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  • Knottyboys project


    sharfluff
    • Who: Inkedfur
      Where: inkedfur.com
      When: 05/01/2018
      What: Other (Explain Below)
      NSFW Content
    Celestina

    This has been moved to a "caution" post for now.  If Inkedfur continues to not hand over sales figures, then it will be upgraded to a full beware.

    Message added by Celestina

    Some images may contain NSFW materials, as this is about a NSFW artbook produced by inkedfur. Most Proof is correspondence but a picture of the cover which could be NSFW is shown at more than one point. 

    In short, I worked on this project with many other artists, 41 total. The book was produced by inkedfur, and we only ever got one payment of 7.30 The book was to be a limited run, but has been printed multiple times with out our consent and the company and owner has not been forthcoming with any information and infact has replied in very unprofessional ways. This is still an ongoing case and nothing has been resolved. This is something that started about a year ago, so I will do my best to break down the information and the context as I have it.

    I have not blocked out the name of the owner, because this information is available publicly and as his email signature. If staff would like me to edit that I can. 

    For context, here is a link to the guidelines that all artists who worked on the book were to agree to. Kei, who was working as a partner with Inkedfur at the time, was the book lead and put this together for us. As being an employee of inkedfur and book lead, Kei was our middle man.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NjG7YIzK_F-482hajwZ5znTzvyj_-heQMPnlhcTzUAM/edit#heading=h.26re1e8okgjn

    Important note, this link has a link to the second document as well as the first. Deadlines changed and more information was added. So the first one you see is older and there is a link at the top for the 'newer' version. Both contain alot of the same info.


    Here are some important bits of the FAQ we were all given to review. The Timetable and payment.  

    https://imgur.com/7yUf3P9 https://imgur.com/CnBgEi4

     

     Later on we got an email with a breakdown of how the profits would work:
    Profits:
    https://imgur.com/XO0WBGC

     

    March 12th we get an email explaining there was a print delay and requesting info for payments.
    https://imgur.com/CjxG4Z9


    March 18tth we have a break down of sales and book orders. Though now there is the mention of  the costs for the artists books.
    https://imgur.com/tZbc9eT

     

    May 24th:  We are in the black! First profits to be paid out will be soon. 606.90 total profits as of may 2018 to be paid in royalties! 12.91!  This was less than I thought it would be, but the email states we -STILL- had books for sale at that point, and the pdf sales had not yet happened. 
    https://imgur.com/1j7dE10
     

    June 20th
    I admit this was a bit of a slap in the face, it was a bit less than I was expecting given the email and I personally took the tone of the note poorly.
    https://imgur.com/El6YfrA

    June 29th
    PDF is finally up! Apparently, the delay was because the new website they were working on didnt have support for digital products yet. So, it has been hosted on the OLD website, and we have links to it to post to.

    https://imgur.com/8MnLQzU https://imgur.com/5zigF7h


    And that was it. That was the last we ever heard on the matter, and the last payment anyone ever got. I confirmed this with several artists, I was a bit worried because I had -left- inkedfur (as no longer allowing them to sell my work) and I thought perhaps my royalties had been lost in the system somewhere. But turns out, no one else had gotten paid either.


    That brings us to Feb 2019. I contacted Kei after hearing back that no one else was being paid or getting royalties from the knottyboys book. Oddly Kei said that two payments of royalties were made and they had sold out of all the books. And that only 4 sales of the PDF were done. Checking the website, the Book is for sale, but the pdf is not. 

    https://imgur.com/22CZ5e5 https://imgur.com/n1eR1Ll


    I was directed to contact inkedfur directly. And I did so on Feb 22nd. Knowing they were at a con and figured by the way Kei responded they knew I, and possibly other concerned artists would be getting in touch, i waited.
    https://imgur.com/1WqUXVG

