Being an artist can be super fulfilling and fun. It can also be hugely frustrating. People who don’t work in the arts tend not to understand how much actual time, labor, and money goes into creating things.
The time and talents of artists are routinely undervalued, and everyone from corporate exploiters to clueless friends perpetuate that phenomenon when they ask for/demand a product without offering compensation.
Take this case study posted to Reddit by Thatusernameisntgood; a text conversation between them and a rather entitled acquaintance.
Part 1: Pleasantries
Right off the bat it’s clear they’re not even close.
Part 2: Interest
Note how the artist clearly directs this person to their SHOP, where they can BUY stuff.
Part 3: The Commission
This should be relatable to any artist. A request for something that would take an unbelievable amount of time, if it’s even feasible.
Part 4: “liek for family”
Even though we’ve established that they barely know each other…
Part 5: Selfish
I can’t even follow this bro’s logic here.
Part 6: Shame
If at first you don’t succeed, try to goad them into it.
Part 7: Tactics
Prepare for desperate flailing.
Part 8: The Twist!
Has our artist had a change of heart?
Part 9: Suspicious
If this dude wasn’t dumb as rocks he’d probably know what’s coming next.
Part 10: The Reveal
All his dreams are about to come true…
Part 11: The Prestige
Not since the Mona Lisa have we beheld such a masterpiece.
Part 12: Temper Tantrum
Cry me a river, dude.
The moral of the story, kids, is don’t ask your artist friends (or acquaintances, or…strangers) to make you stuff for free. They put their blood, sweat, tears, and money into making the things they make. Respect that.
What’s the last thing someone asked you to do for free?
Share your woes in the comments.