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People wanting art for free - Rant

Thu May 29, 2014, 1:25 PM
Dolphy's Journal




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FAQ :
If you have a question then please read this because it may already have the answer you`re looking for. ^^

dolphy.deviantart.com/journal/…


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It’s rant time again. Yay. I know I’ve talked about this topic in the past already but it’s still current for many artists, and I’d like to go into it a little further. That question which pretty much every artist knows only too well.

 

“Can you draw something for me? But I don’t have money.”

 

No matter how obvious you make it that you’re a professional artist, how eye-catching the commission pricelist on your user page is or how many “I don’t do requests / art-trades”-stamps you plaster all over your journal, people either don’t notice or simply don’t care. And their ways to persuade you to give them what they want get more creative and bold.

 

Classic approach :


A few sentences of praise and how much they adore your artwork and how much they’d love to have a picture from you. Sometimes they also mention that they don’t have money, which means they are aware of the fact you usually expect payment but for some reason seem to think that a few compliments will get them a free artwork.

 

Direct approach :


Usually very short, they literally jump in your face with their character description or a link to a reference image, expecting you to immediately draw it without asking further questions.

 

Pity approach :

 

Someone’s pet recently died and they want a tribute picture. A friend is feeling down and they want to cheer them up. They have been going through a lot of issues and a picture from you would totally make them feel better. Of course they can’t pay.

 

Birthday gift approach :

 

Starts like the classic approach with a lot of compliments and how much they love your art until they suddenly mention that their birthday will be soon and that they’d be happy to get a picture from you or say “if you want you can draw something for me!” ( Yes, that actually happened ).

 

Semi-professional approach :

 

Telling you they are a new little company or an aspiring author looking for an artist to work for them. Creating website graphics, character designs, comics or illustrating a whole book. So we’re not talking about a single picture here but work that will take weeks and months to finish. They bloat how great their project is and how much you will profit if you agree to work for them until they mention at the very end ( or after you asked them in your reply ) that they can’t afford paying you BUT it will be such good publicity for you when people see you did work for them and IF the book / game / whatever is a success you’ll get royalties.

 

To sum it up, they act as if they were professionals but don’t seem to be aware of the fact that even artists need to pay their bills. They expect you to work for months without earning a single cent and hope the project will be worth it in the end, but you have no guarantee that you will ever get paid at all.

 

Would anyone do this in “real” life? Go to a car dealer and tell them :

“Hey, I want this car! I can’t afford it, but if you give it to me for free it will be great publicity for your shop because I’ll participate in races and if I win I’ll share the money with you!”

 

Do that and the seller will think you’re a complete nutcase.

 

It’s not an artist’s problem if someone wants artwork but has no money. If you can’t afford it, save up for it. If you don’t want to save up for it, you don’t really need it that badly. Art is a luxury, just like jewelry, brand-name clothes, dvds, pretty much everything which you don’t need to survive.

 

Have you ever gone into a store and whined to the sellers that you want the latest computer game, a silver necklace, shoes or an iPhone but can’t afford it and seriously expected them to give it to you for free? No? Then why do you do it online?

 

Why do you expect strangers you’ve never talked to before to sit down and work on something for you for hours or days without getting anything in return? Would you do that? I doubt it. Because we all need money to pay our bills. Praise doesn’t pay our rent.

 

I admit that my patience with such “offers” and requests has reached an all time low, so depending on my mood it can happen that I either delete those notes without replying or reject the plea a little snarkily. Yes, I could be polite and calm and explain them I didn’t work for free. You know what, I did that. And even then some of those people snapped at me and  insulted me, no sign left of the “love” and respect they had for my art and me the moment they didn’t get what they wanted. I don’t have to please people who think art isn’t worth paying for it.

 

Recently someone replied with the following sentence :

 

"What does money have to do with art?"

 

What does money have to do with music? With movies? With games, clothes, TVs, computers, etc.? You need money to produce it. And you need to have people buying it. Giving everything to people for free is a terrible business plan. Economy doesn’t work like this. There’s no difference between commissioning someone online to draw a picture for you or going to a confectionist in your town and commissioning them to bake a special cake for you. You pay for the work, for the education that person had over the years, for their experience, for the constant practice and for the time it takes to get it done.

 

If you don’t think it’s worth paying for, then you simply have to live without it.

