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Posted by admin on 6 October 2023 04:24:54 PM (Edited by admin 2 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.


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 (366)

JC1234TheToonist Don't bother arguing with some of these people. They're here to shut down valid complaints from the community by taking the least severe of our concerns and acting like we're blowing the situation out of proportion.
I'm sure a 12-letter word is only the least of our problems.
They did say "in the coming weeks" the things they stated arent just gonna happen as theyre working on coding the site to do the fixes which *may or may not happen* but that doesnt mean you have to point it out just bc it hasnt yet
kay this is a dumb nitpick but something's not working as promised.

What it says:
"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."

What it actually looks like:
I want to take this in good faith, especially as someone who's donated multiple years by scraping together the pennies I make on disability to try and help the site thrive.

Because it mattered a lot to me in some of my worst times.

I don't see myself donating a cent for another few years until there's hard proof that honest effort and care is put into this event; because the vibes this year were absolutely rancid.

From one person on disability about another; do better.
I'm glad to see you all working to keep everything running smoothly. Keep up the good work.   
SupaArtz said:
oh dang i need a tldr for this /joke
Camy said:
Almost the end of the month and still no budget news post.

I always found it odd that this site went down year after year since I've joined was fishy, but more so when finding out that Takaia was taking out a big sum of money that could've been to the server costs and boosts.  The so called "server boosts" this site has had the past years have done nothing at all to help and I can see why. 

The solution isn't to run MORE events. 

The solution first and foremost is hire someone who knows how to develop and network for the site instead.  The so called server upgrades have been just empty promises with no difference the past years.  It's not an upgrade if it still causes the same issue.  Get someone who knows how to do this and pay them for their work (which I see noted, good, this should be priority #1).  Use the donations for that, as it should've done a long time ago as a promise. 

Keeping Takaia on the team also doesn't sit well with me and that's with pushing the legal reasons aside.  Nor do I find the "can verify that the money from Art Fight's donations were not embezzled" at all promising when she took money out for her own personal gain.  The fact that I have to even explain this that it does count as embezzlement due to the fact that all donations are and were promised to go to site exclusively leaves very little faith and trust on staying on this site because not only is the new admin ownership saying she didn't.  Takaia herself has admitted to embezzling funds over a time period for her own gain.

In short: Do NOT keep Takaia on the team after her actions.  Keeping her on is not a wise choice.
Vallien_Fulki - first of all, please do not take my words as disagreement towards what you are saying about embezzlement/etc. I am not defending any wrongdoing with this post, but to say that Takaia has received zero consequences is a bit silly.

through this entire experience, takaia has: 

  •  nearly completely killed off art fight as a sustainable business/event/whatever else you'd like to call it.
  • this also means that she nearly ruined art fight itself, as a community, a tradition, etc - which is devasting for many people who have been participating for almost a decade now.
  • lost her ownership over a business/event she has been running for quite some time
  • lost her reputation & trust of the general public of this community. and probably permanently, at that. the internet never forgets.
  • lost (likely) more than half of her staff during the event itself, which was a very crucial time.
  • had to deal with the onslaught of harassment from thousands of users for at least half of the event while having to continue to try to keep the event afloat.
  • lost her source of income(? - i may be wrong? i am not sure about this one.)

i could be wrong about a few of these things, i may be forgetting details on everything thats happened. please don't nitpick to correct it, but generally, you get the idea of my point here hopefully ^^

there have been consequences, a lot of them. being in the spotlight for thousands of angry customers, potential lawsuits, and a giant angry community that never forgives or forgets judging you is one of the worst things a lone person could withstand. the consequences here are huge as is. you can believe there should be further consequences here of course, but i wouldn't call all this "zero consequences"

on top of all this, there still could be legal issues coming up. we don't know much yet! 
lunarhallow  exactly, if she was honest from the start this wouldn't be as much of an issue of embezzling money

on the 1st spoiler of this post is her practically admitting that she embezzled money, this post also helps the claim ironically "As admins, we did NOT have an issue with Takaia paying themself as the owner of Art Fight"

also to mention that is Likely a CRIME she committed and yet she gets ZERO consequences for her dishonesty
What EdenParadise said is exactly the issue. We put our money towards keeping the site functioning and helping it run better during events. It still doesn't run during events. Last time Taka spoke about it via the news, here, it's specified that she -does- take a -small- compensation. The screenshot going around of her admitting to taking money has her claiming she took 24k. Even if that's not a livable wage, that's not a small amount when in the same news post I linked above, she claimed the server costs were 7000. Edit: I missed part of it, it was the image hosting that was 7000 and server costs themselves were 6k, totalling 13k. It's still almost doubled the server costs themselves, which isn't a small amount of money.

If the screenshot is real, and I have yet to see anyone claim it isn't, there was enough money to put into the site to improve it and there were no improvements. There's no reason for the site to be crashing so badly on event day when you still have at least 2x the total server cost in funding, if not more. 

I have no issue with part of my money going towards the site admin, and the staff itself. That helps run the site, that's fine. But Taka has been skirtting around this issue for a long time and hasn't been fully honest about it. I would love to keep contributing as I want to see this site flourish, but I would need to see where my money is going and actually see the site improve.

One more edit: There should be no plans to do a second artfight until the site is in a position to hold up during the entirety of ONE event. 
no one knew takaia was paying herself though, everyone thought 100% of funds were being used to support / improve artfight
the site said (& still currently says) that donation money is used to fund "the domain name, server hosting, and other website expenses of Art Fight," with any extra remaining money going towards site development / new features. both the donation section of the FAQ as well as the actual donation page say this (or a variation of it), & at no point is a salary mentioned
alot of users probably wouldnt have minded her having a salary if she was just honest in the first place
myiuse said:
There seems to be some? confusion? over what's happening here. So, Takaia was getting paid for being the owner, and made it clear that all other positions were volunteer, (ei, not paid.) This means that the contributions weren't "stolen," the owner of Art Fight just had a salary and the rest went to Art Fight. Although, as seen, the funds going towards Art Fight weren't really progressing the site in any way (it still crashes about 50 times every year.) Now Takaia is stepping down. They said that they were "exploring" paid moderator and coding positions, and only named one new paid developer. This means that Takaia might not be getting a paid position when everything is sorted out. I think we can assume the new three co-owners will get paid too, but because Art Fight isn't making millions of dollars as is, I think it's safe to say any paid position is going to be less than $12/per hour going forward lol.
giratinaswife that's still generally not against the rules though! your rewards are your points for each attack, not a revenge. and while yeah i get it's kinda weird for people to advertise and not actually attack, but you never know if that person had something else going on irl that suddenly made them unavailable! it could be anything. 

imo, if i attack someone and i see that they don't do any attacks at all, i just consider it a win on my end anyway because my team gets free points, basically - that's just how i look at it personally.

but at the end of the day, you can just not attack that person anymore! there's ratio stats, attack counts, etc -  you can clearly see if someone's been active during the event, so if you feel you want to avoid people like that, it's fine! it's no good attempting to say that it needs to be "fixed", as that person mentioned

i understand that stuff might be frustrating, but it's really not in the spirit of art fight to complain about that stuff either, as the rule states! ^^; no one should be made to feel bad just because they weren't able to have the motivation to draw as much as they had intended for the event.  ( and no one should be doubted and assumed that they were just doing it with ill intent, either! )