Author-to-Author Warning: Avoid Artist Robert Quill

Update: This matter has been resolved to my satisfaction. However, as I continue receiving reports and correspondence from others who have had similar experiences, I feel it’s prudent to leave this post up, so that the offended have documentation of a history involving this individual. Please also read the comments below for Mr. Quill’s response.

I’ve debated about whether or not to post this article for a while. I’m not generally a vindictive person, nor do I believe it generally serves public interest to decry the short comings of professionals in venues controlled by and representing the experience of one individual. However, having found at least one other example of where this artist defrauded another person and where numerous others have complained on that post of similar behavior, I feel it a duty to share my experience with and warn others against hiring Artist Robert Quill. (Should Mr. Quill see this posting and wish to respond, either publicly or privately, I welcome it.)

Time Line:

  • In early April 2011, I attended the RT Conference in Los Angeles, where Mr. Quill was an official vendor. He had on display a portfolio of his works. (I am not by any means claiming the Mr. Quill is not an artist, nor that he hasn’t supplied art work to others.) After reviewing his work, I hired Mr. Quill at the price of $229 to complete a custom-drawn full color ink drawing, based on the description I gave him of my character from my upcoming Fantasy novel. I shared with Mr. Quill that I intended to use his work as an element on the cover of my self-published book, which I had hoped to put out sometime this winter.
  • Mr. Quill gave me no definite time line or expected date, but outlined the procedure he used: he would make a rough draft, send the link to the draft to me via email in 1-2 months, to which I was to respond with an affirmative to finalize or offer any feedback for revision.
  • On 6/2/11, nearly two months after the event and having heard nothing, I wrote Mr. Quill and asked for an update.
  • On 7/21/11, six more weeks having passed and never having gotten a response to my June email, I wrote Mr. Quill again and asked for any update.
  • On 7/27/11, Mr. Quill responded (the first email I had ever received from him) saying my picture was “inked up and will be colored soon.”
  • On 9/21/11, having no further communications from Mr. Quill, I again wrote him, pointing out that his last email was from nearly two months ago.
  • On 10/13/11, Mr. Quill responded with a brief email saying he was sorry and he would “make sure it’s done right away,” saying he was on his way to the New York Comic Con and my project would be “at the top of my list when I return. I’ll send you a finished proof.”
  • On 12/6/11, I again wrote Mr. Quill asking for a response. To date (this post written 12/14/11), I’ve had no response from him.
  • On 12/14/11 (today), I decided enough was enough. I’ve reported the charge on my credit card as fraud and have reported Mr. Quill to the RT Convention organizers after much deliberation.
If there should be any progress on this issue, or response from Mr. Quill, I will happily post that here. As of now, I would say avoid hiring Mr. Quill at all cost.

14 Comments  to  Author-to-Author Warning: Avoid Artist Robert Quill

  1. Robert Quill says:

    Well, I certainly never STEAL from anybody. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hello, this is Robert Quill, and I thank Killian for welcoming my feedback.

    Killian is certainly correct that I fell behind on my commission work and email correspondence in 2012. There was a lot of it, I had to contend with a couple of week-long power outages, a close friend was rendered homeless and needed to be taken in, and I was audited by the IRS… and won!… but it took a great deal of time.

    Most of my clients have been very patient with me, but Killian, quite justly, asked for a refund, which I granted. Well, technically she processed a chargeback, and I did not challenge it.

    I would like to point out that this sort of thing can happen from time to time. Art doesn’t follow predictable timelines, and the work tends to come in waves. For this reason, I don’t guarantee delivery times, and Killian signed a Terms and Agreements contract citing this specifically.

    However, there were instances when I assured her I would be back in touch in a certain period of time, and then failed to do that, so in this case, I waived those terms and agreed to the refund.

    I certainly understand if a reader of this blog might regard this as a cautionary tale. In my defense, let me say I had 450 commission orders in 2011, and have 430 happy customers about 8 unhappy customers and I’m working on the remaining twelve.

    I think that’s pretty good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sincerely,

    – Robert Quill
    http://www.robertquill.com

  2. Marie Haynes says:

    I truly wish I had seen this post before the RT 2012. I am having the same issues with Robert as you did. He did send me a sketch to which i suggested some changes but have heard nothing back – not even a ‘Thanks for the feedback, I’ll get right on that.” At this point, I would at my voice to Killian’s as a cautionary tale and also suggest that RT think carefully before re-commissioning Mr. Quill for the 2013 Convention.

