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Submitted on
November 10, 2012
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Re: Free art requests

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 10, 2012, 1:14 PM
  • Mood: Suffering
  • Reading: The Plague Dogs
  • Playing: Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance

(If you have ever asked someone for free art, or if you yourself have been asked for free art, this journal is for you.)

One frequent question I get, is, "can you draw something for me for free?"
My usual answer is, "I wish that I could, but I have no job/low-paying job, so all my effort MUST go towards making art for money, not free. I'm sorry."

There is no part of this statement that is not true. I DO wish that I made enough money to never have to do on-the-side-art for money again. To be able to just draw whatever I want and to not have to consider it a waste of time, and therefore a loss of money. It's not a lie. And as I have a guilt complex, even the "I'm sorry" is sincere.

But I will probably NEVER make enough money to not have to consider working on the ideas of random people I don't even know to be a waste of my time if they won't pay me for it.
That sounds harsh, but please, try to understand.
Art takes me a long time. A longer time than most people. But in ALL cases, art takes time for ANY artist. Art is frustrating. Art is DIFFICULT.
Unless someone is making artwork of something they ABSOLUTELY LOVE, art is a task, like any other trade.
Art is something that people who can't MAKE art are willing to pay for.
So artists directly trade their time and effort spent on things they may not entirely enjoy doing for money they need to survive.

So do me, and any other artists you request free art from, a favor.
Don't consider it to be just requesting a free piece of artwork.
Consider it to be requesting MONEY from that artist.

In a roundabout way, that's what you're asking for.
The hours an artist spends on your request are hours that could have been spent on a commission.

Instead, please...PLEASE, if you'd like to see your ideas drawn out, brought to life, but can't possibly pay to have it done, seek out an artist who is OPENLY ACCEPTING requests.
I see SEVERAL in my excursions on this very website. Artists who feel they need practice, but don't have any good ideas themselves. Artists who'd like to do commissions, but have no examples to show of what finished art would look like. Artists who are simply BORED and don't need money!

They are out there! Go ask for requests where it is appropriate, not to any artist whose page you like.

And I know damn well that despite this journal, despite my OBNOXIOUS "I DON'T DO REQUESTS" DISCLAIMER, I'll still get requests for free art filling my inbox.
But I thought I'd at least make my thoughts on it public.

And don't get me started on people who pretend to be my friends to get free art. The first time it happened, I was sickened. How can you be so obvious about it? But now it happens so frequently that it's just...a sad reality.

True friends don't ask for gift art after talking to me for only an hour and pretending to care about me.

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Lizzichu Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Well said Nyaasu!! I would like to share this in my journal. Its also annoying when someone adds me and keeps commenting for awhile and say how awesome and talented and then they ask for me to draw something for them as they think we are best buddys. Also they ask for trades or that they have no money or points. I try my best with some requests when I do ask for some and I'm still waiting for commissions but I'll wait till I get better I guess. I'm not that well known and I do have some people who like my work but can't buy commissions. I do wish that I can draw all day for people or get an awesome job so I can draw for free.
Nyaasu Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, unfortunately I notice that FREE art is more quickly gobbled up than art for money, although I wish they'd realize how CHEAP our prices really are.

I hope one day they realize the value of a dollar, seriously!
Lizzichu Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yup I agree. Some prices that people have aren't very high and are reasonable. I sometimes think that people that buy coffee or something like eating out nearly everyday adds up, but I'm sure they don't really give it much thought because its something they want or need. Now a commission is pretty cheap than they think it is but sometimes people aren't aware of the amount the already spend due to routine and things.

Artwork takes our time to create and draw. It's surely fun for us to have our creative thoughts expressed through canvas, paper, computer, etc... If only it brought the bread and money at the same time. If I could I would draw all day doing the thing I enjoy to do but sadly I don't get paid "yet" depending if I could design or get paid to draw. :)

My prices aren't high I hope... But I'm also not that well known. I can always try my best to work around a persons budget and maybe discount but I can only reduce so much. The word "free" is everyone's budget and people try to vulture for free art instead of buying.

Sorry I was in my zone mode and I hope what I said makes sense lol
Konazumi Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well said, Nyassu~
Nyaasu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
xD Thanks, I hope people can understand how it feels to get so many requests! x3
Drake-Ryu Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
For me I try to find artist who openly say accepting art requests, and even if they don't want anything for it, I usually give them something back, whether it be points or a drawing. I sometimes do art trades, which is somewhat more fair for others as they don't want to pay with money or points. I do enjoy seeing other's draw my OC or something.
Nyaasu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very good, there's nothing wrong with WANTING a request, nothing at all! But you have to find someone who is TAKING requests. x3 I see a lot of people who want to take requests, although I can't name any off the top of my head. xD

When someone notes me asking for a free request, it makes me feel guilty, as well as a little annoyed that someone wants my art, but doesn't want to pay me for it. x3 And, getting so many requests stresses me out - I never forget about it, I have too much guilt!

So I want people to think of how an artist will feel, before they note them with a request. x3
Dragoniade Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
You should NEVER ask for free art. It's insulting to the artist and other. Why would YOU get free stuff and not the other? Why are you more deserving than the other?

If an artist does offer request, then consider this as a gift, NOT as a due. Don't come barging with 20 changes request or complain the art is not as you had hoped. It was a gift. Sometime you get what you want, sometime you get some old socks.

If you want something specific, then commission it. Don't expect to get the same level of satisfaction with free stuff than paid stuff. That's the rule for everything, art included.
Nyaasu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"...or complain the art is not as you had hoped."
...Yeah, I drew something for someone as a free gift, and they disliked it and "politely" asked me to redraw it entirely, because my style is not what they like.

I thought that was so rude...I can't even describe it. -_-
wiimaster97 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh boy, something to talk about. :3

Well, I'll say one thing, it must fire you up to think about requests. xD I'm not against that, but I'm not in your shoes, I have no idea what it's like to only do commissions.

I mean, I get that you need to do commissions, you don't have much money, (I guess I'm glad I know you enough to know that now .3.) and again, I'm alright with that, but I can't really relate so much.
Not that you're asking for me to relate, but hey, different perspectives are good, I suppose. |'D

I mean, I'm still in high school. I'm not desperate for money. I'm actually making more money than I ever have been, actually.
Not to mention, I barely get requests anyway, so if I even consider doing commissions anytime soon my page is going to be like a ghost town. ;w;
I do have one request I still have to do... I was asked months ago. This may be why no one asks me for anything. >w<;

Eh, well... I guess it's a long road for me to work on my art, get more requests, then become angry when no one asks for commissions instead. .3. Not to make fun of any artist, but it worries me to see people feeling more indignant than I feel they should about this.

Like I said, I don't know how it feels, but still, I don't think yelling at anyone to get your point across would be necessary. I, hope it wouldn't be. I3I;
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