Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Beware of DA User xJem

I want to start off by saying I commission a LOT of people every year. I love buying art, and I LOVE the artists I work with. I so rarely have a problem - and I am that person who doesn't mind a long wait as long as the line of communication is kept open! That has been the biggest issue here, as the artist has failed to write back and has basically disappeared off the face of the sites where I can find her.
I apologize in advance for the length of this post; I was trying to be exceptionally thorough, as this has now been going on for a while.

WHO: Deviantart user xJem - http://xjem.deviantart.com/ also known as Subeta user MasterBeauPre. (according to her Subeta profile, she is also on Gaia and FurAffinity, though I've been unable to hunt her down there yet)

WHERE: Subeta.net; I made an art buying board and she sent me a mail on that site offering her services on 2/18/14

WHAT: Four pieces of art in a "noveau" style, two for myself and two for my wife as a gift, of four of our OCs.
- My sMail to xJem with the details of the commission
- xJem's response

WHEN: The first contact was on 2/18/14, with the terms of the commission being agreed upon on 2/26/14. The $105 payment for all four was sent after seeing all four sketches on 2/28/14.

Problems began almost from the start, as xJem stated she had 'deleted the files' and it was a good thing she had the sketches to go over, but I wasn't too worried. The first two completed images were received on 3/10/14. On 3/17, I received a mail from her saying her laptop was broken and she would be out of touch for about one week. I told her that was fine; I was going on vacation that very day, and I would look forward to updates when I returned. I returned on 3/24, and sent a message on 4/1 asking if there were any updates.

After not hearing anything for a few more weeks, I went to DA to send a quick message. I think it's important to note xJem had been seen both on Subeta and on DA in this timeframe. I sent a DA message on 4/12.

I did not hear back on DA or Subeta, so I eventually sent her an e-mail via the e-mail address she had provided me for Paypal. I sent this on 4/15, trying to keep it light and friendly, just in case she hadn't been on DA or Subeta!

I finally received an e-mail back on 4/22, which was full of more excuses (internet issues, broken laptop, deleted files, etc). At this time she did indeed include the 3rd half-finished portrait. I responded telling her I didn't mind waiting, I just wanted to be kept in the loop! I did not hear anything back until 5/7, when she sent me the 3rd finished picture and two freebees to thank me for my patience.

I want to interrupt myself here to say, that while I graciously appreciate the freebies... I feel like it would have been far more professional to FINISH the commission I paid for and then offer me something if you really felt so inclined (I flat out told her I didn't need anything extra, just my original commission!). I don't want to sound ungrateful. Free art is amazing. But... it is now 8/23 and I still don't have the final image I paid for.

I wrote back on 5/8,and she did as well. I did not hear anything for a while and sent her a message on 5/23. She wrote back on 5/27 telling me of yet another issue and asking if I could wait a little longer. I told her sure.

This e-mail on 5/27 is the last I've heard from her anywhere - on Subeta, DA, or via e-mail.

PROOF: Oh boy, so many screenshots. I've kept them in chronological order to the notations above!
- Completed Paypal transaction from 2/28/14
- sMail on Subeta stating that the files had been deleted and acknowledging she had received payment on 3/1/14.
- sMail on 3/17 where xJem states her laptop is broken.
My quick sMail asking for any updates on 4/1
- My DA Message to xJem on 4/12.
E-mail sent on 4/15
- E-mail response on 4/22.
- E-mail with the third image and first two 'free' images on 5/7
- Early May e-mail communication.
- Last communication I had from the artist

EXPLAIN: I wish I had an explanation. I don't know if it's the guilt of constantly putting it off that is causing her not to respond, or if she just bit off more than she could chew with other commissions. She is still around; her DA page says, as of today, that she was last seen a week ago, so she's at least been checking in since she last messaged me on 5/27.

At this point, all I want is my final image, especially because... it was a matching set. I don't care about the 'free' art, and never did (and at this point, it doesn't feel free; it feels like the last part of my commission payment paid for two things I didn't order and that's it). I'm frustrated at how this entire thing went down, since she started off so reliable and kind and it turned into this.

I'm not sure if she's still active on Gaia and FurAffinity, and just ignoring her existance on the sites that I happen to know her on, but if you DO run across her, please be careful commissioning her - at least for a larger order. Lesson learned.

