Friday, September 7, 2012


Please Note:

From here on out, AV will no longer be accepting/offering non-compensated "commissions." Translation: Outside of equal artisan trades, gifts to loved-ones for birthdays, holidays, etc., personally-implemented projects, and the donation of works to official, non-profit charities, this means "no more freebies."

However, THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE PRIZES OFFERED BY AV FOR OFFICIAL CONTESTS of course. (These fall under "personally-implemented projects;" so to those of you hoping to win AV stuff in future, worry not! ;D)

But to those who'd like free work done, please know that while your interest is -greatly- appreciated, an artist's time, energy & efforts are worth market-value remuneration, and I will no longer continue to devalue myself & my art by offering it to others (businesses & individuals alike) for free.

Frankly, it's simply not worth the stress, for one. If I'm gonna freak out about a project and deadlines and bend backwards to satisfy my "customer" by attending to their needs like a proper artist would their client on a commission, why should I not be properly paid to do so..?? And secondly: These agreements tend to get messy and ruin what might be otherwise decent relationships (both working and personal), and I do not want to keep muddling the waters between business & friendship, & potentially end up fretting endlessly over a project which earns me nothing but time, energy, materials, and friendships, lost.

Furthermore, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Artists' services are just like -any other- professional services you may receive (think barbers, dancers, trad. business employees, etc.), and you wouldn't ask your tailor, barber, or IT technician to work for free, would you? They have spent time & money to receive an education for what they do. They spend their own money on materials, other business supplies and facilities to run their businesses, and they are trained to offer a level of skill you can't conjure yourself; which is precisely why you've enlisted them for their services.

-And whether you see those behind-the-scenes elements or not, artists, craftspeople & other creativity-based business owners do -exactly- the same. And more often than not, they also do so w/o health insurance, paid sick days, work leave, kickbacks from their bosses, or perks paid for by their parent companies. More likely than not, they have no company gyms, babysitters or paid time off, and they pay for every stapler, ink pen & parking pass.

For example: I spend money on business cards, web-hosting, technology (assistive and otherwise), art/crafting materials, vending booth supplies, and fair, gallery, vending, entrance & jury fees. (Some of which you pay to get into just to be SEEN, regardless of whether you get in or not. -And sometimes, they charge you more to reserve table or booth space, once you're actually accepted in! o.O) It costs real-world funds to pay for equipment, web access, utilities, transportation, and beyond; and whether people see it or not, that allll comes out of my pocket- just to operate, in HOPES of getting business, regardless of whether I get any or not.

So, if you think of it logically, if nothing else: If one has to pay for alll that, why would they keep giving away business..?

In addition, I have paid for education and spent countless hours refining and practicing and learning my craft(s). I have been working my whole life to achieve the skills I have today, and that time is worth remuneration, too. You wouldn't go to a stylist who's only been in school a day, right? Well the same goes for artisans. Unless you're looking for the "my kid painted this" look, time and experience is worth something. :P And when it comes down to it, I'm not going to pay my bills or make enough money to move across the country by doing free commissions. :P Being nice has not gotten me anywhere so far, so i guess for now, it's time to be a little ruthless. I hate to be mercenary, but frankly, that's the way it is.

Moreover, regardless of whether my work takes an hour, or days upon days upon days (it al depends on the size & complexity of a project), that's time, energy & effort I'm devoting to YOU; often to the exclusion of all else. If I'm going to do a project for free, it will get done on MY schedule, when I have time to devote to it. But since that doesn't seem to work very often, I'm just scrapping the whole, muddled idea entirely, and coming to the realization that my time is worth a proper wage. Period.

I may be a beginning bellydancer, but I am a trained, experienced artist, and I deserve to be paid for the work I do, even if others don't view it as "work." It takes time and care and money and tons of training, (not to mention yeeears of practice) to do what I do, and if I'm good enough to come to for a freebie project, I'm good enough to come to and get paid.

I have seen many artists put out notes like this, but never really knew the value or reasoning behind them until now. I hate to sound harsh or come across as nasty, but I've come to learn the hard way that this is the way it has to be. And frankly, in the end (from what I've seen & heard in others' similar situations), it's better this way for everyone.

Thank you all for understanding, and have a good night. ♥

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