Hi, I'm Zelaphas
Welcome! I’m an artist from Chicago and world traveler who now resides in Nantes, France.
I create original character illustrations and designs for a variety of products, from t-shirts to beer labels, stickers and more. Animals, fantasy creatures and other beasts are my favorite subjects. I tend to focus on teeth, claws, and wild hair in my semi-realistic beastly drawings.
I refer to my art and travels as a “journey,” much of which I share via the membership platform Patreon. You can also watch me bring my beasts to life through my regular Twitch streams.
⚠️NOTE: Due to the Covid19 pandemic, all of my event appearances for 2020 have been cancelled.
If you'd like to support me during this time to make up for lost event sales, you can buy me a coffee, purchase something from my shop, order a commission, or join my Patreon. Thank you!
Join my once-monthly mailing list to stay up to date with my events schedule.
I love bringing others’ characters and imaginations to life. Below are some of the most common, and simpler, projects I offer. Open a chat with me if you don't find a project that fits your idea or if you are looking for something larger or more complex (such as beer labels or shirt designs).
Prices are in USD and Euro and may be re-assessed every 3 months (typically at the end of January, April, July, and October). Quotes are good for 4 months from the moment they are delivered.
B&W Symmie Icons
B&W Dark Symmie Portraits
Cartoony character portraits for use in Telegram or as expression examples
First sticker: $28/25€
Every sticker thereafter: $17/15€
Buy 6 stickers and get 1 free.
*Due to event cancellations, My Patreon- and Event-exclusive ink cards are now available in my Etsy shop. Quantities are still very limited! Be sure to +follow my shop to catch when they're made available.
Expression Sketches (x 3)
OPEN, DELAYED DELIVERY
Contact me for a quote
Ordering a commission
📌 How can I be notified when you open for commissions?
There are three great ways to stay up to date about my art:
📌 How do I order a commission?
Follow these easy steps:
We’ll have a short and fun conversation about what you had in mind and how best I can bring it to life.
After we’ve discussed the project and I’ve given you a quote, if you’re ready to proceed I’ll send you an invoice via PayPal.
Unless otherwise discussed, I will start work on the project once payment is received. Depending on the commission you’ve ordered, I’ll be in touch regarding concepts or work-in-progress previews. More details on this are below.
*Please note if you message me via Telegram that I cannot always respond immediately. My clients come from all over the world and your time zone may not match up with mine. Additionally, I take my work hours very seriously and may not respond or keep our conversation brief during them. I aim to respond to all inquiries within two business days.
I will also email any important Telegram notes to your email. This is to ensure there is a permanent record of our discussion, as both parties in a chat have the ability to delete conversations on Telegram.
📌 I don’t have a reference sheet of my character. Is that okay?
Absolutely! Some of my best commissions have been done without reference sheets. If you have a clear text description of your character, or a “mood board” of images that capture your idea, those will work just fine. Please bear in mind that without a clear reference or specific details, artistic liberty will be taken in bringing your idea to life. Most of my clients have been very happy with the results.
📌 I definitely want to commission you, but I’m not sure what I want. Can you come up with something yourself, or help me decide?
Sure! I actually greatly enjoy coming up with concepts, or learning about your characters and figuring out what sort of scene they might find themselves in. Some clients have been pleasantly surprised with ideas I’ve come up with on my own without much input. It’s entirely up to you how much loose or specific direction you want to provide. I’m very confident you’ll be happy with the results.
📌 What themes do you work with best? I want my commission to come out amazing!
I love fantasy themes, especially those involving adventurous travels or wandering merchants. Sorcerers, fortune tellers, alchemists, and other magical professions are always a delight. I’m happy to illustrate fighting warriors or skilled archers.
I also enjoy all things monstrous and snarly. If you have a werewolf or other beast and want them illustrated looking their most evil and menacing, count me in!
Craft beer and Irish-style pubs and taverns are a favorite topic of mine.
My interests aren’t limited to the above themes, and even if your idea falls outside my general interests I always promise to give each of my clients my best possible work.
📌 What themes do you dislike or outright refuse to work with?
I do not take “NSFW” or otherwise erotic commissions. I have nothing against these themes, but just don’t want such work in my portfolio at this time.
I dislike typical “furry” characters or body proportions. By this I mean characters that look like a normal human but with a husky head and tail added. However, please note that plenty of people with such characters have deliberately commissioned me to provide a different interpretation of their character. I’m almost always happy to spin your character in my style.
