“It’s just a quick sketch.” “You love what you do—you can do it for free.” “What do you mean, I have to pay for art?” If artists had a nickel for every time they heard somebody ask them to work for free, well... We wouldn’t be talking about ‘starving artists’ at all, would we?

Everyone should be paid for the work and services they provide, no matter if they’re a painter, sculptor, dancer, or musician. Unfortunately, the world is full of choosing beggars that want to take advantage of the artistically inclined. That’s how they end up on the 2-million-strong ‘Choosing Beggars’ subreddit. Scroll down and check out how some people try to get art for free. Don’t forget to upvote the pics that infuriated you the most and share if anyone tried to get you to work for free in the comment section, dear Pandas.

Bored Panda reached out to The Freelancer Club team and spoke to them about their #NoFreeWork campaign, about fighting exploitative unpaid work, why artists are often targets, and what can be done to avoid working for free. "Artists are sometimes looked down upon as hobbyists and yet it takes years of hard work, natural ability, and creativity to produce thought-providing, meaningful art. Artists enrich our lives, provoke thought and conversation," a representative of The Freelancer Club told us. "We must start to value artists for their contribution to society and the economy. Try going a week without art, music, and film and see how grey the world would be without the creative colors that artists provide us with on a daily basis." Scroll down for the full interview.

#1

Customer Wants A Tattoo Artist To Issue Them An "Inconvenience Fee" For Setting Them Up With An Artist Who Was An Ex-Con

Customer Wants A Tattoo Artist To Issue Them An "Inconvenience Fee" For Setting Them Up With An Artist Who Was An Ex-Con

to_the_tenth_power Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
1 month ago

Excellent reply!! We all need second chances in life. If someone serves their time, that should be it. Unless the person was a child molester (or equally heinous crime), I don't understand why people who have been to jail should suffer stigma for the rest of their lives.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

Can I Have A Birthday Discount?

Can I Have A Birthday Discount?

II-I-Hulk-I-II Report

Mama Panda
Community Member
1 month ago

Omg purse cent...hahahaha wtf is wrong with people?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Does This Work?

Does This Work?

merryprankstr2 Report

Kate
Community Member
1 month ago

This one should be higher; the artist doesn't even want payment, just a credit and that's apparently even too much for this eejit.

View More Replies...
View more comments

We wanted to find out why artists are such common targets for people demanding free work. Here's what a representative of The Freelancer Club team had to say: "Artists throughout history have always been supported by the aristocracy. Patrons such as the Medici family would commission the masters to create works of art in the Renaissance era. Perhaps it stems from childhood. The idea of kids doodling with finger paints is seen as an infantile pursuit and this leaves an association in the adult mind."

They continued: "We have found amongst our members that freelancers who turn their passion into their profession often struggle with the business side of things. Knowing how much to charge, asking for money, writing a business plan, or setting business goals is not why they chose to get into freelancing. They also tend to work in sectors that leverage their cache to undervalue and exploit young talent such as the fashion, music and film industry. It's a vicious cycle based on fear. Say 'no' to an unpaid 'opportunity' and someone else might take it. When the talent is willing to work for free, businesses take advantage."

#4

Do You Draw Arts For Free

Do You Draw Arts For Free

jonarton Report

Scyth
Community Member
1 month ago

Hahaha nice one!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

I Draw Pieces Inspired By Historical Art Styles And Sometimes Do Tattoo Designs For People. Today I Had My First Choosing Beggar Experience

I Draw Pieces Inspired By Historical Art Styles And Sometimes Do Tattoo Designs For People. Today I Had My First Choosing Beggar Experience

GrafSpoils Report

S.
Community Member
1 month ago

The last line is absolute fire.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

The Disrespect To Makeup Artists

The Disrespect To Makeup Artists

Dustinj1991 Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Great costume idea!

View More Replies...
View more comments

Unfortunately, artists appear to be very undervalued. "Creative thinking is one of the most sought after characteristics amongst business leaders and yet undervalued when not positioned within an economic context. Artistic skills, when reframed in certain professions, seem to be valued a lot more. A UI Designer or Graphic Designer who uses digital creative tools is able to command a far higher wage than a fine artist."

The Freelancer Club has been running a campaign called #NoFreeWork for the past 6 years. It speaks out against the exploitation of unpaid work in the creative industry. "We visit universities and creative institutions speaking about the importance of this issue and how the next generation of creative minds must value themselves by saying 'no' to unpaid work," the representative said.

