Included are links to screenshots of the journals etc in case of deletion.
WHO: soaru@dA (old account) / hatchimi@dA (new account/formerly Dollrot)
WHAT: Digital art - Pixel icons x4 - $40 total (+paypal fees)
(92 total icons owed to others on her to do list)
WHEN: Soaru had claimed to have been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in early May 2014. We were all very understanding of her situation and that there would be delays with her commissions. ( https://i.gyazo.com/2d18a1584409cebc7fd6d15f3f87241e.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/Carpal-Tunnel-Diagnosis-453965909 ) and then another notice to commissioners: ( https://i.gyazo.com/cda7fca79f835063a19bd737fd96fc10.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/Attention-commissioners-454227201 )
I first noted soaru about the icon commissions on July 17th, 2014, then the agreement was made and I sent the payment the same day. (see screenshots in ‘proof’)
Soaru had then made a journal on July 26th 2014 to state that she had unlimited pixel slots open for the summer ( https://i.gyazo.com/ff5ccf459452bb685191edc39e486352.png
Journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/work-work-work-470968786 ) Unlimited slots never being a promising sign, but I am a patient person, and didn’t think much of it at the time.
A few more updates regarding soaru’s recovery and commission progress were posted between August 2014 until August 2015 (I will get into these in my explanation below). The final update on August 25th 2015 was about her recovery and any updates for commissioners, and since then the account has been dead.
EXPLAIN: As stated above, soaru had been diagnosed with Carpal tunnel syndrome. She posted a journal about it on May 14th, 2014 and continued updates on her situation. When soaru had opened commissions, I sent her a note expressing my interest, and the agreement was made on July 17th. I sent the payment the same day.
On July 26th 2014, soaru posted a new journal stating that she had unlimited pixel slots open for the summer, ( https://i.gyazo.com/ff5ccf459452bb685191edc39e486352.png
Journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/work-work-work-470968786 ). I didn’t think much of this at the time.
On August 20th 2014, Soaru posted a commission update ( https://i.gyazo.com/1b08df12e524cd8658c41b2a8160a8c6.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/Commission-update-476955835 ), stating that she was working very hard on completing her commissions right now. She asks for our patience due to work and having to take breaks because of her carpal tunnel. I was in no rush for my commissions and only wished for her recovery, as I really couldn’t imagine how awful it must be to suffer from carpal tunnel as an artist.. She adds “I did not forget about your commission, don’t worry.”
The next update was on October 6th 2014. Soaru states that commissions are now closed for a good year or so. She tells us that she is very busy with work, so commission progress is moving very slowly, and apologises for the wait. I can appreciate that she is going through hard times, so a few months isn’t much to wait given her situation.
“I will not update you on how your commission if coming along because there are too many of you to note.
I assure you I WILL complete the commission as soon as possible.
So please be patient with me.
You will receive your commission when you get it.”
And no, I have no idea as to when you will receive it, and for that I'd like to apologize.
I also won't be providing any refunds. You will get what you paid for.”
I’m a patient person and I could appreciate that taking unlimited slots as there would be a lot of people on her to do list, but looking back now, not receiving any kind of progress report on how your commission is coming along is a pretty bad sign as well as stating that you have “no idea when a commissioner will receive their commission.” But again I was willing to wait and a few months wasn’t anything to complain about given her life situation.
Between October 2014 and February 2015, there was no real update on soaru’s commission progress or her condition. Apart from posting a journal in December asking if her commissioners would mind if she used her new base for their commissions or not. (I requested to stick to the original base I had ordered as it fit my characters better). ( https://i.gyazo.com/934a152cd6297a6082aef184dc9e00f3.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/Question-for-people-who-have-commissioned-me-498366584 ), though you could hardly call this an update.
Finally on February 10th, 2015, soaru posts her public to-do list and an apology for the delay with her commissions. (https://i.gyazo.com/67931c13a0edf8575e38623994e9681c.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/TO-DO-LIST-UPDATED-PLEASE-READ-THIS-OMG-512941211 ) On this list there are a total of 96 commissions yet to be completed.
At the time, I simply thought she’s stated many times she is working hard to get these done so over the course of months hopefully her list will get shorter and shorter, and she will get through these and can look past this tough time in her life.
The next and major life update was posted on July 13th 2015: ( https://i.gyazo.com/8e096687c3b8c8bc92baef371ba68a41.png
https://i.gyazo.com/7e8bc4738ff1ea001597797b8e525eec.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/Life-Update-ADDED-546016180 [screenshot & link to updates journal linked at the bottom: https://i.gyazo.com/12e87e334c506d2f8477ef92f83e50d7.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/updates-447349674]).
Soaru talks about how she realizes how unhappy a lot of her commissioners are with her services, her surgery and the date being under negotiation, and that she has been going through recovery.
“I'd like to assure ALL MY COMMISSIONERS that I am not running away with your money. I WOULD LOVE to provide refunds to all of you, I cannot stress that enough. But I simply do not have the funds to do so. I know I've already asked you all to be very patient with me, and some of you have and I'm very grateful for that. I do not expect everyone to be understanding of my situation financially/mentally/physically, but you WILL receive your commission.”
