An artist who traced another artist's work, and when I asked for a redo, I was given low-effort art that does not match her portfolio.
December 14th, 2022
I was already commissioning an artist to do my main fursona, but I still wanted to help. I didn't have another OC on hand, so I asked her to turn a spare Roblox shark avatar I had into a character. I knew sharks generally have the same body type, followed by simple tattoo patterns. So, the request was to draw a generic grey shark body that wore the accessories and clothing of the avatar, which included a black tank top, shorts, and a red bag.
Because I thought she was in a tight situation, I wanted to be less of a burden and reframed from giving her too many specifics so she could focus on styles and poses she was familiar with.
I learned shortly after that she was unfamiliar with shark furries, but she was willing to do it. I explained to her that they generally have the same body type, and I showed her a few examples from other artists so she could get some inspiration and an idea of what they are.
January 16, 2023
She sent me the rough sketch and awaited approval. The PNG she sent was intentionally small, blurry, and watermarked, so I couldn't recognize anything wrong with it. I approved it. She then guilt-tripped me into paying another $41.46 ($58 CAD) for a background, as I thought she needed the financial help.
January 20, 2023
Arts Studio sent me a larger PNG, and I realized it was a traced copy of art by @notglacier (from Twitter). The art by @notglacier was one of the many examples I showed her, but I never told her to make a copy of it. It was to show her what shark bodies looked like in the fandom.
I had already told her before that I just wanted the body type. At that time, I was still new to commissioning artists, and I assumed they had a code of conduct against copying. So, I didn't think I needed to tell her anything explicitly. I thought she knew selling copied art was shameful, and the final copy would be completely different. For now, I only gave her subtle hints:
But then she ghosts me from that day until Feb 23rd.
February 22, 2023 - February 27, 2023
I tracked down her email and contacted her on Feb 22nd. She responded on the 23rd and agreed to finish it.
On Feb 27th, she sent me the "completed" version, but it was the same one from Jan 20th, just bigger and without the watermark. You can see the traced resemblance to @notglacier's but mirrored. It had been clear she had not been working on it since she sent me the approval sketch.
March 1, 2023
I emailed her. I told her (very explicitly this time) that the point of those references told was to give her an idea of what shark body types look like and that I wanted her to implement it with my avatar. I asked if she could make a redo with a different pose and style so it isn't a copy. I didn't provide any further instructions after that because, again, I wanted her to have artistic freedom, and it had already been three months. The pose or style didn't matter as long as it wasn't copied. She agreed to make a redo.
March 29, 2023
Art Studio submits the redo. She created a random character with none of the attributes I explained from the start. I told her I thought she would draw the same Roblox character, just with a different pose and style. I had never asked for those clothes, glasses or four arms.
The quality was also bad, so I showed her an image of her previous work and asked why this one was so low. She acted clueless and ignored my questions. I expressed my frustration, telling her that I gave her $130 (CAD $178) for something I did not want and was not worth the quality.
I ask the same question again because she ignored it the first time. She ignored this one as well.
This was the expected quality
March 31, 2023 - April 3, 2023
I start a new email thread. She abruptly sent me an unwatermarked version of the redo, but I told her I wanted to talk.
Here, I'm desperately trying to get an answer as to why the quality is so poor, but she keeps ignoring the question.
Here, she is being oblivious and asks me to repeat what I asked in the previous email because she had apparently forgotten. I do just that, and she tells me she "forgot" (again) and never gave me an answer to my question. She thanks me and leaves. But I wasn't done.
I stopped holding back my feelings and lay out all the reasons why I was frustrated. She said she started a new job and won't do another redo unless I pay her.
Then, I asked for a refund because the redo took no effort and was in no way worth $130. I only asked for 50% to be generous, but she declines.
At this point, I knew I've been scammed, but I still wanted to know the questions I asked earlier, along with why she couldn't give me a refund. Again, she ignores.
The takeaway is that she traced another artist's work and submitted art that didn't match her portfolio. It gives me reason to believe that the art she posts on Twitter doesn't belong to her.
Edited by Plasma
Reorganized report so that images of proof are below every claim. Also added a lot more email details