Mundane scenes, such as staring at a smart phone, walking down a street in a city, being in a modern home, etc. or contemporary clothing (jeans and a shirt) may bore me or not bring out my best work.
I may not be the best artist for pregnant or plus-sized characters.
I refuse all work and clients that discriminate against others based on their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.
Paying for a commission
📌 What payment methods do you accept?
I prefer payment via PayPal. When using PayPal, I will send you an invoice. Never initiate payment with me; Please wait to receive my invoice.
At conventions and events, cash in the local currency is accepted. I can also currently process credit card payments via my PayPal Here (payment will be processed in USD) or SumUp reader (payment will be processed in Euros).
If PayPal is not an option for you, please discuss with me other possible ways to pay. In the past, I have accepted other online means such as Google Pay or even Amazon gift cards, but now that my business in based in France I must ensure compliance with local laws, first.
📌 Do I get a discount on a large commission for using a sketch I purchased earlier from a “Sketch Pomodoro” slot?
Short answer is…maybe; Sketch Pomodoros are considered stand-alone items and don’t always contribute towards the cost of a larger commission. There are also circumstances where a requested sketch from these time slots might not be suitable for a requested commission type; for example if a scene is requested but the sketch is posed in such a way that it won’t fit in any scene, or if the sketch is old it may no longer fit my skill level or style. In some cases, I may discount the cost of a commission if you’ve already funded the concept sketch, in particular if artistic liberty is given in fleshing out the rest of the commission.
📌 Do you offer any other discounts?
Yes! My patrons get a gradually increasing percentage off both my online shop and my commission quotes depending on their pledge level and how long they have been on my journey. You can join my journey today and, depending on your pledge, immediately earn a discount on your commission!
I also offer an increasing discount if you’re a repeat customer. After you’ve ordered and I’ve completed a first commission for you, your second, third, fourth, etc. commissions from me may earn a discount!
All discounts on commissions are offered at my discretion and may not apply to all commission offerings.
📌 I checked the latest conversion rates and your dollar/euro comparison isn’t right.
Conversion rates between different currencies fluctuate all the time (literally by the second in some cases!). The prices displayed on my commission page are what I am comfortable receiving in either currency and reflect the time and skill put into my work.
My prices may be adjusted every 3 months. Be sure to check my commission listings regularly, or feel free to ask me for details at any time.
📌 Can I send you a tip?
Tips are always welcome and appreciated! You may add a tip to your PayPal invoice, or toss a gold coin in my hat via my Ko-Fi.
Commission edits and work-in-progress (WIP) updates
📌 What is a "concept" or "concept sketch"?
A concept is a rough sketch to flesh out an idea for your commission. It may look like a thumbnail showing the rough composition of your whole piece, or a little bit beyond a 'stick figure' showing a possible pose or interaction with objects for your character. You might be given more than one concept to choose which pose or details or composition you prefer.
📌 What does it mean if concepts are “included” or not?
The commission types listed on my Commission page indicate if a concept sketch is included or not, and how many. If they’re included, this means I will send you the corresponding number of concept sketches for you to choose from before starting your commission.
Concept sketches are typically not included for commissions under $100 or for many of my traditional media pieces.
📌 What is an "edit"?
An edit is a change you request to a WIP or concept sketch that I've shown you. If I'm drawing a wolf, you might request me to 'edit' the tail to be longer or have the ears pointing forward instead of back.
📌 What does it mean if edits are “included” or not?
You are automatically allowed to request changes to your approved concept sketch before a commission begins (e.g. change a character’s arm so it’s pointing in a different direction), even if no edits have otherwise been included.
Depending on your commission type, you may be allowed another chance to preview the image and request edits. Some edits might be specified to only happen after a certain step in the creation process (for example, you can request edits after the first coloring stage of a Banner Animal to make sure I have the colors correct), or will be discussed with me on when would be appropriate to pause for an edit review.
Please note that not all requested edits can be made or may only be offered with an additional fee. These are typically for major edits, such as changing a character’s entire outfit after it is already drawn or asking for a different light source after the scene is already shaded.
📌 What if I want more edits?
Edits on an already in-progress commission, which aren’t included in the agreed-upon contract (as outlined in my invoice to you), are charged at my hourly rate indicated in my TOS.
📌 Where can I see updates or WIPs on my commission?
My patrons on my Patreon get to see WIPs of nearly all of my work unless discussed and agreed-upon otherwise for a particular commission. I also often share WIPs with my public Telegram chat.
