What do you think of - Free Art

Discussion in 'Art and Illustration' started by Drayx, May 17, 2017.

  1. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    Well, I was wondering what do you think of free-art-request. Is it beneficial for both the artist and the requesting person? Does it help for the communication? Is it making better artists? Do you have good or bad experience?

    I spent some time analyzing the possible reasons behind it - and made out my mind. I still want to hear others opinion about it, artists and others. I think this is quite a prominent section in our FA forum and there is always a lot of activity for such threads - but I didn't find any thread talking about it.
    Yakamaru likes this.
  2. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% faith-based dancing!

    Free art is always awesome.

    In my opinion, it's solely up to the artist to choose whether he/she wants to do free art. The one recieving free art have only one duty: Shut up, be grateful, and like the art they recieve. That's it. If their input is wanted for on for instance a pose and/or expression, they should give it in a positive and friendly way.

    Anyone acting as if they deserve free art, and/or act in a spoiled or worse off, in an entitled way, IMO, ought to be scratched off the list over people who truly enjoy free shit, and should be from there on out be denied free art from that artist.

    I am of the opinion that ANY work are to be paid for, unless the artist themselves are willing to do free art.

    Now, onto some analysis on the topic:

    I'd say it's good for both parties, if it's done in a respectful, friendly and courteous manner. The artist gains publicity and recognition through their art, and the one on the recieving end of free art gets free art. In the majority of cases, this is a win/win scenario.

    Communication is important. Keeping in touch during the entire process helps with making sure that the commissioner get what they commissioned, and the artist doesn't make any mistakes, like for instance, wrong colours, doesn't add a trinket, wrong design on clothes, +++. If you decide to do free art at some point, you might end up with some very interesting characters and/or interesting settings/situations/poses/expressions. The more practice you get in, the better you become. "Practice makes the master", as they say.

    In my own experience so far with artists, they have ALL been lovely, friendly and courteous to commission. And it's tempting to commission them again. :p

    The ones I've commissioned/gotten free art from so far:
    -asokarie (drew Drake for the first time, and I absolutely love her for that)
    -Pallid Panda
    -southjaw(commission in progress)
    ^ They have ALL been very friendly and just outright awesome. Sorry if I've forgotten anyone.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  3. Belatucadros

    Belatucadros Sláinte chugat!

    Ditto what Yakamaru said. I don't see anything wrong with it because it's the artist's choice to do it. I'm no artist but it's probably good practice as well. I've seen lots of artists who do free requests so that they have samples for future commissioners to look at.
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  4. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    Could you elaborate about your view of free will in our context?

    If someone does something of his free will - it does not necessarily make it more right.
    By the standard you adopt - sweatshop is fine as the workers are choosing to do so, nobody puts a gun to their head, nobody should care about their wages or conditions.
    If I have a rich acquaintance who gives me extra-expensive gifts every week, it's fine since he does so by his own free will.
    It's all valid - but moral of right or wrong might depends on multiple aspects beside choice.
  5. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% faith-based dancing!

    If you want to debate morals and moral standards instead of the actual topic, why didn't you just say so?

    Your morals may not be the same as someone elses. This goes for absolutely everything.

    If someone decide to give free art, it's their right, their perogative, to do so. if your rich friend gives you free shit every week, that's on him.

    Free will is, well, free. You are 100% free to choose NOT to do free art. However, you are NOT free to tell someone else to go the same path as you, regardless of choice.

    Right or wrong have NOTHING to do with it.
  6. Belatucadros

    Belatucadros Sláinte chugat!

    This is art we're talking about though. Art is something people do because they enjoy it, therefore if they choose to do free art for the sake of just having fun then where's the fault in that? That's just my opinion though, and I definitely respect yours.
    Yakamaru likes this.
  7. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    mmm...no, I didn't do it to speak about morals - just the opposite - I want to have a "clear" discussion without skeptical presumption.
    Just as you did before you can say something like: "I like it, it is cool, I had some good experience with it and this way I made some friends."
    If you claim something like "it's their own free choice" - (I won't doubt that) I would want to get a sharper answer. So, unless you want to argue that specific point - just drop it for both of us.
    Yakamaru likes this.
  8. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    Thanks for your openness, I don't take that for granted :)
    I totally agree with art for fun and for joy.
    I'm not sure if there is a general cosmic fault in Free-Art, everybody has their own opinion about that.
    Yakamaru likes this.
  9. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% faith-based dancing!

