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  • Beware: Goldenwolfen


    UrbanCoyote
    • Who: Christy Grandjean / Goldenwolfen / Christie Goldenwulfe / Wolfsisters Creations / Kierrn Moon
      Where: https://www.goldenwolfen.com/
      When: 07/07/2017
      What: Commission

    (My original advice post is located here.)

    NOTE: Her real name and email haven't been omitted, as they are readily available on her websites.

    Unfortunately, because the artist and I were on friendly terms, much of the communication for this commission was done verbally at Phoenix Comic Con (PHXCC). However, I'm providing screenshots of the correspondence we had online.

    I originally discussed a pencil drawn commission with Goldenwolf at PHXCC back in 2017. She told me that She'd have it done by May 2018 (the next PHXCC), but would get it to me sooner if requested. I told her I'd be selling some things after the con, and if I had enough after obligations, I'd confirm the commission and send payment. (Email Discussion) As agreed, I sent payment for the piece with extra for shipping via Paypal on July 7th 2017. I didn't receive confirmation she had gotten the payment, so I nudged her on August 4th. She replied on the 7th with confirmation, making mention that she thought she had already replied to me. 

    When I saw her commission queue posted to FurAffinity (FA) on Feb 5th 2018, I asked why my name appeared to be missing from it (the screenshot was taken recently, after my name had been added). After I pointed this out, she assured me that mine would be finished "this month", which I took to mean February.

    During February, she also attended Texas Furry Fiesta, where she advertised accepting more commissions on FA and Twitter.

    On April 16th 2018, I sent an email over with my updated reference (no big design changes, just more examples of his different forms were added on it). On the 17th, she said I was on the "short list" and she'd be getting to mine after a couple of other things.

    May passed, and on June 10th 2018, I asked for a progress update. On June 26th she emailed over a rough sketch for my approval. She mentioned in the same email that she was suffering from severe depression. I responded requesting a few edits, but because she was my friend and I wanted to be supportive, I tried not make her feel pressured. 

    After I didn't hear back from her on social media, I sent her another email on October 26th 2018. I offered her the option of just refunding me if she was unable to produce my commission in a timely manner, and her response to this is just better just read from her email directly.

    I waited to post on Artists Beware for advice until after December, because she mentioned in the email that she was hoping to have the piece done by then.

    Following advice from A_B, I sent an email on February 15th 2018 asking for a refund using the outline provided to me in my advice thread. As of the writing on this, I haven't  heard anything back from her.

    While collecting screenshots for this post, I found her current Terms of Service. (She has never directed me to it, so I'm unsure how it may have changed over time.) I do know, that if I seen this TOS before commissioning her, I wouldn't have, friend or not. (It features an "A**hole Clause", which in and of itself would be a huge nope.) Notable Sections: 1 2 3

    I also found that she has a Patreon, which despite her huge backlog, offers sketches to certain tiers. I'm unsure, however, if she's actually provided them. 1 2

    I'm not sure what else to add, really. It doesn't currently look like I'll be receiving my commission or a refund. ?



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    Yikes. I really looked up to them, oh well. The TOS alone is very frightening and super unfair to customers with the "Kill fee", them only being able to starts after 12-17 *months* and the already mentioned "a**hole clause". Absolutely no.

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    1 hour ago, Alkraas said:

    Yikes. I really looked up to them, oh well. The TOS alone is very frightening and super unfair to customers with the "Kill fee", them only being able to starts after 12-17 *months* and the already mentioned "a**hole clause". Absolutely no.

    Thess are examples of anti-consumer practices. Especially the "A-hole clause" and "Kill Fee" I wish more people took notice of ToS's closely.

    Literate furs make for a better free market within our community.

    I do feel sorry for UrbanCoyote, but I'm glad they had the confidence, patience, citations, and professional tone to post this on Artists-Beware.

