I've only been back in the art world for a few years now. Before that, I hadn't so much as scribbled down a thing for nearly 8 years. I had forgotten most of what I had learned in college and had to work for a long time to get back to where I was. In the last couple of years I had started receiving 'free request', mainly through DeviantArt as that the where I had been posting most often, to draw various things. Weird things. Things that made me question what the fuck is wrong with some people. And I used to spend a lot of time on 4chan so I think that's saying something. (where was I going with this again? oh, right...) In the more recent months however I've had, albeit a small number, of people that have asked me for a paid commission. And now I am finding myself wondering about request vs. commissions.
-Putting aside an artists personal list of things that they will and won't do for the time being-
Every artist ever will tell you they have had their fair share of people looking to get free art from them. The 'Free Request' crowd. There will inevitably be someone asking "Hey! Can you draw ______ for me please?" (and wanting them doing some unspeakable act with an animal or something, you sick fucks) And as soon as you send them a price, immediately, some kind of switch flips in their brain (or lack thereof) and they start crying about
1) I can't afford it
2) beg you to draw it for free "just this once"
3) argue that your prices are unreasonable
4) argue that art should be free and that you are somehow a terrible person for wanting to be paid for it
(these people annoy me the most)
I've been there. You've been there. We've all been there. It's something that we have to deal with because some people are just pricks.
However, there are the times when we may be feeling in the mood to take on some 'free request'. But then I find myself asking questions: "How far should I go with this?" "How much work will I put into something that I'll receive nothing in return for?"
I've done both request and commissions before. With commissions, of course, I put a lot of effort into it and check for any additional details with the, uuh... commissionie? commissioner? (well whatever. the person who asked me..) to make sure that they are getting what they want. But with a Free Request.... Where do you draw the line in how much detail and effort you put into it? Do you ask them for any specific details about what they want? Do you just draw however you want and tell them "tough titties" if they aren't happy? Or are you bending over backwards to please them just as much as you would a commission? Do you care either way? What's your favorite food? (wait... disregard that last one)
I write this sort of as both a rant and as a question to anyone that may want to add input from your own experiences. (or just to yell at me for being a little bitch. i don't fuckin' care. fuck you, asshole)
Have a pleasant day.