Fiverr Forum

Is it "Art", or is is just a software click?


Just got another disappointing “art” piece, which turned out to be just a photoshop filter applied to the photo I sent. The seller’s samples surely looked like hand-done, original art, but my result was just altering my photo by software.

Result looks “OK”, and I left positive feedback since SOME work was done, but can’t there be some way to make sure sellers who promise to do art are doing more than running a photo through a filter - which I could have done myself in a few seconds.

Note that I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated several great art pieces from Fiverr sellers, but others just don’t seem to care about accurately describing the difference between “painting a watercolor” as opposed to “making a photo look sort-of like a watercolor via software”.


There are very few people on Fiverr who are actually going to paint a photo by hand for $5 when they can run it through software. Ultimately, you could ask the seller about their methods, but there is no guarantee they will be honest.

Ask for samples and use them to judge whether or not you want to work with them, if you feel their work didn’t live up to what you were expecting/led to believe you would get, request a refund :slight_smile:


Did you only pay $5? If so, then that’s just how it rolls. I can’t do crap on Photoshop so that would be more than I can do. If, however, you paid over $5 I wouldn’t have given them a good review until they did something more.


One way you can test an artist to see if they're really that talented/willing to slave away to complete it, is by asking them for a portrait commission they've done as well as the reference they used (most artists won't mind being asked, I think?). Overlay the art piece on a layer that's on top the original in photoshop/GIMP then play around with with opacity a bit. If the portrait fits to a tee (even the hairs line up), it's most likely a fake.


Reply to @kjblynx: what do you think digital painting is to some people? The terminology is all relevent nowadays. Someone says they will “photoshop” a photo, well there are a ton of software apps that will create that look automatically through filters.

To be honest, for you or anyone else getting “art”, I would always ask about their methods.


Art is actually a passion of mine offline. I know most of my gigs revolve around writing, but as a person who does the occasional commission I like nothing more than when potential buyers ask me for samples of my artwork at the $5, $10, $20, or beyond range and ask all sorts of questions.

Sadly though, for $5 you’re probably not going to get much. But any artist worth time and money will be upfront in what they’re capable of producing for $5, as most operate on a dollar per hour mentality if they intend to make a living off of it.


It goes to say that you get what you pay for. At the 5.00 price point, there is no way I’d hand paint a photo… that said, the seller should be upfront with you. And I’d make sure to ask questions before hand.


Is this clear enough?

“Ever wish you could have paintings or artistic versions made of your favorite quality photos? Well I can do the next closest thing for you. Using multiple applications and manual image editing, I will digitally process your photo into an exciting work of art.

These renderings are best created from high resolution images and are best suited for large (8 x 10 to 24 x 36 inches) format prints.”


artemist said: Result looks "OK", and I left positive feedback since SOME work was done,
If the work provided wasn't as described, the seller should have been asked to revise, if they refused, or didn't 'fix' it, a detailed negative review should have been left.

I'm not attacking you at all, @artemist, I just don't understand why so many buyers are willing to give positive reviews for sub-par, incomplete, or falsely advertised work here, versus in the real world.

Of course there is a value-to-cost ratio, but if I have a contract with a plumber to replace my sink for $25 and he hands me a bucket and a jug of water, the last thing I'm going to do is publicly praise his work because he at least showed up and it was "only $25, after all".

Buyers and sellers should take more responsibility for the reputation of this place instead of just complaining that it's going to hell in a hand basket.


In my case it was “just” $10 upfront, and the watercolor effect I got was a different filter than I’ve seen before, with some fade-outs around the edges to look like it is painted on paper. So better than average for a “filter job”, and worth some payment. And I will be using it in some way in the future, so as a proponent of the idea of picking one’s battles, this is not the best one to fight about. My rant is more about the rampant lack of clarity in listings, and how widespread it is.

I won’t publicly ID the seller, as the work was OK - just poorly described, in my opinion. Here is the body of the seller’s gig description, with name redacted:

"Add life and color to any landscape you could think of!

Hello! My name is XXXXXXXXX and I will draw any landscape or building you could think of in watercolor.

If you’d like to see more of my work, check out my samples."

The seller is also from a place where I have to assume that English is a second language, so I’m also cutting some slack for the POSSIBILITY that saying “draw” implies a wider range of options in his/her art world than it does in mine.

My rant, really, is that Fiverr could/should come up with a way to ensure that sellers positively and clearly say what they are doing/offering instead of putting the burden on buyers to ask 20 questions.

Hey, Fiverr. Some of use will help you design standards for content of gig listings / descriptions in various categories. Wouldn’t you rather try to stop the complaints BEFORE they happen?


Reply to @artemist: I actually assumed the same thing, that the seller was maybe not a native speaker, and using different words.

Do you really think Fiverr is going to monitor and read all gigs and help people to correct their English and help them understand a persons selling busienss better? HOw would you propose that Fiverr do that, ensure sellers “positively and clearly say what they are offering”…some sellers English is really weak.