CoolPeople


My Mateys :

:icondodgermd: :iconankhesenamen: :iconxskyecrystalx: :icontacimur: :iconmirri: :iconh-ell: :iconkirasaintclair: :iconoopeaceoo: :iconfeynyala: :iconlobbylane: :iconshungilion: :iconhilliana80: :icondragons-stuff: :iconfluffyfluffs:

My kiwi bird club :

:iconkiwiana-club:

***ART-TRADES / REQUESTS*** : NO ( so please stop asking me! )

.: Read the comments :. Stamp by Beti-Kot Requests are Closed by savagebinn if you hate my art stamp by TribalTripleN Read Before You Comment by LeoLeonardo
Add a Comment:
 
:iconchepseh:
Chepseh Featured By Owner May 24, 2015
He he, jetzt hab ich doch tatsächlich alle Kommentare durchgeschaut (/überflogen), weil mich interessierte, ob jemand, der schon öfter diese "Approaches" machte, sich melden würde und vielleicht gute Argumente für seinen Standpunkt hätte (Welche? Keine Ahnung). Aber, Nee, nichts in Sicht - vielleicht auch ein gutes Zeichen; vielleicht hat mancher, der bisher fröhlich kostenlose Sachen wollte, von deinem Post die Augen geöffnet bekommen.

Oft scheinen solche Umsonst-Anfrager "zumindest" noch ziemlich jung zu sein, bei ihnen ist wohl noch nicht recht angekommen, dass man für professionelles Artwork meist was zu zahlen hat - Motto "Hey, die Lisa aus meiner Klasse malt so toll und malt allen die wollen umsonst Bilder! Bilder brauchen also kein Geld!". Ich denk bei Naivität dieser Art sollte man nachsichtig sein, wir haben alle so die ein oder andere naive Ansicht in unserer Jugend gehabt. Traurig ist allerdings, dass es doch auch so eiiiinige zu geben scheint, die es ihrem Alter nach inzwischen eigentlich langsam besser wissen sollten. :(
Reply
:iconsketcherskyfalcon18:
SketcherSkyfalcon18 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i do agree with this (even though i do not have a job yet :P) I get requested many times and it can be overwhelming because I feel the need for more and more practice everyday and it's hard to put down some people and say "I can't do requests anymore because it's too overwhelming and i need time to practice" I feel as though I need some more time to get better and better :/ it's hard when you're an artists dealing with people who don't understand it/know how to respond easily.. 
Reply
:iconkopanitsak:
Kopanitsak Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014  Student Filmographer
So true what you said. So true.
Reply
:iconspiritwollf:
Spiritwollf Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree all the way!! I usually just tell people I haven't got the time at then moment (school, work, camp, etc) and they never seem to have a problem with that. Then again, I've never gotten anyone too snarky asking me for free art either… =P 
Reply
:iconsolar-fennec:
Solar-Fennec Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I guess some people don't understand that art comes with a price. :hugs: and doesn't understand that you have bills just like everyone else.
Reply
:iconenthusiastic-artist:
Enthusiastic-Artist Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Student General Artist
I do art for free. Link them to my page.
Reply
:icontrottingperyton:
TrottingPeryton Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What is your opinion on suggestions? And no I'm not requesting anything. To me a suggestion is just an idea for an artist (in case they get art block) but the artist has the right make it or not make it. And yes I'm aware that artists are people with lives and other responsibilities not machines and I wish other people would understand that.
Reply
:iconstasher-dragon:
stasher-dragon Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, the next time someone asks for a freebie, just link them to this journal entry.
Reply
:iconhelloheath:
helloheath Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
PREACH IT SISTER!

I use this example all the time as well.
"

Would anyone do this in “real” life? Go to a car dealer and tell them :

“Hey, I want this car! I can’t afford it, but if you give it to me for free it will be great publicity for your shop because I’ll participate in races and if I win I’ll share the money with you!”

 

Do that and the seller will think you’re a complete nutcase."

I read that and was like, "HEY! Iv said that too!"

There are VERY FEW CASES in which giving away art for free is ok with me, usually its because it was my own idea to do so in the first place.

Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014   Digital Artist
Exactly. 300% agreed. People have been begging me for art as well, I've just stopped replying to those messages at all. If people know how to find my art, they know how to find my commission info. Plain simple!
Reply
:iconfelicitykendal:
FelicityKendal Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Student General Artist
Why PAY for your own GIFT?
Reply
:iconairidesi:
Airidesi Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great! Mind if I share your journal around?
Reply
:icondolphydolphiana:
DolphyDolphiana Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
I don't mind at all, go on. :)
Reply
:iconairidesi:
Airidesi Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay :)
Reply
:iconpewterkat:
PewterKat Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
I need to make a comic about this subject:

"Wow, this exposure is going to buy so much food for me and my two little kids!"