"We also contact companies who repeatedly post unpaid roles online and we have been in talks with the [UK] Government to change legislation to provide creative freelancers with more legal protection. It requires all sides of the industry to become educated on this matter and a collective effort to put an end to the exploitation."

You can sign The Freelancer Club's #NoFreeWork petition right here.

#7

Good To Know

Good To Know

TheGameGuy55 Report

rspanther
Community Member
1 month ago

Skill and talent have value, materials cost money. If you want something, pay for it or learn to do it yourself, simple as that.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Found On My Tattoo Artists Instagram

Found On My Tattoo Artists Instagram

leontfilmss Report

Your Local Lizard
Community Member
1 month ago

To le person who begged, Making your 'explanation' detailed wont work.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

I Can't Belive These People... They Don't Understand Nail Techs, Escorts, Artists, Ect. Actually Make A Living Off Of This

I Can't Belive These People... They Don't Understand Nail Techs, Escorts, Artists, Ect. Actually Make A Living Off Of This

lettisha Report

Elizabeth Molloy
Community Member
1 month ago

That is actually cheap! Look at the skills and level of craftsmanship! I can barely paint my own nails.

View More Replies...
View more comments

In an earlier interview with Bored Panda, The Freelancer Club team told us more about the culture of working for exposure. 

“Many see freelancers, particularly in the creative sector, as hobbyists and believe they can get away with 'paying' in exposure. They leverage their audience size, their brand name, or the allure of gaining recognition. This is why services in exchange for exposure is commonplace in glamorous sectors such as fashion, music, and film,” a representative of The Freelancer Club went into detail about the culture of work-for-exposure.

“From a freelancer point of view, they are often told that working for exposure is a rite of passage or an essential part of building a portfolio by their teachers, college professors, and peers. This has created a culture of exploitation that we must address at both ends.”

#10

Cb Wants My Adult Coloring Book For 9,000 Exposure Bucks

Cb Wants My Adult Coloring Book For 9,000 Exposure Bucks

generic_bitch Report

True Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

15 bucks wow mate consider yourself lucky

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Can You Draw Me?

Can You Draw Me?

jonarton Report

Your Local Lizard
Community Member
1 month ago

She had it coming

View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

I Follow A Professional Painter Who Is Dealing With Some Corporate Choosing Beggars

I Follow A Professional Painter Who Is Dealing With Some Corporate Choosing Beggars

karliecorn Report

Stille20
Community Member
1 month ago

Right? For the art? It's one thing if you give someone the freedom to paint what they like... and even then you should pay them.

View More Replies...
View more comments

According to them, working for exposure or for free damages not only freelance artists’ career prospects but also affects the industry as a whole—in a negative way.

“In the UK, unpaid work costs every freelancer £5,394 per year and the figure is very similar in the States. If you give up your work for exposure thinking you will get paid work from it in the future, the statistics show this is rarely the case, besides, shouldn't additional work be a consequence of a paid job anyway? If someone is willing to promote your work, they must value it so why not pay them! It's easy to get into a cycle of working for exposure and never get paid.”

#13

My Friend Got Shorted By A Pretty Major Influencer

My Friend Got Shorted By A Pretty Major Influencer

The_amazingluke Report

Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
1 month ago

"There's no need for me to pay you" 🤔 I'll try that with my bills...

View More Replies...
View more comments
#14

I Paint And Do Calligraphy And Hand Lettering. Conversation I Had Last Night With My Cousins "Friend"

I Paint And Do Calligraphy And Hand Lettering. Conversation I Had Last Night With My Cousins "Friend"

siriuslestrange Report

Mama Panda
Community Member
1 month ago

Wowzers! This psycho has kids? I feel really bad for them if she doesn't get her way.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

I Started Actually Taking My Art Seriously About A Month Ago, And I Got My First Choosing Beggar... I Think I've Made It Big Guys

I Started Actually Taking My Art Seriously About A Month Ago, And I Got My First Choosing Beggar... I Think I've Made It Big Guys

Bun_Boi Report

Oskar vanZandt
Community Member
1 month ago

Good on the artist for sticking to their guns... and the last reply was more than well deserved! (I even hate the cartoon pic the scrounger uses and the 'tone' of Hello followed with too many frickin' exclamation marks makes me want to punch them in the mouth...)

View More Replies...
View more comments

The main reasons why people work for exposure are because they hope that they’ll get paid work in the future, that they’ll add to their portfolio, or that they’ll use the name of the company that promotes their work. Not only that, it feels good to know that your creative work gets to be seen by a lot of people.   

