What do you think of - Free Art

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

  1. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    Do you do free art because you want to do free art and are feeling generous, or do you do free art because you basically want free advertisement for your art?

    You can solve both by having people who actually genuinely appreciate free art. People who actually do appreciate free art are much more likely to promote your art at least once and put their art on their gallery, giving you passive promotion.

    Free art can be beneficial for both, if the reciever actually put that shit on their gallery and/or promote the artist. I try to post all art I recieve, commissioned and free alike, in my gallery. I am not an ad company and I won't go out of my way to promote you, but I will show off the cool art I have gotten to friends and groups I am part of. Maybe even family, depending what art it is.
  2. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    If somone wishes to do free art i wont stop them. But comissioned art gets all the same perks plus you get paid for your work. There really is no reason to do it unless you just spontaniously decide to give away free art. But again your time is always better spent making adoptables to sell or doing an art trade. Free art is never really a good option for anyone but the person receiving. I would respectfully have to disagree with you here :3 no hard feelins
    Yakamaru likes this.
  3. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    Hahaha, no worries! I see the upsides of free art, along with the downsides.

    If an artist wants to do free art, it's their perogative. But they won't get paid for it(in most cases, but can in some cases recieve a tip) for the most part, and you basically only get a bit of potential promotion and exposure.

    You will lose potential exposure, but you won't lose out on income, if you don't do free art.
    PencilBrain likes this.
  4. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    Yeah i can agree with potential. True.
    Yakamaru likes this.
  5. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    The thing with free art is you most likely won't make any money, but you can get a decent amount of potential exposure to people who might not otherwise see your art.

    It's a decent way to create a bit of a following before you go into taking commissions. Setting up a Patreon is also always a good idea.
  6. Serena Elric

    Serena Elric Member

    It is beneficial to the person who is getting the free art but not the artist, especially if you are looking to do commissions. The people who come to you because you are giving away free art are never going to pay for it and these people who are like that don't dissever your hard work. No matter how good or bad you may think your art is, that doesn't mean you should under sell yourself, because that is what you are doing to yourself when you take requests. Now if every once in a while you want to do a raffle or an even to where you are giving a few people free art that's okay, but when you draw anything for anyone who ask for it for free that is you telling them you do not value your work.

    In my personal experience with this was back when I first come to the online art community. When I found out about commissions and requests I was happy to know there were people out there who were will to pay money for my skills. But I was new and had little to show for my work so I decided to do some requests to build my gallery up and get some exposure to the public. And things went will well, at first, lots of people came for me to draw them something and I did. It felt good to hear how happy they where with my work and it gave me the confidence to start my commissions, thinking they would be willing to pay for my work once I started to charge for it. But as soon as I closed my requests and opened my commissions everyone went away. No commissioners ever come my way and I even lost some watchers. Even those who I role played with that I did art for and thought were my friends left me. I was devastated and gave up on doing art for a long time. It took me a whole year to come back to the online community and this was around the time I discovered FA and there was where I found a new style of art I really loved, furry. And some how I got the courage to try again with my commissions. So unlike Deviant art, Fur Affinity was a much better place and community for commissions as it didn't take long for me to get my first commission! It felt so great to finally fined someone who enjoyed my work enough to pay me for it. Compared to just give away my art for free it was more fulfilling to do commissions than requests, because now you have people telling me my art is worth something! That me as an artist should be proud of my work and shouldn't be afraid to ask for something in return for MY TIME AND HARD WORK!

    Now if you are looking to do request to get better at drawing there are much better ways to do this. You should try to draw things that push you creative limits. Try to do things out of your comfort zone, like for me I still have trouble drawing males so every now and than I push myself to draw a male character to try to get batter at it. And remember it is quality not quantity that counts when I comes to art. If you feel your gallery is too small don't worry about it in time your gallery will grow, you can force creativity. Trust me I know its hard I have over a 100 drawing on DA and still feel like its not enough. But like I said it will grow with time and remember many of the artist who have made it big in the art community have been around for a long time. But anyway sorry this was so long but I feel very strongly about this stuff and I really gets on my nerves when people expect to get something for nothing.
  7. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    I took the time to read the whole thing :3
    You were passionate enough to write it so it deserved the read. And i agree with. How you feel on this. My experience is pretty close to exactly this. Now that i commission everyone peaced out and im at square one again. So im making a brand new FA account to post art and take commissions. I hope it works out but so far not much hope. I hope you're successful too :3
    Yakamaru and Serena Elric like this.
  8. Serena Elric

    Serena Elric Member

    Thank you I'm happy to meet someone who feels the same as me. To be honest I didn't think the first reply to be so positive and good luck to you too! ^-^
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    Yakamaru and PencilBrain like this.
  9. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    :3 thanks! I think itle all work out in the end somehow
    Yakamaru and Vespien_Fauhx like this.
  10. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    It really sucks that you've experienced all of that, it really does. Yeah, you might end up with some people who simply follow you for free art. This is kinda hard, if not impossible, to avoid. If they stop following/watching you when you're done with requests and start to take commissions, then they were only there for the free art in the first place. They were not true followers/watchers, and you shouldn't be worried about them leaving. Leechers are plentiful. You just need to weed them out.