    That brings us to march 3rd,  9 days later. And this is the responce, and our exchange.
    https://imgur.com/D4U1lmc https://1drv.ms/u/s!As3pUy5MCJSahc0ZPWLzK2skEHaszA <-- larger resolution

    This is my most recent reply from James. I can see we are going to have to go through math and I will now for a third time be requesting sales records. Im beginning to wonder if anyone actually reads the request because I was pretty clear on what I am wanting. You are a business, this should be pretty easy, No?
    https://imgur.com/pHJK4pc


    I'd just been taking some time to dig into things as I wait for James to get back to me with the requested sales figures. Some interesting things had happened in this time. The Inkedfur twitter account had made a public post, and Kei also replied. 
    https://imgur.com/AD1z46w https://imgur.com/yB1ytO2


    I would also like to quickly point out that both james and Inkedfurs twitter have referenced a 30% sale royalties, but in the telegram chat used by artists for the book, Kei, the book lead and someone who works at inkedfur, tells us its been upped to 35%
    https://imgur.com/VVQkjBA


    So, Inkedfur sold copies of the book to (two?) 3rd party places. This was never mentioned as possible in our FAQ/Guidlines which in this instance acts as our contract. 
    https://imgur.com/einwivC https://imgur.com/qU8F1Ln

    Another artist has heard back from James and gotten a statment:
    https://imgur.com/sltejyN  https://imgur.com/M03FYya


    Interesting things to note here,  are the mention of additional bundles of books. James only mentioning one payment, the one we have been able to find and confirm vs the two payments that were previously quoted by Kei. Lastly, the fact that nearly a year later the site still doesnt have digital sales enabled, of which most of our profits were to come from. None of us were told this. 


    As for the additional books, this is news to pretty much every artist I have spoken with. We were all under the impression this was a limited run. As proof we have these:
    https://imgur.com/cETHUSa https://imgur.com/gKvZFAC https://imgur.com/xmoLTZE

    After waiting several days and knowing he was responding to others, I emailed him directly to the email at the bottom of his signature. 

    https://imgur.com/5QvwFdI https://imgur.com/j5QuzWd

     

    His reply:

    https://imgur.com/uu9w0vp

     

    my reply back:

    https://imgur.com/NXpJV6V

    And that's where we stand right now. Requests for numbers are going ignored or denied and the responses we are getting are very unprofessional. There are other grievances I have with this company ( daki promised to the client for free never delivered, problems with my final payout when I left, ect) But I am limiting this to information that is public and my own personal involvement with the book. 
     

    I know this seems like super small amounts, but if you spread those nickels and dimes over 41 people, thats alot of money. We dont know how much we are really owed, because a second batch of books was produced, and no math is adding up because the numbers keep changing. 


     


     



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    The snark in his last message about creating your own artbook and keeping all the royalties doesn't illicit much confidence in his professionalism. He seems to be completely missing the point that they made promises as a company, and these promises are falling flat and are not holding up to the expectations that he created in the first place.

    Their unwillingness to share sales figures, that you've asked them to do multiple times, is also REALLY suspicious. 

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    I know InkedFur was surrounded with several controversies in the past, but had still planned to try getting some of my stuff on their site. Not now. I can't believe a business that so many people seem to know and want to buy from is so terribly unprofessional.

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    Gather all the artists affected and take him to court for violating contract and not paying out. I knowna few good too many artists who took part in this and it's utter nonsense this is happening to them. Their art is being sold for someine else's profit. It's theft and just downright wrong.

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    This behavior is rather normal for Mr. Hoyt. Having worked with Inkedfur myself in the past, I experienced similar issues regarding undocumented sales and his lack of professionalism. I left IF about three years ago and have spoken about my experiences in the past, but I want to give a brief overview again as I feel Artist beware is a fitting place to comment on it.

