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Fossil Artist Beware Report

WHO: Fossil The Undead Artist (aka Fossil)

WHERE: Mostly talked in emails. His FA is: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/fossil

WHAT: 4 commissions; the exact amount was removed from evidence for privacy

WHEN: Started September 26th 2012 and continued on until now

MY SIDE OF THE ISSUE:

I had been a longtime supporter and friend to Fossil and well over time I finally was able to commission him first a tattoo for my wife at FurFright and then finally some artwork. Things had been going along smoothly until Hurricane Sandy hit. After this point it seemed things hit the fan for him which was understandable at the time. I had paid in full for four commissions and over time talked to him about it, but mostly was worried about him and seeing if he was alright; then he dropped off the grid. Below are two Dropbox Links that show proof of agreement and then payment:
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/tjit34og1tuophr/Payment%20discussion.png?dl=0
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/a4pnnbjwh6aq2ce/Payment%20Confirmation.png?dl=0

At this point I naturally did what any friend would do and waited patiently and he did come back for a moment or two and told me things were bad, but getting better. He finally finishes one of the four commissions and had even began work on the second one as far as inking goes with the third already being sketched out too. So I was confident at this point things were finally on the right track. The following links show multiple contacts and finally the first image sent and date it was sent:
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/4o0w4l7diatazns/Feb%205th%202013%20checkin.png?dl=0
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/o6w9v2ro6dqo74x/Feb%2018th%20to%20March%2029th%202014%20checkin.png?dl=0
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/vjls76jrrlqvhxn/April%2017th%202014%20Checkin.png?dl=0
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/h8g03szw81gvvj4/May%2014th%20Checkin%20and%20FIRST%20picture%20received.png?dl=0

Next, after two months, he contacts me out of the blue with progress showing two more images. One being completed with the third being sketched out:
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/jbhrpgfbifw6ofi/July%2021st%20and%20SECOND%20image%20with%20THIRD%20sketch.png?dl=0

He falls off the grid again; this time for good. I go to another con and asked my contacts if they had seen him and come to find out that he had moved to another state and then dropped off the grid to get some affairs in order. Now I had been in contact with him via email up to this point as well and would get the occasional "Still Alive" messages until I tried to email him again to check in on how things had progressed after he had moved, not about my art, but his own situations. This is when I found out he had deleted his email account and I received the lovely return email saying the address is no longer valid. Next shows the email confirming that his email is no longer valid:
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/hy2rlzdk3u2bjgd/Email%20Failure.png?dl=0

Moving forward I had heard and saw he was working with Crowchild as an artist for High Tail Hall and figured that he had dropped out of that part as well given how much of a hermit Fossil had become, but after today, I have recently found out he is still indeed working with the HTH project and completely disregarded anyone else even if they paid $XXX for a set of commissions. Finally below is the screenshot on FA of Crowchild confirming that Fossil is still working with them:
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/9ddfuob2um2qf4r/Fossil%20still%20at%20HTH.png?dl=0

Two years have come and gone now; now I am not sure what to do or how to go about it because we all know how Paypal has such a small window of reporting and charging back one's account. So I guess this message is to warn others about what happened as well as getting some advice of how to tackle the sum of money, albeit not a full refund as he has finished one image and worked on two others, and how to get anything from him even if it ends up being a message of "Hey I can't do it; sorry".

Also for clarification; there will be some areas that have been removed. This was done to insure the anonymous side of a third person that was involved with this in which I was getting two images as a gift for.

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.
https://artistsbeware.info/

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
thegentilcat
Jan. 4th, 2015 06:58 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you're going through all that.

Unfortunately, you're not the only one who seems to have been stiffed by him. How long has he been promising updates on that Cherri DVD project of his - something that had been funded by countless fans - and has failed to provide the updates every time he makes a post about it? (and even those have come to a stop).

If he's going out of his way to avoid contact, and it's far too late to request even a partial refund though Paypal; as much as it sucks, you may just have to write it up as a loss.
dustmeat
Jan. 4th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
Was that the Kickstarter he did for the Cherri DVD?
fiawol
Jan. 4th, 2015 10:40 pm (UTC)
He hasn't forgotten about you yet, the last update on his Furaffinity gallery (4 months ago) includes you in his list of commissions (x3, inking), but I see your shout there from a month ago is still unanswered. Unfortunately, the last artwork he uploaded there was the Cherri DVD project from 2 years ago, which apparently people are still waiting for. Your best bet (in addition to continued contact attempts through his gallery) may be keeping an eye out on convention guest/dealer lists, see if he pops up on one as attending, and try to get in touch with him in person yourself, or through a friend going to that convention (if you can't attend it yourself).
tylociraptor
Jan. 5th, 2015 02:51 am (UTC)
I know you are probably trying to be helpful, but a customer should NOT have to go to such absurd lengths as attending a convention or seeking a friend attending the same convention to contact an artist. Especially not when contact has been primarily through online means such as email.