    Oh, ok. My bad. ^^

    Well, I'd love to hear your opinion on it, if you don't mind sharing it.
  10. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    :) sure :) But I do want to hear at least one artist before going to details.
    Personally I think there is a better model (or models) to achieve the things you mentioned and more: recognition, promotion, social communication, art improvement, having a critique, explore new themes in art.
    I must say that I don't have the POV of the one asking for requests, so I'm far from being objective.
  11. narutogod123

    narutogod123 Void Mage

    I mostly do free art when I have nothing to do and feel like being nice, it's pretty fun even though I only draw sketches of their character. Sometimes people take it for granted, I make SFW art but I happen to get some people asking for kinky stuff even though I only draw NSFW for commissions. It gets really frustrating when I do something nice and one person ruins it by posting NSFW pictures in a PG-13 forum in my thread. So I took a break from making everyone free art and only did raffles occasionally, I want to get back into doing free art for fun but I can only hope there aren't any crazy people again.
  12. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    hehe, sometimes I have it the other way around :)

    Can't you just delete unwanted comments?
  13. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    Depends on the situation.
    I get messages from people who think simply because i am an artist, that i should be happy to do free art.
    Heres the thing. I have bills to pay and yes art is my profession.
    Would you ask a mechanic to fix your car for free?
    Just because i am an artist does not mean it isnt just as insulting to me that you devalue my profession so much that you would automatically consider it a hobby and not a livelihood
    If you wouldnt ask a hair dresser for a free haircut just because she likes cutting hair, dont ask me for free art because i like being an artist.
    Its insulting.
    You cant buy food with exposure.
    Art raffles do help some artist out when they are in a rut or just feel like doodling.
    But that way different that just asking someone for free stuff.
    Thats my peice.
    I feel too many people in the fandom, dont respect artists as much as they deserve. So sorry for ranting.
    Cheers :3
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  14. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    Agree for every word
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  15. dozenfish

    dozenfish New Member

    I also agree that there is a fine line to walk in terms of exploitation. I think free art is most appropriate when you are a beginner artist looking to get the hang of commissions and wanting practice. If you've worked long/hard at your craft, you deserve to be paid for your labor. I personally would only offer free art as a bonus for multiple commissions or as a follower giveaway at this point...
    PencilBrain likes this.
  16. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    I'll try to be less judgmental and harsh.

    Basically - it has no merit whatsoever for the artist. It might be misleading calling it "Free" since working for hours on each piece for no reward of any kind, makes it sound absurd .
    If you do it for fun - it is your decision - but there is a misconception that this act is also helpful for the artist, I would like to differ.
    I have drawn over 40 free-art for a period of a year. I usually work between 2-6 hours on each piece. So this is my experience and perspective.
    I didn't do it for money, I did so for 3 main reasons: Promotion, Social communication and Improving my art - thinking back about it - those goals were not fulfilled:

    Promotion - I never got a boost of promotion because of a Free-art I have done - NEVER. Free-Art never got more likes or more views than my regulars watchers would bring me. The "client" does not work to promote you, even if he is super nice and kind - it is not his job. Usually a lot of those would just look for the next piece of art, as they hoard tens or more of free art pieces. You can also ask yourself - is promotion a good enough for hours of work? But other expressed this idea better than me.

    Social Communication - Only few people tried to communicate with me directly to have a meaningful conversation (about 5%). Most would be nice to say thanks and give a positive feedback, some just disappeared from the forum midway - and I never got any feedback. A regular conversation that I initiate would serve me much better than making an art piece for someone. I rarely got critique which is relevant for my art - Anatomy, color scheme, background, technique, overall feeling - I did get annoying request to fix some minor details in the character (like the right shape of tattoo or some earing). About third to half of the people I made a drawing for are no longer on this forum.

