Lots of people believe that artists are born, not made. This is false, not only for professional artists–it takes them thousands upon thousands of hours to perfect their craft–but also for people like you and me, who can’t draw to save their lives, but probably could if we really worked at it. Making art is a skill that can be improved with lots of hard work, just like repairing cars or sewing clothes.
But people still somehow think that being an artist isn’t a real job, and that artists definitely shouldn’t get paid for their work. If that seems ludicrous, just ask artist Jon Arton. It happens to him all the time.
Arton is a Birmingham, UK-based artist, and he’s been drawing since childhood. He’s gotten pretty good at it. Just check out this drawing of Robin Williams, available on his Etsy store:
Clearly, that’s the result of years and years of practice. Despite this, people regularly contact Arton on Instagram and ask him to draw them…for free.
“Art isn’t really seen as a job/career but more of a hobby which you enjoy,” Arton told Bored Panda. “People assume you would be happy to do it for a little bit of ‘exposure.’”
But exposure doesn’t pay the bills. Arton gets so many requests for free drawings that he’s actually started taking people up on their request–just not how they might expect. Whenever a freeloader requests a drawing, Arton gives them a suitably worthless rendition, and then shares the whole exchange on Instagram.
Scroll below to see some of the Arton’s best freebies. And remember: artists need to eat, too.
1. Ah yes, the ol’ “It’s for a gift” routine.
2. Some friends are attached at the hip. Amateurs.
3. “I don’t just want a free drawing. I want a free drawing NOW.”
4. The King of Pop’s royal portrait.
What’s even crazier about this one is Arton actually has a Michael Jackson print available on his Etsy store.
5. “I’d be honored if you drew me. But not honored enough to pay you a living wage.”
Photo Credit: Jon Arton
6. I’m surprised she still wanted the drawing after that conversation.
7. Harry’s got Styles.
8. Coneheads walk among us.
9. He’s not above taking a little artistic license.
10. Free pet portraits cost double.
h/t: Bored Panda