  3. Brittany says:

    I’m sorry, Mr. Quill, if you disagree with this blog, but I also have had this problem. I ordered a commission from you back at AnimeNEXT in 2009, was charged that July, but never got the commission. I have sent you many emails in the past, but never received even one back! You responded to a facebook message once and told me to email you the details of what I wanted because my drawing “may have gotten lost in the mail.” I did just that, and never heard back from you since.

    I don’t care how many happy customers you’ve had. When you have customer problems, it’s just good service to actually RESPOND to them! Now I’m out $40 for a freakin’ PENCIL DRAWING that I never received! I don’t know if I’d say you’re a scammer, b/c I know people who have been happy with your work, but your customer service is definitely the worst I’ve experienced.

  4. Brittiny says:

    I ordered two commissions from Robert Quill back in December 2013. No word or update in six months, despite paying for his so called ‘VIP’ services. I’ve tried emailing him, Facebook messaging him, and I’ve grown so frustrated that I’ve filed a complaint with the BBB and have still received no word from him! I regret not doing my research on this man before ordering from him. Lesson learned… Does anyone know of a better way to get in contact with him? I just want my moment back at this point.

  5. Rat says:

    I am experiencing precisely the same thing from Mr. Quill. I am checking to see if I paid with check or CC. Since he has declined to answer mail, I will report the charge as a fraud if CC, and reach out to the dealer table managers at the cons that I know.

    It appears that nothing has changed. See: http://donyalynne.blogspot.com/2014/01/authors-be-warned-robert-quill-con

  6. Mrs. says:

    I am having a similar problem. I am usually a very patient person but enough is enough. I ordered a drawing in 2012 and it is now 2015. I feel like I keep getting brushed off by Robert and I all I want is resolution in one way or another. Either a refund, or the art i paid for. Thank you for keeping this post. It helps and hurts to know I am not alone in this problem.

    • Killian says:

      While it may be too late to do anything about the funds you lost, please, please, please report him to the organizer of whatever event you hired him at. The RT convention has received so many complaints about him he’s no longer allowed to attend, from what I understand.

  7. Duette86 says:

    I wish I had seen these comments before I commissioned a piece from him at Marscon on 17 Jan 2015. I never thought to go through my credit card company- maybe I’ll be able to recoup my money after all.

    I will be sure to report this to the organizers of Marscon as well, so they can make an informed decision as to whether they invite him back.

    • Mike M. says:

      I continue to receive intermittent communication from Quill. He promises to pay back the funds that he accepted 15 months ago but he hasn’t done so. I did communicate this to Raven con and they requested a follow up in the event that he either did or did not make good on his promises. I will be at liberty con in 2 weeks and while I don’t know that he’ll be there I plan on broadly communicating his professionalism (as I have experienced it).

      I don’t think he’s being malicious, rather I simply think that he is so disorganized and addled that he shouldn’t be in business.

  8. Beth says:

    I am now in the process of reporting him to the conventions of which I know he attends. This puts a stain on the shirt of all professional artists that actually DO their commission work. Make certain everyone knows of these instances. I have been trying to contact him for a while and I know that he got me and at least one other victim just this year.

    • Mike W. says:

      I reported him to Pennsic, as well as to Ravencon. I don’t know that anything came of it. I will be attending L*C16 and D*C16 as an attending professional and I plan to wear a ‘Robert Quill Took My Money And I Didn’t Even Get A Free T-Shirt’ shirt.

      • Beth says:

        According to his wife, Rae, there was a theft recently and many of the sheets and info about his commissions were stolen. I have managed to get a hold of him through her about the artwork owed to me and another lady I met at the con.

        It’s bad business practice, but it looks like they’re now scrambling to get my stuff done. My suggestion is for everyone here who hasn’t gotten their work to contact bookings@robertquill.com so things can be worked out.

        It’s certainly his fault for biting off more than he can chew, but it seems as though there’s an effort being made now. If there’s someone to talk to to get on his ass, it’s Rae Enslin. But I’m still keeping a close eye on the progress bar, so to speak, I’m supposed to let the VP of Reed know how things are going, and I’ve been making i-weekly reports.

        So much goddamnwork for a commission. A part of me wants to just ask for the money back, but I don’t want to let this much effort just go to waste. And I don’t want to be bitter, I just want to make sure I’m not taken advantage of and AM taken seriously.

        • Mike M. says:

          I don’t accept the story of a recent theft of paperwork to be sufficient basis for years of failing to meet business commitments.

          There may have been a theft, it may be complicating his CURRENT order book, but Quill is a serial abuser of business trust.

          Caveat emptor.

          • Beth says:

            Quite right. For some reason my mind blanked out that this nonsense has been going on since at least 2011.

Your two cents appreciated: