How often do your non-artist friends and colleagues offer to hang your work up somewhere – a place of business, a home, a restaurant – just so you can “get exposure”? How many times a year are you, as an artist, asked to donate your work to charity? For the most part, those doing the asking have only our best interest at heart, and it’s not their fault that they don’t understand how expensive it is to be an artist.
Artists are the among the most generous people in the world. We work for free all the time. We volunteer at local art spaces. We donate our work to arts organizations, non-profits, health organizations, and outreach – even though we can’t deduct the price of the work on our taxes. Many of us work long hours to pay our bills and work long hours in our studios, which require a monthly rent. And don’t get me started on the cost of art supplies.
Sometimes, enough is enough. It’s okay to say no thanks, especially when an opportunity is costly to you – in time, effort, and funds – and isn’t going to lead to future opportunities.