No, I don’t trust Fiverr to do that much work. But there are other ways. They could institute a checklist of some kind where a seller has to indicate how the work is being done. That wouldn’t stop EVERY seller from misunderstanding or misleading, but it would make appeals easier to settle after the fact. If an artist is required to click a checkbox or something similar to say in the listing whether the art is a.) hand done or b.) digital painting or c.) software filtering or d.) other technique before the listing goes live, then it becomes part of the way to make confidence in transactions better.

Same with music - another type of gig I like to buy. Some sellers are obviously offering music files they didn’t create and don’t have a right to sell, yet they sell them with the description promising that the buyer also gets full use rights. Again, Fiverr seems disinterested in policing this, but if there were a requirement for sellers to include SOME statement of how they have the right to sell the music then at least those gigs could get shut down if challenged.

Anyone remember when Fiverr made the big changeover when updating software a year or so ago? At the time sellers were justifiably mad that there were required to meet some EXACTING standards for size and content of images before listing went live. That was clearly overkill, but at least the intent was good. Letting sellers misrepresent techniques used in gigs and/or legality of files is not.

sincere18 said: HOw would you propose that Fiverr do that, ensure sellers "positively and clearly say what they are offering"...some sellers English is really weak.

I think Fiverr could quickly fix a lot of these kinds of problems by using not just their their in-house staffers but by giving an incentive to some top sellers with expertise in each category to act as screeners. Before an artist's gigs go live, an experienced artist Fiverr seller (top-seller or whatever) has to look over it and see if the samples mean what the description says they mean. Then give them a simple yes - no - maybe grade. "Yeses" can go live, "Maybes" can do a quick tune-up on the listing and still get it live within a day, and "Nos" will need to re-do the listing and aply again with even greater scrutiny.

How to pay for it? Something could be arranged. Preferred placement for short periods of time, credit toward buying gigs, etc. Artists can tell if a description matches what the samples show in less than a minute. Could screen 30 or more gigs an hour. As long as the "job" is done in a way that prevents the screener from misusing their power to kill their competition then something like that could work. Why not at least try it for a day or a week? Give the new gig posters a chance to appeal, of course, but make them use accurate descriptions.

Screener's criteria would need to change for each category, but try it and see if it helps.


A while back in illustration categories there was a checkbox for hand drawn or digital, this was for search filters but was replaced by completely different options.

Personally i had a hard time deciding what box to check as i mix a bit of everything (except photoshop or any adobe products), but at the end of the day what i deliver is a digital version so i just checked digital.

artemist said: so as a proponent of the idea of picking one's battles, this is not the best one to fight about. My rant is more about the rampant lack of clarity in listings, and how widespread it is.
Fair enough. A bulk of my posts on the forum (and I'm a seller, only) are about trickery, shenanigans and general bait & switch on Fiverr.

I do make allowances for language, and it does seem like this particular situation isn't terrible, but that being said, if a person is going to conduct business in any given language, they should know it sufficiently well.

It's almost amusing (not necessarily referring to this instance) that sellers are compelled to lie about things because they think it will better their sales, when the reality is that a bulk of buyers aren't inherently prejudiced (or even care) about what they're lying about. Puh-lenty of buyers will happily order a $5 filter gig versus spending $25 on a hand-crafted piece - digital or otherwise. Even more will line up to get a spun article for a fiver instead of spending $40 on researched, original content. There is enough of a variety of wallet sizes and 'quality' levels to keep everyone smiling.

It's pretty much a guarantee that ALL buyers would much rather know up-front what they're getting at each dollar amount than to crawl through the unknown with all the back and forth and potential failure that entails.

It truly would be better for sellers to just be honest about what they offer. The filterers and spinners would get loads of orders with less hassle and the vendors that work more complicated/time consuming jobs would have a smoother time too. Gig completion would be quicker for everyone and Fiverr wouldn't be bogged down with so many misunderstandings - intentional or otherwise. Less headache and more money.

I understand where you're coming from with the 'approval' process, but putting sellers in charge of sellers just isn't a good idea. A 20% commission (+fees) is more than sufficient to expect a few impartial, paid employees to vet the gigs. I honestly suspect that not policing the platform effectively is just part of the business model. If they run too tight of a ship, they won't have any excuse for letting proven earners slip through the cracks.

Sorry all, for such a long post. I'm waiting for the ground to dry out enough to plant some rhubarb. :)


Reply to @itsyourthing: As you said…"if a person is going to conduct business in any given language, they should know it sufficiently well."

But that is an issue unto itself. Half the people selling here on Fiverr are NOT doing this as a professional business, or business at all, it’s something they do for fun and to earn some extra cash. So there are many people that don’t write up professional descriptions and many that would not even know how to do that and even be professional.

I mean I definitely agree that if someone is going to do bsuiness they should know some basics of professionalism, but I think there are many people on here not doing it as a real business and have no concept of marketing or customers service/satisfaction, etc., etc. .