“Many creative people are told to 'get a real job' when they express their desire to do something artistic. Seeing their work in print, online, or gaining recognition somehow validates their decision and, in a twisted way, proves the doubters wrong. The irony is that they have given up their value to do so,” The Freelancer Club’s rep said.

“Work out your day rate. Once you know your value, get comfortable talking about money, and stick to your guns. We've proven that working for exposure rarely results in paid work, collaborate with other creatives or set a self-project to build your portfolio and keep in mind that the culture of working for exposure is very damaging to you and to your industry. You are talented—value yourself and others will value you too.”

#16

Am I Making Sense?

Am I Making Sense?

throwraboobs Report

Mama Panda
Community Member
1 month ago

I think this person has already started the Christmas party and drank way too much eggnog!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Person Beg For Free Art And Ends Blocked. Then Creates Another Account To Threat The Artist

Person Beg For Free Art And Ends Blocked. Then Creates Another Account To Threat The Artist

TunaXI Report

Kathleen van der Gryp
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow. That is some serial killer s**t right there.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

I Offered To Do Something More Simple For Free Only To Be Threatened With Reporting... I Don’t Mind Doing Free Chibi Art At All And Have Even Posted That I’m Doing Free Chibi Style But Yet Still Get People Asking For Full Body Detailed Work For Free

I Offered To Do Something More Simple For Free Only To Be Threatened With Reporting... I Don’t Mind Doing Free Chibi Art At All And Have Even Posted That I’m Doing Free Chibi Style But Yet Still Get People Asking For Full Body Detailed Work For Free

Strawberry_Milk97 Report

Matilda Gross
Community Member
1 month ago

*You're

View More Replies...
View more comments
#19

A Brief But Insightful 4 Minute Conversation

A Brief But Insightful 4 Minute Conversation

Darkarbiter082 Report

Troux
Community Member
1 month ago

Is this the result of someone who has gotten by easy their whole life on looks alone?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

This Happened To One Of My Friends On Twitter

This Happened To One Of My Friends On Twitter

Squarmptin Report

ML
Community Member
1 month ago

That my good friends is what an entitled bitch sounds like

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#21

Life As A Nail Artist

Life As A Nail Artist

julieacula Report

S.
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

These are just the business/client equivalent of when ‘nice’ guys begin to insult a girl's looks the monent she rejects his advances.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

Professional Photographer Wants Local "Models" To Pay Her To Fulfill Her Own Vision

Professional Photographer Wants Local "Models" To Pay Her To Fulfill Her Own Vision

Auguss6782 Report

Nic
Community Member
1 month ago

"2p.m. at poorhouse"... sounds about right

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Well, That Escalated Quickly. Guess I Should Make My Hell Reservations

Well, That Escalated Quickly. Guess I Should Make My Hell Reservations

[deleted] Report

Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
1 month ago

The logic...

Vic
Community Member
1 month ago

Next time I'm in the hospital to congratulate a friend on her new baby, I'm going to try this on the Dr. How can you charge for a baby!

Load More Replies...
Grim Reaper
Community Member
1 month ago

yet they will pay shops to get baby clothes, diapers and omg, hats, yet they wont pay this person? the hell...?

Potato
Community Member
1 month ago

I was wondering about that. I mean, I don't have a kid but I'm pretty sure Babies-R-Us doesn't even give out free socks.

Load More Replies...
Cal
Community Member
1 month ago

Where in the world would you not have to pay for a beanie aside from your aunt who loves to knit

EA
Community Member
1 month ago

Cos baby clothes are usually free in all shops!

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

And nappy companies work as a non profit! Silly ppl *facepalm*

Load More Replies...
True Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

Also 5 to 25 bucks is cheap as

Nannychachi
Community Member
1 month ago

I crochet custom hats, holiday items, etc. When I post something on my FB page that I've made I ALWAYS have someone who says, "Oooo.... I want one!" and actually believe that I'm just giving stuff away! This is a side business for me!

Id row
Community Member
1 month ago

Ooooh, I guess every baby related item out there is freeeeeee!!!!

fu yu
Community Member
1 month ago

Poor baby has a dummy for a mother

Courtney Christelle
Community Member
1 month ago

Are you buying the materials and making it yourself? No, and that's why you're PAYING someone else to do it for you.