"What's that, little Billy? You broke your arm? Well how about we let my experience and praise pay for the ambulance trip and ER visit?!"

I hate that our work as artists is undervalued. I haven't gotten any requests for free work like this, but I regularly have people saying they won't buy my egg adopts for what I'm asking, which isn't much in the first place. The really ironic part is, most of those naysayers don't realize they're getting more than the egg.... -_-#
Reply
:iconminidiren:
MiniDiren Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I understand that it can be really annoying when some random people here begging other people for a request when a no is a no. For few years ago, a random stranger in his 60's, he sent me a note for a request to make me draw something I wasn't comfortable about and I said no, then he keep begging me and spammed my note inbox so I had to block him right away. Some people really don't understand or respect other peoples decissions when they say no, a no is a no and that's it.

Btw, I agree with this, you have a good point. Well done.
Reply
:iconheyvikkitime:
HeyVikkiTime Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for making you've just reminded me of someone yet to pay me. I was naive and stupid and got duped not once, not twice, BUT THRICE by this guy.
He's a YouTuber (not a popular one really) that had noticed me after I drew a bunch of other YouTubers for fun. He said he needed shirt designs and told me I would get royalties from shirt designs. I did it and he told me once the shirts were up he'd arrange for royalties.
Then he asked for another and me being stupid made another. This time he even made me keep going back to make changes because there were bits and that he wanted added and removed and colour changed but I pulled through and got it done. Months went on and I asked if he'd sorted it yet and he told me that to get shirts made it would cost 300 so he was saving up. I understood that since he was my age and, lets be fair, that sort of money is hard to come by.
Then finally he was creating a new YouTube series. He told me he needed poster designs for it and posters are obviously far less costly to produce. I went all out for it (if you want to see them they are here - sta.sh/2caixcj8ugn?edit=1) and I was so impressed with it and certain I'd be paid this time around because he had all the trailers and the pilot episode filmed. He'd even run the kickstarter to fund the first episode (but I guess that was the first sign because he said he needed 1000 to pay for everything and was scrapping his pilot to refilm it, offering the pilot as a kickstarter perk).
The first drawing was uploaded April 7, 2013 and the last time we spoke was July 27, 2013.
I think it's about time I confront him once more. It's been almost a year and I've barely heard a peep about his show so I think the entire project has been swept under the rug. I remember one of the YouTubers in it asked him what was going on a few months after I finished those drawings and she told him to get a move on because she wouldn't dye her hair red again for filming.
Honestly it's just so difficult because I don't know HOW to talk to him because I'll feel horrible if I bring it up again and feel like I'm hassling him despite all this time.
If you could give any advice on my predicament I would really appreciate it because I really just don't know what to do.
Reply
:icondolphydolphiana:
DolphyDolphiana Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
Wow, that's really unprofessional of him. I'd say, confront him about it. You did so much work for him and he promised you to get paid, you have every right to contact him and ask what's going on. Be straight forward and ask what happened to the project and how he plans to pay you for you work.
Reply
:iconheyvikkitime:
HeyVikkiTime Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Okay thank you I'll ask him now.
I finally found his fundraisier it was on indiegogo. 25 people funded him and he raised 286 so I feel awful for them since the project appears to be abandoned and I can only hope he takes it up again soon or refunds them their money. One person gave him 60 :(
I don't know why I allow this to happen so often to me with money. I always think "Hey they're pretty popular I'm sure they wouldn't be that mean and not pay me I'll get it eventually." but then I fall into the trap and it's difficult to get out of it.
I make plushies also and I was commissioned by a girl to take on a plushie I'd never even tried before so it took a lot of work and experimentation to make it perfect. I had it all ready and she told me she would get paid on Friday and would send the money then but I thought "She seems really lovely and legitimate so I'll be nice and send it now!" especially since at the time there was tons of postal issues and long delays so I didn't want her getting it late for her boyfriend's Christmas present (yet somehow Royal Mail got it to her next day despite paying for second class postage. Royal Mail is truly bonkers XD). Sent it over and nothing on Friday. Gave it another 2 days until Monday came round and I thought "This isn't right." so I asked her and she'd forgotten and would pay me that night *facepalm* still nothing but Tuesday afternoon I finally got paid for it which was a huge relief since I was close to having to add another name to the IOU list I have on my wall.
Thankfully it's just that YouTuber on there now since I chased everyone up but he owes in commission about 16.50 since plain no background pictures are 3 and an extra 50p per character, then full background and details with shadows etc. are 8 with an extra 1 per character since they need shading as well unlike the basic ones.
I don't think I have any faith left in him to launch this project so I may just ask for my full commission which is unfortunate really but oh well we live and we learn. At least next time I'll know better (I hope).
Reply
:icondolphydolphiana:
DolphyDolphiana Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
I'm sorry you have so much trouble with your clients. For future projects I strongly advice you to demand payment ( either the full amount or at least a part of it ) before you start working. Most people accept that and when they make a fuss you know that something is fishy. I used to send people sketches before they had to pay and got scammed ( no replies anymore ) or even laughed at because they managed to get a drawing for free, so I won't lift a finger anymore before they sent money.
Reply
:iconheyvikkitime:
HeyVikkiTime Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I should post some of my Facebook messages to clientsfromhell.net :')
Yeah I'm considering the paying part of it method and then only doing sketches with watermarks across the entire thing.
It's a shame the online art industry comes down to this really and that there are people in the world that would abuse artists like this :/
I do try to check up on people's profiles now to see if they've commissioned in the past and if they've had issues with other commissioners (you know how some will repost on their DA pages or favorite them and you can see who the artist was? I will message them saying I've received a commission from them and whether they are likely to pay on time or if there were issues with them as a client) and if they've been problematic I'll tell them commission slots are full or I'm closed or I'm too busy with exams and schoolwork. At least my absence here has helped the requesters to die down a bit. One of the ones I got on Facebook was so aggravating like they asked if I drew and I was thinking "Well obviously you must know I draw or you wouldn't have messaged me" but I replied politely thinking he would commission me and told him I did and then he went into a full blown "I want this and this I'm a YouTuber and I need a banner I want it to look like this and this is what I look like I want it in this style is that okay?" and I told him how much it would cost and he literally sent me "???" and I asked if there was a problem and he told me he didn't have that sort of money (it was 5.50 jfc) but was really hoping I could do it for him anyway because he'd credit me and allow me to put my signature in the top left hand corner and gain me publicity:
1) Why on earth is this imbecil comfused over the fact he has to pay me TO DRAW SOMETHING STUPIDLY COMPLICATED
2) I charge ridiculously low prices for my commissions and I don't mean to brag but I reckon I should be charging 3x as much if you compare my prices and skill to someone similar also offering commissions.
3) The top left hand corner is where a YouTuber's icon goes. My signature would be completely covered up. I'm guessing he knew this and thought I was a dumbass.
4) Because I would TOTALLY BENEFIT from a YouTube channel with currently 570 subscribers and NO. VIDEOS. AT. ALL. (I don't know how many he had when he asked me it was over a year ago)

