It’s all for exposure!

I need an artist to work on a project that I have been thinking about.

I need 20 full sized pages for a book. It would also be great if you could include some captions for these drawings, too. I can’t guarantee any kind of success on this project, though. It is only in idea staging, but I need the artwork to make sure the idea is going to work. If it does work, and the publishing takes place, I may be able to cut you in on a slice of the profits.

It will be good exposure for you and your artwork. The more your name gets out there, the better you can become!

How big of a crock of shit is that?

I am not usually one for ranting, but I think I will make an exception for this.  You have no idea how many times we come across these types of requests.

 Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we walk head first into some of these situations. These types of posts on blogs and social medias seem really tempting:

  • Need some work done.
  • Looking for someone to illustrate my story.
  • I need someone to make my character come to life.
  • I would like someone to collaborate with me on a project.

Sometimes, these posts come with awesome ideas that sound too good to be true!  Well, because most of the time, they are too good to be true.

I am going to break this down into some of THE WORST things you can say to an artist.


Blah blah blah… no money… blah blah blah… for exposure… blah blah…

If the art is good enough for you to use, then it is good enough for you to pay for it. Most artists want at least half up-front, so be prepared to dish out some dough before you even get started asking. You are a client, not a charity case.

Don’t worry, we will allow you to retain your rights to the images.

How very generous of you! Just for the record, an artist ALWAYS retains the right to their images, even if you happen to pay for them. Copyright is copyright. Unless legal means are passed to you or your company in written contractual form, you never get to take an artist’s rights.

We will include your biography and a link to your website, what more do you need?

Food, rent, utilities, art supplies, etc. Are you going to let me live with you? I might consider giving you some free art as long as you make sure I have a comfy bed in the best room of your home.

We have worked with big name artists such as this guy, and that guy, and this chick. They never had a problem with working for free.

Please do go ask them for more, then. I’ve never heard of those names anyway. Got some links to their work? I’d love to ask them how it is working for you. No? You don’t want me to talk to them? Oh…

My friend can do it for free, so you should too!

Just… Go get your friend to do it, then.  Period.

Where do you get off charging for a drawing? It’s just paper! 

Bite me.  It cost me time, sweat, tears, and a shit load of art supplies to get the artwork created up to this point.  And have you ever seen the price of a good quality paper? If you think an artist can just crap you out a masterpiece without going through the years of cost and torment, then you really should go ask around.  I am pretty sure you will get grounded pretty quickly.

I can’t stand when artists have the nerve to ask for pay! If they want money, they should get a REAL job! 

I honestly don’t know what to say to this…

But it’s like me supporting you to support me! It’s a win-win deal! 

No… if your project couldn’t go on without the art, then you are not supporting me. You are looking for someone to cater to you.

If I send you a picture, can you draw it for me? I can’t pay you. It’s my birthday next month, so you could just give it to me as a present!

Well, aren’t you just the subtle one? I was probably going to get you a gift, but now, I am not so sure. I probably sound like an asshole for this, but here’s my commission information.


At the end of the day, an artist needs to live to be able to produce that art you love so much.  Artwork IS work.  I am sure that most of you have heard that phrase by now, but if you are still asking artists for free work, then you haven’t heard it enough.

Artwork IS work.  Repeat after me.  Artwork IS work.

And artists of the world… don’t allow these people to take advantage of you.  You are worthy of being paid for your talents.  If everyone had your talents, then they could do it themselves. They don’t, though, do they?  So they are asking you for use of your talent.  Get paid.

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Author: ReneKunert

Artist and Owner