    Improving your art - Well, I did get better with my art, but this is not the result of working with other "clients" - it was just because I drew a lot and tried to challenge myself. If I wanted to do something different - I could just as easily open the internet or look around and choose something I never did before. The only "clients" that made an effort and watched me streaming helped me during the process itself. The main motivation for improvement came from my side, not from others.

    So, I would suggest doing things differently to achieve those goals:

    + Make Fan art: yes, maybe it is a lesser form of art, but those pieces brought me tons of views and watchers compare to Free-Art. If you choose a popular theme - people would pay notice to it - as they search for every small piece of their favorite character.
    + Just communicate: just communicate in the forum or in other medias directly with other clients and artists. Don't make friends based on materialistic benefit.
    + Collaborate with artists: work with others and ask for their critique and opinion, do trade-offs and projects together. Learn from selected few favorite artists. (!) I consider writers, music composers and every other creator as a sort of artist.

    As I try to follow those - I find it is more beneficial to me. I don't agree with the idea of "beginner artists" should work for free until they gain enough experience. I also hate to think that every art should be made to gain money.
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
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  17. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    100% agree like legit with everything you just said XD i would say the single best peice of advice you can give anyone is. Make fanart. Lots and lots of fanart. Its the only thing anyone cares about unless you're allready well known. People arent searching tags for your art. They want to see pokemon and splatoon mashups. They want steven universe and undertale.
    Free art will get you nowhere because people are Generally selfish and only in it till you give them what they want. They wont promote you and they usually wont even credit you as the artist in their bio. So dont bother
    Drayx likes this.
  18. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    There are still quite a lot of nice people out there - but kind people do not based their relation on favors.

    I changed my other thread for 'Art Trade' and hope that a lot of artists would work with me- and maybe some non-artist people would be motivated to try something new.
    PencilBrain likes this.
  19. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    I would rather do art trades that free art any day. That way i know i get something of value back for my effort. And hopefully form relationships in the process.
  20. rocketseal

    rocketseal Member

    Kinda skimmed the convo so apologies if this is addressed, but instead of a sweatshop I think it's more like a free samples analogy. I don't get mad going to Costco and eating their free samples. Yeah, some people might go around collecting samples so they don't have to buy dinner, but hey, apparently it's still very worth it for those companies so I'm guessing there's some statistics there.
  21. Zeitzbach

    Zeitzbach Taste purple

    If you do a bunch of requests, you will just get some people who watch you because they think they can get some free pieces off you.

    So if you're gonna do free arts, accept something that isn't just for personal sake unless you're just feeling generous. Even so, doing free art, while it seems nice of the artist, most people who commissioned the artist in the past won't like it and will feel like they're being cheated.
  22. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    Hi! I gave the example of a sweatshop to question the idea of choice - But in the end we decided not to go to some moral debate. But what you're saying is interesting!

    Let me get this straight - you're saying that a company or a shop that sells hundreds of portions or large quantity food per day, giving small free samples for hundreds of people in order to be familiar with their product and to further advertise themselves - IS THE SAME - as an artist working for an hour or more on a certain piece and giving it to only one person by the end of the day? You make an analogy between mass production establishment giving free samples that requires little investment and the work of a single craftsman?
  23. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    I agree. A businessman-artist needs to be consistent - not to go back and forth with requests and prices. Otherwise it is not fair - and it's only logical that you'll get a world of hatred for it.
  24. rocketseal

    rocketseal Member

    Well, yes. Because we build our portfolios and share everywhere. It's not just one person who's benefiting from the free art, but also all the people who see it.

    I think your logic is too extreme. Instead of large corporations, think small local farmers markets. Even if they only have a few samples out, people who try and like them will talk about them to friends and family.
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  25. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    Most people who go after free art dont commission people. And they are usually selfish and dont bother spreading around your name after they get it. From my experience, its a waist of time and effort you could be using to make art for yourself or for a real client. Ffs make adoptables and let em sell over time. Free art only benefits the receiver.
    Yakamaru likes this.

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