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Artist Beware - Boxjelly1


WHO: Boxjelly1 (goes by real name also but for sake of having this posted, omitting)

WHERE: http://boxjelly1.deviantart.com/

WHAT: Two full color, 2 character pieces with background.

WHEN: March/April 2015

PROOF: Artist did not do correct characters, agreed to refund me, and ceased communications/has not yet refunded me.

EXPLAIN: This is my first really bad experience commissioning someone, and first AB post, and most of the details will be here. I have worked with this artist in the past and their works are absolutely amazing. In the prior works I've gotten from them, they met or exceeded what I was looking to get. However, for whatever reason this time, the artist drew not what I wanted, decided to complete the piece after they had specifically asked if I wanted to see a sketch before they colored, and admits they didn't draw what I wanted, but due to their time and effort spent, were still entitled to something. This post is more about principal than a refund because I've nearly exhausted every avenue to get my money back, and I will not silently stand by while someone does this.

In March 2015, artist had they were open for commissions on their page.

I sent them a PM through DA's notes a while prior, and they messaged me saying they were open.

I respond back stating I wanted my character Patches and Steele (from Balto) in some rather cute, mushy gushy poses. I've worked with the artist prior over the years and she has drawn the characters before. Artist states she has 2 commissions ahead of me and will let me know once she's ready to take on mine.

In April, artist lets me know she's ready to start.

Details are given, artist agrees, and artist asks if I want to see work in progress before she colors.

I state I want to see work before she colors, and specify image formats preferred (as this artist has done prior for me), and she agrees.

Between last message sent and this one (about a month and a half), artist has many delays for whatever reason. I had sent messages asking what her status was since I had already paid her, and finally on May 29 2015 she's ready to start.

------This is where things go downhill-------

I still haven't received any updates so message the artist on June 3rd, and artist replies on June 4th with links to sketches and that she'll start coloring them right away even though this is not what was agreed on. Upon seeing sketches, I see that she has drawn my character Patches with Scar, and I tell her this. (I do like Scar and this artist has drawn them in the past, but I was not looking for that with these commissions). She states I didn't specify Steele, and asks to keep with what's she's done so she doesn't have to redraw.

I state that I don't want that and want them how I described. Artist replies back that she completed coloring 1 of the pieces, is sorry that she did the incorrect character and admit to doing so, and offers a partial refund stating that even though it was her fault, she still is entitled to funds for her work done. (This completely blew my mind)
It is worth noting that the piece she completed is so obviously hastily completed that I laughed at how horrible it was. Artist used a picture off the Internet for the background, and the coloring is rushed and absolutely horrid. Compared to her other works she's completed of the same type, it's clear that she spent no time at all trying to complete this.

With the above in mind, I message the artist back, stating my absolute disappointment with their work, and ask them what would have happened had I not stopped them from completing both pieces, again, only supposed to have been done once sketches were approved?

Seller states they will give me a refund, and this is the last time I ever hear from them.

I ask 2 times where my refund is, artist reads DA notes, ignores/never responds.

I send an ultimatum to artist; it is read and ignored (see above to see that note was read on DA).

Dispute is opened with Paypal and ultimately denied due to being "digital goods" which aren't covered prior to 7/1/2015. It's worth noting when their new TOS went into effect on 7/1/2015, they would have been covered. They note I can attempt to get funds outside of Paypal, such as filing a police report.

In the Paypal dispute comments, the seller is adamant they are still entitled to funds, and mention commission TOS that do not exist on their page (at least to where I can find them). TOS were also never mentioned in our communications.

So with that being said, I've walked away from this feeling like I've been stolen from, and lied to. The artist has done nothing to communicate back to me or refund me, yet ultimately insists that because she did work (even though by her own account was wrong), she deserves to keep my money. And the sad thing of the matter is she's an amazing artist and this was probably some sort of fluke, but being a repeat customer of hers, I feel like I'm somehow been made the bad guy in her mind.

Am I crazy? Did I do something wrong here? :/

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2015 12:46 am (UTC)
You are not crazy and you did not do anything wrong here.