I'm sure he hasn't forgotten about the OP, but I'm also pretty sure he has no intention of doing good by any of his customers or supporters (in terms of his DVD) considering the amount of disrespect he's shown by not even returning emails or updating anyone.
fiawol
Jan. 5th, 2015 03:06 am (UTC)
I agree, those are only the lengths you go to for people actively avoiding those who have commissioned them. As long as the artist is still trying to make money, there is still a chance to contact them (either online or in person). Once they pull down their websites and stop attending conventions, you pretty much have to write off that commission. :-(
tylociraptor
Jan. 5th, 2015 03:07 am (UTC)
At this point, I'd say litigation is the only option, screw chasing after him.
HTHStudiosLLC
Oct. 21st, 2018 07:48 pm (UTC)
I had to fire Fossil
Fossil has not worked for HTH Studios LLC in years and was fired after months of failing to deliver work, causing numerous delays & drama.

From what i have read on this page it sounds like Fossil was using HTH Studios work as an excuse to skip out on commissions. Wow. I'm here to tell you that he was likewise using your commissions to get out of doing studio work at the same time. We had something like 4-5 months of back work he had to fix (never did) and about 3 months of work ahead that he had assured me he could do once he got through commissions. This was also something he had assured me would not be an issue but almost immediately I was having to track him down to get even the most basic of sketches done. He was collecting a paycheck the whole time, Every 2 weeks like clockwork. I have files and a mountain of paperwork to back it up.

We tried EVERYTHING to motivate him. I even brought the Cherri DVD project under the HTH production lineup as a show of confidence based on brainstorming and working for fun together in the past. Money, time and resources where put directly into helping him move the project ahead.

At this time he became more distant and started getting a superiority complex. When this became apparent after several months that he was not interested in working on the Cherri project either, I removed the Cherri DVD from the lineup because HTH projects where now suffering.

He had by this time moved on to blaming his now ex-girlfriend for not being able to work and we were seriously seeing more and more red flags every week.

When the business began suffering as a result of these repeat delays he basically turned toxic, began hitting on other team members trying for quick hookups, constantly bugging me for advances in payment and when his next raise was going to be & then promptly accused me of withholding payment as the company was in the worst shape it has ever been in. Even when starting the studio with no capital we were doing better. Ty and I had not been paying ourselves to begin with and we STILL had to reduce payout at the time to the remaining employees that were racing to fill in gaps left by Fossil.

We had already been delayed to where Myself & Ty had been losing money on Fossil for over 6 months & I had warned him over and over again that I would not be able to continue to pay him if this kept up.
The ONLY thing I have to show for him being a part of the project is delays and bitter resentment for someone I was once convinced was my BEST friend. The time spent dealing with Fossil left me drained and depressed. Most of his work is no longer of acceptable quality since he was not willing to listen to directions and gave us what we got.

When that day came things basically ended with him calling me something like a "money grubbing jew" and I fired him on the spot. One of the worst days of my life. At the time I was the kind of person who did not want to ever give up on is friends....now I just refuse to hire friends.

You live, you learn.

Business turned around within a few months but that cleanup process cost us a full year. Regardless of what Fossil may claim, our production is MUCH healthier with Myself, Ty & EvieSmash. HTH Studios now has 2 projects in production and are releasing updates and live dev streams 3 times a week (Sun, Wed, & Now on Fri)

Fossils services are best to be avoided. I'm NOT the only person this has happened to on a partnership and employee level as well.

@HTHCrow
HTH Studios LLC CEO
www.HTHStudios.com
baronvonjackal
Oct. 21st, 2018 08:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I had to fire Fossil
Wow; damn I am sorry that he was even doing that to you. Though out of curiosity; why, after 3 years of this being posted here, did you comment? Did something new come up with him?? He was a really great friend at the time and then something happened; not sure what or why, but it was like he became another person. True you live and learn, but still doesn't change how it affects you even to this day. I hope one day it will all be straightened out, but until then I will be scratching my head about it all.
HTHStudiosLLC
Oct. 22nd, 2018 12:10 am (UTC)
Re: I had to fire Fossil
No, but I did want to set things straight since I had only just scene that HTH Studios was mentioned here as something he had been associated with in the past. I don't want to be used as someone else's excuse to screw over other people. That is just not ok if that has been happening.
HTHStudiosLLC
Oct. 22nd, 2018 12:11 am (UTC)
Re: I had to fire Fossil
Also, I don't often check Artist Beware so I didn't see the date of the initial post here.
baronvonjackal
Oct. 22nd, 2018 02:31 am (UTC)
Re: I had to fire Fossil
I apologize if anything mentioning HTH or yourself was as if I was throwing you under the bus for it; definitely not my intention.

Oh it was an excuse he was using; as he just kept having those "I am in a better place now, but working hard on all of this so I can't get to it right now" type of conversations etc.
HTHStudiosLLC
Oct. 22nd, 2018 06:53 pm (UTC)
Re: I had to fire Fossil
Oh no, not at all. Nothing personal I understand. However, we always try to stop the spread of misinformation before it starts.

*sigh*

It's damn unfortunate really. I thought he had tremendous potential.
HTHStudiosLLC
Oct. 22nd, 2018 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: I had to fire Fossil
The last thing I want him to be able to do is use my workload as a bloody excuse to slack off on some other job at this point.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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