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Catherine Isabella

This is the unremarkable story of a cute puppy that was used to perpetrate an art scam on an unsuspecting dolt of an artist.


Short Version: I drew this dog. A pet portrait commission. I call it 'Catherine Isabella'.

Painted pet portrait commission

Long Version: So, at the start of summer '23, I received a message on Instagram asking about whether I do commissioned art for people's pets.

I said, "Yeah, I'm open for commissions. What would you like to have done?"

The inquisitor said she'd like to have an 11x14 portrait of her daughter's dog.

Sketch of a pet dog for commission art

She fell in love with my work and wanted her daughter's pet portraited in my style.

It's always nice to get a compliment like that from a new client.

She offered $500 for it - which was great because that was roughly in the area I was thinking (no lower than 3, but upwards 5).


Conversation with a Paypal art scammer
Originally, the inquisitor had a photo and a name

BUT, it was a scam.

Ah, you probably caught on to it before I finished writing this sentence, didn't you?

But I didn't catch it quite so fast because I'm stupid!

Just joking. Sort of.

Actually, my family was dealing quite a few distractions at the time.

Like my recent unemployment from my web design job (but still working for them PT as offsite designer), and my wife's car accident replete with wrecked/totaled car, physical therapy, insurance issues and an uncooperative second party that was responsible for the crash. (BTW, she's doing okay, and we got a new car).

And on top of that, believe it or not, a cleverer job scam assisted with the help of an A.I. artificial intelligence app to make my fake hiring totally convincing to an easy-mark-dolt like me (even had a fully fleshed out employee manual and onboarding documents) was happening simultaneously.

I thought, "Finally! A lucky break as a remote graphic designer with a cool company like Vital Design out of New Hampshire!"

Turns out they don't offer remote graphic design positions...but that's another story.

Sketch of pet dog art commission

So, how did I catch on that this was a scam?

Well, I didn't really.

The scammer just simply disappeared.

I had already done the prelim sketch.

I thought the client was no longer interested or I had taken too long to get back to her with my initial sketch. (Was only a week to get back to her, sheesh).

It wasn't until a week after I caught the other job scammer that I discovered the art scam.

She/he wrote this intro line, and I got curious and Googled it and discovered that other artists were being targeted with a near-verbatim pickup line as well:

"I want you to draw a picture of my daughter’s pet for her. went through your page and I think I just fell in love with your art work . I want you to draw a picture of her pet which will have his name written on it I’m offering you $500 for the artwork"

So yeah, I was bummed.

How many times can you kick a guy when he's down?

I decided I'd finish it anyway.

It's good practice and doing art helps to forget about your troubles.


Random nameless cute puppy, your portrait shall be dubbed, 'Catherine Isabella', after the fake name the anonymous scammer chose to con me with.


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