Portrait Swap 2

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This is a story of an innocent portrait swap gone horribly wrong. It started with this portrait I did of Jeannette…. and then (as heard in countless 70s exploitation movies) “some bad shit went down…..”

I received this email on August 17 from someone I’ll refer to as “biteyourowntail”:
From: biteyourowntail
To: joshpincusiscrying@yahoo.com
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 11:49:09 AM
Subject: portrait party
loved that portrait you did of Jeannette – am also fond of drawing facial hair so would you like a portrait swap?

I replied:
sure, i’ll swap. i am on vacation in california right now (and my sketchbook is home). I will be back on august 22. i’ll email you then and we can swap and draw.
Is there a deadline?

I emailed her a photo of me when I returned. I also added her name to my weekly email alert list, the one I send when I post a new drawing on my blog. I, then, received this email from her:
From: biteyourowntail
To: joshpincusiscrying@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:14:14 AM
Subject: unsolicited stuff
Hallo Josh
I did not agree to receive updates from you about your blog, or to being placed on a mailing list. I arranged to do a portrait swap with you and that is all.
I can get very pissed off indeed by people who add me to mailing lists without my consent.
Please remove me from your list.

I immediately removed her name and replied with this:
I am sorry if I offended you. I will remove your name immediately.
I will, however, still participate in a portrait swap.
Again, I sincerely apologize.

Her response:
From: biteyourowntail
To: Josh Pincus
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 11:28:55 AM
Subject: Re: unsolicited stuff
apology accepted. I too do still want to do the portrait swap.
Being added to mailing lists etc without being asked (even if asked I would still say no – I like to visit blogs, or other places, when I choose to visit them) is one of my pet hates.
Don’t even get me started on cold callers.

I drew her portrait and sent it to her on August 24. I received this response:
That is wonderful. Really great, thank you!
Yours isn’t attached because I’m going to re-draw it. I’m experimenting with paper and I used a different one but I’m not at all happy with the results so I’ll forward it either over the w/e or on Monday.

To which I replied:
I look forward to it.
I will not post it to my blog until I have your portrait of me.
You can submit them to “Portrait Party”, as I do not have access. I am not a member.

The weekend and Monday passed and I didn’t hear from her or received her drawing of me. On August 29, I sent her the friendly reminder email below:
i hope you haven’t forgotten……..

On August 30, I opened my email to find this:
No Josh I haven’t forgotten, unfortunately the tone of your last email – ‘you can post…’ – left me feeling somewhat unwilling to draw you. I don’t enjoy being told what to do.
In fact I can honestly say this has been my least enjoyable portrait swap. I fully understand why Jeannette called you a bully, though I would choose the word arrogant myself – putting me on your mailing list without asking, (yes you apologised, but the fact is you did it) issuing orders…
You’ll get it when I’m ready to do it.
Oh yes – you are as much a member of portrait party as I am – which if you had read Ramu’s notes on the site you would know. It isn’t a team blog.

My immediate response:
don’t do me any favors.
you are pretty rude yourself…..

The next day I received her drawing, accompanied by this email:
Yes, I can be rude, it does have a lot to do with how people treat me.
Attached – drawing. Had some difficulty – the photo is no good for a portrait so this one from my sketchbook will have to do I’m afraid.

Here is the result of the “least enjoyable portrait swap”.
I hope you like it….
least enjoyable portrait swap

don't even get me started on cold callers




  1. The portrait of Josh is one of the worst illustrations that I have ever seen. It barely looks like him. I order her to do a new one. Oh wait, she doesn’t like to take orders. At least Josh put the effort in. Let’s cold call her!

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