    Edited by HoodieCat

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    There are a lot of problems with this artist's ToS but I don't think refusing to work with unpleasant people is a red flag in general*. In my ToS I state that I won't work with someone who's proven themselves to be arrogant, rude or unpleasant - but, I do state that if they've paid already, they will receive a full refund (even if I've started work). I had to implement this because of one persistent and incredibly rude commissioner who tries to circumvent my main block on his account by following me on his alts LOL.

    *You have to take this with a bit of context of course, starting the commission after 12-17 months is absolutely unnacceptable, especially since it's outside paypal's 180 day buyer protection timeframe, and given this artist's massive, years-long queue.

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    3 minutes ago, cknsausage said:

    There are a lot of problems with this artist's ToS but I don't think refusing to work with unpleasant people is a red flag in general*. In my ToS I state that I won't work with someone who's proven themselves to be arrogant, rude or unpleasant - but, I do state that if they've paid already, they will receive a full refund (even if I've started work). I had to implement this because of one persistent and incredibly rude commissioner who tries to circumvent my main block on his account by following me on his alts LOL.

    Even if it seems like it's just splitting hairs, I think there's a world of difference between having a Right To Refuse Service clause and just straight up calling it an 'a-hole' clause. There's a certain lack of professionalism about that, and that in and of itself can carry some weight that you're willing to fling insults right within your TOS says a lot about an artist. It's not proof, by all means, but it's sure not a good look.

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    I agree with everything that people have said so far about her clauses.  She also mentions that a commission can be canceled and partially refunded if she decides there's a "legitimate" reason.  What on earth is a "legitimate" reason for a refund?  That is so open to interpretation. And the fact that she doesn't offer a time frame when she can do a commission makes me uncomfortable.

    I think it's unprofessional that she is using mental illness as an excuse and goes, well, I only bumped you up in the queue because you're a friend. And telling the customer to chILLLLLLL is not nice. I hope you can get this resolved. I'm afraid she'll cite her "A hole clause" and go "nope, no refund or art for you."

    Edited by Mortymaxwell

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    4 hours ago, HoodieCat said:

    Thess are examples of anti-consumer practices. Especially the "A-hole clause" and "Kill Fee" I wish more people took notice of ToS's closely.

    Literate furs make for a better free market within our community.

    I'm unsure if it was intentional, but I do take exception to the implication that I am not literate. It wasn't that I was unable to understand the ToS, I hadn't even looked for it previously, because she was my friend. Again, it's very likely you didn't mean to imply that, but it does bother me enough to address it.

    I do sincerely appreciate your empathy. It's really crushing to have this happen not only with an artist I've admired since I was thirteen, but also someone I had considered my friend. ? 

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    4 hours ago, armaina said:

    Even if it seems like it's just splitting hairs, I think there's a world of difference between having a Right To Refuse Service clause and just straight up calling it an 'a-hole' clause. There's a certain lack of professionalism about that, and that in and of itself can carry some weight that you're willing to fling insults right within your TOS says a lot about an artist. It's not proof, by all means, but it's sure not a good look.

    I agree; having a Right to Refuse Service clause is common in many contracts and ToS. However, using foul language and insulting a potential client, is very unprofessional.

    Obviously no one should insist that an artist has to tolerate unpleasant clients, but there are more tactful ways to frame a refusal of service. I wouldn't call problem customers "a-holes" at my day job, and expect to remain employed.

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    9 hours ago, armaina said:

    Even if it seems like it's just splitting hairs, I think there's a world of difference between having a Right To Refuse Service clause and just straight up calling it an 'a-hole' clause. There's a certain lack of professionalism about that, and that in and of itself can carry some weight that you're willing to fling insults right within your TOS says a lot about an artist. It's not proof, by all means, but it's sure not a good look.

    Absolutely, I agree! I would never refer to it like that, it's very unprofessional - I just wanted to point out that having a right to refuse service clause isn't a red flag (IMO).

    Calling it an a**hole clause is a red flag though, lol.

