Posted by admin on 6 October 2023 04:24:54 PM (Edited by admin 3 months ago)
Hey everyone,

As you may have heard, Art Fight is currently undergoing a change in leadership. Takaia, who has been the owner of Art Fight for the last nine years, has made the decision to step down from this role and take on a support role behind the scenes. In her place, former admins Axel and classicturtle, will be stepping up as co-owners, alongside a third co-owner who will be introduced later on in the newspost.

Due to the ownership shift, Art Fight will be undergoing a series of changes in the upcoming months. Art Fight will be filed as an LLC, and will no longer be operating as a sole proprietorship. We have always been an entity that requires money to operate, but we will expand into focusing on things such as merch, sponsorships, and more site perks, to relieve the pressure for individual users to contribute financially.

Additionally, any monetary support provided to the site has been labeled as a donation up to now, and we apologize for the confusion this previous wording has caused. Art Fight is neither a charity nor is it legally classified as a non-profit entity. From this point onwards, what we previously called “donations” will instead be referred to as “contributions” to clear up and avoid any further confusion. The current donation page will be updated to reflect this in the coming weeks. 

We understand this change is a considerable one, and we’d like to address a few different aspects of the changes being made below.

Why did the administrators resign from staff during the fight?

On July 22nd, former admins Turtle and Axel resigned from the Art Fight team. Their reasons for doing so are as follows:

The site remained stagnant for years, and we were frustrated with the lack of paid, forward development. Although some smaller changes were made, we did not feel these changes were enough.

Financial transparency had broken down over the years.  The lack of communication to the staff team regarding financials attributed to this - even if it wasn’t done intentionally or maliciously.

As a result of this, we wanted to help the owner make the finances more transparent, oversee further expenses, and make sure that more of the money went into developing the site, rather than allowing the site to continue to stagnate. We weren’t given this opportunity, and this combined with the previous issues in communication led to feelings of frustration. Because of this, we no longer felt that we could continue working as volunteers with Art Fight unless there were considerable changes made, and we made the difficult decision to leave the team.

As admins, we did NOT have an issue with Takaia paying themself as the owner of Art Fight, and we sincerely believe people should be fairly compensated for the work that they do. While we understand there wasn’t ill intent behind anyone’s actions, the lack of transparency regarding financial issues and a lack of site development made us feel disjointed as a team and made it hard to perform our admin duties.

After multiple conversations about Art Fight and the future of the site, we have rejoined Art Fight staff upon reaching an agreement with Takaia to become two of the three new co-owners. We are excited for this opportunity to move forwards together and help Art Fight thrive!
As stated at the start, Takaia will be stepping back from her role as owner and will take on a support role for the site behind the scenes.  We will all continue to work together to support Art Fight and let it grow to its fullest potential.

We would also like to thank and apologize to the staff, especially those who continued to work during the end of the fight after the admins resigned, as we recognize the difficult position they were put into. Additionally, we would like to reiterate that harassment towards any involved individual is unwarranted and will not be tolerated. This includes the previous admins who stepped up to their positions after the current co-owners resigned as admins. They did so with the intent to help keep the site running, and they just did their best in a complicated situation. Please be understanding and respectful to all involved parties.

Any further harassment towards any involved individual for any reason will result in a ban.


Third Co-Owner✨

Our first big step in ensuring Art Fight’s stability is re-introducing Rainy back onto the team as the third Co-Owner. She has been an invaluable member of the Art Fight staff since 2015 and previously held the role of head admin, so we hope the community is as excited as we are to bring her back! Together we will be overseeing the site, its finances, and ensuring Art Fight’s growth safely as an equal entity.

