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MushyMutt, Con't: An Unresolved Art Trade

I have wanted to share my story for quite some time now, because I know so many people have had similar ones, but until now, I've just been to shy. My long-time fellow artist and friend courageously stepped forward and shared her experience, and so I am going to follow suit.

I was watched first by MushyMutt back in March of 2011, to my own great surprise. Later on that year, I asked to do an art trade with him, to which he replied quickly, and exuberantly. After a while of working out the details, which took an abnormally long time for someone who seemed initially quite excited about the trade, I submitted my half in December of the same year, a few weeks after we agreed on the specifics. From there I sat back and waited patiently for Mushy to uphold his half. Four months passed, and I began to wonder if he had possibly forgotten about our agreement, so I decided to ask him if he was still going to complete his part. He assured me that he was just busy but was still planning on doing it. So with that information, I waited. Again.

At this point I really should have seen the red flags here; four months is too long to wait for an art trade, especially with no responses or updates that didn't elicit my prompting and questioning, but I still took his word that he would complete his half. So I waited again, this time for an entire ten months. I finally got up the courage to ask again what had become of our art trade, and the response I got was less than pleasant. I was confronted by his partner, SilverDeni, who had nothing to do with the situation in the slightest, but none the less informed me on Mushy's behalf that he did not want to do the art trade with me because I had "copied her art".

Deni's accusation was false, nor did it have anything to do with the initial trade agreement between Mushy and I. As seen here, there had been credit given in the descriptions of the pieces in question to both artists. I apologized for any wrong I might have done, as I thought that by giving credit to the artists who inspired a few of my pieces, I had done my part to respect originality. However, the apology was not accepted, I was ignored by both of them, and later on, Mushy hid my comment.

I find it very insulting and unprofessional that Mushy never took it upon himself to speak to me directly, as I would have been more than happy to accommodate in any situation. I also felt ganged up on, as he felt it alright to let Deni deter the situation by publicly posting false accusations, and presenting them as 'excuses' for not finishing our contract, long after I had already put forth the effort to get my part to him on time. However, a few days after I received an answer to my, now I assumed, cancelled trade, Deni submitted a picture on which Mushy left a passive-aggressive comment I felt might have alluded to my situtation. Now this may have had nothing to do with me at all, but the fact that it was just barely days after my confrontation with the two, it just really felt like another jab directed at me for "copying", as I had been wrongly, and miscontextually accused of.

To make my final point, even though my part of trade still lives on my gallery, I did not receive any art from MushyMutt that I was owed. He later unwatched me, and refused to ever speak to me again, alongside SilverDeni, who also refused to ever reply to anything I ever said to her after that point. I would advise artists that involving themselves future, art trades, as well as commissions with MushyMutt serve to present an unprofessional and rude experience. Please use caution around this artist.

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( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
I've been waiting a few years for the other half of an art trade I did, having done my half quickly, and I've repeatedly contacted the person with whom I traded asking when he would do his half, but he still assures me he'll get to it eventually, despite being very, very productive art-wise.
Mar. 5th, 2015 10:20 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear that :/ I hope you'll eventually get your trade, especially since you've already finished your half.
Mar. 5th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC)
What is with them!? I used to be friends with Deni back in the day and she always seemed so professional and kind, and seeing her behaviour now, alongside Mushy's (who has always had a history of being fairly rude) is just appalling.

This beware is well warranted, you credited Deni on the so-called "copied" artwork, which honestly just seems like a cheap excuse not to finish his end of the bargain.

That is so unfair to you, for someone who constantly begs for donations, you'd think he'd be at least HALF decent to the community who helps him.

Really sorry, I hope it ends up being resolved.
Mar. 5th, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
At this point, it's highly unlikely that I'll ever receive his part of our trade, but hey, maybe someone else will see this and decline the offer to swap pieces, if MushyMutt ever asks them.

The copied artwork bit threw me as well, there was clearly credit given, and I didn't know what else to do, or why she would say something random like that in the first place. But she refused to accept my apology, so I'm kinda out of ideas as far as what to do next. From what I've heard, rejecting apologies is a trademark of hers, so maybe I shouldn't have expected things to turn out differently.
Mar. 6th, 2015 04:32 am (UTC)
I don't think you did anything wrong? I mean, if ANYTHING, you should have asked first but it's practically the same as giving credit. Still no excuse to be so rude to you, copying would be claiming the style as your own, which you absolutely didn't. Really disappointed by them.
Mar. 6th, 2015 05:15 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for your kind words of support, I've never had anyone see this from my perspective, and your feedback is really reassuring :)
Mar. 9th, 2015 10:41 am (UTC)
Late to the party, I apologize.

With no disrespect to Deni the whole "copying" thing is kinda... like her art is cute, but it's the really cookie cutter Disney with a smidge of anime inspired kind of style that's extremely common in the furry community. It's not really a good excuse to use as a reason to not do their half of the trade, especially because she wasn't even the person you were doing the trade with. And, as mentioned, you gave her credit, which basically just makes it that more ridiculous as a thinly veiled excuse at not doing owed work imho.
Mar. 5th, 2015 10:50 pm (UTC)
which honestly just seems like a cheap excuse not to finish his end of the bargain.

