Don’t Ask This

One of the best things about being an artist is how rude people are to you.

No seriously. Learn to take a joke, learn to see things as a joke, or you’ll go insane. With rage, mostly. Because if it isn’t the people asking you to create expansive (and always insanely complicated) pieces for free, it’s the people asking you to do this and then sign over the rights so they themselves can make a profit on a website like Society6.

Although I must say, that last request really did throw me for a loop. And don’t lie about it either, guys; I’m not fooled that your husband has suddenly developed an obsession with cats so powerful that you need to obtain a commercial license. How many yachts can you waterski behind becomes…how many cats? I don’t know. This metaphor is falling apart. Some other great lines I’ve gotten, though, are:

“Can you draw this, but in Sakimi Chan’s style?”

“Wow like…over a hundred for two paintings? I was thinking more like eighty.”

“Do you do real art?”

“But you’re going to frame this, right?”

“But there’s no original.”

“I really think you need to paint something else.”

All this and more…while people were trying to hire me. Or, more specifically, trying to rip me off. Think, before you speak: would I say this to my oral hygienist? My mechanic? There is no profession where people are intrinsically required to work for free–or, indeed, to bargain over their fees. How I pay my bills is my business; if I’m turning you down, there’s a reason. Waving ten dollars at me as a “fee” isn’t going to help the situation. Would you do a week’s work, putting aside your actual paid work, for that?

What’s the rudest thing, on this topic or any other, that someone’s said to you?