About Past Controversies

I have always lived my life, both personally and professionally, in a way that I didn't care what other people thought of me. Feeling honest and good about myself when I looked in the mirror was always more important to me than what some people, whom I might not even know, said about me.


I still believe that this perspective is right and good. However, my professional world has changed significantly—especially in the last ten years. It has indeed become important what other people think of me.


Therefore, I would like to explain the most discussed missteps of mine and present my perspective on these matters.





The DeviantArt Controversy



In 2017, there was an incident on the platform "DeviantArt" that still upsets many users, and I would like to discuss it. At that time, I tried to submit an image to a closed Five Nights at Freddy's group, but it was rejected by the responsible moderators for reasons of youth protection. The image in question is this one:

Honestly, I never saw Five Nights at Freddy's (a horror game series) as a franchise that directly or exclusively targets children. Since there are also beautiful, female, anthropomorphic characters in official artworks and the games themselves (some of which I designed myself under the direct guidance of my clients), I thought my image would not be something that could disturb anyone.


Attached is a render of the character "Ballora," as seen in the official game "Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location":

I have never created or tried to submit pornographic content with the characters from Five Nights at Freddy's. If my art has scared or traumatized anyone, I am of course truly sorry. To my knowledge at the time, the art portal in question was approved for ages thirteen and up, and with my European mindset, I somehow thought the image would be okay.


What was NOT okay, however, was my reaction to the rejection of the submission! Instead of responding with understanding, I called the moderators "partypoopers" and unnecessarily engaged in an argument. I behaved absolutely inappropriately, as I often did at that time, because I simply did not understand the situation and was frustrated. I never intended to harass anyone. I would like to sincerely apologize for my behavior back then and for all similar instances where I behaved inappropriately.


After better familiarizing myself with American culture as an official FNaF artist, I now understand the points of criticism and will act with more understanding and restraint if similar situations arise again.





About defending Lady Fiszi



Before working for the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise, Lady Fiszi became very popular in the fan community in 2015 with her fan art and fanfiction. Her work mainly focused on the killer from the game series, whom she named "Barney." At that time, the novel "The Silver Eyes" had not yet been released, and the murderer in the game series only existed as a pixel sprite known as "Purple Guy." Aside from the fact that he had killed several children, there was no official information about him. Many fans of the still young franchise, myself included, found it interesting to follow artists who engaged with a visual and narrative interpretation of the villain (I myself started developing my own AU only after the release of "The Silver Eyes"). Fiszi was one of the first fans to dedicate herself to portraying the killer.


Lady Fiszi's drawings were primarily horror-focused. I found Barney's purely visual design very interesting, which I did not deny in my rather explicit comments at the time (I didn't worked on the franchise yet and was just a regular user). The fanfiction was published more or less in parallel with the accompanying illustrations. Back then, I only skimmed through the content of these stories, but yes, I was indeed aware of the storylines: Lady Fiszi had not directly interpreted the killer in her story as a pedophile, but as someone who became aroused by the act of killing physically inferior people, such as children.


The fanfiction was, of course, disgusting—murders are always disgusting, and horror stories often deal with murders. Naturally, this type of crime is particularly heinous, but sadly, such crimes do happen in the real world. At the time Lady Fiszi wrote the story, nothing was known about the true nature of the murders in the games and nobody knew where the franchise would go. As a big fan of horror and criminology, I always find it interesting to delve into the psyche of people and find explanations (not justifications!) for crimes, and I found Fiszi's model of the FnaF killer plausible at the time.


As an artist, I fundamentally do not assume that one condones a crime just because they engage with it artistically—think about where that would lead us with regards to Five Nights at Freddy's! Every content creator in the community would be sympathizing with murderers or be a child murderer themselves! What nonsense! Additionally, I think that artistic freedom is very important.


Over the years, when exactly I do not know, Lady Fiszi had deleted the fanfiction.