     

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    Another thing that bothers me after re-reading this beware is in the rude sounding e-mail she says she has no particular order in which she works on things, just what inspires her at the moment. I don't think that's a good way to do business and it's not very reassuring to people in her huge queue (59 commissions, my god!!) to have her bouncing around.

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    13 hours ago, UrbanCoyote said:

    I'm unsure if it was intentional, but I do take exception to the implication that I am not literate. It wasn't that I was unable to understand the ToS, I hadn't even looked for it previously, because she was my friend. Again, it's very likely you didn't mean to imply that, but it does bother me enough to address it.

    I do sincerely appreciate your empathy. It's really crushing to have this happen not only with an artist I've admired since I was thirteen, but also someone I had considered my friend. ? 

    I meant no ill-intention by "literate furs" you already justified they were a friend. That's a good exception of not having to read it, although a lesson to us (me included) to maybe give it a read in the future.

    We trust people we know, it's what we do, I'm sorry that it's something we (not just you) will have to stop doing even with friends, just to ensure fairness in a transaction of art services.

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    11 hours ago, cknsausage said:

    Absolutely, I agree! I would never refer to it like that, it's very unprofessional - I just wanted to point out that having a right to refuse service clause isn't a red flag (IMO).

    Calling it an a**hole clause is a red flag though, lol.

    Not to harp on you, because you're right, right to refuse service is NOT a red flag at all and every artist has that right, whether or not they put it in writing. I can only speak for myself, but I think others here may agree with me: Goldenwolfen's "Asshole Clause" is just NOT a "right to refuse service" clause. Not just because it has a rude name, but because the clause is "if I don't like how you treat me I will just block you and keep your money", and that has nothing to do with right to refuse service, that's just blocking someone and keeping money you haven't fully earned because you feel it's... I don't know, compensation? Or something?

    Right to refuse service would be (to me at least) refunding the client, THEN blocking and blacklisting them if you so wish. Wash your hands of the business, and maybe flip what work you have on the commission as a YCH to make some money back. But saying "your money is just mine now and you get nothing because you were rude" is a hell of a red flag.

    It's a problem because what could be counted as, in GW's own words, "belligerent, rude, overly demanding [...] disrespectful, threatening [...] or otherwise mean and nasty" is entirely up to the discretion of the artist, and just listing synonyms of "rude" doesn't really give much framework of what falls into "asshole" territory. If a client who has paid in full and has been waiting, I don't know, three years including the 17 months to just have the commission started, finally says enough is enough and asks GW if they can have their commission done by X date or a refund, and when GW responds that they need to "chill and be patient" or whatever, the fed up client tells them they want the art or a refund in a firmer tone or they'll make an AB, does that count as "threatening" or "overly demanding"? Are they being belligerent or nasty because GW perceives their firm demand for their work or a refund as overstepping a boundary, or them ignoring the TOS ("I can offer NO time frame on commissions. Period.")? Is a client who sends monthly requests for updates on their commission going to be seen as overly demanding, or belligerent, because GW might personally find being chased up on the reg kind of overwhelming - especially if even only half of their waiting clients are sending monthly emails, that's still what, a couple dozen emails a month?

    They might not, of course! GW may be perfectly patient and understanding with their worried clients! But they might also not be, and there's really no way to tell because the wording is vague and the terms are completely beholden to how the artist feels and the stakes are a little too high to risk.

    Every artist has a right to refuse service. And even if they want to call it an "Asshole Clause" I don't care myself, I can read that as kind of tongue-in-cheek. But when that clause is extremely vague as to what constitutes as bad behaviour and includes getting to keep all the money while the client gets blocked, with no way to try to negotiate a refund, that's... I dunno, to me that just feels kind of threatening, ironically.

    TL;DR: Every artist certainly has a right to refuse service but I feel it's a moot point to even bring up because GW's "Asshole Clause" doesn't remotely resemble a right to refuse service clause. It just feels like a clause to coerce clients into not kicking up a fuss or risk losing their money and the commission.