    It really sucks to see artists treated like this. Some people are greedy, spoiled, entitled*, some might even be snarky and outright negative about what they recieve/get, so I fully understand your point of view and experience. It's not pleasant to hear about this, no matter how many times I hear it. A decent amount of people are outright shitty. Same goes for artists. If you act spoiled, as if you are entitled* to being commissioned, you are doing something wrong. If something is rotten, it may affect all parties, and should be corrected.

    * = I fucking hate this word. No one is entitled to anything, ever. Though won't stop some people acting/behaving like it they are. It's cancer.

    A decent amount of people simply don't have the money to go around when it comes to buying commissions. They might've commissioned someone else, your prices may be too high, they may have a limited budget and want to choose carefully, your artstyle may not be what they are looking for, art quality, they prefer someone elses art over yours, +++. There's a plethora of reasons on why you may not be commissioned by someone.

    Like with a lot of other things, free art has both pros and cons. Some people experience more of the cons, while others more of the pros. It's often about your audience and how you as an artist are. There's a LOT of different major and minor factors that decide on whether or not an artist will be commissioned. Some of the pros are wider exposure and potential future commissioners. Some of the cons are zero income, potential leechers and people who may not show off your art if they recieve it.

    But keep this in mind: If it weren't for the fact that someone(asokarie) went out of their way to draw Drake as a kind and friendly gesture, I wouldn't be getting commissions from other artists in the first place. I won't speak for anyone but myself and my own situation, obviously. If or when I recieve free art I will do my best to promote the artist, through sharing on for instance Discord and posting the art on FA. Hell, even if it's commissioned art I show it off on Discord and other locations. The people I commission and/or recieve free art from deserve the exposure, even if it's only one other person.

    Oh yeah.. Do you have a Patreon set up?
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
    PencilBrain likes this.
  11. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    This is going to sound a bit.... Cocky.
    Im a self depricating person.
    Especially with my art.
    Its never good enough.
    However i am artisticly inclined enough to know when my art has hit a certain quality level.
    Free art i would say has its place.
    Beginner/ amature artists may be more inclined to do free art.
    Lets not sugar coat it.
    When you start off you're not very good. It takes a few years to get to comission ready quality "in my opinion".
    Im at the point where giving away art feels like giving away money.
    Because my skills as an artist have become valuable.
    So i think theres a scale.
    Like from ms paint doodles all the way to tokifuji.
    And once you hit the mark where you feel you could sell it to the public, thats when its time to stop giving your hard earned skill away like its candy at a 1990s santa clause parade.
    Serena Elric, Activoid and Yakamaru like this.
  12. Activoid

    Activoid Ace Artist

    I think offering free art is a nice gesture that is entirely up to the artist. It can generate instant publicity (though usually temporary, unless you keep it up for a long time), and give you a great opportunity to practice drawing things you wouldn't normally draw yourself. It can push you outside of your comfort zone, which is a good thing that will absolutely help you grow as an artist, no matter what skill level you're at.

    Personally, I don't do free art anymore just because I'm too busy with paid art. But if you want an opportunity to build your portfolio and practice a lot with prompts, while simultaneously making a lot of people happy, then go for it. I honestly can't think of any drawbacks, just be sure to not overwork yourself and make sure you have only a limited set of slots so that you don't end up with like 20 requests. And be sure to write them down and complete them in order if you do. <_>
  13. Activoid

    Activoid Ace Artist

    As for whether or not someone should request free art, that's a different story. If you're a professional, had lots of schooling, or spent a lifetime building your skill, or want to take it seriously in the future, then charge someone money if they ask for free shit from you. If you are desirable enough for someone to actually ask you to make something for them, and YOU take yourself seriously as well, charge them money for it. Because you're a professional, or at least a professional-to-be.