Also by looking back at a few dumbos trying to milk requests from me I found out those drawings I did for that YouTuber were done way before I uploaded them to Sta.sh (like back in January/February 2013) because they're all asking "Hey did you draw that picture for ______. Cool it's amazing can you draw me?" so well over a year has passed since those drawings. :(
Reply
:icontikalie-wolf:
Tikalie-Wolf Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014   General Artist
Well said! :)
Reply
:iconlunarwhite:
LunarWhite Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014   General Artist
Total. Support. Upon. This.

Happens all the time at school for me -_-; And I'm not even that good! It must be so much harsher for professional artists. I support this fully!
Reply
:iconcamostyle:
CamoStyle Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
*base, outline
Reply
:iconcamostyle:
CamoStyle Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Very fair. If your artwork is exclusive and creative, I understand you don't want people just taking it and using it for free unless you say so under your rules. If it's like a bas eoutline, it can be free, but that's your option. Hopefully no one harasses you for it. They should just give you a ref and pay for it (That's if you allow it.) 
Reply
:iconoutcast111:
Outcast111 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
The Semi-professional aproach was actually used on my about three months ago. Since the guy made no mention of payment or of any company name, I deduced the best course of action was to ignore the note, and so I did. Some say the note has been lost in the endless pages of my incoming notes, others say it gained wings, kidnapped a sexy nurse and flew to mexico where it now comfortly spends the rest of it's days fornicating, begging for scrap money and making ludicrous copyright claims...