I will share our agreed-upon number of edits with you via your preferred communication method. Telegram works best for me, but I’m happy to share over Discord or Email as well.
📌 Can I request edits while I watch you livestream my commission?
The short answer is no, and there are many reasons for this.
I don’t always have the best connection when I stream, or I deliberately choose to avoid distractions, and have any means of chatting with viewers turned off while I stream. I may miss yours and others’ comments while I draw!
Requesting edits in the middle of a work session, especially a live one, can drastically distract and slow down my overall progress. It’s best to wait until specifically prompted (for example, if I pause while drawing and ask you what you think) or for our agreed-upon edit rounds, which are typically discussed privately over your preferred communication method.
Finally, my live streams are meant to serve as both entertainment for my fans and a means of promoting myself and my art. Getting several edit requests in the middle of my “show” harms both of those things. I aim to keep open and honest communication with all of my clients and take their problems seriously, but any problems (including needing to adjust something for your commission) are best handled privately first.
All of that said, minor issues that should be obvious to both of us can generally be called out. For example, if you’ve given me a clear guide about your character’s design that includes, say, that they carry a black satchel, and you see me coloring it yellow, you can feel free to point that out while I’m streaming.
📌 How soon will my commission be completed?
The 2020 Covid19 pandemic impacted (and continues to impact) me in many ways. It was emotionally disruptive to see my business plans for conventions and expanding my online shop completely ended by global lockdowns and shipping closures or delays. This emotional impact combined with shifting my business strategy from merchandise-focused art to commission-based art has lead to some delays this year. I appreciate your patience as well as your patronage during this time. That said...
My goal for all individual commissions (with rare exceptions) is to complete them within two weeks. I may take on large batches of commissions at conventions or when running a promotion, in which case it may take me 1-3 months to get through my commission queue.
If you have a specific deadline for your commission you must discuss this with me when ordering it. I will be honest if I feel I can meet your deadline or not. Meeting your deadline, particularly if it involves jumping ahead of others in my queue, may involve additional charges as outlined in my TOS.
📌 For Sketch Pomodoro slots, how do you measure a “half hour”?
I use the Toggl timer app to record my time. I only include drawing time and stop the timer during breaks, including short pauses to stretch.
📌 What are “badge-ready” adjustments?
Badges, or images of a character with its name prominently displayed, are a popular item to wear at conventions. Where indicated in my commission guide, I’m happy to adjust a digital file so that it can be printed and made into a badge. This typically includes adding the character name (either with a font or my handwriting), and may include adding a frame or other simple background around the character. These adjustments do not come with edits. You may request edits at my hourly rate as detailed in my TOS.
📌 What files do I get with a digital commission?
You will get a “web” friendly version which includes my watermark and is shrunken in size both to protect the media from theft and for ease of loading online. You will also be sent a hi-res, watermark-free version for your personal, non-commercial use. It is requested that this version is kept private and not shared online. See my full terms on your usage rights here.
At your request, I can prepare a transparent .PNG version or other file changes depending on the nature of the file and how the composition is set up. I can also crop the file at your request. I can do some of these requests for free but may charge a fee for several or more complex requests.
📌 How will I receive my commission?
I will send you the file(s) for your digital commission based on your preferred communication method (for example, if we’ve been discussing your commission over Telegram, I will send you the files through there). If you prefer to receive your commission another way, just let me know.
Traditional commissions can be mailed to your shipping address or picked up at my next event.
After the commission is complete
📌 Can I make prints of the commission I ordered from you?
The short answer is no; My commissions do not come with printing rights. Please refer to my TOS for more details, including how you can purchase printing rights for yourself.
I do not mind if my clients make up to 5 prints of their commission for personal use (among friends and family) only.
📌 That was amazing! I want to order from you again. Do repeat customers get anything special?
Thank you! Yes, as mentioned above, I love repeat customers and offer them an increasing discount if they order another commission from me. Please see my commission page or feel free to ask me for more details.
If you enjoyed your commission, I may ask if you’d be willing to provide a testimonial. Your testimonials greatly help in promoting myself, not to mention are a welcome ego boost.
Need to get in touch? Whether you’re ordering a commission, have a question or just want to say hi, I’m all ears.
I aim to respond to all inquiries within two business days.
Terms of Service
Although my artwork is usually suitable for a general audience, I do not accept commissions of any kind from minors, defined as those to be under 18 years of age.
Agreement to these terms
Upon hiring me to complete a piece (defined by establishing a written agreement and paying the first or full payment), the client agrees to the terms outlined below. These terms are subject to change, however any clients will be notified ahead of time. Any terms agreed upon prior to the start of a project shall hold for that individual project unless otherwise discussed with the client.