    Back when Inkedfur was a brand new company, I applied to join and was quickly accepted. From day one, I had issues with the lack of professionalism in small ways that I overlooked at the time. Mostly how James addresses his artists and tries to be a bit too friendly and casual in what is meant to be a business relationship. I don’t personally approve of casual approaches to business because I take my own very seriously. Immediately after joining I noticed my sales were not lining up with customers claims of purchases and some even sent me visual proof of purchases that were never reflected in my sales figures in the artist portal. I again, gave it a pass because “it’s a new company and these are growing pains”. James and I did not have a great relationship at any point because I often would tell him I disapproved of his choices at times, such as using the company twitter to make and participate in call out posts, getting involved in fandom drama, etc. I politely told him that such things are best suited for his personal Twitter because he was effectively speaking on behalf of all of his artists when he did this and his response was very vitriolic and aggressive. He then proceeded to tell me I made him cry to guilt me into backing off; he did this on many occassions and I always found it to be manipulative. We constantly butt heads on these issues and  between the failure to accurately report my sales for a YEAR and his attitude and demeanor, I was very close to leaving. 

    One evening, in a telegram group chat in which many of IFs artists were present, there was a discussion about tags and content on the site. He and I specially were discussing a tag when he dropped that IF was selling cub artwork. This made many of us in the chat suddenly focus on this as we were unaware that CP was being sold along side our work and the fact it was never mentioned in the TOS and was not present on the site when we had joined. I personally had pressed the issue because it was extremely alarming to me and I did not want my work associated with that content. James blew up, accused me of calling him a pedophile, then posted a picture of a destroyed office insisting that I pushed him to damage his office. James ghosted for a while that evening and If staff were having private conversations with me to try and fix things. Meanwhile, James was threatening his own employees saying that if they spoke to me, they would be fired.  I was also trying to speak with James myself, however he was being very avoidant and ended the evening with cutting me from the site, locking me out of my account and freezing any further pay outs to me. The interesting thing to note is that I was sent an email that said I was terminated from the company because of “insubordination” as if I were his employee. The notion that he views artists as his workers when his entire business is built on their backs rubs me the wrong way until this day. I planned on resigning from the company anyways after that debacle so in the end I was fine with the choice, however two years later, I was still never sent a final payout nor have I been given access to the account for sales figures ever again. Because of my butting head’s with him, the next day CP was formally removed from the site (however there is still questionable art on the site to this day such as pornographic art of characters who are canonlogically tweens such as inklings from the Splatoon series ). 

    Upon leaving, James told me that he would either send me the remaining products or destroy them. I agreed that destroying them would be best (I did not want someone this unhinged having my address) and he stated it would be done. I also explicitly forbid any further sales of my work. I’d also like to add that, because of me, James would later add a rule retroactively for artists that states if they leave, they need to buy their remaining stock or forfeit it to Inkedfur to sell; a very entrapping rule for those who may not be able to afford a departure and given another large scandal relating to James criminal history with soliciting minors, this was stressful for many trying to leave. On top of that, James never gave any visual confirmation of stock in hand so it’s highly believable that he would continue to print new copies and claim it was old stock or demand more money from artists for stock that he’d make after he gave a false number to make leaving the company harder/more expensive out of spite. 

    Fast forward to the next con and a client of mine sends me a photo of IF’s table with one of my prints for sale. I immediately issued a Cease and Desist letter to Inkedfur and threatened legal action ; that was the last time I contacted them. I am not the only artist who had had this happen, as others who have left (and even bought out their stock) have had issues with James continuing to sell their products without permission. I have heard many horror stories from artists who have worked with this company, however their stories are not mine to tell and I hope they come forward to this thread to share. 

    I’d also like to mention that I have visual documentation of everything mentioned here and have securely held onto it for the full three years since I departed from the company and would be alright sharing it if necessary. 