    If it's just a hobby and you don't really care about either money or pursuing art as a career, that's up to you to say yes or no. Depends on your mood or workload at the time, I guess. Whether or not you should offer free art if someone asks? Really boils down to knowing exactly how much you, your time, and your skills are worth. If those things aren't worth anything to you, then that's your business.
  14. Yvvki

    Yvvki Sassy lesser panda.

    I feel like drawing for free is a double edged sword. Yes it gives you practice but then people expect you to draw them for free or they will just wait until you draw for free. It really De-values your work.
  15. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    From my experience, the people who i gave free art to never commissioned me after i stopped with the charity stuff.
    Yvvki and Activoid like this.
  16. Bigbrownorc

    Bigbrownorc New Member

    I draw free art.
    I think it's good practice for me and helps me blow of steam. Though i don't spend hours when doing a request, unless it's really my sorta thing. But i do understand it other artists want to make coins for the hours they spend drawing.

    i do this as a hobby when i have some spare time and just feel like drawing kinky stuff. Though i can at times be picky in which request i choose to do or not do. For example people who actively follow my blogs always go before somebody who just preys on free requests.
    I sometimes have people demand me stuff instead of requesting something nicely. Or expect me to draw their request right away, even though i have a big list of other requests still to do.

    But most of the time i get a lot of kind and nice people who just want to talk and negotiate on drawing something we both enjoy. They understand that a free artist isnt going to draw stuff he/she doesn't like drawing for nothing.

    Summed up: i think for me its good practice and something just fun to do in my spare time

    Plus there are some artists ask to much for nothing. But that's just my opinion.
    Amiir, Yakamaru and Activoid like this.
  17. Serena Elric

    Serena Elric Member

    I know there are many reason why a person won't commission me, but I'm saying is requests didn't help me one bit. Free art is only good for the person reviving it as I have said before once you start charging for it all those requester are gone and looking for the next artist to leech off of. It's human nature when you get something for free you never want to pay for it. You maybe the expectation to this rule but then you'll also get "well you didn't charge so-and-so so why should I pay?" Do you see what I'm saying? You can't have request and commissions because no one is going to pay when you are just giving it away for free. Its like that old saying " no one is going to buy the cow when your giving away the milk" You said it yourself you've heard it many times before so how can you still be okay with artist giving away their art? If you want to support the artist then do it! You support goes a long way and that extra income will give the artist more time to make more of the art you love. It can even help them quite their job to be a full time artist and make even more of the art you love. Why do you think so many artist are doing Patreon? Because they want to get something for all their hard work and live the dream to get paid to do what they love! Nothing beats that feeling and I hope that one day I could be one of those artist.

    Look I don't want to fight as you seem to be a very passionate guy and "love your free shit" but when an artist just gives and gives and people just take and take you're going to run out of things to give. When all is said and done it is better to support your artist so they can continue doing what they love and get to see more of what you love. I'm glade you are still willing to pay for art even after getting some for free as you already know there not many people willing to do that.

    As for my own Patreon I currently don't have one but it is in the works.
  18. Serena Elric

    Serena Elric Member

    My thoughts exactly, it is impassible to fine a serious artist who is giving away art. Why give it away for free when there are people willing to pay for it.
    Activoid and Yvvki like this.
  19. Serena Elric

    Serena Elric Member

    Beautifully said!
    Yvvki likes this.
  20. fralea

    fralea Member

    I've actually had several commissions from people who I've done free art for, though I do free art rarely and with strict limits to topic/render method. Though sometimes I've found myself putting a negligible price on things when I want to do free art just to weed out people. Only when I do that, I don't feel it would be fair to pick and choose which customers I want so its first come first serve. For requests/raffles its more like... I pick the topic, quality of completed product isn't guaranteed, no one is guaranteed to get anything (obviously), if you do get something you don't get wips or an estimated finish date, and I just pick whoever I want (for requests... obviously for raffles there is a random winner).

    I think that it really depends on how you set it up. If you have requests and commissions open at the same time, yeah that's not the best business model.
  21. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    Oh, no. I completely understand where you're coming from, and I truly sympathize. It really sucks. If you don't like doing free art due to bad experiences, then by all means, don't do it. I'm not saying do lots and lots of free art. Far from it. Do the opposite: Make recieving free art from you a privilege. An honor. Well, that is, if you ever do free art.

    The ones I've seen complaining about it were in the majority of the cases ranting because they gave free art to someone who didn't enjoy what they recieved. Yeah, they got the boot real fuckin' quick, I can tell you that. :p

    And yeah, I've heard it many times before, over the course of some 9 years. It's about... 15-20 times in total so far? So it's not uncommon. I support free art, but I don't support crippling yourself, I don't support doing so much free art you end up devaluing your art, and I sure as hell don't support ruining artists in any way, shape or form, if you know what I mean.

