Nov. 19th, 2012 at 5:49 PM
Artist in Question:
Pirate-CashoozombiepirateURL where they base their business out of:
http://pirate-cashoo.tumblr.com (They request commissions here, too)
http://www.hentai-foundry.com/user/zombiepirate (WARNING –NSFW adult site)
ORIGINAL REQUEST/INQUIRY MADE via email: MAY 10 2012
PAYMENT MADE 50%: $75.00 May 11, 2012 (PAYPAL)
PAYMENT MADE REMAINING 50%: $75.00 May 26, 2012 (PAYPAL)FIRST DRAFT: MAY 26 (It was approved by me)2nd DRAFT: New sketch sent to me (She wasn’t happy with the original) September 15, 2012.3rd DRAFT: Another new sketch OCTOBER 3, 2012LINEART: OCTOBER 17, 2012NEW ETA for FINISHED PRODUCT: 7 days (or so) from Oct 17, 2012.INQUIRIES: about progress/status: Nov 8, 15, 18th (2012).... no repliesNEW REPLY From PC: Nov 19, (2012) (after post to AB, unrelated)UPDATE: From PC: Nov. 22.: Apologies for not keeping deadlines
UPDATE: From PC: Nov 22.: Colored draft *YAY!!!* Finally. I think this may almost be resolved.UPDATE: NEW REPLY From PC: Dec 2.: She has given me the deadline of Dec 21st and offered a free sketch in compensation for the trouble.UPDATE: PC posted a public apology on DA and FA admitting her poor practices: http://pirate-cashoo.deviantart.com/journal/An-open-letter-to-all-of-my-customers-341302281 'm not sure if this changes anything, though unless she changes the way things are going. I sent her an email with lots of advice and tips on how she could better her freelance strategies but it seems others are doing this, too. I got a reply that was similar to her journal - I don't believe she really wants any advice or help even though people are trying to help. Stubbornness isn't going to fix this problem.UPDATE: DEC 2: New Promised deadline of Dec 21 offered and aggreed to by Cashoo. I sent her a reminder on the 19th about this, too.UPDATE: DEC 22: Just received my FINISHED PIECE! FINALLY! YAY! It is BEAUTIFUL and she put a lot of work into it. So I am happy I got it at least. I will mark this resolved. Item(s) Ordered:
2-PERSON Full-body COLORED SKETCH WITH LINEART. PRICE QUOTED/GIVEN: $150.00
(Basically, I asked for something similar to this: http://fav.me/d4tbnqj) 2 characters, no wings or anything crazy. JUST HUMANS with no detailed background.Proof of Purchase: PAYPAL:Explanation of Situation:
Note: I am not accusing PC of being a scam-artist, but some serious business standards need to be reinstated and adhered to by this artist as clients like myself are getting very upset about her current practices. This needs to be addressed.I did my research before even making my purchase with her and thought it was a safe bet. The issue here is communication/miscommunication/missed deadline/turnarounds and ridiculously slow response times, etc.Many times over I had almost suspected she had taken my money and run, but then weeks later, I'd get a response apologizing for another ridiculously long wait of weeks or even months between letters.I'm still waiting on my finished piece long past the original deadline of June 15th, 2012 though.Here's how this has gone:I had been watching Pirate-Cashoo on Deviant art for some time when I noticed she FINALLY opened up her commissions. HERE IS THE DA JOURNAL I RESPONDED TO: http://fav.me/d4zcncw
She states here: “These will be done within the month/by June 15th. Or if you have a particular deadline, let me know! Depending on the complexity, one commission can take up to 3 days total to finish. I'm really trying to push myself as an artist with these.”
The sketch came May 26th and following it, I paid her the rest (SAME DAY): $75.00.
I am listing below how things went after that. I have documented them here though often her replies were so huge that I truncated some of them in the screenshots.
She has also been taking MORE commissions every few weeks/months since I ordered mine.
First ETA: MAY 11
“You'll receive a preliminary sketch within the next 7 days or so to look over before I hop into it.”
