Internalize this now: artists are people too.
Artists have bills to pay, supplies they need, families to feed, and lives to live. Their art is their livelihood; getting paid for their art is how they survive. It is not just a hobby to bust out for fun at the dinner table, nor should it be available on command.
Those of you who are singers, you know how it feels when you go home to a family function and somebody asks you to "sing something for [them]." Those of you who are lawyers, this is like having a family member call you with, "I just have this little legal problem..."
Reddit user u/cheloniidae shared an all too familiar struggle when they posted a conversation between themselves and a "friend" who was demanding free portraiture:
"I can't believe I was friends with such a birch like you," says the entitled friend, who clearly forgot to take a spelling class in her "college student" life.
Shes just a dumb birch
The thread was posted to Reddit's subforum, r/ChoosingBeggars, which revolves around showcasing people who believe they are entitled to whatever they want, though they hold zero power in obtaining these things.
According to one Reddit user, these "choosing beggars" follow a formula, which this girl hit almost exactly:
She hit every note of the choosing beggar on that last text:
- the personal insult
- the feigned offense as if you have slighted them
- the disrespect of your abilities accompanied by the timeless classic of 'I Know Someone Else Who Does a Better Job for Less™'
- the revocation of priceless Exposure™, this in the form of an Instagram tag for all 20 of her followers, including her grandma, who actually care to see pictures of her in a yoga pose with some pointless quote about living life to the fullest
- One final dump on your talent for good measure, just to really drive home the point that you suck
I could almost see her going through the phases of someone who isn't used to being told 'no'. You can tell because she, like many others, actually envision a scenario where you text her later to tell her how wrong you are, and offer to paint her TWO pictures for free. Ahhh, the life of having artistic ability.
4 ask for free
5 get pissed
6 get even more pissed
7 sh*t on the work for which they were begging
Others were marveling at just HOW choosy this beggar was.
A hand drawn portrait of yourself is a "need"!?!
I'm starting to think every single choosing beggar here is the same person. They all have the exact same writing style.
In 2013, the New York Timesran an article entitled "Instead of Exploiting Artists, Pay Them."
"Artists are the people who are willing to put up with a job that doesn't pay the bills and spend their days applying for grants that may offer as little as $1,000. They do this all for the joy of making art. These efforts in effect subsidize every other industry in the city by making it a more interesting and desirable place to visit and live, so maybe it's time we spent a little more time figuring out how to support artists."
Many sanctioned businesses offer artists only "exposure" for their work as compensation:
Art remains a relatively unregulated industry in the United States.
"The payment of artist fees has never been mandated at a federal, state or municipal level, which means nonprofits — often starving themselves — frequently do not pay artists," says the NYT piece.
So perhaps it's the societal circumstances surrounding people like the choosing beggar above that make them feel entitled to requisition work for free.
First message "hey blank blank told me you draw really good portraits" Last messages "your drawings suck anyway" Very indecisive this one
But the only way to deal with people like that?
That "K". Brutal - well done. Stupid Birch
This is not up for debate. Pay your artists.