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Beware: Mintkit

Who: Marcus Jones also known as Rudy Rosenblum, previously, Levi-Roe Mintkit, Levi Blackmore and Redpandaboy.

Where: Through a furry group on facebook, can be found on FA, here: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/mintkit was previously using http://www.furaffinity.net/user/redpandaboy/ Their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mintkit-Illustrations/551024728331391?ref=ts&fref=ts

What: A group picture offered to the members of a facebook group. Cost of inclusion for the image was £10 per character.

When: He offered the group picture sometime around May 2014. A month later on the 22nd of June 2014 I sent him payment for inclusion in the group picture. After a two month wait, with no update, I asked to be refunded. It is now November the 5th 2014, there's no progress on the picture and still no sign of refund.

Discussing payment: http://i.imgur.com/1HJaOkv.png
Proof of payment sent: http://i.imgur.com/JTk1E2n.png
Claim of progress and denial of showing the image, through a friend: http://i.imgur.com/IEvbrlI.png (Using the excuse if it wanting to be a surprise.)
Messages I received after asking for a refund: http://i.imgur.com/ykyboSi.png http://i.imgur.com/irJp603.png (It's now been far longer than a few weeks.)

Explain: A group picture was offered to furries in an online community in a facebook group sometime in May. I cannot recall the exact date as this person's facebook profile was taken down many times through facebook's new "false names policy", thus ending up with many original posts, that I would have liked to screen shot, being lost. A month later on the 22nd of June I sent out payment to this individual for inclusion in the group picture, costing me £10.
Two months went by without a single mention as to how this group commission was progressing, by now he'd already produced many personal pieces, spending time on them instead of commissions he owed. I had a friend of mine ask if he could see the progress of the image. The artist refused to show a progress image claiming he wished for it to be "a surprise" Having been asked by my friend, the artist then made a post to the group, expressing how he'd completed the sketch for the group and the image was progressing well. On this post, I commented stating my annoyance of having no update in a two month time period and asked if my character could be excluded and if I could receive a refund, this is when he messaged me. Through these messages he claimed that the personal pieces were to improve his work for commissions, he also revealed that he owed many people money, not just myself at this point, and that he had already spent the money received for the commission, despite not having delivered what he was paid for.

It has been 3 months since I asked for a refund and I've still yet to receive it. I've asked many times and even sent a payment request through paypal, which he has ignored.
In these three months, he's continued to work on personal art as well as having spent money on unnecessary items and on train tickets, traveling to see friends. He's even had others spend money on him at expensive restaurants since he "couldn't afford" to pay for himself.

This issue is still ongoing and I thought that, by this point, it would have been resolved, but sadly it as not and so I thought I should make a post here to warn others about this individual. I am very frustrated and disappointed by this stage and would certainly suggest that, if you would like art delivered in a timely fashion, you should seek out another artist.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC)
Three months is a long time to wait for a refund and two months is a long time for a wip at least.

That being said, I don't know how in the beginning it was the artist's responsibility to be concerned about your money situation before you paid for the commission. However, the artist should have not spent your money before finishing the work, and a WIP should have been provided when he was asked for it.

Owing other people money is a cause for concern, especially if he doesn't make this information public. Does he have a public list of in-progress work?

Edited at 2014-11-08 01:51 pm (UTC)
Nov. 8th, 2014 01:56 pm (UTC)
My only point of contention with what you say is that it is absolutely no one else's responsibility but your own to keep track of your finances. He does not need to show sympathy for what you have to live on that week and it doesn't make him unprofessional for not caring (he seemed polite enough to me anyway.) The evaluation of his finances also doesn't really seem relevant to his beware, it sounds like you're just trying to take digs at him honestly. :/

But with that said. It is fishy that he refuses to show progress, but: was this commission advertised as having wips shown or was it wing-it style? If it wasn't covered in conversation, I imagine his ToS would be the default. Maybe he usually does wing-it style commissions, but that really should have been covered before money changed hands.

It would anger me too to see a ton of personal work done without any progress shown on my commission - I think "it's for practice" covers a piece here and there but no sketch since June is too long.
Nov. 8th, 2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry he is stringing you along, and presumably all the others who signed on for the group pic. Also that he spent the funds before actually earning them.
Maybe if 5 or 6 of the people in the group all contact Paypal with the same basic details about this issue they will be more likely to refund.
I'm asusming it was digital only, that he wasn't mailing out prints or anything but if enough of you complain you might just get a Paypal rep willing to help.
BTW was there a timeline or estimate on the delivery date? I'm thinking that, with ongoing communication happening, that a 3 months wait for a large group pic might be reasonable. With no communication happening and no WIPS(again did the artist's TOS say anything about showing induviduals WIPS of their portion or the group pic as a whole?) to prove work was happening, yeah that 3 months is no longer reasonable.