    James Hoyt is a dangerous, unstable individual who is a threat to minors and mistreats his artists severely. I won’t go too far into his criminal past here as it’s not entirely relevant, however when it became known, many artists tried to leave and he did his best to spite them and make the transition as painful as possible. I’d also like to mention that James has ties to Alt Right groups that came out en masse to attack me when I spoke against his business and criminal past on twitter and also want to caution people to tread lightly if they have to deal with him. From sending me threatening pictures of a destroyed office to gathering alt right groups to attack me, I can say that I am glad to be away from him and I am so sorry others have had to suffer under him as well.

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    16 hours ago, Bourbon said:

    The snark in his last message about creating your own artbook and keeping all the royalties doesn't illicit much confidence in his professionalism. He seems to be completely missing the point that they made promises as a company, and these promises are falling flat and are not holding up to the expectations that he created in the first place.

    Their unwillingness to share sales figures, that you've asked them to do multiple times, is also REALLY suspicious. 

    Yeah the unwillingness to share sales figures, Even with Kei who has asked and was staff, is very very fishy.  He is trying to work out a deal with Kei now as 'he is the only one who actually signed a contract with Inkedfur' and has gone silent to the rest of us at this time. I believe (I dont have the figures in front of me at this moment) that he was offering like.. 800 to be split for the royalties of the 80 books left in stock. But he has supplied no proof that he has.. 80 books? And nothing about the previous sales. 

    I couldnt help fighting snark with snark a bit with that last line. This wasnt about money for me, I never expected to get -much- but I did expect a bit more than 7.30 and the more questions I asked the more it became apparent things were not as they told us they would be. 

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    12 hours ago, Luna996 said:

    Gather all the artists affected and take him to court for violating contract and not paying out. I knowna few good too many artists who took part in this and it's utter nonsense this is happening to them. Their art is being sold for someine else's profit. It's theft and just downright wrong.

    We have a discord going with many of the artists, and I believe Kei is getting in contact with a few of them via email letting them know where things stand. Legal action is being considered, and I can confirm that some artists who have left are still finding their prints being sold. Inkedfur has an Ebay account ( i cannot say how often it is used) but we found several daki's there from members who had left inkedfur. 

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    9 hours ago, Anuvia said:

    This behavior is rather normal for Mr. Hoyt. Having worked with Inkedfur myself in the past, I experienced similar issues regarding undocumented sales and his lack of professionalism. I left IF about three years ago and have spoken about my experiences in the past, but I want to give a brief overview again as I feel Artist beware is a fitting place to comment on it.

    Back when Inkedfur was a brand new company, I applied to join and was quickly accepted. From day one, I had issues with the lack of professionalism in small ways that I overlooked at the time. Mostly how James addresses his artists and tries to be a bit too friendly and casual in what is meant to be a business relationship. I don’t personally approve of casual approaches to business because I take my own very seriously. Immediately after joining I noticed my sales were not lining up with customers claims of purchases and some even sent me visual proof of purchases that were never reflected in my sales figures in the artist portal. I again, gave it a pass because “it’s a new company and these are growing pains”. James and I did not have a great relationship at any point because I often would tell him I disapproved of his choices at times, such as using the company twitter to make and participate in call out posts, getting involved in fandom drama, etc. I politely told him that such things are best suited for his personal Twitter because he was effectively speaking on behalf of all of his artists when he did this and his response was very vitriolic and aggressive. He then proceeded to tell me I made him cry to guilt me into backing off; he did this on many occassions and I always found it to be manipulative. We constantly butt heads on these issues and  between the failure to accurately report my sales for a YEAR and his attitude and demeanor, I was very close to leaving. 

