Daily Deviation
Exileden's avatar

I don't do ART for free

By Exileden
24K Favourites
Please read whole artist's comment.

This drawing I did some time ago for a community with an important message. Lately I've heard often those quotes like that, so I decided to twitch into a drawing instead just letters of that quote for a community. This message regards for working artists. And I'm not talking about art as general meaning and art is for money, but the service for others when someone asks us to draw what they want.
I thought also to put there.

That's why we, working artists, don't do any free requests as a service for others when we are asked.
I still get often a requests from people, and here is an excellent quote from my friend ~WildSpiritWolf faq, which explains a lot for those who can't see/understand the view of another person:

Q: Why won't you do a picture/tattoo/etc. for me for free? It's silly that I have to pay to have you make something for me.

A: Please try to see this from another person's point of view. I'm sorry but I do not work for free and have no plans to change that. Commissions are my full time job so if I did art for free, I would have no money. Plus I would be ridiculously busy because so many people would be lining up to get free art from me. So at that point, I would be broke and would be drowning in free art requests which would leave me very stressed and unhappy.

Simply, art is our job. The feeling where we work on art is the same as we would do other job.

You can share that picture and spread around. I permit people to use this on facebook, blogs, websites, communities, tumblr etc. and feature it anywhere. I made it to be shared- we are about to share that art is part of our job to everyone If you agree with this :]
Feel free to share this!

But please DO NOT remove my signature and link to website and do not claim that you drew it. Do not use for also for commercial goals, ask me if you plan to do! :]

For the information: This is my own opinion and feeling with this, as well among the other artist. I made it for my group of artist community where I am in where they share the same feeling about it and that's it. It is NOT a law, order or even "it has to be". Everyone may have different opinions, and if someone things doing free requests is ok, it's totally fine! Free requests aren't bad, but for some people there is a limit reached where some artists can't do anymore due to clear reasons as being working artists. If you agree with this, that's fine, you may share and show your own feelings, if not, that's fine! Just do what you want :) Remember what I posted, it's also my feeling and opinion with others but not with everyone. Everyone has a right to their own feelings and that's a clean explaination why we don't do free requests. Even, personally I have not positive experience with "free requests" from people whom I do not know in the past.
Doing personal art and projects where I put my feelings and free thoughts, I have fun and enjoyment what I love, thus doing commission work is totally different feeling- a feeling of my duty and job.

Personally I still do "free work" which is an exception known as a gifts for my close people who I very cherish, working on art for them I think about them. It has positive feelings of the bonds and memories with them. And another, I'm active person in charity foundations/organizations, where I volunteer doing visual graphics where I also enjoy of a help for others in my foundation. I find it's priceless feeling being part of foundation and helping whose are in a need, being among with those fantastic people and fighting with life crisis.

Since there were many questions regarding art =/= fun, I hope that will explain :] [link]

Also to mention, I think the most beautiful art creations are when we do personal artwork. We put our own thoughts, own feelings, emotions and freedom- our world is put on the paper. No one should comment us what we should do when we create own and personal artwork from the heart.
I found the origin where that part of text quote comes from: www.hesaidteeshed.com
Image size
561x839px 614.04 KB
© 2011 - 2020 Exileden
anonymous's avatar
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InnovativeInspiring7's avatar

It’s a really expressive drawing and I like the animate style of the illustration. I feel for you, I hope you get the recognition you deserve.

Emerald-Wolf13's avatar
Emerald-Wolf13Student General Artist
The next time somebody asks you to draw them a tattoo for free, you should ask them if they are going to ask the tattoo artist to tattoo them for free.

I think too many people approach art from a jealous position.  They see what we do as 'not work' in the sense it is something we are passionate about (to the point of being 'fun' for us), and isn't drudge work.  It also doesn't help there being people who have a natural affinity for the hand eye coordination for drawing/painting/etc (I'm shying away from the talent, as that word is somewhat loaded).  Artists end up separated from other fields containing extremely passionate people (like medicine and science) through the long education being somewhat optional, because they don't realize an artist is 'always in school'...so art is a bit magical for them, a magic they don't have....(Edit:  Not that they can't have the magic, they choose to not invest the time since they believe they can twist your arm into to doing it for them)
Exileden's avatar
Well said! :heart: I noticed that you used very nice replacement for "overused word talent".