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    15 hours ago, flucket said:

    Not to harp on you, because you're right, right to refuse service is NOT a red flag at all and every artist has that right, whether or not they put it in writing. I can only speak for myself, but I think others here may agree with me: Goldenwolfen's "Asshole Clause" is just NOT a "right to refuse service" clause. Not just because it has a rude name, but because the clause is "if I don't like how you treat me I will just block you and keep your money", and that has nothing to do with right to refuse service, that's just blocking someone and keeping money you haven't fully earned because you feel it's... I don't know, compensation? Or something?

    Right to refuse service would be (to me at least) refunding the client, THEN blocking and blacklisting them if you so wish. Wash your hands of the business, and maybe flip what work you have on the commission as a YCH to make some money back. But saying "your money is just mine now and you get nothing because you were rude" is a hell of a red flag.

    It's a problem because what could be counted as, in GW's own words, "belligerent, rude, overly demanding [...] disrespectful, threatening [...] or otherwise mean and nasty" is entirely up to the discretion of the artist, and just listing synonyms of "rude" doesn't really give much framework of what falls into "asshole" territory. If a client who has paid in full and has been waiting, I don't know, three years including the 17 months to just have the commission started, finally says enough is enough and asks GW if they can have their commission done by X date or a refund, and when GW responds that they need to "chill and be patient" or whatever, the fed up client tells them they want the art or a refund in a firmer tone or they'll make an AB, does that count as "threatening" or "overly demanding"? Are they being belligerent or nasty because GW perceives their firm demand for their work or a refund as overstepping a boundary, or them ignoring the TOS ("I can offer NO time frame on commissions. Period.")? Is a client who sends monthly requests for updates on their commission going to be seen as overly demanding, or belligerent, because GW might personally find being chased up on the reg kind of overwhelming - especially if even only half of their waiting clients are sending monthly emails, that's still what, a couple dozen emails a month?

    They might not, of course! GW may be perfectly patient and understanding with their worried clients! But they might also not be, and there's really no way to tell because the wording is vague and the terms are completely beholden to how the artist feels and the stakes are a little too high to risk.

    Every artist has a right to refuse service. And even if they want to call it an "Asshole Clause" I don't care myself, I can read that as kind of tongue-in-cheek. But when that clause is extremely vague as to what constitutes as bad behaviour and includes getting to keep all the money while the client gets blocked, with no way to try to negotiate a refund, that's... I dunno, to me that just feels kind of threatening, ironically.

    TL;DR: Every artist certainly has a right to refuse service but I feel it's a moot point to even bring up because GW's "Asshole Clause" doesn't remotely resemble a right to refuse service clause. It just feels like a clause to coerce clients into not kicking up a fuss or risk losing their money and the commission.

    100% agree with you! Her termination of service is very iffy and especially paired with the extensive wait times from payment until starting the commission (conveniently, outside paypal's buyer protection window). I agree with your method as well, refund, block and blacklist - but ALWAYS refund. Bad buyers are pretty rare in my experience (woo!) so luckily this isn't a common occurence for me, but the times I have had to do it I've always fully refunded, even if I've sunk hours into discussing / working already.

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    I'm surprised to see GoldenWolf up on AB. I really looked up to her and really liked her art since 2005, but seeing her ToS, especially the non-refundable "kill fee" and the "A-hole clause", makes me want to stay far away from commissioning her.

    From her "A-hole clause":

    "If you are disrespectful to me, threatening, belligerent, or otherwise mean and nasty your commission will be cancelled and NO refund will be issued to you."

    I'm sorry, GW, but this is not how you conduct a commission business here! Because not doing refunds whatsoever is completely illegal and unacceptable.

    Beware well warranted. Seriously, it's really disappointing to see one of my favorite artists have such bad ToS's. ?

    Edited by Latiro

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    Excuse me but 12-17 MONTHS!? Who makes people wait that long for a commission!? Also the heck is a "kill fee"?? "A person doesn't want the art anymore so I'm just gonna take 40% of their money even if I haven't' started it." That's just theft right there.

