As an artist there’s always that one phrase that people say to you when they find out you draw for a living…
‘Can you draw me a picture?’
It’s very common, if anything it’s strange to not hear that question. I however rarely get this question. I get a different one.
‘Can you draw my tattoo?’
Why? I just said I’m an artist, and if we were having a conversation you would’ve heard me say that I’m making graphic novels…comics…and drawing and painting on the side, trying to sell prints…when did I say I was a tattoo artist? That I design tattoos? I always feel like saying, ‘You know who wants to draw your tattoo? The tattoo artist what will be giving you your tattoo!’
I think my actual problem isn’t so much the constant asking for tattoo designs…but the fact that people want them for free.
Oh, boy…if there’s anyway you want to urk an artist is to ask for some creative work and just let the subject of payment slide away.
It’s really hard to discuss money…and for me it’s even harder to bring it up. I feel greedy, and pushy, and just a hound for money without a care for the work or the costumer. I know that’s not true! I greatly care about my work, the person receiving my work…but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult to talk about money. But if you think about it, if someone is asking for me to preform a service, I should feel proud to offer my service at a set price.
I have multiple projects with many deadlines on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I’m a busy person, and there is nothing wrong with placing a dollar amount on my time. As artists, we shouldn’t feel ashamed for being paid for our work.
Just know though, the next time you meet an artist and the first thing that comes to your mind is asking them to ‘draw you’ or ‘draw my tattoo’ don’t get upset when they ask you for payment.