Eglė Bukauskaitė
Community Member
1 month ago

"Lady, do you tell same when you buy clothes in store? Or for diapers? Or when you buy baby food? Vitamins? Pay for bills (heating, wter, electricity, etc.)?" - THEY ARE CHARGING FOR BABY ITEMS!!

Zenozenobee
Community Member
1 month ago

Wait for her to discover she's going to be charged for baby food, baby diapers, baby soap, baby clothes...

abby smink
Community Member
1 month ago

Good news! Any and all baby things are free now!

Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 month ago

Where do people get their ideas from?

Tamera Gardner
Community Member
1 month ago

These people are replicating?? We’re screwed. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Juliette Dauterive
Community Member
1 month ago

Poor baby.

Lauren Niewold
Community Member
1 month ago

Did anyone else read that as Beanie Baby at first?

Patricia Brown
Community Member
1 month ago

bad parent. Prob charges her baby for diaper service.

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
1 month ago

Learn to knit then silly woman..

Jane Alexander
Community Member
1 month ago

So she wanted a 'shitty hat' for her baby for free?

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
1 month ago

That's disgusting.

Load More Replies...
Michelle C
Community Member
1 month ago

You were charged for the birthing of said BABY, why can't they charge for custom clothing?

Among Us
Community Member
1 week ago

Why the hell won't you charge for a baby? Can you buy baby blankies for free? Can you get free baby food?

Cathy Carey
Community Member
1 month ago

It's all in the perspective folks.

B-b-bird
Community Member
1 month ago

Hope she won't forget to post her own last message as well :))

Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

We used to have communism in my country, and yet we'd never ask for free stuff, just because "it's for a baby". Geez!

Swifty The second
Community Member
1 month ago

I make 3D models and had someone msg me the other day asking for me to make a seal or whatever, wanted it full on skinned and everything. I said that will be $40 he said, that’s to expensive. He then asked if I can just model it and not texture, i told him it will be $30. He said why tho? It’s a simple model, I dont see why its that expensive! I told him to get lost. Had any other one asking for and i quote: 20 guns and 2 shields. He had a budget of $5, i said it would be at least $150. He said can you go lower so i said i wont texture them and it would be $130. I then told him that it takes a while and good luck getting someone to make them for nothing once he told me his budget..

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

“Friend” Begs Artist For Free Art

“Friend” Begs Artist For Free Art

str1ngcheesetheory Report

Elizabeth Molloy
Community Member
1 month ago

Pathetic! I'm a Graphic Designer and after over 30 years I've learned NEVER to do things for friends or relatives.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

I Charge 20-50 Dollars For A Realistic Portrait And One Of My Followers Just Said I’m Overcharging (I Never Made An Advertisement, I Just Say Yes When People Ask Since I’m Just A Hobbyist)

I Charge 20-50 Dollars For A Realistic Portrait And One Of My Followers Just Said I’m Overcharging (I Never Made An Advertisement, I Just Say Yes When People Ask Since I’m Just A Hobbyist)

kommityeet Report

Lili Hajdu
Community Member
1 month ago

30$ for 10 hours is waaaay to little. you are not a slave

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

My Buddy Is A Tattoo Artist. He’s Also My Personal Hero

My Buddy Is A Tattoo Artist. He’s Also My Personal Hero

TheBrennanCo Report

Matilda Gross
Community Member
1 month ago

*You're

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

Tell Em

Tell Em

popkillers Report

True Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

If my Friends ever open like a art shop thing where they do art for people and I ask for one I would still pay them cause they do this to make a living

View More Replies...
View more comments
#28

Artist Should Live With Their Parents And Draw For Free

Artist Should Live With Their Parents And Draw For Free

DAX2FAST Report

Troux
Community Member
1 month ago

Our entire financial system will collapse now that the secret is out. Live with parents...money is obsolete.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

"Your Art Is Mediocre At Best So Please Design Me A Free Tattoo"

"Your Art Is Mediocre At Best So Please Design Me A Free Tattoo"

meow_mayhem Report

Your Local Lizard
Community Member
1 month ago

Then why would you even want to get a tattoo from her?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

Advanced Choosing Beggar

Advanced Choosing Beggar

WanderingOwl Report

Ola Polowczyk
Community Member
1 month ago

That's brilliant! Do you think it'll work in a recruitment process? "You didn't reply to my job application. Therefore, I assume, I'm hired. Starting tomorrow"

View more comments

Note: this post originally had 55 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

See Also on Bored Panda