In February 2023, a huge scandal erupted around Lady Fiszi. It came as a complete surprise to me. While Fiszi and I worked for the same client, we had little contact otherwise. The fanfiction that Lady Fiszi had written years ago and publicly posted on DeviantArt, and which (I believed) everyone knew about at the time, was now being treated like a freshly uncovered crime. Other allegations also surfaced, which I paid no attention to, thinking they were surely baseless.


I became angry because Lady Fiszi was being insulted, harassed and threatened on Twitter. Maybe because I still felt guilty towards Lady Fiszi, maybe because I could imagine how she must be feeling now. I find it terrible when individual people are attacked by hundreds of thousands online.


So I did the wrong thing once again: I got involved. I started discussing on the FnaF Reddit, from which Fiszi was already banned, and defended Lady Fiszi.


Shortly after I spoke out on Reddit and the dispute was already in full swing, I received an email from Scott Cawthon.


I cannot and do not want to write exactly what the email contained. But the information I received shed some of the accusations against Fiszi in a different light. I had gotten involved in the issue at very bad timing and had completely misjudged the situation because I did not have all the information.


Minutes later, Lady Fiszi was officially no longer a FnaF artist.


I am not saying it was wrong to defend another artist. Fiszi and I are still occasionally in contact. But stepping into the discussion on Reddit back then was simply not my place, it was a big mistake. The franchise belongs to Scott Cawthon, and he decides what is right for his works. With my current knowledge, I can definitely understand his decision to end the collaboration with Lady Fiszi.


I hope that by sharing my perspective, others can better understand the complexity of such situations and perhaps approach similar cases with more empathy and patience. Despite everything, I remain determined to learn from my mistakes and grow both as an artist and as a person.




Various Controversies from 2016



2016 was a terrible year for me, both professionally and personally. My husband had left me and my freelance work as a graphic designer didn’t earn enough money to live on. I took a second job in a casino, which brought in some money but was anything but glamorous. Monitoring camera screens was part of my job, which I found cool because it reminded me of Five Nights at Freddy's, which I had discovered just a few weeks earlier.


Back then, the community was much smaller, and there was a lot of discussion and theorizing on Steam. The game was still very new to me, and I quickly got lost in this wonderfully bizarre world.


My life was terrible back then, and FNaF gave me some distraction. I immediately started drawing fan art and posting it on DeviantArt and Steam. I never directly sent artworks to Scott Cawthon or even applied for a job; that would never have occurred to me. But that year, purely by chance, I had my first contact with him.


He praised my fan arts and gifted me merchandise —Plush Chica, which I then used as a mascot. I was over the moon! The idea that there was even a theoretical possibility of working for him didn’t cross my mind at the time. I was just happy that someone prominent in the industry praised my work and gave me some hope of eventually being successful as a graphic designer in the gaming industry.


A few days after this conversation, Lady Fiszi announced that she would be working as an official artist for Scott Cawthon. My world fell apart. I knew Fiszi, she was a fanartist, just like me. I don’t want to repeat all the nasty things I said to her out of frustration and jealousy—there are enough links and screenshots. I just completely lost it back then. To let off steam, I drew the comic "Mrs. Special Snowflake."


In the following months, I partied way too much, probably to clear my head. When I came home at night, I often went online and wrote absolute nonsense on Steam, Reddit, and who knows where else. Often, I could hardly remember what kind of crap I had talked about online the next day. From that time unfortunately also comes a somewhat spicy comment regarding Scott Cawthon. I apologized to him for that a long time ago. He took it with humor and had always understood the whole thing as a joke anyway. Over the years, we developed a very relaxed working relationship and often joked around with each other.


Also, the dispute over my artist flair on Reddit was caused by me during this time. I would like to sincerely apologize to the moderators of the Five Nights at Freddy's subreddit and anybody else I disturbed or offended back then. I sincerely hope that my transgressions didn’t cause any lasting damage.


I had already said sorry to Lady Fiszi a few weeks after I had flamed her. She was very understanding and forgave me. Although we never really became close friends, we maintained a good relationship from then on.


In the following years, I got my life back on track, which was probably helped by my work on the franchise—an opportunity that was unexpectedly offered to me. I think that saved me back then. I always saw the community's dislike of me as a deserved punishment and just endured it. I never thought the situation would escalate again years later.





