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Beware: London/Vani/Vanimute/Vanilla Kitsune
InklopBunny posted a record in Artist BewaresOn the 29th of May, I Bought 3 Acrylic charms from Vani's Square site. It does not utilise PayPal. Then nothing happened for several months. I DMed Vani on Twitter for a status update, 26th July; and my second attempt was answered: 4th September. I haven't heard from them since. They have a public Trello that is used for Commission work, and a public Twitter: while they have not posted recently, they have Liked other users' posts. It is now the 28th of October, and given the artist's record, I don't imagine I will receive anything.
James posted a record in Artist Beware ArchivesJun. 3rd, 2012 at 1:50 AM OH MY HEAD nanook123 WHO: Vani/Vanimute/Vanillakitsune/ stripesandteeth WHERE: VanillaKitsune.deviantart.com (now deactivated) also Vanimute@DA Vani@FA Stripesandteeth@Tumblr WHAT: One Traditional Badge costing 45$ (Paid $46 to cover paypal's fee as a courtesy) and a Full Body Digital Badge Trade, my half was completed for AC 2010 WHEN: June 16th 2010 for the Badge Trade, June 22nd 2010 for the Paid Badge. She had been known for drama in the past, but I thought she'd gotten her act together. I guess I was wrong. I don't pressure folks to turn the art over, but I waited a year before I contacted her the first time, and that was because she made a Journal on FA updating everyone that had commissioned her of their place in line. http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1953643/ PROOF: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v76/nanook123/badgecommission.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v76/nanook123/badgeconvo.jpg EXPLAIN: Well, 2 years ago, I commissioned a couple of icons from Vani and she turned them around pretty quickly. Soon thereafter we agreed to a trade, in time for AC 2010. I performed my part of the trade as outlined in my evidence image entitled "badge convo". The link to my part is here: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/4020610/ In her reply she mentions finishing my part before she leaves for AC that year. I was simply happy to get a piece from an artist who's art I admired. Then she made a post on June 21st 2010 http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1494591/ for a round of badges before AC. I noted her as referenced in my proof called "Badge Commission". I sent payment of 46$ and set to waiting patiently like everyone else. As an artist myself I don't make a habit of pushing another artist for work. I like everyone else had just kept quiet, even as Vani made post after post fretting about not having enough money to live on. I waited even as she took on more commissions from others. Even as she went from Con to con, making money off of other people, producing art and posting it on her blog, on her art sites and twitter. I clammed up afraid to speak up. I didn't want her legion of fans to come and get me. I didn't want to create drama. Like others who have posted here, I'm tired of that. It's not about the money now. That money is thrown away, it's gone. It's about the principal. Well, in March I decided to speak up. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v76/nanook123/emailcheckin.jpg I emailed her to ask for a status. To this day I haven't gotten an email back. Part of me never really expected to. If she had any intention of doing the work, she would have shown at least a sketch or something by now. Finally I got fed up this week and made an inquiry to her on her Tumblr Page. To my surprise she replied with the attached... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v76/nanook123/tumblrmessage.jpg Her reply left me a little stunned. I mean, she literally has no intention of finishing any of the work she took from those on FA. I can tell it just by the way she's speaking. Just based on the badge commissions she took, basing them at about 40$ a piece, she made close to 800$ off of us. So after reading her reply, I sent her another message outlined below: "I appreciate the reply, and sadly I fully expected the answer I got. I'm very disappointed. I know you're a college student with a lot on your plate, but your commission list is 8 miles long. You made a commitment to all those people that you would draw them something if they gave you money. You made a commitment to those who drew for you in exchange for a piece back. You haven't even so much as done a sketch, but you're so happy to fill your blog with drawings daily. Instead of doing that you could do a commission a day until you're caught up. You know...if you'd just given me a sketch of the things you owed me, I would have been more than happy to call my debt paid and colored the dang things myself. You didn't even try. I don't think it's fair for you to say that you're going to a con to earn money to live on when you've already lived on the money that you got from every single person on your commission list. You've already spent that money and even if every single one of them demanded their money back, there's no way they'd ever get it. Your answer to me is a cop out. You're more than willing to draw at a con or doodle on your blog, but for people on the internet you're just leaving them on the back burner with no idea when you'll actually get to it. I'm very sorry you're in whatever situation you're in at school/home, but you made commitments to ALL of the people you took money from. So I guess consider the art I gave you a gift and consider the money I gave you a donation. I still really enjoy your art, but it isn't worth continuing to wait and hope for anymore. Best of luck to you, Trish" So the purpose of my post here is to help others be warned before commissioning her online or at a con. Her art is pretty, well done and balanced. I really enjoy the style, but it's not worth the headache. 2 years have gone by. I don't think I'll ever see the pieces I commissioned from her. I don't want the money back. I want what I paid for. Even if she did it now, it would feel forced. I don't trust her to do what she says she'll do and neither should anyone else. So, Please, don't mark it resolved, because short of a public apology to everyone she owes stuff to, there isn't much else she can do for me. Please mark it as warning. She owes 54 people plus 5 trades. I somehow doubt she'll ever do it. Even if each of these commissions was a single character at $40 that's over 2000$ she's made off of a community that trusted she had changed. I don't want anyone else to make that mistake.
