Agreed. She's an amazing artist but I'm sorry Runa, when you take money from people for a service you have a responsibility to give them what they paid for. Runa is one of the biggest reasons I feel so jaded towards Deviantart commission artists. She'll post really sweet and polite journals about how much she values her customers and how hard she works when in reality, she'll leave people waiting for six months to forever for a commission and still take on more orders after that. This is one of the reasons I feel so iffy about the process of artists always asking for money up front- because if they have no work ethic and no sense of responsibility, they have no incentive to complete the order. I understand that artists don't want to take on the risk of the customer being the scumbag too, of course. I think what's really needed is a third party payment service that will take money from the customer but NOT give it to the artist until their work is complete. Paypal's system of buyer protection is better than nothing but requires the buyer opening a claim... and artists like Runa can just wait out the 6 months after an order until Paypal will no longer protect the buyer. Free money, no work or obligations required!
I ordered two commissions from Runa. This was about 2 years ago. I LOVE both of them. I think they were fairly priced, in fact I wouldn't have minded paying more. The first she finished without any issues. The second was more frustrating. I sent reminders, but after almost six months without it being complete, I had no choice but to open a paypal claim. Because I loved her art so much, I even offered to have her refund me the money and send it again if she needed more time just so I wouldn't lose my paypal protection as a buyer, but she told me she had no money to refund me and just completed the commission instead just before the six months were up (Of course, I closed the claim as soon as I received the art). But it was an awful experience and I got the feeling that if I hadn't opened a claim, I might never have gotten my art just like so many other people who opened orders 6+ months before without any results.
I don't think Runa's intentions were to scam people. I get the feeling that she's a nice person and she does produce genuinely good art. So I wouldn't chalk this situation up to malice but instead to a fundamental lack of work ethic (contrary to the journals she puts out saying how hard she works... actions speak so much louder than words with that claim, and it's even more frustrating to read claims like those with firsthand experience of how empty they are). But if you take money from people with the promise of delivering a service and don't deliver, that IS scamming them. You have a responsibility as an artist not to take on more work than you can produce and to deliver what people paid for.