Unique terms for individual projects may be discussed in writing, typically over email. In such cases, those terms supplement the terms described here and hold for their designated projects.
The terms described here hold unless otherwise communicated between myself and the client. Unique terms supplemental to those described here must be documented (via email, text, chat client, or other digital and recordable means), with confirmation replies from both client and myself.
Paper receipts shall suffice as documentation of supplemental terms and agreements where email communication is inconvenient or unnecessary, such as conventions and events. I encourage clients to make digital facsimiles of paper receipts, e.g. via cameras, smartphones or scanners.
Quotes are valid up to 4 months after they are delivered in writing.
Ownership & Display of Work
I retain the rights to display any completed work in my personal galleries as portfolio samples unless otherwise discussed and agreed-upon with the client.
The client holds the same rights to display my work at their discretion, provided it is not in a place or manner that is harmful to my name, brand or reputation, and provided that I am listed as the creator of the piece in a clearly displayed way.
I also retain the right to use rejected WIPs or thumbnail sketches in new pieces including new commissions with other clients, share WIPs or early access with my paying patrons on Patreon, live stream work on commissions via Twitch, YouTube, Twitter/Periscope or other means, unless otherwise discussed and agreed-upon with the client.
I reserve the right to create and sell prints or other duplications of completed work unless otherwise discussed and agreed-upon with the client in writing.
The client does not have permission to duplicate or sell duplications my works in any way unless otherwise discussed and agreed-upon in writing.
If the client would like the right to modify completed works they have purchased (e.g. add color to an inked piece), this must be discussed with me for written confirmation and permission.
The client is free to sell traditional-medium commissions, such as sketches or inks on paper (e.g. if the original is a physical item).
I frequently get asked about using my work (commissioned or not) as tattoos. Here is my general policy around that:
Please contact me first for permission in using one of my designs as a tattoo.
Send a Ko-Fi tip for use of the tattoo, become a patron on Patreon, OR buy something in my shop (see links below).
Send me a photo after you have the tattoo finished. It doesn’t need to include your face or any revealing details, I’d just like something to share on my social networks.
Payments are to be made via PayPal, or SumUp or cash if in-person. Refunds will be made in the same mode cash was received unless otherwise discussed with the client.
Additional fees do not apply to the vast majority of my commissions. Please ask if you are unsure.
Certain circumstances may warrant an additional fee or charge. These are outlined below and are subject to change, and may be altered or waivered at my discretion. In some cases, more than one fee applies. Other fees not listed here may apply. All fees will be discussed with the client prior to commencing the project.
|Fee/Charge||Conditions||Cost added to quoted commission price|
|Rush delivery||Your commission must be delivered in 7 days or less.||+100% if jumping 0-5 others in my queue, +200% if jumping 6+ others in my queue|
|Quick delivery||Your commission must be delivered in 15 days or less.||+50% only if jumping others in my queue|
|Ownership/Printing rights||You would like ownership and printing rights of the commissioned piece. Unless otherwise discussed, I retain the right to advertise the piece and display it in my portfolio.||+350€|
|Private Commission until completion/certain date||You do not want your commission to be revealed to the public (via WIPs, livestreaming or sharing with my Patrons) until the piece is fully complete or after a certain date within a year or less from completion.||+20%|
|Totally Private Commission||You do not want your commission to be revealed to the public by myself at any point in time (i.e. I do not get to advertise or display it in my portfolio, nor sell prints).||+100% and +350€|
Edits & Completion
Work on any project does not begin until first or full payment is received and both client and myself have agreed to the project and terms in writing.
Small projects (typically those quoted at €100 or under) such as sketches and day-of orders (e.g. those ordered & delivered at conventions or other events) are to be paid in full and completed without any edits. Edits may be impossible after such orders are completed depending on mediums used and the nature of the project.
Larger projects may be broken into smaller payments with a preview or progress view after each of the first payment(s) and final product delivered after the final. Written communication between client and myself will describe how payments correspond to previews and how many previews are allowed in a given project.
Previews and other works-in-progress images may be displayed on my Patreon for my paying patrons, and may be delivered to the client at my own discretion unless otherwise agreed upon in writing.
Any edits requested outside of what has been agreed upon in writing between client and myself are billed at an hourly rate of €35.
At conventions and events, I aim to complete pieces before noon of the final day of the event, or by an hour before close of a one-day event. I promise free shipping on any orders ordered at conventions or events that I cannot complete before this deadline.