Beware: Vani/Vanimute/Vanilla Kitsune
Ainsley posted a record in Artist Beware ArchivesMar. 16th, 2012 at 12:47 PM keshimeg WHO: Vani/Vanimute/Vanillakitsune aka Stripesandteeth/Ash WHERE: VanillaKitsune.deviantart.com (now deactivated) also Vanimute@DA Vani@FA Stripesandteeth@Tumblr WHAT: Digital chibi, Digital Portrait WHEN: August 6th 2009 up until 20th December 2011 PROOF: Proof of payment http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/ashpayment-1.jpg Original commission request was made on her Vanillakitsune DA account which has now been deactivated. I have placed screencaps of what conversation I could get, they are in the explanation. EXPLAIN: I have been a customer wronged by Vani/Ash. At one point I thought we were on a very good level, enough to say we were sort of friends. While my situation has a better ending than most as I received a refund in the end, I will share it. I've wanted to share it for a long time but always felt the need to tip-toe around her feelings and her fans. I'm done hiding though, because her behaviour is not on. I was happy with my outcome, despite having to fight for it for so long. However, after seeing her open more commissions, well, that angered me! I feel upset and sorry for the people who are still waiting, and those new commissioners who have no idea. I commissioned Ash on August 5th, 2009, this was on her VanillaKitsune DA account. She was wanting to save up for some ragdoll cats. Her art was an inspiration and I think this was around the time we were acquaintances. I ordered a chibi ($15) and a digital portrait ($50). I am a very trusting person and I really wanted to help. Full payment of $65 was sent upfront, I was extremely excited! Here is the payment proof http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/ashpayment-1.jpg A few months passed and I finally received a my chibi. It wasn't the highest quality of art (pencil sketch coloured in) but I still did enjoy it, hey I got art for one of my biggest inspirations, yipee! Here is the chibi commission http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/Art%20for%20me/Kyle/Kyle_Commish_by_Vanimute.jpg At this point I was pretty confident I will get my digital portrait soon. I waited.. and waited. Ash has changed accounts to Vanimute on DA so I found her there and watched her. I continued to see her upload new art (none being commissions) but still I waited patiently! I take commissions myself and understand that sometimes you don't have the right inspiration. I also kept into account she was in college. A while passed and I discovered she was active on FA under the name Vani, not only uploading personal art but.. taking more commissions? I made an account on FA just to follow her and wait, still very patiently though! It came to the point where she was continuously opening commissions, until finally making a journal about her to-do list/queue. The one we know ever so well http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1953643/ My commission is a year and a half overdue at this point, you would think I would be at the top of the list? I am all the way down the bottom! At this point I was done patiently and silently waiting. I voiced my feelings, albeit in the open but I think I had the right to. You can find the conversation here http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2014394/#cid:16534744 I generally like to be a kind person and give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even after being told it was my responsibility to keep in touch with her. Also if you read her reply, it is full of excuses (valid or not) and not one apology to me (I ended up being the one apologising?). As a commissioner myself I feel it is my responsibility to let my commissioners know if there will be a delay, also at least have the decency to own up to your mistake, have some humility and apologise?? So after feeling like the bad guy, I noted her on FA, here is a print screen. Note how I am still very understanding! http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/Ash1.jpg Well, that note was never read. I couldn't understand? I was told to note her! I waited months for a reply, it still says in my outbox that it has not been read. So I sent another one, this time I did not sugar coat my feelings. I was done, this was unacceptable. She still had $50 of my money and not one apology. Here is the note http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm46/keshikins/stuff/Ash2.jpg After this on not being read, I discovered I have to email her school account? Awesome! So far we have gone from Vanillakitsune@DA, Vanimute@da, Vani@FA (all of which have been abandoned) and now her school email. I sent the same message to her but via email. To my surprise I got a reply. I got an apology, we worked out what I wanted. I gave her 5 different characters to choose from. All different species and levels of fun in hopes this would be helpful. In these emails I reverted back to being kind and understanding, hoping to not upset her. I understood she was stressed and made a mistake and honestly didn't want to ruin any chances of receiving my art. This was the 7th/8th of June 2011. I received an update 2 weeks later, with some sketches. Awesome, it looked like we were getting somewhere. I replied saying I liked them, thanked her and hoped for her to continue. 