I've recently joined this community because I haven't found a good answer anywhere for this question.( Collapse )CONCLUSIONS(so far)
So I screwed up, like, big time in my response to Anonymous Artist. I screwed up SO big time, I should change the title of this post to "How does one decline an art trade like a butthole?" (Nicely put.)
I didn't know that a simple no would suffice to decline an art trade. So, I also explained
to Anonymous Artist that I didn't want to do the trade because her art "seem[ed] a bit too simple for what I'd draw in return." I thought that would end the conversation, but Anonymous Artist thought my reasoning was wrong. So, I tried to reason with her that I wasn't interested in her art because I was looking for art of a higher skill
level, and I brought up my rules which stated I'd be more interested if she could sell her art at equivalent prices
to mine. She still didn't give up after that though, so I dropped contact with her. Then, I included my thoughts on this Artist Beware entry about how she was still trying to "convince me to pick up the art trade" by claiming that she could sell her art at $30-40, even though she had never taken money commissions before.
There are THREE big no-no's I made here.
1. I gave an explanation of why I didn't want to do the trade.Kayla_La:
"Honestly, don't even give them a reason. Why do you need to? They don't need one." By giving the reason I was declining the art trade, I left the matter open for argument. A "No thank you, thanks for the interest" was all I needed.
It was my first time saying no to an art trade I was not interested in, so I thought an explanation would be the polite thing to do. Not in this case; it brought more trouble instead!
2 and 3. I brought up the artist's skill and ability to sell art as grounds for declining the art trade.miryhis:
[Your rule about] "not trading with someone who would doesn't sell their art for as much as I do" seems kind of iffy."celarania
: "You said that her art was worth very little and she was below your skill level. Even if that is all true, you're still not professional for saying it. You wouldn't want to ask someone out for them to say "I only date 8's or higher and you're lucky if you're a 6." Whether or not it's true, it's not helpful and only serves to demoralize."
The last thing I said to Anonymous Artist: "Trades: Equal skill level at a minimum is a MUST. I probably won't agree to an art trade if the asking artist cannot sell his/her pieces for the prices I put on my own commissions. I have the right to refuse a trade if I don't like the style, sorry!"
So, I don't think you're making money off commissions yet, let alone $30-40 for an art piece. I'll have to decline this art trade. Thank you for your interest though!
I saw my posting of my rules to her as a reminder that I was not obligated to do the trade, and that there were valid reasons I could refuse(Namely, I used the commission price comparison to try to gently hint that I wasn't looking for something at her current skill level.)
Ok, so I'm taking advice here and there from the comments so far, how others have dealt with it, and most of the responses are neutral to "You handled it fine, this is ok." So I did not see this next part coming. At all.
Celarania (and many others!) saw my reasoning as belittling Anonymous Artist, and I did not realize that it sounded like this at all until they pointed it out. Belittling was not my intention, but because that's what my lack of tact looked like, I was accused of being arrogant, and scoffing at artists with less skill. (You should really read the comments here! Interesting stuff!) I ended up probably offending Anonymous Artist AND half of the artists who have ever skimmed this post. Whoops.
Well, I had to learn somehow, and I'm glad so many here weren't afraid to point that out. Bottom line, say "No thanks, but thank you for the interest," and you're done declining an art trade. An explanation might weave itself into the really messed up monstrosity you see here.
So, thank you for all the advice. You guys are awesome, and I would probably still be quite tactless about this if I hadn't asked. <3
I'm going to leave everything I said exactly, unedited, in the hopes that everything that went under debate in this entry will be useful for other artists. Let me know if anything looks like it needs to be changed, or worded better!