I have no idea why the artist thinks they can go 'Well I did it wrong and I know I did it wrong but YOU HAVE TO PAY ME FOR IT ANYWAY'. That is incredibly shady.

And that they think they can do this via a TOS they don't even show you? It just bothers me that they think they can enforce a 'I'll do whatever I want and you have no recourse' clause. Thanks for the warning.
Aug. 22nd, 2015 12:49 am (UTC)
If Paypal denied you then definitely try your bank. Just let them know the services rendered were not what you paid for and they refuse to fix the mistake or refund you.
Aug. 22nd, 2015 04:23 am (UTC)
Your description of what you wanted is pretty clear from your PM screenshots, this isn't a case of providing a complicated reference and being vague about something. You absolutely deserved a refund or a redrawn image.

Artists make mistakes, sometimes both parties just have to compromise. But when it's as large as completely drawing the wrong character, the buyer shouldn't be the one to just deal with it.
Mazzy Techna
Aug. 22nd, 2015 08:41 am (UTC)
No refund terms? everyone in their right mind knows that is against the law , I am sorry this happened to you.
Aug. 22nd, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Were you able to find where the photo came from?

Ah, now that I can see it. A quick google search for "African savanna" shows it. It appears to be credited to Thure Cerling working at the University of Utah. This guy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thure_E._Cerling

Edited at 2015-08-22 11:39 pm (UTC)
Aug. 23rd, 2015 04:13 am (UTC)
Do you happen to have a link to the image? I'm not quite finding it when I look.
Aug. 23rd, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC)
celestinaketzia linked it a few comments down.
Aug. 22nd, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
This is like if you ordered a steak at a restaurant and they brought you a salad. The restaurant would apologize, take the salad back, and bring you a steak, and they would have to throw the salad out.

You don't have to pay for something you didn't want in the first place, even if the artist went ahead and drew it anyway. They don't get to arbitrarily choose what they draw for their clients when what the client wants is specified [and still get paid].

You didn't do anything wrong and this beware is warranted.
Aug. 22nd, 2015 08:53 pm (UTC)
I may be missing it, but do you have a link to the images? It helps to see that the image is incorrect, especially since you mention it being rushed as well.

Edited at 2015-08-22 08:53 pm (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
OOps. I forgot while we were reviewing this that we had to manually find the image in question:

(NSFW?) http://sta.sh/029uneypp5c1
Aug. 22nd, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC)
I didn't even think to do it manually, my bad, but thank you!
Aug. 23rd, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's it. I didn't think it was necessarily relevant to link to it though. But now that you did, this was a piece the same artist did for me in 2013 and the level of quality I was expecting. https://www.dropbox.com/s/ze9pif6zbgq9nc1/older%20commission%20%282013%29.jpg?dl=0

I was sadly disappointed by a lot of things in this transaction. >.
Aug. 23rd, 2015 08:27 pm (UTC)
...wow, yeah.

You paid for a detailed BG, knowing full well that she paints them, and she gives you a photo stolen from Google instead. I'm not even sure what to say about that combined with the fact that she drew the entirely wrong character when you specified Steele in the first note you sent her.

Sorry you've been pulled through this mess.
Aug. 24th, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC)
Uhhh? Why did the artist put scar when you clearly said Steele... I just don't know how they made that mistake.
Aug. 25th, 2015 12:20 am (UTC)
I'm known in TLK circles to have my OC paired up with Scar a lot, but I have never commissioned this particular artist for that pairing. I can only fathom she made a heavy assumption without really checking again what I'd asked her to do.
Christina Schandorph
Aug. 25th, 2015 07:57 pm (UTC)
I'm so weirded out by the quality of your commission, because the works in her gallery are very pretty compared to this. I'm sorry she treated you like that though and you're not crazy.

Also, am I the only one who noticed she takes money for photomanipulations of copyrighted material?! Isn't that like insanely illegal?!
Aug. 26th, 2015 04:02 am (UTC)
It's pretty clear it was rushed, which I think was done to 'get something done, right or not'. My character's markings/coloring are all wrong also, which is maddening since she's drawn him well in past commissions and has those for reference. Very unfortunate transaction from someone who up until this one, was a pleasure to work with.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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