How to feel about people who ask you for free art

Artistic work is skilled work. Artists like to be compensated and be appreciated for the time and energy it takes.

As an artist who loves to draw portraits and characters, I will gladly accept someone inquiring about getting a portrait done… But the problem is that people often just don’t know how to ask properly.

Usually when people ask you to draw them, what they mean is “Can you draw me… (for free)?”. Maybe they think, since you already have your art supplies out, you’ll have a “might as well” mindset and won’t charge for them. Anyway, they’re usually appalled if you draw them for no pay.

In the art area, unfortunately is not uncommon you encounter people who want an exclusive artwork from you with or without some specifications of course, but at the same time they don’t seem to value the real effort the artist is going to use through the time to get it done professionally, assuming this kind of work doesn’t need all this money, “it’s just a painting, who cares”.

It really doesn’t work that way. Art materials itself are never cheap, and consider the time it takes to actually finish the art in the desired quality. Some of us do draw our friends/family/loved ones from time to time with no charge. That is because we are willing to do it.

The artist can draw whatever they want to. They don’t have to draw something just because someone wants them to – even if they’re getting paid for it. Some artists just don’t enjoy commissions. Some have other things going on and are too busy to fulfill the request. All of these reasons are valid.

It is important for people to understand that not artists are here to make art for the world. Most of them draw for themselves. They draw things that make them happy, the things they see in their head, etc.

Making art not only takes time but a lot of critical judgement. Art is NEVER easy. We hate our own artworks from time to time. We got unfinished art more than finished at times.

Now, as per my opinion, i find it sometimes fair to accept free services when:

  • You are a beginner/ an intermediate in the field. In other words, someone who doesn’t have enough experience and is willing to thrive and learn more. You can use these opportunities to get better and better. Because in case of experienced ones, especially adults, it tends to be insulting and minimizing.
  • A loved one asks you for a free service. In this case, i feel there should be no place for pride nor ego. I see no reason to get offended because as a favour, it’s obviously making them happy and at the same time getting you some reach so why not!

Now these are some of my observations on the issue. Do let me know your views below! Thankyou.

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