Financials

Going forwards, we want to make an active effort to ensure there is transparency regarding Art Fight’s finances. With this in mind, we want to address some concerns regarding the past and present financial states of Art Fight as a whole. First and foremost, we do want to reiterate that Art Fight was a sole proprietorship. Takaia, as the owner, worked under this sole proprietorship for approximately $12/hr, which is far below living wage. As confirmed after review by the current co-owners, taxes (which we are unable to share publicly due to security and privacy concerns) were paid and accounted for on all of Art Fight’s income. While Art Fight will no longer be a sole proprietorship, we will still operate as an official business under an LLC.

All staff, at the time of applying and at the time of hiring, were aware of and agreed to the fact that their position was as a volunteer, and that they were not going to be receiving monetary compensation for their work. As of now, this will still be the case for all site and chat moderators, though we are open to exploring paid positions (both for moderators and for site developers, such as coders) sometime in the future.

Budget 2023 - 2024

While we begin planning for the site’s future years, we are taking into account the expected budget for 2023 and 2024.

We hope to release a news post specifically about this sometime in the coming months. This news post will include more information about Art Fight’s past and future financials, and details on our goals for the rest of 2023 and 2024. In addition to this, the financial goal bar will also return!

In the past, Art Fight has functioned entirely off of the generosity of volunteer site developers. But volunteer developers obviously cannot devote all their energy to fixing and updating the site for us. We plan to rely less on volunteer developers in the future, and allocate as much of our budget as we can to lowering server-side costs, which we can use to re-invest into additional, paid developer contracts. On that note, please give a warm welcome to stokori! Originally a volunteer developer, Stokori has rejoined the team, and will be transitioning into a paid developer role. 

Here are some of the things we want to implement this year and the coming year:

*This is by no means an exhaustive list, and is subject to change.
1. Hiring a paid developer, to help us do the following:

  • Improving overall site performance
  • Overhaul/improve current moderation tools
  • Implement new features for users and staff alike
2. Begin looking into merch, and more perks for site contributors
3. Preparing for a certain surprise to be released sometime during the winter season 👀

Feedback Forms

Like in the previous years, we want your feedback! There will be a general feedback form, as well as a UX feedback form. It isn’t required to fill these out, but we would definitely appreciate your input!

Art Fight 2023 Feedback Form
UX Feedback Form 
* The Art Fight 2024 Theme Poll will be released at a later date.

Before we conclude our news post however, we wanted to give you all a message from Art Fight’s former owner and founder:
I wanted to take a quick moment to apologize for communication deteriorating within the team towards the end of my time as owner of Art Fight. I never intended to let it break down like that, but good intentions don’t really excuse the fact that I let the team down. I also wanted to sincerely thank the staff who stayed behind to hold down the fort while things were sorted out at the end of the 2023 fight. You kept Art Fight alive, and I’m very grateful for that. I am, however, deeply sorry I put you in that position because I know how hard it was and I wish I hadn't put you through that.

As I’m stepping back and passing the helm to Rainy, Axel, and Turtle, I’m glad to be here to support them as they carry Art Fight into the future. I am endlessly grateful to ALL of the staff and users who supported myself and Art Fight through my time here. Thank you, everyone, for going on this adventure with me these past 9 years!
With that, we also wanted to thank you all for being patient with us as big changes happen behind the scenes.  We’re confident that Art Fight will continue to grow and we’re excited to see where things will go!




- classicturtle, Rainy, Axel

Edit (10/06/23): Hello! We noticed there were some questions about Takaia's future involvement with Art Fight, so we wanted to provide some clarification: 


  • Takaia's role as a staff member will exclusively be as a developer/coder for site features.
  • She is no longer involved in financials, staff decisions, or moderator actions.
  • As mentioned in the original newspost, we as now co-owners have access to Artfight's funds and can verify that the money from Art Fight's donations were not embezzled. More information regarding Art Fight's budget/financial situation will be provided in our upcoming budget newspost.