However I cannot understand your inclusion of this: " (shows no concern for myself having to live off a small sum of money in order to pay him)"
Your money situation is none of his business. He has zero obligation to show a concern over what you spend your money on, and in fact that entire conversation seems really in poor taste. Almost as if you were fishing for a lower price or giving him some kind of guilt trip about your sacrifice to buy his art. I realise it is somewhat tangential to issue of the commission gone bad but you added it to the conversation about payment spontaneously; and, for some reason I can't understand, you brought it up here again and drew attention to it by making that specific comment about having to live on a 'small sum'. So I think all that makes fair game to evaluate your behaviour on this point, and it really seems in poor taste- especially your annotation on the screenshot here which somehow makes it seem like you think he should have cared about your budgeting. Why should he? That is your personal business and laying it onto him in any way was and continues to be unfair.
In fact I think he responded to the unnecessary details you gave him very tactfully, trying to just move the conversation along with minimal acknowledgement.
Honestly if you had said what you said to him about your money situation to me I would not have wanted to work with you and would have not accepted the commission. I would have been uncomfortable about what seemed like a sympathy ploy, even if that wasn't how you meant it to sound(although I can't think of any legitimate reason to mention those very personal details about your available funds), and be worried you might file a Charge Back sometime during the commission process because you appeared to spending money you didn't really have to spend.

So along with the valid warning against the artist, I get a bit of a bad vibe from OP for that whole spiel of personal financial info which was inappropriate at the least, and guilt trip-esque/discount-fishing at worst.
I even edge into 'reluctance to do business with' territory because of OP trying to twist the artist's rather professional ignoring of that unnecessary info into something to attack their conduct with. (even if the artist did stuff the rest of the deal up)

So OP I hope you can read the comments about that with an open mind and realise why what you said to them reflected badly on you and was inappropriate; and also why, despite the artist's other, genuine wrong-doings, bringing up them not caring about your financial state as a black mark against them was wrong of you.
Next deal, by all means be cordial with the artist, just be sure and leave out the personal details- especially if the personal info might be misinterpreted as fishing for free or discounted art or overly familiar.

I really hope you can get a refund, though! What you said doesn't excuse the artist spending money they hadn't yet earned and trying to avoid refunding you.
Nov. 10th, 2014 11:16 am (UTC)
I completely agree with you. I find that what the OP did was wrong, and I can admit, I dont think I would have been able to keep my cool if I was in the artist's shoes. Its wrong to try and guilt artists into docking the price, it happens a lot and it puts unnecessary pressure on them. Dont buy what you cant afford.

I do agree that they shouldnt have spent the money before finishing the commission though, that is a big nono.
Jane Vakarian
Nov. 9th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
beware against the OP more like.

Sorry, he messed up a little, but, is this a wing it? What was the agreed time of delivery?
He seems quite professional.

The guilt tripping was uncalled for.

It's common for artists to use personal art as warm ups. It's not always commissions, sorry.
Aarii WDJForty
Nov. 12th, 2014 11:32 am (UTC)
For all those seeking blame on OP
I myself am in the same social group as Mintkit and have noticed multiple occasions of business malpractice such as taking extended periods of time to complete commissions and to completely disregard requests for progress updates on work and proof of progress. I agree partly on the guilt tripping part but lets not loose focus on the fact that this artist is an unreliable example and is giving artists a bad reputation.
Jane Vakarian
Nov. 12th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
Re: For all those seeking blame on OP
were not seeking blame.
there are thing that need to be pointed out, and without details such as the eta of delivery and other things we cant point fingers.

what has been presented is what the OP did.

From what i see no one here has said the artist did nothing wrong. We've all said he messed up in some way.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 30th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
Screening this for the moment. Is the name in the Facebook caps yours or his? If it's his it needs to be censored.
Nov. 30th, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC)
It has his so I will update the post with censors. It's the account he uses to take commissions, though.
Nov. 30th, 2014 05:14 pm (UTC)
As soon as it let's me edit it that is
Nov. 30th, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC)
You will have to make a new comment. Once a post has been replied to it cannot be edited!
Nov. 30th, 2014 05:43 pm (UTC)
I see, could the above comment please be deleted if possible then so the new one with the censors may be put up? Thank you
Nov. 30th, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
The comment was screened and thus not visible to anyone but you and moderators. Please do not delete comments, and let us handle it in the future.
Nov. 30th, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC)
Just a follow up:

As someone also in the same circle as the artist and the OP I'd like to point out the the artist has recently made a status saying he would like to add more people to the picture (the status was deleted due to the drama that ensured after it became clear that the artist still didn't sketch it despite claiming it was in the final stages and wanted to add more to it. Still no progress has been made.)

At this point several people have expressed their need to a refund and he has so far refused everyone, going as far as to claim he will not refund anyone unless he receives an apology from certain members of the group.

I'd also like to add that the artist has been barred from the local meets in his community due to disruptive behavior.

Here's the proof of him holding the refunds as ransom and threatening to not refund anyone.

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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