(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 ESPECIALLY, STOP ASKING FOR THEM FROM ME.
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.