Comments (368)

I've read a lot of comments bringing up some genuine criticisms, especially the fact that Takaia will remain involved (Which I am a little concerned about myself), but I believe that you guys are doing the best that you can in this situation. I will continue to look forward to each art fight and support ya'll :)
To be honest. can Artfight remain free at least? it would keep the site in a better place.🙏
janpod said:
my wife left me
MoonGoth said:
why are people giving money at all? this should remain free and leave this as just a hobby art is a literal hobby not seen as a much needed job use FIVERR AS A WAY OF JOB! not Artfight, or delete ur account if you are looking for commissions, no one should give anything out tbh, my 5 cents but yea
Hi beankid

People are mad now - instead of at an earlier time - because the person responsible for handling where the money goes on this site came forward with a confession recently. You can read about it on this ToyHouse page: https://toyhou.se/~forums/11.general-off-topic/329219.artfight-negligence-and-worse-?page=67
Note that it hasn't been updated in around 3 months, but the information is relevant to the complaints seen in the comments.

Weather or not you conclude this is or isn't embezzlement is up to you, but if a user is upset due to their conclusions - money mismanagement / further site downgrades - they have every right to leave. This is not "drama." It's a serious breach in trust and - not that anyone's gonna do anything about it - potentially law.

Pushing a narrative that former users are overrating is moot. You already get what you want. We compromise by leaving.
beankid said:
Alrighty I’ve seen all this drama from people and the ones from post and surrounding it. I know I haven’t been here long but some people are dragging it too much. Like I know it’s a big deal with donations and using it for personal use. Some people do need it in circumstances. But going as far as leaving the sight? That seems a bit dramatic. You don’t know what this place will be like in the future till it shuts down then you’ll know that it went to the dogs to the point of collapse. For all we know a level of the funds were used for personal use the entirety of this and no one complained earlier and it only went downhill this year/really made an impact to change something THIS year? I mean I ain’t defending takaia I’m just questioning why anything major like this hasn’t happened earlier/why people are leaving now.

But I’m still in high hopes of seeing next year and more games 
I just don’t see a good point of leaving when we just got a staff change for the better of this sight. For a better situation of dealing with funds, and fun.
What is the point?
Anyways I hope everything is going well for Artfight and can’t wait for another year 
i really never understood this drama, and trying to understand it is super difficult but i'm hoping things will be improving for the site either way
i will still try to participate each year, since art fight is something i really look forward to
I don't know about you, but Takaia still must go, no matter what. She has almost ruined everything you all worked on, and yet you allow her to remain directly affiliated with Art Fight, on top of DENYING accountability of her actions? How am I going to take you seriously then?

I refuse to join another event in the future and giving any single cent to your platform (which I haven't from since I joined anyway) until you deal with her and other problems that have plagued this website the way you should have.
i only just got around to reading this as i wasn't aware a news post was made until now. this really rubs me the wrong way and i am disappointed by this response. the fact that takaia is staying on the team despite mishandling donations strikes me as really shitty. seems like a slap on the wrist punishment. i think that if it was clear from the start that takaia was getting a cut of the money this would be a different story, but she took donations for the betterment of the site for herself (and yet the site still runs like shit, who woulda thunk it). i don't care that it wasn't *technically* embezzlement it's still misleading and she hasn't even apologized, just shifted blame on "communication issues" and trying to write off what she did as justifiable based on financial issues. no accountability anywhere. very disappointing. as of right now and judging from this response, i don't trust that anything will be changing soon but this is a step in the right direction and i'm glad we will be seeing more transparency in the future. i'll have to think about whether i want to participate next year
pilby said:
meow
mawbyte said:
Wow its almost winter & no new announcement on the "event to come" shocking. Last minute like always, right? 
They didnt change the owner 😢 
Bruh finally this site is gonna have a maintenance 😂 maybe theyll change the owner idk
4nil said:
i read a LOT of comments up to this point, and you know, when there's a melting pot of comments that range from the lines of "lol whatever i'm outta here" to genuine criticisms, some even tackling what this whole fiasco represents to Takaia themself (whilst not excusing her actions)....
needless to say, this is a public relations apocalypse for you, staff, and you know that, what are you going to do from here?