Also they must know that art is losing magic when it becomes job (turning into money), so it doesn't feel magical anymore for artists by themselves. Only when they create personal art. 

Another problem I find that, is that the majority of society is thinking in too obvious way that an average job should not be pleasant, but rather "chore" while in fact, a successful job is the one that you wake up inspired and motivated to do your work and tackle on hard challenges. It's completely regardless on job type whether is doctor, business man or artist or waiter. I knew several men from high end business, as I am really curious what others do, and I asked him what they do - it's all about that they love their jobs in business, working in teams, building relationships and selling. They are not drawn by the power of earning but the feeling of passion and motivation. And then they are effective to work 14h per day because they want. They feel fuel and power to tackle all tasks. And one of my best friends who has extremely modest life and loves her very ordinary job because of good relationship with her team. When we feel good, we are more effective to work and live from it. 
We should protect philosophy that our jobs should be motivating, feeling safe in what we do and inspiring to do. I don't understand why lots of people must speak that job isn't positive thing...
Emerald-Wolf13's avatar
Emerald-Wolf13Student General Artist
Thank you :)

Generally, I will refer to ppl as talented.  Just habit.  But I also realize, to some degree, what the back side of talented means.  For example, I can draw pictures of things in perfect perspective with correct proportions.  Does this make me necessarily 'talented' in drawing.  No, it means that I spend several years studying drafting and learned to use drafting tools and a lot about projection.  I guess that's the loaded nature of calling someone talented, it has a lot of expectation behind it.

Good points about work.  It does depend greatly on one's own outlook.  I similarly worked with a guy that saw his job as a means to an end.  Him and his brother (iirc) built experimental aircraft.  His 9 to 5 just supported the hobby.  I think a lot of ppl end up making the crappy job a chore out of not being able to moderate the amount of presence they have in the workplace.  This guy was present enough to do his job, and not take it personally when something went south (for the most part).  Many people get completely wrapped around the axle over little work dramas that they probably wouldn't care about otherwise given the choice between focusing on that and something they are truly passionate about.

I think art losing it's magic when it becomes a paying job is definitely a hazard, but not necessarily always preordained.  I think if you become famous for a particular thing or your magnus opum gets tangled with business ppl, it can have the magic sucked out of it.  Ted Degrasio is a good example of this.  He is super famous for these particularly stylized Navajo children paintings.  He eventually became tired of making them because that is all customers seemed to like.  So they paid the bills, but they became a chore while his trending passion was largely ignored.  Same thing when your baby gets made into a movie.  It's no wonder that authors like Anne McCaffery have kept most of their works from being molested by Hollywood.  I worry about the magic going out of art sometimes.  After quite a few years, I finally went back to school for a graphic design degree a few years ago.  I guess the danger of the magic running out isn't super high, considering I set a pretty low bar.  It's not like I'm angling for a change to be the next Kirby or something, and I'd actually be happy if I had a hand in designing something as subtly iconic as some of the logos that Saul Bass come up with.  It's like being famous without the baggage of being famous.  As far as commissions and requests, I get ya.  It's one thing when it's a once in a while thing or for friends/family....but when folks start taking advantage...
HumanStick's avatar
HumanStickHobbyist Traditional Artist
SushiBozz911's avatar
SushiBozz911Hobbyist Digital Artist
PastaPawz's avatar
LunarLilac's avatar
LunarLilacProfessional Digital Artist
This is such a powerful message, if only more people understood when they ask their artist friends for "family" discounts or freebies. We have a life as well and need to live. Our work takes a lot of our time, time that could've been spent working a 9 to 5 job, but instead we pour our passion into the pieces we create.
MINEOWNCOMINGProfessional General Artist

My excommunication begin does not effort an award winning more following like does myself alone recommend [you] but later for [maybe or not money for profit like dough alot?] but to exhibit the art.

cliffk's avatar

I'll do art for someone at no charge. All they have to do is rake my lawn. Simple right! Did I mention my lawn has at least 60 trees. Can't figure out why no one wants any free art from me.

