I'm confused, was I scammed or not ?

Posted 1 month, 18 days ago (Edited 1 month, 13 days ago) by DeaKahena

Hello everyone, I must start by saying that I'm not used to this and that english is not my strong point, I will try my best to be comprehensible but if anything seems unclear to you feel free to ask !

I will not name this artist because as you probably read it I'm not sure it's a scam yet, I'm here to humbly ask for your opinions and if it turns out I'm at fault here I will delete this thread !

A few days ago I commissioned a fullbody of this character https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/778705937145528350/852972390774210630/Patreon-june21-DeaKahena-white.png

What I received is this https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/853181877339029504/853937410425094184/1.jpg

A few things are concerning me, first I don't think it really looks like my character. I know the reference is pretty small but still, I told them that if they had any doubt they could ask but they didn't say a thing. What do you think ?

Secondly I don't know if I'm being paranoid here but it oddly made me think of those automatically generated characters or pieces of art you can make on some websites, I don't know if you see what I'm talking about. You can create pretty accurate drawings whitout even drawing. Maybe this feeling was reinforced by the fact they delivered it in barely a few hours, wich is pretty fast for a fullbody.

And finally it doesn't look like the art advertised on their com sheet, here's an example [edited because the case is solved and the example was easily leading to the artist's name]

So I'm here to ask you : Am I being paranoid or is there really something suspicious ? 


The artist gave me more informations. They told me it was really cheap and they wanted to do a fullbody because they wanted to have more examples in their portfolio ! Also they explained the differences by the fact that they "mixed 3D models" to gain time but as I'm not an artist myself I'm not sure what it means... 

Does that count as a scam to mix models to make a commission if it's not said before ?... From what I understand they also draw on top of it.



As an artist I see traced pieces in their gallery, they also probably over-paint photos with real people as I see in some artworks.
They have pieces which they drew though, “Meet the artist” for example.



Well at first glance the art seems pretty good and I would say it's definitely worth more than what you paid for in terms of quality. In terms of accuracy (with the request) if it's not what you were looking for it's not worth paying for.

After reading the other comments that investigated the artist more thoroughly he might have used some tricks either to elevate the quality or to fasten the process.

So that you understand the artist's point of view I don't think any artist would take more than 2 to 3 hours on a commission worth $25 or so. What I think the artist have done is:

  • looked at your character and decided to make something you are impressed with without wasting too much time.
  • He loaded up a model on DAZ studio or similar 3D software and looked for his existing assets that matched your character the most, dressed the character, posed it, and made a quick render.
  • looked up some other 2d art assets online or in his library and photo bashed them on top of the render.
  • finally painted over the whole thing
Being an artist myself I can tell that there are different types of artists that have their art so cheap:
  1. Artist with beginner skills that are looking for some extra money
  2. Artist with really good skills but without a big community and that are trying to break into the commission business. By lowering their price they are hoping to attract more exposure so they can raise their price gradually (if you are looking for a good deal you might want to target those)
  3. Artists that are not really artist looking for a quick buck by applying cheap ticks or stealing other artists works, fortunately, this type of people are easy to identify (at least most of the time) their art is completely inconsistent and usually make the stolen art worse than the original that they stole from.
Regarding the tricks like using 3D or photo bashing or references from other artists. I can mostly guaranty that most professional artist especially in the industry side and artists we love and respect use those kind of tricks to accelerate their process and buy some time and guarantee the final quality of the image they are making.

The use of parts of other artists work as a base is debatable though but if the work is so different and the art they are using isn't the core of the piece I personally think it's ok, even though I have never done that I can think of some cases with a tight schedule that might justify that. but it's still in the gray zone.

Finally, some advice so that you don't get disappointed with your commissions again::

  • Choose artists that you know and follow especially artists that post their rough sketches or the steps of their work. It's also better to support artists that you really rather than an artist that you just found online and you don't know if he's what he claims he is.
  • Communicate thoroughly with the artists before you commission them and make sure you are on the same page and that he understands what you want them to draw.
  • If the pay is cheap don't expect the artist to make research and try to decipher your request. so provide your own reference and be very clear and concise in your description.
  • Provide the artist with pieces you like on their own portfolio or gallery that you want your commission to be like. The artist will love that you are interested specifically in their art and it makes it easier for them to know what you like about their work.
  • If you're not sure of what you like and/or you can't describe don't spend your money on art that will probably disappoint you.
My conclusion is that the problem here is mostly a communication problem and probably the choice of artist to commission.
I believe that the artist that you commissioned have pretty good skills but didn't care much for the request and the client and maybe he thought that as much that the quality of the final image is worth more than you have paid for you won't mind the details (that's a wrong strategy for him it will not benefit him in the long run, but it doesn't mean his intentions are necessarily bad)

I hope all of this can help anyone reading it.


@ YoiHito Sorry I'm going to have to disagree.

I think the price the artist set themselves is not very relevant, please note that OP was not expecting a full body like that at all - instead they were expecting just a sketchy headshot and it is the artist themselves who provided a fullbody "to add to their portfolio". OP applied for a character commission and references were given. (op also stated that payment was not made yet so again, the price is not really relevant now)

Also, imo, this "photobashing" in the picture on the topic is really just frankensteining pieces of other artists' illustrations that are flipped, colour shifted, and AI smoothened with little to no painting involved (in another one of their commissions, you can see the watermark of the stock photo they used left inside).
Please look at this image provided by Akira in a previous comment:
1.jpgAll the major parts of this "illustration" were just cut out and pasted as-is save for some colour shifting and painting to erase extra parts. Otherwise there is barely any other paint work done to make it a different piece. There is also no proof that the face and hair are drawn by hand. And looking at the artists' gallery I have a slight feeling that the face may be a filtered photo or taken from another source.
Also yes, I understand not all photobashing requires painting over, but those are effects used to enhance a part of the illustration that you drew - like adding flame effects using fire pngs. 

I'm trying not to add too much to my comment and sound repetitive lmao so I really hope my point gets across.


paeon yes you're very probably right on your assumptions. And let's make it clear photo bashing other artists work without permission and leaving them as is instead of using them as an initial helper is ethically wrong.

Also after your clarification and going back to other posts I'm more and more convinced that the artist probably belongs to the scammy ones that use cheap tricks for easy commission money.

Nevertheless my advices are still relevant and I think that it might help avoid situations like this. Especially the one that people should commission artists they have been following and that sometimes post their sketches and WIP process.

The advices I stated don't mean that I think the OP didn't follow any of those, but just a general guidelines for anyone looking for commission.

That's my opinion anyway.


Thank you paeon you said exactly what I wanted to say !

Well now I think I will close this thread shortly since things are much more clearer, thank you everyone for your answers ! I don't think I will make a public psa because I think that it's a bit light to dedicate a whole psa to it and since I have no real proofs that pictures in their gallery are also trace or illegally photobashed I don't have much to add.

But if you're interested to know the artist's name you can ask in dm !

Also thank you very much again to Akira for helping me so much ! ;w;