*Disclaimer: Considering this blog post is about artists, I wrote this with some help from my favourite artists who also happen to be great friends of mine. Please feel free to check out their pages after reading this post.*
1. When people ask you to draw them. (@aki_anyway)
Art by @cyarine
Although this list is not in order of annoyance, an exception has been made for this particular point. I’m sure I have the support of all my fellow artists when I saw we absolutely despise it when you ask us to draw you ‘just because’. We choose art the same way you choose math or science or business or economics. We choose to make a living out of art, we choose to have fun through art, we choose to live through art. That doesn’t however entitle you to dictate or ask for free drawings from us.
If you do not understand the idea of commissioning an artist to draw something for you, you are simply too young to even ask for a drawing. And yes, this once both your age and maturity are a matter. When we create a piece of art, we put a lot of thought, time, effort and imagination into it. We create art that inspires us or makes us happy. But when people randomly ask to be drawn, we should not be expected to use up our expensive art supplies and sketchbook space or computer disk space to accommodate a piece of work that we’ll get a simple, ‘thank you so much,’ for. It may sound harsh but if you were in our shoes, you would more than likely understand.
Artists aren’t anyone’s property. We are here to express ourselves and our opinions, likes and dislikes the same way you do; the only difference being we take a creative approach to it.
2. When people steal your art/plagiarise your art. (@unicornpamx)
There is nothing more painful nowadays as an artist in the ever growing age of social media than having your work copied without being credited or downright plagiarised. We hate it when you do it. We understand that sometimes our work may inspire you in which case please make sure to mention us if you are posting pictures of your re-creation of a piece of our work.
But when people remove artist watermarks or take credit for someone else’s work, it’s possibly the meanest thing you could do and it completely ruins our day and demotivates us sometimes to the point of wanting to give up. Sometimes.
3. The misconception that a work of art takes 5 minutes to do. (@xcatharticsx)
I know speed-drawing and time-lapse videos on YouTube nowadays can be misleading but by no means does it take us 5 minutes to complete a piece of work. My work comprises of both traditional and digital art as I always complete a sketch on my sketchbook before editing backgrounds and such on my computer. Scanning a piece of work, adjusting the brightness and exposure of it alone takes more than 10 minutes to complete.
We truly do spend a lot of blood, sweat and tears on almost every piece of work we do. Sometimes, a piece takes so long, we leave it for weeks to complete other work in between and come back to it.
4. The wrongful redistribution of art by ‘big accounts’. (@claudiyah_art)
Similar to the previous point but not entirely, the wrongful distribution of art can sometimes be very damaging to an artist that makes a living out of selling or advertising their work. When you wrongfully credit someone’s work at someone else’s or buy a con version of someone’s original work, you create a heap load of issues for the person who spent a hours upon hours creating that content. You, without intending to sometimes, push your followers towards the con sites and blog pages and take away the original artist’s traffic. This is harmful to artists especially in our day and age seeing as many of us start very small and are probably still trying to make a name for ourselves and having someone else take the credit for our work doesn’t exactly do great things for our businesses.
5. The pressure of being expected to produce new content continuously without a break.
It took Leonardo Da Vinci 4 years to paint the Mona Lisa. Frank Ocean still hasn’t released his album. And yet, in our day and age, the pressure for artists on social media to continuously post art or remain active is so huge, I have seen artists reblog the same drawing numerous times in a day on Tumblr just to make sure they are in tune with timezones across the entire world for a single day. People keep planners to outline the precise date and time of their uploads. There are paid apps you can download that tell you when you will have maximum traffic on your page so that you can upload your post at the right time for the most amount of likes and comments. And God forbid you go on holiday or even take a weekend off, people begin unfollowing you like they’ve all been dumped by you and are suddenly super bitter about your 4 month long relationship they had with you since they first followed your page. The pressure to be ‘online’ all the time is super high and that truly does annoy me a lot when people refuse to understand you may also have a life like them outside of the screen.
6. When people say, ‘I could’ve done that in 5 minutes!’
Sure! Please do go ahead, time yourself accordingly and then and show us! We, as artists, love supporting each other. We’d love to have you join us.
7. When some people don’t take your art seriously enough because of who/what you draw. (@theriseofzayn)
As with many other issues, people behind a screen always find it extremely easy to make fun of someone else’s hard work without so much as spending a minute of own for good. Judging an artist for who or what they draw and telling them they are ‘wasting their talent’ on drawing someone or something because they don’t agree with it is pretty much the same thing. Being a fan artist, this is something I’ve undergone several times and it truly does annoy us. Our work isn’t any less great because the person who inspires us to draw is someone you think is too ‘pop’ or ‘basic’ for you. Pop culture is a big part of current society whether some people like it or not. And naturally, if there are groups of artists who enjoy drawing their inspiration from that field, so be it, but rest assured we don’t create pieces of art without reason. There is a meaning behind every artwork and if you would just take the time to understand, you’d find our art is also not without meaning.
Adding the words ‘feminism’ or ‘anti-media’ or attempting to be the next Banksy doesn’t suddenly make your work more relevant or contemporary than a drawing of a passionate young man singing on stage. Maybe it does. But they are not to be compared. Art is subjective and individual. Keep that in mind next time before you call someone out for ‘wasting their talent’ on pieces of work that you don’t approve of personally.