SKETCH RECEIVED: MAY 26. (2 weeks)
No reply after I approved the sketch.NEXT MESSAGE SENT: Jun 12
“I am writing you because it's been over 2 months since I've heard anything from you and I wanted to know if you could just give me an update on my commission. I don't mean to bother you, but I sent you the payment in FULL already 2 months ago back when you showed me the sketch, and I haven't heard a thing since. (If you need the paypal Invoice #'s just ask)
I am not upset about the time frame, I just feel that as a paying client, I should at least be kept in the loop about what I paid for.”
REPLY: JULY 25 “Ohh my goodness, I'm so sorry! I was in the middle of the lineart, but I was thinking about partially redoing the sketch, because it's got some serious anatomical issues, and I've improved my anatomy since then.” and a big story about all sorts of “troubles....” she’s having.
SECOND ETA: “I should be getting to yours within the next week or so. I hope you understand.” (AS OF JULY 25)
NEW INQUIRY: SEPT 3:
“I was wondering, Have you been able to make any additional progress on my piece yet? Last time I heard from you was July 25th - so, it's been over a month and I've not heard anything still.... You had mentioned getting to it in a week or so, but I've not gotten any updates since then.”
REPLY FROM CASHOO:
Apologies, etc etc.... and “I'll be spending the next 2-3 days finishing up all sketches that haven't been done yet, which will include yours. I've redone yours a couple times and tossed them, but I think I've decided on what I'd really like this time!”
“...But I'll be finishing your commission within the next two weeks FOR SURE”
SEPT 13: FROM CASHOO
“Well, I just spent the last ten minutes bawling my eyes out.
I just...I just shut my computer down for the night, and apparently I didn't save. I...I don't know why my program didn't ask to save before I closed it. I seriously cannot believe it. It was so good, too... great pose and composition and everything. I.... seriously, seriously can't believe it. Oh my goodness...”
Accidents happen, I get that, too.
I get a new sketch. NOTE: only a sketch.
No more replies after I approved the sketch.
Umm, didn't want to bother you, but any progress on my piece? Were you able to adjust the sketch? I know you mentioned the piece would be done within 2 weeks "for sure" but this was over 2 weeks ago... I didn't want to have to bug you, but I keep seeing new sketches on your tumblr... so... I'm sort of wondering where the heck mine went.”
“I have one commission in which its deadline is the 20th, and it's got a full background and everything, so I unfortunately have to work on that today. BUT, I'll definitely finish yours within the next 7 days or so...the hardest/longest parts are over, and the coloring is simply smooth sailing from here~”
INQUIRY 1: NOVEMBER 8
“ I know you're busy but it's been a few weeks since you wrote me and you'd mentioned a while back... 7 days... but it's been 3 weeks now again.
Any progress by chance? I noticed you opened more commissions for xmas, but please be sure to get mine done before you do those since I've been waiting since April/May and it doesn't seem fair that I would have to wait until after xmas.”No reply.
INQUIRY 2: NOVEMBER 15th
“Hey there, I haven't gotten a reply, so I'm writing again... apparently my messages are getting lost in your mounds of email
I know you're busy but it's been a few weeks since you wrote me and you'd mentioned a while back... 7 days (or so)... OK, I get it - 1 week, 2 week, 3 weeks.... but it's been 4 weeks again and not so much as a reply or an (I'll be late again note) or ANYTHING....&rdquo
INQUIRY 3: NOVEMBER: 19th
“If you can't finish it for whatever reason or aren't inspired, or just don't want to - than by all means please tell me that or give me a partial refund or something. Otherwise, I just really want some honesty, that's all.
I am a paying "customer" nonetheless and I have the right to know where my product is regardless of the circumstances and I seriously don't think that it is NOT reasonable for any client to INQUIRE about their product they purchased 7+ months after payment, and 4 WEEKS after an estimated delivery time. I saw on your FA even that you said in ref to that other person waiting months : "And, like some other freelance artists out there, a long wait time (about 4+ months, I consider) is guaranteed more effort and detail put into the final product. And if it's been an abnormally long wait time (7-8 months and beyond), there's a 50% discount on whatever next commission the customer gets, even free if the customer is thoroughly displeased."