    Also that "a**hole clause is outright theft once again, and depending on the amount the person spent, is liable for legal action.

    Everything I've read is all red flags, warning signs and neon lights that say "DO NOT PASS!!" I wouldn't go near this person with a ten foot pole!

    EDIT: Also, who tells someone to "chill" after making them wait past promised deadlines, telling them they are actually dead last, and they won't get any refunds? Like you expect a person to remain calm after being told information like that???

    Edited by Luna996

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    My understanding is a kill fee is an arrangement where the artist will receive some payment for work they did if the client cancels.

    From:

    https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/freelance-contract-clauses/

    Sometimes, for reasons beyond our control, a project gets canceled after you’ve started working on it. For freelancers without a contract, it might mean that they won’t get paid for the work they have already done until the notice of cancellation. A kill fee clause saves you from being the disadvantaged party in case a project gets axed. It makes sure you’re paid for how much of the work already done since you have spent your time and effort on it, both of which could be spent on other projects that you may have on the side.

    Different freelancers charge different kill fee. Some have an elaborate stage by stage kill fee schedule. Others charge a flat 50% and some charge as low as 25%. It depends on what seems fair to you – the point is to deliver some form of compensation on the work that has been done but won’t be put to use.

    I think it's similar to this clause I see in artists' TOS: "if the client cancels after work has started, they will receive a partial refund?"

     

    I find it concerning that Goldenwolf is interpreting kill fees to mean, she gets to keep 40% IF NO WORK HAS BEEN DONE.

    And I find it disheartening that other artists are having similar policies. I look around on websites and see stuff like, "Well, it's only fair, I get to keep the money, because I spent time reading e-mails." "I turned away other work to book the slot." Etc. as justification for keeping a large percentage of the money when the artwork's not even been started.

     

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    On 3/24/2019 at 2:41 AM, Latiro said:

    I'm surprised to see GoldenWolf up on AB. I really looked up to her and really liked her art since 2005, but seeing her ToS, especially the non-refundable "kill fee" and the "A-hole clause", makes me want to stay far away from commissioning her.

    From her "A-hole clause":

    "If you are disrespectful to me, threatening, belligerent, or otherwise mean and nasty your commission will be cancelled and NO refund will be issued to you."

    I'm sorry, GW, but this is not how you conduct a commission business here! Because not doing refunds whatsoever is completely illegal and unacceptable.

    Beware well warranted. Seriously, it's really disappointing to see one of my favorite artists have such bad ToS's. ?

    I'm not surprised to see Goldenwolf here. She was the worst commission experience I've had, back in 2010.

    I'm sorry you had a rough time OP, specially ruining a friendship, but I'm glad her lack of professionalism is more public.

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    Quote

    I'm not surprised to see Goldenwolf here. She was the worst commission experience I've had, back in 2010.

    I'm sorry you had a rough time OP, specially ruining a friendship, but I'm glad her lack of professionalism is more public.

     

    WOOOW, since 2010?! This is just ridiculous!

    Edited by Latiro

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    I freak out if I don’t contact where people are every. 3 or 4 days or so. 12-17 wait period? That is insane.

     

     

    I really enjoy her as an artist. But I am most likely not will commission her or donate because of this. ?

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    On 3/22/2019 at 7:29 AM, Mortymaxwell said:

    Another thing that bothers me after re-reading this beware is in the rude sounding e-mail she says she has no particular order in which she works on things, just what inspires her at the moment. I don't think that's a good way to do business and it's not very reassuring to people in her huge queue (59 commissions, my god!!) to have her bouncing around.

    This is a big old “depends” I think.  I do jump around on mine, because if I worked on the same thing for months, I think I’d die of boredom.  I do make it clear to clients that they will see other WIPs being posted alongside theirs, and there may be occasional weeks where they may not see theirs posted.  That said, if you’re doing something small that can be reasonably completed in a weekend, no.  Do your queue in order. Also, don’t let your queue get to 59 items.  Good grief.

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