Life is one big maze of people trying to take your money.

Yesterday I woke up, far too late than I would like to admit. Groggy from my slumber, I flailed my arm down by the side of my bed in search of computer. My daily routine, if I can call it that, is to check my phone or computer at some point, see if anyone still knows I’m here, that sort of thing. We all do it, check our gmail, check that instagram, check your messages, voicemails from drunks while you slept, the snap chats, or simply walking to your mailbox when you get home from work or school. We all look for that pat on the back, nod of approval, that basket of cookies and the ever popular birthday check. It’s the best feeling in the world, an unexpected treasure chest in your day. It’s when you get that feeling, only to have it ripped away without barely knowing you had something. That is what will really take the wind out of your lungs.

I get an email from

“Jackson Greene
Jan 4 (2 days ago)

to me
Hello There,
My name is Jackson Greene from Las Vegas. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I’m also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your Paintings available and ready for sale as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, i Will appreciate if you can give me the price quotes of any available works of yours ready for immediate sale,and let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
Thanks and best regards

Jackson”

Now I get these emails all the time. I LOVE getting these emails. This is basically an “I have money, I want your art, show me what you have available and I will buy one right away.” or an “I love your work, I want a commission, here is what I’m thinking.” They always catch me off guard and I still get a funny feeling, that awkward teen in the parking lot, cool kid A waves to cool kids B and C who HAPPEN to be right behind me. “Who ME?” It always gets me, a couple seconds or minutes at most, that some random person I have never seen before genuinely likes the art I make for fun, and not only that, they want to PAY me for it. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that particular part of this career, its just so darn fun to have big serious people PAY me for my imagination. Most of the time these emails make my day, my week, my month or year – Depending on the price-tags attached to them.

Yesterday however, this kind email from a caring, loving husband Jackson Greene from Las Vegas was nothing more than a SCAM.

I always have a habit of googling the random names attached to some of my art commissions or print purchases, trying to turn them into more than a linked grouping of letters. See if I can pick up on their vibe, hopefully pass it on in their commission. Most of the time it ends up as a guessing game with thousands of John Smiths. Yesterday turned out to be a little different. Jackson Greene from Las Vegas turned up a search result claiming him to be a scam artist, using the same email and same name. Apparently this dude will request art from somebody, pay in a check, but OVERPAY in the check they sent. They then ask you to send the excess through a Western Union money order, and then cancel the check. If you are an aspiring artist who’s lazy Tuesday gets blindsided by a big sale, you might get caught off guard. A lot of shady stuff going on here in cyber-space.

I have learned a lot from this experience though and hopefully I can pass it on to you.

1. GOOGLE SEARCH is a very very powerful tool when it comes to business, money, life in general. There is no reason you can’t type in a person’s name who you are about to exchange goods, services, your hard earned money with. It takes literally less than 5 seconds to do. Where any sort of money is concerned, just type in what you are doing and you would be surprised at some of the results. This includes finding deals, coupons, promo codes, or in my case, not doing business with a KNOWN scam artist.

2. Carry more physical stock of paintings. Most of my art, I will make for a particular reason, either a commission, or gift, or just to keep as my own. I have a fair amount, but not as many as I would like. Had this email been real, I feel like I don’t currently have a wide selection to choose from. I need smaller canvases, medium ones, and a few more large canvases kicking around.

3. Not only have more of them, have a BODY of work. I mean, have say, 8-10 paintings, all of them in the same style, same subject material, same medium, or same vibe. Had some interior designer hit me up and said “I need 6 paintings for this big room” there is no way I could provide 6 paintings that could tie a room together. They are all so random. 3 paintings of rappers, 2 mountain landscapes, 2 animals, a few spaceships, etc. I paint what I want, when I want, but don’t have the ability to unload a lot at once. This is something I am going to work on in the new year. whelp, you heard it here, I just made a resolution.

4. Learn and grow from mistakes and setbacks. Rather than get down on myself all day, I used this as a wake-up call of sorts. It shed some light on some things and I’m leaving the day with the money I had started with, a few things learned, and a painting still on my wall.