    One evening, in a telegram group chat in which many of IFs artists were present, there was a discussion about tags and content on the site. He and I specially were discussing a tag when he dropped that IF was selling cub artwork. This made many of us in the chat suddenly focus on this as we were unaware that CP was being sold along side our work and the fact it was never mentioned in the TOS and was not present on the site when we had joined. I personally had pressed the issue because it was extremely alarming to me and I did not want my work associated with that content. James blew up, accused me of calling him a pedophile, then posted a picture of a destroyed office insisting that I pushed him to damage his office. James ghosted for a while that evening and If staff were having private conversations with me to try and fix things. Meanwhile, James was threatening his own employees saying that if they spoke to me, they would be fired.  I was also trying to speak with James myself, however he was being very avoidant and ended the evening with cutting me from the site, locking me out of my account and freezing any further pay outs to me. The interesting thing to note is that I was sent an email that said I was terminated from the company because of “insubordination” as if I were his employee. The notion that he views artists as his workers when his entire business is built on their backs rubs me the wrong way until this day. I planned on resigning from the company anyways after that debacle so in the end I was fine with the choice, however two years later, I was still never sent a final payout nor have I been given access to the account for sales figures ever again. Because of my butting head’s with him, the next day CP was formally removed from the site (however there is still questionable art on the site to this day such as pornographic art of characters who are canonlogically tweens such as inklings from the Splatoon series ). 

    Upon leaving, James told me that he would either send me the remaining products or destroy them. I agreed that destroying them would be best (I did not want someone this unhinged having my address) and he stated it would be done. I also explicitly forbid any further sales of my work. I’d also like to add that, because of me, James would later add a rule retroactively for artists that states if they leave, they need to buy their remaining stock or forfeit it to Inkedfur to sell; a very entrapping rule for those who may not be able to afford a departure and given another large scandal relating to James criminal history with soliciting minors, this was stressful for many trying to leave. On top of that, James never gave any visual confirmation of stock in hand so it’s highly believable that he would continue to print new copies and claim it was old stock or demand more money from artists for stock that he’d make after he gave a false number to make leaving the company harder/more expensive out of spite. 

    Fast forward to the next con and a client of mine sends me a photo of IF’s table with one of my prints for sale. I immediately issued a Cease and Desist letter to Inkedfur and threatened legal action ; that was the last time I contacted them. I am not the only artist who had had this happen, as others who have left (and even bought out their stock) have had issues with James continuing to sell their products without permission. I have heard many horror stories from artists who have worked with this company, however their stories are not mine to tell and I hope they come forward to this thread to share. 

    I’d also like to mention that I have visual documentation of everything mentioned here and have securely held onto it for the full three years since I departed from the company and would be alright sharing it if necessary. 

    James Hoyt is a dangerous, unstable individual who is a threat to minors and mistreats his artists severely. I won’t go too far into his criminal past here as it’s not entirely relevant, however when it became known, many artists tried to leave and he did his best to spite them and make the transition as painful as possible. I’d also like to mention that James has ties to Alt Right groups that came out en masse to attack me when I spoke against his business and criminal past on twitter and also want to caution people to tread lightly if they have to deal with him. From sending me threatening pictures of a destroyed office to gathering alt right groups to attack me, I can say that I am glad to be away from him and I am so sorry others have had to suffer under him as well.

    Given what I personally have experienced with him, and the screenshots I have seen from others. I can believe this pretty easily. I didnt share them because they were private conversations, but I was given screenshots showing James badmouthing an artist to another when they left Inkedfur, trying to start a callout war and bad blood, as well as James going back on sales numbers and denying they happened. Saying we  were only promised as little as 25% for the book for the first year and then it would go to 30% and that he never authorized a 35% sale to us. 

    Just, Lots of going back on his word and being unprofessional. Its pretty clear he doesnt treat artists as they should, we are just there to make money for him. 

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    On 3/9/2019 at 4:32 AM, Anuvia said:

    This behavior is rather normal for Mr. Hoyt. Having worked with Inkedfur myself in the past, I experienced similar issues regarding undocumented sales and his lack of professionalism. I left IF about three years ago and have spoken about my experiences in the past, but I want to give a brief overview again as I feel Artist beware is a fitting place to comment on it.

    Holy. Heck. 


    I'm so sorry anyone has had to endure abuse from this man, but I commend you all for sharing your stories. I will definitely be avoiding them, and I greatly appreciate the warnings.

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