Name of Artist: Beastcub
Character/species commissioned (link to photo/concept art): black cow http://www.furaffinity.net/view/3582697/
Links to picture(s) of your commissioned item:
Is the item old or new (if old, how long have you had it/when was it made?)
New, finished in September more than a month before my deadline that she said she probably couldn't meet.
--Grade each below aspect on a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best)--
Visual Aspect (does it match the concept art? Is it consistent with other items the maker has produced? Is it visually pleasing overall?):
5 - Even though I've had multiple people call me a bison rather than a cow, I don't hold that against her. If I want to be nit-picky the profile doesn't read "COW" as much as it could, maybe, but overall it turned out much better than I had imagined. I guess I'm biased cause it's my own character, but this suit is easily my favorite she's ever made, if not at LEAST in the top 3 favorites of her entire gallery (which is over 150 suits I believe).
Service Aspect (Deadlines. Communication. Little extras.):
At the very beginning when I got my original quote and had some brief communication with her things seemed to have gotten off to a reasonable start. Then about 8-9 months went by with almost zero communication, despite my many attemts to confirm payments, deadlines, details, etc. The week before she started working on my suit if someone had asked for a grade I would have given it 1 out of 5. I paid in full months before my promised deadline yet updates about her commission list showed me up and down in priority and almost never at the correct payment status. I was close to canceling my order and asking for a full refund at least twice before the unthinkable...
5+++++ Around the end of August or beginning of September she e-mailed me that I was next on her list and she was ready to talk about my costume. Over the next week or so she e-mailed me over 50 times (I counted). There was constant communication from then on with her asking for preferences, okays, details, updates, answering all my questions and even shooting the breeze here and there. She responded to e-mails I sent within seconds and went over the plans with a fine-tooth comb to the point that she was thinking of things I hadn't thought of before and helped guide me through the ins and outs of things I should expect with working jaws, wiggle-ears, hand hooves, bouncy tails, zippers in fur, upkeep, etc. etc. etc. Even if the answer to one of my questions was on her website she didn't just send me a link, she actually answered my question and made sure everything was clear. It was a fantastic experience. I felt incredibly special to have that kind of undivided attention for the week or so she spent on my suit. It made me realize that all the time before that she was supposedly ignoring me was just because she was giving her undivided attention to the person before me on her list. Once it was my turn I understood the silence leading up to it and decided it was TOTALLY worth it in the end. All the aggravation, worry, frustration, etc. leading up to the week my suit was in production was TOTALLY worth it. TOTALLY.
Workmanship Aspect (Is the sewing neat? Are things that should be sewn glued or vise versa? Does it fit? Has anything fallen off yet that shouldn’t have):
4.5 - the only thing I'm feeling blah about are the hand hooves. While they look amazing and fit "well" they aren't as dextrous as I had been led to believe they would be. I guess it's unreasonable to expect hand hooves to do things a five-fingered glove can do, but I was hoping I could at least write my name with a pen, and I'm not sure I can. Maybe with practice. Other than that, the ears' wiggles aren't even but they still work well enough. And everything else looks great. I looked it over very thoroughly and there are no corners coming undone or unglued and my horns are very solid. The tail bounces very nicely, the feet fit well, are comfortable, and seem durable enough to tolerate the milage I intend to put on it. The eyes are gorgeous and visibility is fantastic. Up close my suit still looks as good as it does in photographs and from a distance, which I can't say for a lot of suits I've seen, including my own home-made precursor to this one.
Describe your Experience. Pros, Cons, Comments:
There are only a couple more things I should mention here that I haven't already in the previous questions. First, she surprised me by throwing in the cowbell she wore in the demo video for her website for free. I LOVE the cow bell. It's the perfect size, shape, color, sound, etc. Second, the body for this full suit was actually mine before the commission. I made it for my original home-made attempt at this character. Unfortunately since I'm not good at sewing the zipper wasn't sewed in very firmly, the legs turned out to be too short (cause I got the length done before adding the padding for digigrade, and that caused the final length to be about 6 inches shorter than they should have been). To compensate I had safety pinned some scrap fur to the ankles and hoped no one would notice, even though it looked terrible. So anyway, when I sent her the body, I only sent it because I figured she'd want to photograph the whole thing with the body even though it wasn't in the plan for her to fix it up or do anything to it aside from store it for me for a while. I was in for a complete surprise. Completely separate from my quote and commission list, she airbrushed my suit to help it match the new pieces she created and so it would show up better in photos. I hadn't thought of it, but my suit used to be solid black and now it has brown highlights which helps it tremendously in pictures and film. She also re-sewed in the zipper and reinforced it, re-padded my digigrade legs and sewed the pocket in better cause the cheap fluff I used originally was falling out, added a good 6-8 inches of leg to get them to their necessary overall length, and fixed some of the seams to make the legs and everything fit a little snugger since things were a little baggy here and there originally. Talk about above and beyond. I didn't ask for all of that attention to the body and she didn't tell me she was going to do it. She didn't charge me extra for it, but I added a bigger tip than I was going to in the first place. Lastly, she wanted to use real cown horns for my head, but I didn't want to, so after a lot of hours of research looking into the "perfect horns" as a model, we finally settled and I ended up making them myself out of plastic and sending them to her to paint and finish. It was a great collaboration and ended up working really well cause they're lighter than real horns would have been and make the head more stable. It also gave me the opportunity to contribute and feel like I still had some involvement, which was the reason I tried making my own in the first place a few years before. (My first attempt finally fell apart for real after FC2010, which made me really glad to have put in my order with Beastcub just weeks before).
Final Grade (out of 5):
4.99 - I have to say, overall I'm more than happy with the product. I feel a little guilty for being so upset and negative about her before my suit was made. I complained to my boyfriend and a few other people during those terrible waiting months and felt instantly relieved the moment that first e-mail hit my inbox about my suit being up next. The negative 0.01 I took off the total is just for all that aggrivation and me not knowing what to expect about the process at the very beginning. Now that I know, I expect if I ever commission from her again (which I know I will) I'll probably be giving her a solid 5 out of 5.
I hope my review will put some other people on her list at ease. The waiting is a pain in the ass but it's more than worth it in the end. You do have to be a little flexible with things here and there, but trust me, her instincts and artistic vision will probably make your suit better, not worse. And if you don't like it, she's been more than generous with people, I hear, in her efforts to fix/repair things that aren't just right.