Community Tags:

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


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2014 10:11 pm (UTC)
Her FA if mods want to add it to the tags: https://www.furaffinity.net/user/silvyrstar

Edit: Same name [silvyrstar] on Gaia as well.

Edited at 2014-09-07 10:12 pm (UTC)
Sep. 7th, 2014 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks for that info - it has her tumblr account up on it too. That's really helpful!
Sep. 7th, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
"I want to interrupt myself here to say, that while I graciously appreciate the freebies... I feel like it would have been far more professional to FINISH the commission I paid for and then offer me something if you really felt so inclined (I flat out told her I didn't need anything extra, just my original commission!). I don't want to sound ungrateful. Free art is amazing. But... it is now 8/23 and I still don't have the final image I paid for."

I never understand why artists do this. Just do some work on the commission owed, if you're the client waiting even seeing progress on a WIP is better than free art you didn't ask for.

I honestly think it isn't generous or kind at all, and it puts the client in an awkward position. Having seen the quick sketch/icon freebie tactic used by several artists posted here who owed work or were dreadfully over due with work I think it's an act to try and guilt the client. It's not meant to be a gift out of genuine remorse or kindness, it's to be able to use against the client. Like if the client complains about wait times or not receiving their product after being given the free art then the artist or the artist's white knights can pull the 'well X even did free art for them and they still weren't satisfied/still were impatient' to try and make the client look like the bad guy.

It's sad, sometimes I think art scammers put more effort into maintaining the scam over time than if they just buckled down one afternoon and finished some of their owed work.

(BTW- I just want to say I have received gift art along with purchased art from artists I was a repeat client of or who made an accidenta; goof during one stage of the art like using the wrong person's ref image, etc. and I do appreciate that. It was clear that was sincere. I'm talking about cases where during the stringing along phase the gift art is done when it's completely nonsensical to do so. When the artists blows off the actually commission but puts the effort they should have put into the purchase into gift art instead.
I think it's pretty clear when an artist honestly is giving you a gift for being a good client, or they got drawing the characters and really had fun with it and did some extra, or they are sorry they missed a character's key feature and throw in a sketch versus when someone is trying to guilt you into not complaining, or trying to make themselves look good despite not working on owed work and doing stuff you never asked for instead)

(edit for major clarity error- I seriously wrote the wrong two words completely. Like not even close to the two words I meant to write. Ugh, very sorry, brain damage moment!)

Edited at 2014-09-07 11:08 pm (UTC)
Sep. 7th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
YES. This is exactly how it feels - like it's just basically shaming me into not complaining about how long it's taking. I don't see why the effort put into those 'free' chibis couldn't be put into my final image. It was just flat out awkward to get them, which is why I never expressed a huge amount of gratitude... not that I'm ungrateful. I just.. want what I paid for, not something to keep me quiet.

And there's definitely a difference. I've had a few artists throw me in a little gift, or one artist who took longer so she 'apologized' by shading what had originally been a flat-piece of artwork, and THAT I feel is truly kind on their part and shows genuine generosity. This is just frustrating.
Sep. 8th, 2014 10:16 am (UTC)
Dont feel bad, the artist put you in an awkward position, that free art was a bad move on their part. Youve been very kind and patient with the artist. I am so sorry you have to deal with that. ;^; I agree that if an artist wants to add in free art, then they need to do that at the end when the commission is done.
Sep. 8th, 2014 04:07 pm (UTC)
I've also been in a position where an artist gave me more than I asked for -- I purchased a two-character (mine and a friend's) colored image and ended up getting seven different versions with various outfit colors! It was a huge delight for me and the other person involved, particularly since it had come after a long enough wait that I made an A-B advice post about it. That genuinely felt like a nice apology! (Or maybe it's just what the artist does with colored images, I had only purchased sketches from her before.) Getting random art while still waiting on a commission, though -- unless the artist was a good friend, I could only see that as a manipulation tactic :/ "BUT LOOOOOK I DID THIS NICE THING FOR YOUUUU HOW CAN YOU COMPLAIN GOD"
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


A_B icon
Commissioner & Artist, Warning & Kudos Community
Artists Beware

Community Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com