Suffice to say, I commission a lot of people. I had this artist in mind for a very long time - they were one of my art idols, in fact. So when they opened up for 3 commission slots at the end of November 2014, I was SO excited. Now, this is a fairly high end artist, one that I viewed as a professional. They never did commissions from what I had seen before, but I viewed them as a pro and didn't see any reason not to go for it. So I ordered a commission from them on November 27th, and on December 2nd, 2014, I sent them a payment of $155 (a $150 commission and a $5 tip). They had sent me a pretty nice refined sketch for the piece on the 2nd, when I paid.
I noted them back saying I was pleased with the piece so far and asked if it would be printable. They responded on December 12th answering my question, then adding that they would be sending WIPs that weekend and that it would hopefully be finished next week.
I didn't hear from them again. In fact, they completely disappeared from DeviantArt and Tumblr, both of which had been pretty active beforehand. I tried to contact the artist multiple times when I noticed they were MIA. I even emailed them and messaged them on Tumblr to cover all my bases. My notes on DA went unread, my email unresponded to. Since I was seeing NO evidence of activity anywhere, I filed a Paypal claim against them January 30th, 2015. With such a large sum of money in question and past bad experiences with Pirate-Cashoo, I wasn't going to wait around.
"Miraculously", the artist appeared back on DA a day or two after I filed the claim. What shocking timing! I felt bad for filing the claim if they were going to pop right back up. Now, I had informed the artist I was going to be filing a claim against them if they didn't respond to me within a week, and when they didn't respond, that's what I did. Well, my DA notes still went unread when the artist posted on DA saying they were back.
What they DID do was send me an "updated" WIP which was barely changed from the original. They offered their excuses as to why they hadn't been in touch... but they did not mention the Paypal claim AT ALL. As if it hadn't even happened. This set off warning bells, but since they seemed to have gone through a rough time and they had given me an updated WIP, I decided to close the Paypal claim.
Like an idiot.
The "updated" WIP was sent to me thru DA on February 2nd. That is, as of now, the last time I have heard from this artist. I have tried multiple times to contact them. So far, I've noted them on DA and sent them messages on Tumblr (using the fanmail function). They have refused to acknowledge me at all or send me any updates or indication that they are still doing my piece.
They are, however, continuously posting personal artwork on their Tumblr. No indication of commissions, but they are active and ignoring my messages.
I have no idea what to do at this point. I'm upset, frustrated, confused, insulted, and most importantly, out of $155. All I need is for them to acknowledge me and let me know they are aware they still need to finish my piece, but I am being ignored at every single avenue.
Because I stupidly closed the claim and waited this long, Paypal's dispute window is closed to me. I tried calling Paypal but the service agent I dealt with refused to touch it. I don't know what to do at all. Do you guys have any advice as to what I can do to TRY and get this artist to get in touch with me? Should I keep trying with Paypal, as it was the only way to get his attention last time?
Please help. I'm at wits end.