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Who: Vani / VanillaKitsune / @ashketchumsays / stripesandteeth
Where: Twitter
When: Commissioned them June 15th, 2016

I commissioned Vani on their Twitter back in June when they were taking a lot of sketch commissions there. I bought two sketches and received initial passes pretty quickly, but since then it’s been very difficult to get in contact with them much less get an update.

Break down of events and screen caps below cut.

All screen caps are in the Dropbox folder below, and are numbered to be chronological, except for the proof of payment which is the first document.

-6/15/16: I DMed Vani on Twitter like their post said to do, and gave them references and paid promptly. I paid for two 11x14 sketch with shipping, but was later asked to pay for shipping again.
-6/26/16: I received preliminary sketches that were very rough and I approved them. I was excited to see progress so soon and was told they’d be finished promptly.
-6/29/16: A few days later I received a long DM from Vani saying that they would be attending AX and couldn’t finish the sketches before then. As an artist that sells at cons, I understood and told them not to worry. Afterwards I didn’t hear anything until August.

-8/14/16: I DMed Vani to check in and ask how the sketches were going and again received a long DM, explaining that things were rough but on an upswing. I trusted they’d work on commissions when they were able and left them to it until November when I saw they were going to MFF.

-11/28/16: I DMed Vani again after I saw they were going to MFF and tabling there as well. I asked if I could pick up my sketches at the con and they said they would have them ready for me. I ended up not being able to get away from my table the entire weekend and messaged them when I got home.

-12/5/16: I DMed Vani again apologizing that I couldn’t get to their table to pick up my sketches. At this point, I have not seen the finished sketches and have no reason to believe that the sketches have actually been completed and would have even been available for pickup. Vani tells me they can mail my sketches, and asked me to send $6. I promptly paid, completely forgetting that I had already paid for shipping initially.
-12/30/16: Vani posts a 10 page google document explaining their year and the struggles they’ve been through. I read the whole thing, and only gathered that they were stressed from taking too many commissions in between moving a lot and having financial struggles. They clearly state that they can’t deal with the stress of being contacted by customers, which admittedly upset me.

-1/7/17: At this point unaware of their post, I DM Vani one last time asking if they had mailed the sketches. I didn’t receive a response, so I publicly tweeted at them.
-1/11/17: I tweeted asking if they had shipped the sketches, received a reply from a random third party directing me to the 10 page manifesto.
After reading the whole thing I e-mailed Vani like they requested and tried to pick up where we left off on Twitter.
-1/25/17: No response to my e-mail, so I send another asking if they had received it. At this point I am not expecting a reply.

Speaking as an artist, I have been through similar situations that Vani has gone through. I’ve been in very tight spots financially and been forced to move and scramble to find housing. I honestly don’t mind waiting for artwork so long as the artist is able to clearly communicate delays and issues just as I would with my customers.

Vani very clearly can’t handle custom work but continues to take more and put themselves into this situation. They are now putting the blame of their anxieties and shortcomings on their customers who are simply asking when they can expect their artwork.

I’m incredibly disappointed and honestly even if I were to receive a refund or the finished artwork I couldn’t in good conscience recommend anyone work with Vani.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


Jan. 31st, 2017 04:59 pm (UTC)
I read that google doc and was not impressed.

This especially...

"If it's not the stress from my current living situation that's making me anxious on the daily, it's waking up to 5 million people asking about their art or when it's going to be done. I just don't know. I can't give a straight answer because I am not the type of person who can just sit down and pump art out instantly. I'm not a machine. I'm pretty fickle, might I say. And that fickleness grows the more and more irritated I become with the constant nagging."

... makes me really angry. 1. If you lack the discipline to sit down and work on what you owe then you do not belong anywhere near a career as an artist, freelance or otherwise. 2. Clients are paying for a service, not giving you a free loan that you can pay back maybe sorta sometime if you feel like it and if the cosmos aligns with the planets during a solar eclipse on the winter solstice.
Feb. 2nd, 2017 02:17 am (UTC)
Exactly this. That essay was so very offputting, and showed her finding customers annoying('nagging'), rather than finding the situation she has gotten herself in, and her own actions annoying.

She did not take accountability and it's sad because she has not matured/improved in the last x amount of years..
Feb. 2nd, 2017 11:32 am (UTC)
"waking up to 5 million people asking about their art"

Only one way to solve that, make a comprehensive list of who owes what and start working on it. I can understand feeling overwhelmed, but it's not the customer's fault they took too much work (or finished too little). :/


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