There is this general notion in the society that the work of an artist is not to be paid and it is just for pleasure. We all praise their work, enjoy their creativity but we don’t want to reward them in terms of money. As soon as money gets involved we consider that we are wasting them. The thought suddenly rushes to our mind that why not buy clothes or a delicious meal instead of buying their work.
We want free portraits and aesthetically rich landscapes for our house but we want it for free. We want artists to spend hours and hours on a piece of work and in return get nothing.
Similarly, there is an artist Jon Arton from Birmingham, England who has spent his life polishing his skills and refining himself to be one of the finest artists we could witness to date. He is an extremely talented young lad, who creates magic with his hands. His sketches are unbelievably amazing and breath-taking. This artist is also another victim of receiving requests for making free portraits. However, Arton chose a very witty way to answer all these people who don’t like to pay artists. He chose to doodle their pictures and present them as their portraits. Some were offended by this act, but Arton didn’t give up. He wanted people to understand the importance of an artist’s hard work and talent. Their talent is not for people who don’t understand it’s worth.
It is not wrong to say that money is never a way to appreciate or a standard to set its worth. But, when the world is ready to pay for everything else than why not for the pretty work that artist make. Their work is commendable, it gives us pleasure and soothes our aesthetic sense. It enhances the beauty of the place where it is kept then why can’t we pay the people as a token of appreciation for their diligent work. We are struck with awe when we see the colorful and impactful paintings hanging on the wall.
We are eyes wide open when we see a portrait that looks like a picture taken from the camera or even better than that. But, when it comes to paying for the same work of art and keeping it as an adornment at our place we choose not to spend money on it.
The very moment we come to know that our money is to be spent on art we take a step back and choose other hundred and fifty things over art. The dilemma is that people have forgotten the importance of art and the artists. People in today’s world are financially better and can spend on art which makes our lives beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. An artist dedicates his time, money, idea and emotions in his work and we want him to give it to us without any incentive. Think about it, will we ever give our idea, emotions, money or something very dear to us for free to someone? The answer would be no, but we, unfortunately, expect the same from an artist. We belittle his work and painstaking effort.
Arton scribbled some of the cartoons as people’s portraits. This is a strong message to people who think they can take artists and their work for granted. Despite this offending act of doodling, he has positively progressed in his career but he receives requests for free illustrations every week. “It can be a bit irritating,” he said. “I take it as a compliment and most people are a bit unaware of how much time can go into a piece of art. I thought a silly doodle may get this point across and hopefully make people laugh.”
He further added: “Art isn’t really seen as a job/career but more of a hobby which you enjoy, so people assume you would be happy to do it for a little bit of ‘exposure.’”
We tend to forget that artists have enough exposure and do not need any more of it. they need people to appreciate their work with an honest heart. People who truly understand the worth of a true artist and his work will never hesitate to spend some of their money on buying their work. One cannot survive without earning. An artist’s only source of earning is his work which we consider as a hobby and tend to overlook their need of earning and survival. If they will not have money, neither will they be able to provide basic needs to themselves and their family nor will they be able to buy art supplies to continue their work. Survival becomes difficult of artists when people like us don’t support them and buy their well-deserved work.
Arton says: “I wish I could do drawings for free,” Jon added. “It is something I have done for giveaways to my followers online or for charity. Sadly, I have to fund my expensive pencil habit.”
This world is a cruel place and the responsibility to make it a better place is on our shoulders. Let’s support each other and their work we all do. It is us who can lift each other up and make it a place where everybody gets their right and appreciation. It is very easy to ask for something for but to work on something with all your heart and sweat till it is done is very difficult. We all need to appreciate all the deserving artists around us who are working day and night to produce amazing pieces of art. Never ask for a free illustration or a portrait from an artist. It is unethical and immoral. Pay for it, make them feel happy as they make you feel good with their remarkable work.