[Resolved] Artists Beware: BabushkaVatman

WHERE:

DeviantArt: (NSFW GALLERY) https://babushkavatman.deviantart.com/

Tumblr: (NSFW GALLERY) https://babushkavatman.tumblr.com/

WHAT: Digital art piece — custom adopt commission.

WHEN: July 2017 — present (May 2018)

EXPLAIN: I ordered a 270 USD custom with a back view and extras from this artist back in July 2017. It has not been delivered. The artist has been silent for months and inactive on all known social media. I am Tythius on DeviantArt. (I have a Gyazo Pro account so all screenshots saved there are permanent.)

TIMELINE:

13 July 2017: Purchased custom adopt commission through an auction for 270 USD. (Proof 1.)

13 July 2017: Artist confirmed order and sent invoice. Invoice paid the same day. Artist acknowledges payment. (Proof 2. Proof 3. Proof 4.)

July 2017 - September 2017: I receive no updates despite exchanging more correspondence about the design specifics. Up to 25 July 2017, we made small talk and discussed design details. After that point, nothing until September. (Proof 5.) This screenshot is filtered for notes sent from BabushkaVatman and thus does not show unread or read status.

During this period of silence between July and September, the artist continues outputting adopts and YCH sales. 

19 September 2017: I update the artist's reference links to a neater folder. (Proof 6.) The artist replies, but there is still no visual WIP update.

September 2017 - November 2017: No further updates. Artist continues uploading adopts and YCH sales. 

26 November 2017: There is still no update. I request an update or, alternatively, a refund. The artist finally shows a visual WIP, but cannot provide a refund at the moment. (Proof 7. Proof 8. Proof 9.)

27 November 2017 - 1 December 2017: The artist seems genuinely apologetic during our conversation. I relent and agree to wait for the finished product. This is a mistake. (Proof 10. Proof 11. Proof 12.)

12 January 2018: There has been no contact since December. I ask again for an update. (Proof 13.)

22 January 2018: The artist posts another completed adopt.

22 January 2018: The artist replies with an update message. No visual updates. This is the last time this artist has contacted me since. (Proof 14.)

24 January 2018: The artist posts another completed adopt.

4 February 2018: The artist posts another completed adopt. This is the latest activity on the DA page. But not the Tumblr page. Will detail below.

25 February 2018: I ask for another update. (Proof 15.) No response. Unread. (Proof 16. [Bottom note.])

March 2018: While the artist remains inactive and unresponsive on DA, the Tumblr page notes a recently liked post from another user. (Proof 17. [NSFW has been blurred out. Safe to click.]) This recently liked post was made on 3 March 2018. The artist has been able to access the internet sometime after 3 March 2018. (A more thorough search through recent likes on the Tumblr page show liked posts from as recent as 2 April 2018. I did not notice this until recently, but will add it chronologically for easier following.

12 March 2018: I ask for another update. No response. Unread. (Proof 18. Proof 19. [Middle note.])

29 March 2018: I leave a comment on the original deviation of the custom sale. No response. (Proof 20.)

31 March 2018: I message the artist on DA again. (Proof 21. Proof 22. [Top note.]) Unread.

3 May 2018: I leave the artist a courtesy message on the artist's DA profile stating my intentions to write a PSA on Artists Beware. (Proof 23.)

There is still no response. I also have not seen any of the YCH sales completed and posted, but cannot verify that they were never done.

Given the circumstances, I am aware that if the artist's main income is through art, then regular output of sales and adopts is to be expected while the artist works on a commission. This was never the problem. The problem was the lack of communication and continued lack of communication.

As it stands, I have no finished product and the artist either refuses to get in touch or has neglected to for whatever reason.

The real lesson here is to never let an artist drag you past PayPal's 6-month buyer protection period, regardless of their reasoning, unless they have solid communication and steady visual updates. Don't make my mistake.

12 May 2018: I managed to open a dispute with PayPal through their phone line.

17 May 2018: PayPal opens the case and awaits a response from the artist. The artist has 10 days to respond. (Proof 24.)

28 May 2018: The artist never responded to PayPal's resolution center e-mail despite recent activity on DeviantArt and the case is closed in my favor. (Proof 25.)

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