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The above might seem to be an odd thing to write on a site like Deviant Art, where eye candy is everywhere, free for the taking. Which figures, because many artists here do what they do for fun, for practice, for experience, and for exposure (more on that later). But giving something away inevitably diminishes its value in a market-run economy, and friends, that's the economy we live in. If you are in the habit of putting all of your good stuff out there just so your views will go up, you're selling your talent short. That "good stuff", that idea, just might be your equivalent of Hogwarts. In my opinion, if you have a really REALLY good idea, keep it to yourself until it's ready for actual publication, whether in book form, comic form, album form or gallery form, in which cases you might actually get - gasp! - paid for it. The idea!

Now, having said that, I've created and posted a few things here that are just for fun, for your enjoyment, gratis. Things such as this:
Dogs and Cats, Living Together by Toonicorn

That is a deliberate choice on my part. I want visitors to my page here to be entertained. I want to make people happy with my art. I want to make them smile and laugh. And I like to experiment. So in posting "freebies" here, I'm entertaining my visitors and finding out if my experiments work.

But in the meantime, I'm working on projects that I expect to get paid for, eventually. And I have my paintings here - which I consider my "serious" work - in hopes that some visitors might care to buy them. Which is why I offer some of them in print form. I also have them available for sale elsewhere - such as at Fine Art America - and I've made sales there (none here yet). If you're a serious artist, that's the kind of thing YOU should be doing. Posting art here for exposure is all very well, as long as it's YOUR choice, and if it's part of your marketing plan.

But here's my point (and to quote Ellen DeGeneres: I do have one) - there are going to be those people who will tell you that they LOVE your art and would like you to do some of it for them - but for free. Or for "exposure". These people wouldn't dream of asking someone to fix their car or paint their house for free, but they think it's perfectly fine to ask an artist or a writer to give them something for nothing. These people do this because they think art is frivolous, and that we artists do what we do all because it's just so dang much fun. "Fun". Ha! The idiots! You know what I mean.

Here is a link to an excellent article in the New York Times about those who prey on and exploit artists, maliciously or otherwise. Please read it, if you're serious enough about your art that you want to get paid for it. And make no mistake  - you SHOULD get paid for your art. Art is NOT frivolous, it should NOT be given away, even if your art is meant merely to amuse. Does anyone ever get in free at Disneyland? Yeah, I didn't think so. Here. Read. Learn. And beware!…
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Snapai Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Hence why the animation studio I'm trying to start, even tho' I will initially be unable to pay even myself, provides those who join it with equal control over the company (and thus the money flow), and will keep track of work performed for a project, so that there's some sense of how much people are 'owed' (without immediately throwing the company into massive direct debt), and so if the resulting media from that project begins to earn money, that money flows appropriately to all those who worked on it, in proportion to their contribution.

Coz even if you work for no money, you still mustn't work for free. There must be SOME sort of compensation, of at least equal value to what you're contributing.
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
Sounds like an interesting project. I wish you the best of luck with it!
Snapai Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Sorry for the ramble, it's been on my mind a lot XD
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Submitted on
October 27, 2013