know him in real life that I've talked about this with all sigh and shake their heads, saying some variation of 'He's a nice guy, BUT--'

And when he IMed or Skyped with me it was never bitter or resentful, it was always buddy-buddy, cheerful, like everything had always been fine and was going to work out fine. It is difficult to remain stone-faced in a conversation where the other person is so bubbly and (apparently) excited about what they're working on for you.

But the end results speak for themselves.
0acorn0
Jun. 7th, 2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
A lot of the time, it's because the other people aren't aware of their behavior. Not everyone has an A_B or views A_B or checks A_B, and for people they often gravitate towards others who share their interests (such as artists hanging out with artists). And the fact that he's extremely friendly can also affect that as well. Just because you are friendly with someone doesn't mean you know about all their problems, I doubt he goes out there and says "Oh btw, I owe commissions from 8 years ago"

I was never aware of Jace's problems until I saw the A_B and was surprised, because he has like 8(?) A_B posts about him and clearly several other people saying he owes them as well.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
kerstin_orion
Jun. 9th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
Ok, this thread is way off-topic; I allowed a little discussion, but I'm freezing it here.

My advice to you is to write bewares on all of these artists who have failed to complete their business with you. People continue to get away with this sort of thing because their customers, for various reasons, do not report them. Artists_Beware has been successful in helping remove several repeat offenders from their largest source of commission income, but it only works if people take the time to write them up.
pikachu25a
Jun. 8th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
im not sure that is true
(no subject) - johnsop - Jun. 9th, 2013 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
uilliamcoorinna
Jul. 19th, 2016 02:43 am (UTC)
More Jace stuff
I wish I'd known about this site before I comissioned him a couple of years back.

In his (limited) defense he's paid *some* of the money back.

But during the time of trying to get the comission it was the 'I'm sick/depressed' sob story.

Just to let you know that he hasn't really changed.

Edited at 2016-07-19 02:44 am (UTC)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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