Moana & Co.

To clarify this difficult issue (and I think everyone knows what it's about), I need to first clarify two other points and elaborate a bit, as this is naturally a very sensitive topic. I sincerely hope I don't say anything wrong again. So:


On the Definition -


the term "sexualization" refers to the process where people, especially women, are reduced to sexual aspects in a negative context.


Pin-up art, on the other hand, portrays people, mostly beautiful women, in a coquettish pose, and is characterized by its aesthetic and/or nostalgic aspect. The depictions are never explicit, meaning nudity is always censored. A pin-up often serves artistic or decorative purposes, such as posters or illustrations. The term "pin-up" originated because photos or illustrations with such motifs were frequently hung (even in public spaces). Pin-ups are thus clearly distinct from pornography and are not sexualizing, as they have an aesthetic, narrative, humorous, and/or appreciative context.


Now a bit about my background:


I live in Germany, born and raised here in 1985. Here, age of consent is 14 or 16, depending on the circumstances (like in many other countries around the world). I myself had my first serious relationship at 16 - he was 22. No one minded, including my mother, and my friends all had partners who were over 18. I don't know if things have changed here in the last 20 years, but in the early 2000s, it was absolutely normal.


As for nudity, things are different as well in Germany and many other European countries. Nudity and sexuality are considered as TWO separate things.


Families go together in public saunas, where any clothing is strictly forbidden for hygiene reasons. There are also nude beaches and camping sites without any age restrictions. And since 2022, women have been allowed to go topless in public swimming pools (I really don't want to shock or traumatize anyone here; I just want to clarify the circumstances!).


Back to Moana & Co -


Before I started working for the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise in 2017, I often and gladly drew pin-ups. I had some fans and even customers who loved my illustrations, and since I needed money and enjoyed drawing, I took advantage of this opportunity.


At some point, I came up with the idea to do pin-up art of Disney princesses. This must have been around 2013. I knew of course that there were countries with different laws, I don't want to sugarcoat that.


What I didn't know was that I would one day work for a big franchise targeting teenagers and young adults in the USA. I thought these princesses were fictional characters, and since most of them are kissed and married at the end of the movie anyway, no one would mind.


I never created explicit or pornographic content. My pin-up drawings were very popular, and many people loved the idea. The illustrations were even stolen; some guy started selling them on shirts in his online shop without my permission! No one ever pointed out to me that what I was drawing was not okay - until the Moana picture of 2017, just a few months before I would work for the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise for the first time. I was already active in the FNaF community at this point, but just as a regular user.


There are two versions of the picture - one that shows Moana (the female main character from the Disney movie of the same name; officially 16 years old) lying naked on a sandy beach, except for the beginning of her buttocks, Moana is covered by her pose in the sand and thus censored.


I thought the picture was great and innocent at the time, so I decided to post it on Reddit. Of course, I received a shitstorm - which I absolutely couldn't understand. What was so bad about the picture?


I was frustrated and started discussing with users. At some point, I felt insecure and upset. A wiser person would surely have withdrawn and reflected - unfortunately, I am not clever, and I certainly wasn't then so I drew the second version of the picture.


I put Moana in panties, but I added more characters from the movie to the edge of the picture, giving scores as in a competition - including Maui and Moana's grandmother. I found that hilarious at the time, but of course it upset Reddit users even more.


I had no idea that I could disturb younger users. It didn't even occur to me. It was pointed out to me, but I thought that those users were just prude and were looking for problems, so I didn't took those comments really for serious. Although I had heard that in the USA, one is considered an adult at 18, I still didn't believed that a pin-up of a 16-year-old animated character would seriously frighten anyone. Of course, after that, when I started working as an FnaF artist, I studied American culture a bit and learned what I should and shouldn't do - but the internet never forgets. And now it's too late, I guess.


Over the years, I deleted most of the Disney pin-ups from my profiles. Not to hide them, but because they were technically not very good, and I am always very critical of my own drawings. My official reason for being banned from Reddit was also the Moana picture.


