art is work. art is labor.

labor is entitled to compensation.

pay your artists. pay them well. tip them.

if you can't pay your artists, don't commission art.

same logic applies as if you were hiring a contractor. you can't just go oops i don't have the cash when the work is done and it's time to settle the bill.

just because it's art doesn't mean it's less valuable or deserving.

if you just HAVE to get that piece done and your finances aren't entirely stable... BUDGET

put the cash aside. don't touch it. toss a few bucks into a jar until you have enough to cover the rates of your chosen creative.

but do NOT skip out after the commission contract has been established. even if you have to arrange a payment plan until you clear the balance, do that. don't just say sorry and bang out.

Show thread

this hasn't happened to me in a long time (over a decade). i've structured my commissions in a particular way to avoid this problem specifically.

i hate that i had to do this. i sat on it for a couple of months now hoping it could be resolved quietly and privately. i don't like having to out people for this kind of thing if i can avoid it.

but i had to. for the sake of helping others avoid my situation.

Show thread

@extinct People take advantage of the fact independent artists don't have the means to litigate.

If you short a company contractor hundreds of dollars in work, you know they will get a lawyer.

@extinct That and the fact that most of us don't ever want to litigate anyway, but... we also need to eat, pay rent, and feed our kids just like any other contracted worker.

@extinct I absolutely fucking hate that no client ever tells you this shit the moment they realize they won't be able to pay for the work and saves you that loss of time and work.

If a client came to me midway through a project said, "i can't pay the rest" I'd work something out to pay any currently outstanding work and send them an incomplete file and sever the contract and use that freed up time to compensate for the loss of wages.

But one can't do that if clients don't COMMUNICATE.

@scoots exactly. like if this came up earlier on, i'd just put the piece on hold and work on some kind of agreement to get the balance settled and the work done in a way that was more reasonable. or i'd just pack up what i'd gotten done to that point and hand it over and we'd be done.

but to wait until the end and turn out empty pockets with a sheepish smile and half-ass apology is just shitty

@scoots like i'd been providing a lot of progress shots and talking about details and stuff and the inability to pay off the balance never came up until i was done. not once. not a peep about money.

@extinct If you hire someone to do something, pay them. Don't buy goods or services you can't pay for. This is an incredibly basic concept and a fundamental component of living in any form of capitalist society. If you value someone's work so little that you refuse to pay them for their services, why are you even hiring them? Whether it's for artwork or for any other kind of service, it's scummy and repulsive behavior.

@extinct God I'm so sorry it happened to you.
Art is a luxury good, if you dont have money to pay for it then that sucks but thats not the artist's fault. I know shit happens but I cannot even imagine commissioning an expensive piece and not being sure if Ill have money, like if I buy something for 50$ i better have 10x in my account. God, people truly do threat artists on line like shit.

@he_xie yeah it's unfortunate. it's one of those things that's always in the back of your mind when you take on a project and just hope you won't have to deal with it.

especially sucks when it's someone who's commissioned you in the past with no issues so you get a false sense of trust and security.

@extinct or, if something unforeseen takes your means of paying them away, at least settle for some sort of compromise, like an instalment or a deferral

@anarchiv yeah, exactly. i'm totally fine with paying in installments, i've had people do that kind of thing before, no problem.

@extinct but it's just really unfair when people go silent, like your, uh, client? customer? how do you refer to people who commission art?

@anarchiv i generally call them clients. but yeah, it's bad form to just drop off like that.

@extinct btw I think it's really cool and helpful, that thing you do in your bio where it says "4/5 slots full"

@extinct in my country unpaid art goes hand in hand with broken legs


Truth! I'd argue it's MORE important to tip artists and the like. It's not easy making a living off art. And I appreciate the hell out of anyone who is attempting to. I sure wasn't able to. ✊

@bort it's my only marketable skill, lol. :angry_laugh:

i'm sure as hell not going back to tending bar or waiting tables during a pandemic

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Red Room

R E D R O O M is a small, private instance geared toward goth weirdoes, artists and creatives, run by a queer PoC. Unofficial home of nightcrew, a roost for the bats of the fediverse.


Better red than dead.