AsterlieTimo's avatar
AsterlieTimoHobbyist Digital Artist
It's kinda funny that an old friend of mine popped up recently, and one of the first things he did was ask for free art of one of his OCs. Alas, he was my friend (and I typically don't get asked to do art for free), so I decided that I would do his piece for him, but it'd be put on the bottom of my TO-DO list and probably ask him to shout me out on his social media. I really love this, and fully agree with it, and it makes me wonder if I should have just told him to pay for it or get nothing?
no2hb's avatar
no2hbStudent Traditional Artist
i agreed to and i'm a artist too and know how you feel but i do art on paper and all i have left to say is good job. :)
InnovativeInspiring7's avatar
It is a beautifully illustration and the important message is in the drawing, clever idea.

It's ashame you don't see art as a fun job, I though most people who are artists do it as a living because its their passion, but if you are happy to do that, that's fine then.

I understand your message because all the effort, patience and energy put into pieces which are requested by others, and you do it for them, then you deserve the reward for it [being paid]; and if you do only that for a living you definitely need the money. 
Tai-Shenron's avatar
Tai-ShenronHobbyist General Artist
You are missing the point by a longshot. They aren't saying that their art is all work no play. The artist through this image is taking a well deserved jab at the elitist "arteest" hipster douches who say that no "real artist" (whatever the fuck that means) would/should make money off their craft. It is taking a shit on the notion that artists should be "starving artists" as opposed to being career artists who use their craft to make money that will keep them independently nourished, clothed, and housed without having to depend on other people or the government for their survival. It is taking a shit on the career shaming elitists who want to keep much of the arts out of the very marketplace that could help it progress and thrive and make it worth funding, but instead prefer to keep it in the regressive dark, stagnant shadows, and on top of that (to add insult to injury) giving ammo and confirmation to the crowd that says "art is a hobby, not a career".
InnovativeInspiring7's avatar

Sorry, I didn’t know how artists struggle with having success in the marketplace, now I know. Artists deserve to do art as a career, not just as a hobby, and they deserve success and recognition [especially if they studied a type of Art subject in College and/or university.

Ktokolwiek1992's avatar
Ktokolwiek1992Student Digital Artist
This drawing speaks the truth.

No matter how cheap a price for the commissions I am trying to set up, the 99% of the people would prefer asking me to make them for free, because GOTTA HAVE TEH MUNNEH!

It is pissing me off. That's not fair. I want to earn money for the future life, but so little of my watchers are actually treating me seriously.
Keeping asking the experienced drawers if they are still making requests after so many years means these people have no respect for those, whom they adore.

Also, nobody wants to help me at making the commission advertisement more successful.
ArtByJenX's avatar
ArtByJenXProfessional Traditional Artist
Great message behind this drawing! I love the idea! 
melodyofdeaddeanders's avatar
melodyofdeaddeandersStudent Artist
a true message. spoken from the heart.
Svetoslawa's avatar
SvetoslawaHobbyist Digital Artist
lol Actually, I draw for fun and its kiddish hobby - but for people who propose money better do not know about it! ;)
sundowner201's avatar
It is a different world and art is much less appreciated than it was....
gothickillerqueenxxx's avatar
gothickillerqueenxxxStudent Traditional Artist
I agree with you
SpottedTalon7's avatar
SpottedTalon7Hobbyist Digital Artist
SAME. I'm in journalism and all sorts of papers and news sites want me to submit my work for free :| (Blank Stare) it takes me around 15 hours to write a well-researched column 
CelesteLunaR53L's avatar
CelesteLunaR53LHobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh dang, no one wants to pay people, huh...
SpottedTalon7's avatar
SpottedTalon7Hobbyist Digital Artist
that's why journalists have such garbage pay
anonymous's avatar
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