Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't Give Your Art Away - Latest Response

I received yet another request to donate art to a charity auction. First, the person asked me to donate art, then jewelry (like it's not art! duh!). Here is my reply:

Thank you for appreciating my art and my handmade jewelry. The same applies to all of my art, jewelry included. I need to get at least 50% of the sale price. If that would work, then I would be glad to participate. Please understand that I get an unbelievable number of requests like this. If I gave my art away to every one I got, I would have nothing left! This is not a hobby, but a business at which I work full time, I do this to make a living. I don't work for free, and I don't like the mentality that artist's should give their work away for free. That is why I will not participate in charity auctions unless I get a percentage. I hope you understand.


  1. That sounded like a very nice, professional way to answer. I agree with you 100%! I'm surprised you get so many requests for charities. Not because your work is bad, just because I have never heard of getting personal requests from organizations you do not belong to. Interesting.

  2. I have been displaying my paintings at local fairs and festivals including Pecan Street, for several years, as many as 15-20 shows a year. Representatives from charities and other similar organizations go around and collect business cards from artists at these events. They also visit art organization websites and collect member's names, then when they have an auction they solicit donations. They tout the benefits of donating, such as exposure and tax writeoff (artists can only write off the value of the materials, not the sale price).

    Artists fail to create value for their work by deeply discounting and/or donating, and getting paid little or nothing. It's our own fault because we allow it!