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.