All other deadlines must be requested by the client and agreed-upon by myself in writing. If no deadlines are discussed, I will complete work as soon as possible.
If the project does have a deadline, client must respond to my questions or requests for feedback in a timely manner (within 2 business days) during the project. Failure to respond will relieve me from liability to meet the deadline by a full 2 weeks per delayed response.
Should I fail to meet an agreed-upon deadline for which I am liable, I will discuss the matter with the client. The client owns any and all paid work for their project, in progress or completed, by the point of the deadline. If paid-for work is not in a suitable state of completion as agreed upon in writing, I will discuss potential refunds with the client.
Shipping & Delivery
I offer free shipping to any custom orders placed at conventions or events that I cannot complete before the event is over. If the commission is completed within an hour before close of a one-day event or before noon of the final day of a longer event, the client is responsible for picking up their commission before the event is over.
The client is otherwise responsible for any shipping costs should they choose to receive the original of their ordered piece, where applicable.
All clients will receive a hi-res, 300 dpi scan of their project where applicable and when I have resources available (e.g. I may not have access to a scanner at conventions and events, or a project may be too large for conventional scanners).
Information I Collect
To fulfill your order or complete a commission for you, you must provide me with certain information, such as your name, email address, postal address, payment information, and the details of the product or for the commission that you’re ordering.
Why I Need Your Information and How I Use It
I rely on a number of legal bases to collect, use, and share your information, including:
as needed to provide my services, such as when I use your information to fulfill your order, work on your commission to settle disputes, or to provide customer support;
when you have provided your affirmative consent, which you may revoke at any time, such as by signing up for my mailing list;
if necessary to comply with a legal obligation or court order or in connection with a legal claim, such as retaining information about your purchases if required by tax law; and
as necessary for the purpose of my legitimate interests, if those legitimate interests are not overridden by your rights or interests, such as providing and improving my services. I use your information to provide the services you requested and in my legitimate interest to improve my services.
Information Sharing and Disclosure
Information about my customers is important to my business. I share your personal information for very limited reasons and in limited circumstances, as follows:
Service providers. I engage certain trusted third parties to perform functions and provide services to my shop, such as delivery companies. I will share your personal information with these third parties, but only to the extent necessary to perform these services.
Compliance with laws. I may collect, use, retain, and share your information if I have a good faith belief that it is reasonably necessary to: (a) respond to legal process or to government requests; (b) enforce my agreements, terms and policies; (c) prevent, investigate, and address fraud and other illegal activity, security, or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property, and safety of my customers, or others.
Transfers of Personal Information Outside the EU
I may store and process your information through third-party hosting services in the US and other jurisdictions. As a result, I may transfer your personal information to a jurisdiction with different data protection and government surveillance laws than your jurisdiction. If I am deemed to transfer information about you outside of the EU, I rely on Privacy Shield as the legal basis for the transfer, as Google Cloud is Privacy Shield certified.
Specific third-party platforms which I use
I use the following platforms to store your data in the following ways in order to run my business, complete commissions, and fulfill orders:
Gmail: I may communicate with you via Gmail, and our conversations and all contents therein will be retained within our private email conversations.
Telegram: I may communicate with you via Telegram in private conversation and we may share files, images, or your personal shipping details with one another.
Trello: I may share your alias and image files on public-facing Trello board in order to track my commission orders and progress. If you have specified you wish your commission to remain private, I will use a placeholder name and image instead.
If you reside in certain territories, including the EU, you have a number of rights in relation to your personal information. While some of these rights apply generally, certain rights apply only in certain limited cases. I describe these rights below:
Access. You may have the right to access and receive a copy of the personal information I hold about you by contacting me using the contact information below.
Change, restrict, delete. You may also have rights to change, restrict my use of, or delete your personal information. Absent exceptional circumstances (like where I am required to store data for legal reasons) I will generally delete your personal information upon request.
Object. You can object to (i) my processing of some of your information based on my legitimate interests and (ii) receiving marketing messages from me after providing your express consent to receive them. In such cases, I will delete your personal information unless I have compelling and legitimate grounds to continue using that information or if it is needed for legal reasons.
Complain. If you reside in the EU and wish to raise a concern about my use of your information (and without prejudice to any other rights you may have), you have the right to do so with your local data protection authority.
How to Contact Me
For purposes of EU data protection law, I, Dana “Zelaphas” Teixeira, am the data controller of your personal information. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my website.