EDIT 10/22/2016: Received the second sketch this week! They actually ended up redoing the WIP of the second, doing two different versions which was super cool http://sta.sh/01937bqah6te http://sta.sh/0t3usskymsy (and will be getting the wips sent to me along with the finished sketches). So here's the finished product! http://sta.sh/0vujuwdnoqh It turned out absolutely fantastic, and I honestly couldn't be happier with the result. I was also told that the sketches would be shipped out sometime this week.
Waking up today, I got notified that both sketches and all the WIPs have been shipped and was provided with a tracking number. Once I post another update receiving the sketches, I'll ask for this post to be marked as resolved.
EDIT 10/7/2016: I'm assuming the artist knew about the dispute automatically closing on the 4th if it was not issued to a claim. So in spite of that, they did complete one sketch on Monday ( http://sta.sh/017w66edr8e2 ). I have to say, it turned out really beautiful, and makes me super pumped to see how the next one turns out too. They added a bit of extra detail to it too, to make up for all this trouble, which was nice, although since then I have not heard anything back about the second one. Not only that but I only received a photo of the sketch..no high res scan (though I wasnt expecting one as I did pay for the physical copies to be mailed to me as well).
I don't know..I'll send another message asking for an update this weekend..but I'm really hoping they don't decide to just..ditch now, considering the dispute is now closed and I can never reopen it again if I don't receive the second sketch or the physical copies of both.
We'll see...but I'll continue to keep you all posted.
EDIT 9/14/2016: Issued a dispute over PayPal. Artist immediately contacted me via Twitter and has agreed upon a completion date, that being towards the end of the month. (https://www.dropbox.com/s/if8mxpaqzt3horm/Screen%20Shot%202016-09-14%20at%206.47.48%20PM.png?dl=0 ) If I do not receive an update, refund, or the artwork itself, I will be getting PayPal involved by filing a claim.
EDIT 9/12/2016: Added some examples of what the finished sketches SHOULD look like to dropbox!
WHO: Vani / AshKetchumSays
WHAT: Traditional Portrat Sketches ($86.50USD Total)
WHEN: Initial Conversation: Began June 4th 2016
Payment Agreed Upon & Sent: June 14th 2016
Received first pass/WIP of commission: June 25th 2016
Signs of Trouble Began: July 21st 2016
All messages are through twitter, stamped with appropriate dates, PayPal info as well->
What my finished commission SHOULD look like -> https://www.dropbox.com/s/yypupu1d604gljn/Ck7aZUzUUAE2odg.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/084xnnkgzv0optk/CkH1H4HUUAEEWTv.jpg?dl=0
Explain: First of all, I am an artist myself who does freelancing, and normally I wouldn't make reports on other artists as I am a very reasonable person when commissioning other artists as I understand how stressful the process can be and how long it can take.
Always been a fan of Vani's work, and seeing that they were offering sketches for a good price got me super excited to finally order something featuring my characters.
June: Communication started off really well! I knew they were taking a lot of commissions, so I honestly wasn't worried about how long they'd take, as I am a very patient person. An agreement for the final paymet was made, and commission progress began. Within a couple weeks, I received WIPs. They DEFINITELY didn't seem as good as her previous sketched portraits she was doing..I could tell they were likely feeling burnt out, but I didn't bother judging too hard as they are just WIPs. Still looking forward to the final pieces.
July: Towards the end of June she gave me a good long update about how they'll be busy prepping to sell at a convention, therefore making a delay on the sketches. Completely fine with that, as I had seen the roughs so I knew they'd get done in no time..or so I thought. Sent in an update of a reference for one of my characters...no response whatsoever, even though they were/are on twitter quite frequently. If you check their twitter account, this was also around the time their troubles rose and they began taking on more commissions, creating adoptables and selling them, trying to earn more money and moving old commissions, including mine, back in their queue.
August: Tried contacting them again for an update. Finally got a response; a lengthy one at that, which I honestly don't care about. I just want to know a time estimate for completion. This was when their housing troubles and whatever else were brought to me personally, though I already sort of knew about based on their twitter posts. I come back rather short, as my frustration began kicking in, knowing they clearly have time to work on my commissions, but is yet, focusing on others, new orders at that, in order to make quick money. I bring up the option of a refund (partial, considering they did have WIPs completed), because at this point I'm doubting itll ever get done and I'd rather give my money to an artist more reliable and professional, despite how talented Vani is. No means for refund at given time, so we agree that the following week she'll have them done, and once again, I remain patient with them.
September: At this point I'm just fed up and frustrated. Way past the date we agreed for completion, so I ask for a refund. Comes back saying they're completely unable to, yet, oh look! In one of the screenshots I provide, they just received money from a recent auction, but yet, still can't refund me my portion of payment for the pieces I commissioned from them (no idea how much the Auto Buy went for in the auction, clearly a lot more then the previous bid though). At this point I stop replying. I'm not getting my money back, my art will not be completed.
If it's done, it'll be a miracle, but for now, I HIGHLY recommend NOT commissioning this artist until they smarten up, sorts out their financial situations and develop a better professional attitude when doing business with clients such as myself.
I've spoke with other friends who have commissioned them and they're also waiting on art from them (though at a much longer wait period than myself) and they're equally frustrated.
I'm just completely disappointed in this whole situation, and definitely don't want others going through this with her as well. I'm fine waiting long periods of time for art, but when I see her posting more art, adoptables, commissioning openings, etc, its like a big slap in the face to those still waiting on art from them.