Her last update and sign of any activity on her account was on August 25th 2015. ( https://i.gyazo.com/0153602488fb599d70ff0bb7bad6a9fa.png journal link: http://soaru.deviantart.com/journal/Recovery-Update-556158826 )
A promising recovery update stating that soaru’s wounds are healing well, she still experiences some pain but it should disappear soon. She says she should be able to start commissions mid-September. She says she’ll be sure to post a journal update, as well as join.me streams of commission work, and finally that “You will also be provided with WIP's of your pixel so you know I'm actually doing your commission.” I cannot speak for everyone on her list but I have not received any kind of work in progress shots from soaru.
Since then, soaru had provided no updates about surgery dates, delays, or any kind of work in progress to assure people that she was indeed trying to work on these commissions as she had been stating for the last year. Many of the comments on her page and in her journals talk about the lack of any kind of update given the situation and the wait for all of her commissioners. Soaru is even ignoring notes and comments from her clients.
Many of the comments urged her to think about trying to refund even just a few commissioners to lessen her workload and to just resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Soaru also states that once her recovery is over she will be working her hardest to finish all of her commissions in response to another comment.
I tried to note her back in January: ( https://i.gyazo.com/cf393ed24d2d8fe08285099283e79359.png ) to ask about changing characters since it has been so long that I had forgotten who I had even requested, but there has been no response. However, in my sent notes it is marked as read.
Around late February, a friend and I (who is also on soaru’s to do list) came across a deviantart account named dollrot, but recently changed to hatchimi. At the time there was no evidence that hatchimi and soaru are the same individual, however we did find her art style to bear very close similarities to soaru’s. For some time we just kept an eye out since there wasn’t much posted to hatchimi’s gallery at the time and it could just be a similar style.
Here is a comparison we compiled of all the similarities we found (style wise) :
Over the course of the last few months we’ve tried to gather as much evidence as we can that links hatchimi and soaru as the same person.
A few things we noticed:
Her icon style is in the same style as her old one (they’re not made from the same base, but the way the eyes are pixeled have the same technique done on them, plus they almost overlap in terms of head placement over body)
She still uses bases extremely frequently and they all have their toes pointing inwards with their hands by their sides with closed fingers.
A similar technique with the way she shades her noses, and the highlights in the character’s eyes
The first semi-concrete proof comes in the form of a work in progress shot from soaru, and something I noticed when I popped in to one of hatchimi’s picarto streams a few weeks ago. This is Soaru's wip screenshot with her file location atop the SAI window. notice the "C:/users/mew/desktop/file/cootiewoo
Now, look at the location on this screenshot taken from Hatchimi's picarto stream. Same user name and location as to where the file is saved.
Along with the similarities of their style, noticing that they share the same user name and have the habit to save on the desktop is too much of a coincidence.
Now, the evidence we have found that positively links soaru and hatchimi as the same person was something I noticed when hatchimi posted her artvsartist meme. She has since taken it down but you can still view it via google cache here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://hatchimi.deviantart.com/art/artvsartiste-611370644 screenshot: https://i.gyazo.com/ad467bb0d3af2f1e4794c2464916a57f.jpg
A while back soaru had posted a self portrait to her deviantart, and looking at the two images it’s hard to think they’re two different people.
Please note the same piercings and gauge in her ear as well as the facial similarity.
A friend had found soaru’s old paypal/email address through the icon commission transaction. Hatchimi’s current paypal does not contain personal information linking her to soaru, but with some digging with the ‘soaru’ email address, we have discovered it is used for her instagram account that has been up since 2012 and is still active:
When lined up side by side from the image from the artvsartist meme:
The name that appears in the transaction for the payment to soaru from 2 years ago also matches the name on the instagram account if there is still any doubt that they are the same person.
The evidence collected in this case was through a group effort from her dissatisfied customers I have reached out to.
**Edit : 17/06/2016
We have posted jorunals on deviantart revealing our findings and to spread the word.
my friends (who has been in contact with hatchimi to send her the beware post and to see if the situation could still be privately resolved) :
Hatchimi has also posted a journal with her defenses and some evidence of a conversation between herself and soaru through email, as well as a note she sent inquiring about commissions to soaru.
Someone picked up that there is a tab open in this screenshot for 'msn canada' it isn't by any means concrete but it could confirm her location, and this could be another piece of evidence that links another similarity between them.
anoher edit: a user found a page in the waybackmachine that has her country listed as canada: http://web.archive.org/web/20151024030234/http://dollrot.deviantart.com/
So we can prove that she and soaru share the same location.
A big question for me in all of this is that why now of all times would she choose to reveal this screenshot of her noting soaru about asking about commissions? Surely its a strong piece of evidence to support that the two are different people, so why wouldn't she send it to us sooner rather than this much later?
http://img10.deviantart.net/289a/i/2016/168/6/a/proof1_by_hatchimi-da6mxv6.png (screenshot in case of deletion: https://i.gyazo.com/f95a0191f17fd6a7aa8e13112f34e47b.png )
At first it looks fairly normal, but someone commenting on the beware journal checked their old notes from before they changed their username, ane the previous username shows up in older notes, not the new on since hatchimi was formerly Dollrot until earlier this year, why does it say "Hatchimi said the following" and not "Dollrot said the following"..?
Another commenter then claimed that it is possible to run a test on images which will tell you if the image has been edited, and the screenshot came up as edited in photoshop, so this tells us that the note screenshot is fake. Here are the websites one can use to detect a doctored image: http://fotoforensics.com/ http://imageedited.com/
Hatchimi is still denying that she and soaru are the same person, despite all of these new revelations, I will continue to update as more light is shed.