Shetani Cheetah (Shetani Cheetah) wrote in artists_beware,
@ 2018-12-07 00:19
WHERE: https://www.instagram.com/oatiemeal, https://www.deviantart.com/seafowl, https://www.deviantart.com/jaoqy, http://flightrising.com/main.php?p=lair&tab=userpage&id=146038
WHAT: 2 character digital painting with background
WHEN: July 15, 2018 - current
EXPLAIN: Note that there will be some jumping around between different websites/screenshots due to the artist attempting to evade contact. They also changed their usernames various times throughout the course of this interaction, so screenshots may not match up exactly with what I've written.
( Read more... )
July 15 - I commissioned the user hitchedboy on the petsite Flight Rising for a 2-character digital painting, which was paid for using site currency in the form of items.  Payment was sent using Flight Rising's 2-way trade system.
Weeks passed without word, and their FR profile indicated that they hadn't logged in to FR at all since a few days after I last heard from them. With this avenue of communication closed, I started seeking an alternate way to contact them, and found their Instagram account (which was also under the username hitchedboy at the time. The link on their profile led to a DeviantArt name of jaoqy.)
August 27th - I messaged hitchedboy on Instagram to inquire about a turnaround time for my commission. They said they had lost their FR login info but were still willing to do the art for me. They informed me that their preferred method of contact was Discord. 
August 28th - Our correspondence moved to Discord. I provided them with the commission info again since they stated they lost access to their FR account. I was told that I could check in with them "as much as I wanted" and that my art would be finished in "most likely only a week." 
September 5th - A week later, I asked to see a sketch. hitchedboy said they weren't at their computer and would send it to me in 2-3 hours. I gave them an extra 4 hours before poking them again. They told me to message them again to remind them in 5 hours; I did so and received no response at all. (Time discrepancy in their message is due to hitchedboy being in the GMT+10 timezone and myself in GMT-5.) Though I was irritated at being brushed off, I decided to give them some time. 
September 22nd - Life got in the way and I wasn't able to touch base with hitchedboy before this date. I told them the reason for my delay; they responded with a situation curiously similar to mine, and informed me they had completed the base colors on the art. I had not seen so much as a sketch from hitchedboy at this point, despite being promised one several times over. I felt uneasy and asked them to show me the art at its current stage for approval before progressing - again, my message was ignored. 
September 29th - I logged into Discord, saw that hitchedboy was online, and shot them a message. They immediately switched their status to "offline." (I don't have a screenshot of this, sadly.) In response to this action, I asked them to just let me know if they no longer wanted to do the commission, as I needed it by a certain date and this would give me enough time to find a replacement artist. They assured me that they still fully intended to finish the art, citing extreme forgetfulness as an excuse for blowing me off in the past. They once again set a bizarrely unrealistic time frame - this time just 10 minutes - in which I should expect to see the art. At this point, I was severely doubting that any work had been completed at all, and sent a bit of a lengthy message expressing my frustration about being given the runaround time and again.
An hour later, hitchedboy sent me a progress photo. This honestly surprised me, given that I'd been convinced that they hadn't even started, and the completion level seemed to me to be more than could be done in an hour. I informed them of corrections that needed to be made, making sure to be thorough since I didn't know if I would even get a chance to see another WIP before the picture was finished. 
October 3rd-5th - I ensured that hitchedboy was aware of, and agreed to, the deadline for the piece. 
October 21st - For the first time, hitchedboy sent me a progress update without being prompted. They said they hoped to have it done by the next day (of course, this didn't happen.) 
October 24th - hitchedboy apologized for the delay, citing issues with the background. 
October 30th-31st - The day before the due date, hitchedboy contacted me to say that the art was done, but they were unable to upload it. They claimed to be out of the house again and they would have someone else try to upload the picture while they were gone. Not only had I not gotten to see and approve the final product, I wasn't even told what website I should expect to find it on. In addition, I was extremely confused as to why they didn't just try a different site if they were having trouble with one in particular. I heard neither hide nor hair from them on the actual due date. 
November 2nd-10th - I would otherwise have just written this off if not for the fact that they had actually completed a good deal of progress on the commission as per the one WIP I received, so continued to message hitchedboy in an attempt to just wrap up the whole ordeal. They claimed to have been in the hospital. No progress was made towards resolving the situation. 
November 15th - I made another contact attempt on Discord, directly @'ing hitchedboy when I saw them appear as active.  While gathering up info to make this beware, I noticed that their Instagram username had been changed to oatiemeal. The account showed activity as of 10 hours earlier (no screenshot of this), and the link in their profile now led to a newly made DeviantArt page under the name seafowl.  The recent submissions in this gallery were pieces that had been completed and uploaded on November 3rd and subsequently, when they claimed to not have internet access. Giving the benefit of the doubt, I sent them a polite Instagram message. They responded only to request that I contact them on Discord, which I had been doing for the past 2 weeks. I admittedly lost my cool at this point, which I should not have done. Despite the fact that I knew they no longer used the website where the commission originated, I gave them a deadline to produce either the supposedly completed art or a refund.  To this date I have seen neither. (I also messaged them on Discord again as per their request, in case that would produce results somehow - it did not.) 
I'm very upset because I was really looking forward to getting art from this artist. Quite frankly, I'm not too broken up about losing the payment for the commission, as I would much rather have the art. I can only count myself lucky that I paid in non-monetary currency, and hopefully they aren't doing this to customers on DeviantArt or Instagram as well.
PROOF: All screenshots in this folder and linked at the appropriate points within the explanation.