I agree, it honestly looks to me like they just went digging for a reason not to finish their half of the trade.
Mar. 6th, 2015 12:03 am (UTC)
It's not a trade, but I remember commissioning SilverDeni for one of those peek-a-boo icons, but after a long while, I had to ask for a refund and so Deni did. (Glad I asked for a refund)

Years later, seeing Deni and Mushy's behaviour reminded me why I had to get a refund. In fact, I'm no longer watching Deni, as great as her art is. Sad.
Mar. 6th, 2015 05:19 am (UTC)
That's terrible, I'm sorry you had a similar experience. I'm glad you got your money back though.
Mar. 6th, 2015 01:44 am (UTC)
Wow, that passive aggressive comment is just painfully obvious and unprofessional. Also, even if you literally traced some of their art line for line, that still doesnt excuse him not to give you his side of the trade, since you have already done his and given it to him.

Edit: Forgot to clarify, the only time it would be acceptable is if he knew you traced the trade piece or something. But either way, you didnt trace, I can tell from just a glance, and its wrong of them to not hold up their end of the bargain.

Edited at 2015-03-06 10:39 am (UTC)
Mar. 6th, 2015 02:03 am (UTC)
Their disclaimer on the bottom of their page says if you want to use their work as reference, you're welcome as long as you give them credit.

Sounds like a petty excuse to not do it. Even if you DID copy or downright trace their art (which it doesn't look like you did) it had nothing to do with your transaction with MushyMutt. You did him a service and he owes you a service, regardless of whatever happens between you and someone else.
Mar. 6th, 2015 05:25 am (UTC)
I saw that as well, and it's been there since 2011! I figured that they stood by it, therefore making it alright to reference their material so long as it was sourced. I even asked them about it after Deni pointed her accusations my way, but never got a response from either of them. Yet, it's still on her page. A bit of false advertisement, I think. Ah well..

I agree, that's why I found my post justified to be on this site; whether it's money or services or goods, a contract is a contract, and Mushy violated our contract. I hope no one else wastes their time and resources on a trade like this.
Mar. 6th, 2015 10:41 am (UTC)
Idont know if it matters, but I would personally screenshot it, just in case they take it down to try and excuse this behavior.
Mar. 6th, 2015 03:05 pm (UTC)
Good call! Here it is! For future, or to back up anyone else's claims, should they need it. But hopefully the won't need it, because I would hate to be reason for anyone to have to look at that screen cap, I mean, all the text is squished like the entire image wasn't even probably coded to fit the size of the box. Poor Verdana LOL.
Mar. 8th, 2015 10:15 am (UTC)
Of course! Always happy to help!
Christina Schandorph
Mar. 6th, 2015 08:47 am (UTC)
Getting a partner involved, who has nothing to do with it, and letting them respond instead of yourself? Yeah, definitely someone to avoid dealing with, beware well warranted.
Mar. 7th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC)
So much this! Kinda serves as a beware for SilverDeni as well, in my opinion.
Mar. 6th, 2015 10:59 pm (UTC)
Man I remember when Deni was really cool. Unfortunately her or Mushy getting involved in each other's business isn't new (they seem oddly overly involved inn each other's art business?) and it's definitely unprofessional. Sorry you got the runaround from these two.
Mar. 7th, 2015 03:33 am (UTC)
Well thank you, that's very kind of you to say. I agree, it's no secret that the both of them are overly-aware of what goes on in each others commission business, and that wouldn't be a problem except for all the interfering that seems to occur because of it. I'm glad you never lost any money or work from involving yourself with this couple.
Mar. 7th, 2015 02:21 am (UTC)
I was hesitating posting here for the longest time, but yes, I too have my share of bad experiences with Mushy Mutt, and at this point I doubt I will ever get what I paid for.

I helped them both out of an emergency many years ago, and he promised he'd draw a cartoon for me in exchange. To this very day, all I have received was poor excuses why he couldn't draw it. Needless to say, right inbetween making all these excuses about not being able to draw, him and Deni happily exchanged fanart of each other while ignoring paid commissions.

I'd still love to see the finished artwork, and I don't like drama, but I'll soon begin collecting what little evidence I have (naive me didn't log the conversations) and post my own little article here.
Mar. 7th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC)
Oh gosh, that's terrible, especially since you helped them out in a pinch. I'm so so sorry they would do that to you.

I agree with you, I don't care much for drama either, and I'm naturally pretty quiet on all my accounts by choice. It took me years (and the support of my group of friends who all share unfortunate, likewise experiences) to come for with my story. I'm tired of seeing him (and her as well) treat users like this without reason. I thought I was just an isolated incident, but I know now that's not the case.

I hope you eventually get a refund, if not the finished piece. Maybe your journal post will help those matters. Best of luck with it! I hope it all turns out :)
Mar. 7th, 2015 05:05 pm (UTC)
That's very disappointing; I'm really sorry for what you've experienced OP!

Prompt unwatch of Deni from me. I've enjoyed their art for a long time, and I've been thinking of commissioning them recently, but hearing this makes me never want to do business of any nature with them.

I hope you have better luck in the future OP! Trades are fun, though on the site, art is as good as currency with all the artists who use the site as a job/form of income; and when someone doesn't 'pay' their half, it's theft, and sadly, not many see it that way.
Mar. 7th, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your support, that really means alot. Not a lot of people acknowledge the contract of what an art trade is, but hearing that you understand it as I do is very reassuring :)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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