Art has been more accessible than ever, but open arms come with huge consequences. It’s not some new dash of knowledge that artists still get mistreated in one way or another in 20-freaking-18. Even we, the SCOUT team, have admittedly committed some shameful sins to artists even once.
Maybe we need a recap of the things we need to keep in mind when dealing with creatives after all.
Have the initiative to know who made the art you find cool
Sicker than Boy Pablo’s “sick feeling” is what plagiarism feels like from an artist’s perspective. When I was in sixth grade, I saw my poem getting posted by a random Tumblr blog, and after a couple of months, on the Facebook profile of my so-called “friend” in another section. It was a chunky mix of confusion, doubt, and dignity wearing off. Being the timid kid that I was, I never complained to either of them, more especially when someone told me that I should be “flattered” instead. Because, well, at least my art is good enough to be stolen, right?
Wrong. Today, asking for permission should already be a no-brainer. If contacting the creator isn’t feasible, we should at least mention their name when using and reposting the piece anywhere online. Yes, they posted it online for everyone to see, but that doesn’t make it a one-way ticket to manipulate it with selfish reasons. That simple acknowledgement reflects respect–it doesn’t even take a long while. Also, can we all just stop using the “CTTO” crap if we know the artist anyway?
Read also: Sorry, but that’s not how you commission work from creatives
Stop crying for free stuff!
Hooray, your friend’s launching her new EP! You await for a free copy since you think you “played a part” in giving “moral support” to them since day one, but woops, it seems like you really need to pay in order to complete that tracklist. What do you do?
Please, stop demanding your artist friends free stuff if you genuinely want to help their dreams come true.
Please, stop demanding your artist friends free stuff if you genuinely want to help their dreams come true. If the initiative comes out from them, then great, thanks! Yet we need to keep a mental note that it’s never an obligation of someone, not even our friend, to just give anything they worked hard and spent so much on for months or years. It’s not that they’re keeping it to themselves; that’s just how it is!
Read also: Is it possible to balance your day job and your creative pursuits?
And crying for free service
I have no idea where the audacity of some people who do this come from: They ask you to draw something for free and when you put a price, they fill you with whine and dread, laying the legendary “you’re just going to draw. It’s not even that hard. Why are you so proud of yourself all of a sudden?” Dude/sis, if it seems so easy, then why don’t you do it yourself instead?
In case anyone has forgotten, traditional art costs time, labor, and art materials (I mean, a calligraphy pen costs almost a hundred pesos or more). Digital art, on the other hand, adds an increase to one’s electric bill since it also isn’t that fast to keep Photoshop tools in harmony. All other forms of art have their respective expenses list, and to top that all off, it also takes quite a while to have a very, very solid concept. Bye to those unpaid brain cells, I guess.
Read also: What goes inside the mind of a creative?
Respect the artist as much as you love the art
Pay on time. Pay enough. No amount of “exposure” or friendly favors or gift certificates (I mean, what the heck) should be your exchange piece for something you call a masterpiece. Frankly, it’s a breeze to understand: Love for the art should come with respect for the art, which also leads to respect for the artist. Internet does look free, but not everything is ours.
Love for the art should come with respect for the art, which also leads to respect for the artist. Internet does look free, but not everything is ours.
And if we still think that creatives are “lesser” people, in comparison to doctors and lawyers and scientists and engineers, then we should wake up. Real quick. In our quirky pajamas. To watch our favorite morning show so addicting because of its script. To drive our sleek car while blasting a cleverly-curated Spotify playlist, looking at these billboards so good, we think about them when the traffic light says red. And we see this bookstore nearby so we think of making a stop. Yup, we need to stop right there to realize, yet again, that art has been vital–but do we give our share?
Art by Marx Fidel (yup, that’s the way to do it)