    In my opinion, recieving free art is a privilege, an honor. It's best served as a promotional/exposure tool that should rarely be used, or as Yvvki said, will start devaluing your art and you as an artist. And it will attract leechers.
    Serena Elric and Yvvki like this.
  22. PencilBrain

    PencilBrain Squishy Butt

    Look heres what i think.
    If you are a kid and dont have money then free art is a way to interact with other kids who are artists starting off.
    If you however are an adult and truly care about an artist, then maybe dont buy that tripple quarter pounder meal for once, make a sandwich at home and comission them. It really jerks my gerkin when i see well off furrs trying to squeeze freebees from struggling artists.
    Again would you expect free repairs from a mechanic?
    Free rides from a taxi?
    I cant buy food with exposure.
    Its time to start treating artists with the same respect as any other profession.
    For most of us this is a career choice and freelance is haaard.
    So just skip the next couple overpriced starbucks frappucinos and help out the artists you like.
    WolfNightV4X1 and Activoid like this.
  23. Serena Elric

    Serena Elric Member

    Yes exactly, I'm not against artist giving away art every now and than in raffles or other evens as a thank you to their watchers.
    Yakamaru and PencilBrain like this.
  24. Drayx

    Drayx Active Member

    Generosity as a tool of Greed

    If up until now I was quite conservative – now I’ll be direct, and this is certainly nothing personal (a bit long – but I paid Minami to help):

    I’m sorry to say that so far I didn’t hear anybody speaking about Free-Art as a good strategy – in the long run. Instead, people are treating it as a schtick. If the reason someone chooses to do so is generosity towards others “skill-less friends” – I want to question it.

    Generosity of an artist can actually become part of the greed in this forum. There are different kinds of generosity – One in which you help others in need, and one in which you give something for those who have no need for help. The same act – different context. It is not the same generosity to give money for the survival of a poor man and to give money to a rich person. The first is an act of kindness, the second is an act of stupidity. I can still do both if I enjoy it – but you SHOULD LOOK AT THE CONTEXT OF EACH CASE.
    Minami Philosophy 1.png

    Giving art away to someone who just asks you to, is giving money to rich people – just look at the libraries with tens or hundreds of drawings from different artists: Anyone can get a drawing just by writing down one sentence in this forum. This is how we feed the Greed. And for that the myth of generosity must be maintained. And generosity, in our case, is one sided.

    I want to do a crazy thing: I’ll post a thread asking “money for nothing” in this forum (I’m drawing my own art, no Patreon, no rewards, just my bank account number). I won’t give anything in return – but I promise to say “thank you” and to tell you how much I appreciate your money. You’ll get as much exposure as I can give with my journal! I’ll publish the fact that you donated money for me! For some reason it is normal for an artist to work for 15-30 minutes on a piece (or 2 hours at least if you’re like me) – but what about the other way around? Anybody can work 15-30 minutes, get a dollar and pay an artist. Let’s see if the generosity will be equal – obviously I’ll be rich in no time.

    Mianmi Philosophy 2.png

    When artists give art away and get nothing in return – they condemn other low and mid-level artists to gain nothing as well (market effect). We create a system in this forum in which there is no reason for you to give something back for the artist – you can just wait for the “generosity” of the next one. Selfishness of artists wanting to get money, drawings, a story, anything - will lead to a real generosity towards themselves and other creators. It will motivate creators with zero experience to try and draw their own characters instead of begging others. And, if you really have no faith in yourself or you have “no skill” – it is fine! You can work and tip the artist, you can use your whatever skills to give something back to the artist you like. I just refuse to pity others it is not “being nice” – it is pointless and harmful.

    Minami Philosophy 3.png
    Activoid and PencilBrain like this.
  25. Pipistrele

    Pipistrele Smart batto!

    There's nothing fundamentally wrong with giving/receiving free art, as long as it's mutualy respectful and benefitical, really. It's a good way to get some practice, make a random folk or two happy, fill up a portfolio, etc. I can see your argument about it not being very good from market standpoint, but that's the thing, it's not always about the market - in fact, more often than not it's just about, well, drawing artwork for the sake of it.

    The thing I'm really against, though, is "art leeching" - when people literally camp the exchange subforum to hoard as much free artwork as possible. That's just genuinely disrespectful to the artists, and kind of breaks aforementioned "feel-good" element of giveaways, turning it into an unpleasant crapshow.
    Activoid and Yakamaru like this.

Share This Page