2 months I waited, and sent her an email wondering what was going on. I didn't receive a reply. This is getting quite long, I promise it ends soon! I then discovered her on TUMBLR. We are so far away from commissioning her on Vanillakitsune. Tumblr has an ask system so some months after the email I sent, I sent an ask about it. I don't have records of what was sent, but I expressed my unhappiness again and stated this was unfair. I was told since I found it unfair I would get a refund. If I remember correctly a few weeks passed and I had to send her an ask again! This time the reply I got was her paypal email, telling me to send her an invoice for the refund and that she would have it by the end of the week. I sent it on the 6th of December. I received the refund 2 weeks later, on the 20th of December, 2011. I commissioned her on the 5th of August, 2009. I am happy I got a refund, although it took a look of persistence. I remained nice and understanding the majority of the time. Forgave her constantly and chased her around the internet. While I finally got my money back, so many others are not this lucky! More of us need to share our stories. People need to know that commissioning Ash is a bad idea. We need to stop being scared of her fans and hurting her feelings. She may have nice art and be popular, but not saying anything in public seems to be allowing this behaviour. She has run away with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of dollars, and continues to do nothing to right her wrongs but rather make it worse! Hopefully one day this will end. I hope that she can change her ways, own up and make up for her mistakes and complete any overdue art/refund people. It will take some time but she has dug this hole and continues to to this very day! You can only be supportive and forgiving for so long before enough is enough.
Ainsley posted a record in Artist Beware ArchivesMar. 13th, 2012 at 9:23 AM ariakitty WHO: Vani/Vanimute/Vanilla Kitsune WHERE: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/vani/ WHAT: Two icon commissions, cost $24 (The total was actually $25.03 because she requested that I cover the paypal fees. I sent $26 just so the number would be even. I am aware that you're not supposed to pay extra to cover the fees but at the time I didn't know this.) WHEN: Payment sent March 21, 2010 Proof of payment. PROOF: http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1284224/ Journal where commissions were offered. (March 21, 2010) EXPLAIN: I commissioned Vani for two icons in March 2010. In the journal she does state that she wouldn't be getting to these specific commissions until May. So I did not expect to see anything until the summer/fall of that year. There was really no concise list of her current commission queue, but in the journal where she offered these commissions she made it seem like she didn't have that many to do. Around December 2010 she posted her commission queue: http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1953643 I kicked myself when I saw how massive her queue was, had I known she owed that many commissions I wouldn’t have commissioned her in the first place. A year goes by and I figure it's time to contact her and inquire about the status of my commission. I tried to contact her through FA on June 28, 2011. The note was never read. So on September 19 I sent her an email, I never received a reply. (I can provide screens of the email and the note but I wasn't sure if that was necessary.) Her tumblr is active and she has a new DA page with new art posted: http://stripesandteeth.tumblr.com/ http://maplemutesandtea.tumblr.com/ (not as active) http://www.stripes-and-teeth.deviantart.com/ I don't really know how much of it is commission work and how much is personal work. I didn't start to worry until I saw a question that she answered on her tumblr about why she left DA and FA. On September 23 I sent her a note through her maplemutesandtea tumblr and I did receive a reply. I responded back telling her I'd be happy to wait for the art as long as communication between us was good. Needless to say, I did not get a response to my second note. (I would provide proof of that but tumblr doesn't keep a record of sent 'asks'.) February, 29 I decided to try to contact her again through tumblr. I forgot to take a screen of it before I sent it off. But I had asked her how things were going and if she needed refs. I figured after almost 2 years she probably didn't have my character refs anymore. She has not responded to that note. On March 11 she posted to her tumblr offering more commissions. I’m a little disappointed. She has a queue of 50+ commissions that she hasn’t made good on, yet she’s taking on more work. I'm glad to see that she won't accept payment until the commission is finished but... What about the rest of us? Vani is a talented artist and I really hate to see her dig herself into such a deep hole. I didn't want to make an A_B entry about anyone, let alone Vani. She took on more work than she could handle and I know she's very stressed about it. But I wish she would communicate with me. I am patient and I am willing to wait quite a while as long as the artist stays in touch. I sincerely hope this can be marked as resolved someday.