I can't change the past, and I definitely don't want to justify it - I just want to explain it, for my fans and friends.



Regarding "Tracing"...                                                                                                                       


One of my first works for Scott Cawthon involved illustrating some promotional mascots for the game "Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator." One of these characters, the cup in the Fiztime Pop Soda advertisement, is equipped with hands and feet that strongly resemble those of the well-known character "Mickey Mouse." Many users were upset about these similarities and understandably concluded that the illustration must have been traced and thus stolen.

The Ad for "Fiztime Pop Soda" from the Game "Five Nights at Freddy's: Pizzeria Simulator", created by me in 2017




"Mickey Mouse" © Disney

At this point, I don't want to delve into the specifics of where to draw the boundaries between inspiration, reference, and outright copying in drawing, as the topic is very extensive and complex. The fact is that, yes, I did draw inspiration from the Disney Mouse to create a retro-cartoon mascot. At that time, I thought it would be amusing to draw a parody of a well-known film character, and that the community might also appreciate it, perhaps recalling the popular "Cuphead" at that time.


Shortly after the game's release in 2017, when I became aware of how much the community was angered by my "art theft," I immediately contacted Scott Cawthon and informed him of my mistake. I received a prompt response. However, for contractual reasons, I cannot disclose the content of customer emails; I just want to emphasize that I took the accusations seriously back then and took action.


Unfortunately, after this incident, more of my fan arts were compared to graphics from other franchises, stock photos, and the like, and accusations of art theft multiplied. I decided not to comment at that time but deleted all relevant artworks as a consequence.


It would be beyond the scope to address each individual case where one of the artworks in question resembled another image. Reasons for the parallels are for example the use of stock photos as reference (in one case for example, I had provided the stock material myself on a work-in-progress post), redrawing characters with vector-based media (which requires high accuracy and is therefore worth staying close to reality with screenshots), using very famous poses or, as in the Mickey Mouse case, the intentional parody of another character. And in some cases, the similarities were purely coincidental.


The screenshot "Ballora WIP" submitted by me in 2016 on Deviantart. I frequently share WIP (work in progress) material to make my workflow more transparent and to help other artists get started with the subject.


At that time, I had no sensitivity to what could disturb an online community and acted based on my knowledge at that time. Now, I have a better understanding and can recognize the criticisms myself. Unfortunately, I cannot undo past missteps, but I now spend much more time reviewing my designs and ensuring that the quality of my work meets not only the expectations of my clients and my own but also those of the online community.




About the Comic "Daydreaming"                                                                                                    


In 2017, I published the FNaF fan comic "Daydreaming" online. The comic depicts a scene in which William Afton (the murderer from the Five Nights at Freddy's games) stares at an injured girl through a window and fantasizes about killing or harming her. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the gaming community interpreted the scene as Afton having sexual thoughts upon seeing the girl.

Child murder is a recurring theme in the Five Nights at Freddy's series and often forms the core of the stories surrounding the successful horror franchise. As a devoted fan of the game series and a passionate horror comic artist, my goal at that time was to portray the madness in the mind of a child murderer and find an explanation for these horrific crimes. At the time, I thought having the girl in the mind of the murderer saying '...gut me like a lamb' would define the context, but sadly I was wrong.

When I became aware of how disturbing my comic appeared to the community due to misinterpretation, I deleted it from all my social media channels. Unfortunately, the rumor and many posts with screenshots of the comic featuring the "pedophilic" William Afton persist to this day, despite my attempts to explain.

In this context, screenshots of old Steam forum posts from 2015 are often shared, discussing the motive behind the murders. At the time of these forum posts, the novel "The Silver Eyes" had not been released, and the murderer William Afton was only known as the "Purple Guy" with no additional information. My Steam posts from that time have nothing to do with the 2017 comic "Daydreaming," but they are unfortunately mentioned repeatedly in this context.

I sincerely regret not handling this difficult topic with more sensitivity and understanding. Since I still draw and publish (often morbid) comics, I now have beta readers to alert me to potential ambiguities in the future, and I earnestly hope that such incidents will not be repeated.