ohmygoat (ohmygoat) wrote in artists_beware,
ohmygoat
ohmygoat
artists_beware

Charging relatives

 So in my family, I'm pretty well known as 'the artist.' My family knows I do art for a living, and support me going forward in an art related career.

However, I'm constantly asked to do free art for them. Like, "can you do a portrait of your cousins? Oh I think a picture would look nice here, why don't you draw something up?" I'm also expected to draw something every time there's a birthday or holiday, again regardless of my schedule or if I even want to draw something. I'm frequently approached by them, despite the fact that I constantly tell them I'm busy. I've also told them that I'd really prefer if they actually paid me to do art for them, but they always get insulted, saying "but we're FAMILY!" and "You know we don't have money! Why can't you just draw something nice for your -cousin, niece, grandma, etc-?"

I don't want to take time out of my already packed schedule to stop and do several pieces of art for free, but I'm also feeling a bit guilty. I know they don't even have the $10 I charge for a sketch, and they really do like my work and want an original piece. However they seem to feel a bit entitled to free art from me, just because we're related, even if I have rent to pay myself.

Has anyone here had to deal with family expecting free art? How have you dealt with it? Do you think it's unfair to ask family for payment like any other customer? How do you think I should start handling this other than always going "Sorry, I can't work on anything but commissions right now" like a broken record?
Tags: advice for artists
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