I'm sorry to be so concerned but we're going on 8 months almost here... You said it yourself: abnormally long wait time.
And then, you gave me another eta over a month ago and no reply since. I mean, I think you can understand why I am still very concerned here... I can still wait if you just asked me to, but I don't appreciate being given deadlines that aren't kept or that I am not even told about changing, etc.”NEW REPLY AS OF NOV 19th:This was AFTER my post to AB. Unsure if it was provoked by this or not...(note: I truncated this a little because there were a bunch more personal family "issues" in there). I didn't think needed to be posted here. Also, she states that she doesn't know why so many people are getting upset with her about turnaround times. It's not just the turnaround times - it's also the money and the fact that we get deadlines that aren't kept, no replies, etc etc.NEW REPLY: NOV 22.It's very long, so I will summarize. I just got a new and lengthy letter from PC and although it seems to be thoughtful and kind, I am still empty-handed here. I am a little relieved that she has finally apologized for being terrible at keeping deadlines and "estimates" for turnaround times, but the message contained no further details or wips about my commission either, nor did it mention anything else about when I might get it. I appreciate some of her honesty, here. She is very upset about the whole AB drama, but I have tried to assure her that, despite her suspicions , we are not trying to "ruin her business". (this is what she has told me she is suspecting of AB). She's trying to sound nice about this whole thing and so am I, but niceness doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere and I still don't have any additional wips.IMPORTANT UPDATE: NOV 23.
I sent PC a letter with some advice and bullet points on how I think she could improve her commission process (because it’s not nice to just say someone’s doing something wrong and not tell them how to fix it).
I have finally gotten a colored draft and an honest explaination of how she works and how she runs business - basically deadlines are only kept if the client demands a deadline and all other pieces are worked on when she gets to them. Understood, but I thought I had been given several deadline/etas, but I guess not. So I am starting to believe that alot of these issues are from miscommunication and not keeping estimated turnarounds, etc.
I am finally relieved to know that she's still working on my piece and that I haven't been forgotten. She also told me a lot of things about her work ethics and schedules that opened my eyes to why these are all taking forever (much of it is still not good business practice, but at least I have an explaination now). Much of this is also just miscommunication. I feel a LOT BETTER now knowing all of this, and I wish she’d tell all of her clients the same thing....
Partial letter: “A lot of the problems you've addressed that I've run into are due to sudden changes within this year from my previous years in this line of work. For example, in all of my years of doing this business, I've never had problems or concerns with 4-6+ months of waiting with little contact and no WIPs. Only earlier this year did I start regularly sending WIPs to clients, because I thought it would be a fun idea to do so. Before then, though, the client would pay for the commission, wait a few months, and then receive a message with the completed commission. And it worked out wonderfully, without fail...until these last few months. And it's weird, I'm not sure what exactly has made the change, but ohhh well~But...obviously, if I want to continue with this commission business, I have to adapt to my environment in order to be successful with it.Also, I always try to make sure to mention either publicly or to each inquiring customer that they don't have to pay all upfront (most I have are half upfront, and half after completion), and that they can choose a reasonable deadline if they so desire. Those who give me definitive deadlines get their commissions done on time. Otherwise, I assume they don't mind, and I try to mention that beforehand. I have forgotten on occasion, but for the most part I mention deadlines for sure.Oh! And setbacks can indeed set me back 4-6 months, as I illustrated in my last note to you...I hope that made sense! A commission of your type typically takes about 7 days to complete alone. With a queue of only 15 commissions of the same type already ahead of it in line is about a 4 month wait minimum until the commission is even started. I had about 20, and some of them had three characters and some had detailed backgrounds, which adds a few days to those commissions (typically). The thing that's really killed me is that I've been forced to take more commissions, because my consistent slew of bills can't be met entirely with my commissions, which take too long to complete to keep up with the bills. It's this self-defeating death cycle, and I've dug myself into this hole as a result...Sadly though, I wasn't aware of how inaccurate my estimated turnaround time was when I took your commission until I started improving my skill and putting more detail into my overall work...and shot myself in the foot in the long run.”