I wrote this as an entry in my Livejournal, and it became one of my most commented upon pieces. As it was actually about Art, I thought I’d post it here:
When you’re an artist, people try and take advantage of you in ways they wouldn’t necessarily if you had a conservative career (though whenever you’re self-employed, people will generally try and take advantage of your skills).
They don’t know they’re doing it, because in a society that doesn’t value art for the most part; it’s normal not to value artists. And artists often don’t know it’s happening, because they’re part of that society and the trend of devaluing their own work.
This came about because recently a complete stranger who I don’t know from a bar of soap asked me if they could print out one of my pictures for free, and give it to a friend. I started composing a message to them along the lines of ‘sure! fine! wow that’s really sweet of you!’ but something didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right because I thought… I have a DeviantArt store to sell my prints, and I did that for a reason. So that I could survive.
This person doesn’t know me. They’re not a friend. They’re a complete stranger asking for free art on behalf of someone else I also don’t know very well.
And let me tell you now; this happens a lot.