In any case, I want my money upfront I feel entitled to that.
Reply
:iconsilentexpressions:
SilentExpressions Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've wanted to purchase art from you for a long time, but I'm a theatre major and spend my life acting and being broke as the dirt in the yard outside. BUT, I'm not about to cry for art from you. Someday, I'd like to get a tattoo of your tribal kiwi on my ankle. I've wanted it for years. I will only do so when I can A) Afford the tattoo and B) Afford to PAY YOU for the tattoo, if you'll let me at the time.

Free art is a no. Plain and simple. Your reasons are absolutely fair and just.
Reply
:iconxicemaidx:
xIcemaidx Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This happened to me ALOT
Reply
:iconsaintssauce:
SaintsSauce Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I can agree with you're saying.
Reply
:iconelwendesign:
ElwenDesign Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Just wanted to say great journal and I was happy to add you to my watch list your a helluva painter:D
Reply
:iconhilliana80:
Hilliana80 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
Lots of good points there! :)
Reply
:iconcaptainberry:
CaptainBerry Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I needed this in my goddamn life since goddamn long O.M.G.
Thank you for phrasing so well what I had in mind for years without being able to politely express it ! 'v'
Reply
:iconmrsbethanie:
MrsBethanie Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Student General Artist
Oh god, this happens to my friend so much. The birthday one happened recently, too. A guy he despises and has directly told to "fuck off" (this guy thinks the entire point of my friend's existence is to do shitty roleplays though he's grown out of it YEARS ago) and he just spams his profile saying "oh how are you? why aren't you on skype?" cos y'know, it's not OBVIOUS that they hate ya and have blocked you for such reason. And THEN "oh hey my birthday is in a week ^^" and expected him to draw one of his really gross fetish characters. Yes, I'll take the nope train to fuckthatville.
Reply
:iconnovadragonheart81:
novadragonheart81 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
That, right there, in the last line of your comment, is the most beautiful phrase I've ever seen! :D
Reply
:iconmrsbethanie:
MrsBethanie Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Student General Artist
It applies to most of DA these days. Use it for everything, it fits :>
Reply
:iconnovadragonheart81:
novadragonheart81 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
Oh, I wiiiiill~:iconohyouplz:*levitates away*
Reply
:iconmrsbethanie:
MrsBethanie Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Student General Artist
:iconmajesticplz:
Reply
:iconnovadragonheart81:
novadragonheart81 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
:iconintensifiesplz:
Reply
:iconmrsbethanie:
MrsBethanie Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student General Artist
okay nightmare inducing isn't fair
Reply
:iconnovadragonheart81:
novadragonheart81 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
:iconcrazylaughplz:O RLY?
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconnoxivaga:
Noxivaga Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Mind if I repost this, crediting immensly, into my journal to spread this?? 
Reply
:icondolphydolphiana:
DolphyDolphiana Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
I don't mind at all, thanks for spreading it! :D
Reply
:iconanatoliba:
Anatoliba Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
Almost the same with art trades. There are some people that ask you about a trade (with the same procedures you mentioned in your journal) and you sit on your desk or computer drawing a good picture for them, spending a lot of time for that - but then never receive their part. -.-
Just annoying. And if you say "No" some people call you arrogant etc. Fuuu!
I love your examples with the car dealer, the store and so on! You're right, it's exactly the same.
I know the "free art" problem as well. In the past I was too naive, I drew requests for certain people and some weeks or months later I found out that those people don't like me, yeah, even made fun of me. :P

So I totally agree with your journal!
Reply
:iconicelaws:
IceLaws Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
AHH ye ye that's happens
which is why the
"if u initiate, you finish first then I'll start my part" thing works kinda well
Reply
:iconanatoliba:
Anatoliba Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
Indeed. A lot of artists do that when others asked them for trades (me too).
Reply
:iconicelaws:
IceLaws Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconspacetiredplz:
Reply
:iconjust4drawing:
Just4drawing Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That has happen to me except I don't give prices for my art, people would just comment on my profile saying; "Draw this, don't ask questions" I hated when people do that. Still do.
Reply
:iconahkward:
Ahkward Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
I get this stuff all the time in notes and comments.

Also, the "I wish I could afford" comments irk me so bad, however I try to remember most people here are too young to really have money of their own, or access to paypal. With my commissions, I offer point equivalents so that if they want it bad enough, they can deal with saving up. It took many years to save up for a few people I wanted to order from, and it was so worth it.

Most people here are just too young, or see art as only a hobby. I have learned also they are usually not understanding of what it takes to support oneself. Free drawings will not pay my rent. ;_; i am lucky in that I make enough each month, so sometimes I have giveaways or contests. I use those as chances for free art.... if you work to win tgat is. XD
Reply
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