35 ‘Choosing Beggars’ Who Tried To Scam Creatives Into Free Or Underpaid Work (New Pics)

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Getting paid to do your job sounds like a no-brainer. Right?! Unfortunately, things get very emotionally and ethically mucky when you work as a creative. Especially if you’re a freelancer. The sad reality is that some people expect you to do your job for free, for exposure, or for very little pay because you enjoy it.

However, some creatives push back. We’ve collected some of the most powerful moments when they called out folks who tried to underpay them, as shared on the popular ‘Choosing Beggars’ online community. Scroll down to see just how sneaky and unfair some scammers can get.

#2

It’s Even Worse Than Saying “You Will Get Lots Of Exposure”, Even In This Situation

Darker-nine Report

Many people who have worked in the creative industry have probably run into situations like the ones in this article. The fact of the matter is that there will always be people out there who try to take advantage of you. Even more so when your entire professional life revolves around art, photography, writing, and other fundamentally creative pursuits.

That’s not to scare any of you away from doing creative work (it can be fulfilling), but it’s important not to be naive. 

#4

“Your Art Is Mediocre At Best So Please Design Me A Free Tattoo”

meow_mayhem Report

#5

Found On Twitter…i Can’t Belive These People…they Don’t Understand Nail Techs, Escorts, Artists, Ect. Actually Make A Living Off Of This

lettisha Report

#6

Coffee House In My City Offering Exposure For Your Artwork Responds After Major Backlash

vinemaster2001 Report

livlisbon84 avatar

If you want to survive in the creative industry, you need to either work at a respectable company with a solid contract or you need to figure out a way to be an effective freelancer.

A big part of this comes down to figuring out how to communicate with current and potential clients, marketing yourself, and knowing how to price your work and time.

#8

This Person Casually Asking For A Free Drawing And Getting A Hilarious, Quick Doodle That’s More Than They Deserve

jonarton Report

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#9

This Person Suggesting A Singer-Songwriter Make Them A Free Song For Their Wedding Because ~exposure

ItComesInPints_ Report

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In terms of pricing your work, you should definitely take the time to do your research. Be patient. Be thorough. Look at the current rates for company professionals and freelancers in the industry and your local area. Your number one priority should be to accurately price your time for your skill level and to ensure that you’ll make enough money to take care of your needs.

There’s actually a lot of pressure when it comes to accurate pricing. It goes beyond earning enough to pay for the roof above your head and the food on your table. If you set your prices too high, then you run the risk of getting few(er) clients. (This fear is what many scammers and people who try to take advantage of creatives play to.) On the other hand, if you’re vastly underpricing your work, this cretes another potential problem.

#10

Finally Had My First Choosing Beggar, I Guess Im A True Freelance Artist Now, Lol

reddit.com Report

livlisbon84 avatar

#11

Surely Photographers Will Line Up To Pay Me To Shoot My Wedding In The Middle Of Nowhere

InTheRainbowRain Report

#12

I Offered To Do Something More Simple For Free Only To Be Threatened With Reporting… I Don’t Mind Doing Free Chibi Art At All And Have Even Posted That I’m Doing Free Chibi Style But Yet Still Get People Asking For Full Body Detailed Work For Free

Strawberry_Milk97 Report

livlisbon84 avatar

If you set your prices without doing your due diligence or radically undercut all the other professionals in your skill range, you’re doing a disservice to all creatives everywhere. Professionals want to be paid what they’re worth. Meanwhile, clients want to save money.

When other creatives decide to work for way less money, it means that they get more clients. If there are enough creatives who are fine with being underpaid, this can create a knock-on effect where market prices for art fall across the board because everyone is forced to adapt to a new reality.

#13

Choosing Beggar Asks For Free Artwork In A Facebook Artists Group; Can’t Afford To Pay Because She “Already Spent $1200 On The Canopy”. Bonus: Op Is Also A Total Piece Of Sh*t Who Gets Multiple Duis!

HideAndSheik Report

#14

Artist Should Live With Their Parents And Draw For Free

DAX2FAST Report

#15

I Paint And Do Calligraphy And Hand Lettering. Conversation I Had Last Night With My Cousins “Friend”

siuslestrange Report

arenwy avatar

These days, when it comes to marketing your skills, there are tons of tools to help with that. You can set up a professional-looking website with your portfolio for free or for very cheap.

There are also lots of social networks where you can show off your latest work and connect with other pros, fans, and potential clients. Some of those networks even allow you to monetize your content, which is great news if you have a significant following.

#17

Person Beg For Free Art And Ends Blocked. Then Creates Another Account To Threat The Artist

TunaXI Report

#18

I Draw As A Hobby And For My Family, But Will Do Commissions When I Have Free Time. This “Friend” Wanted A Picture Of Herself To Be Drawn For Free Because She’s A College Student

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You can even take to professional networks like LinkedIn to share your thoughts about the industry and connect with like-minded individuals. The long and short of it is that there are lots of options if you want to market yourself. However, all of this takes lots of energy. You need to be honest and realistic about how much time you’re willing to spend on promoting yourself and your work.

Whatever you do, having at least some sort of online presence is useful. And being consistent in your posting (even if done rarely) is better than being sporadic. Exposure can help you a lot in your marketing and self-promotion efforts, however, it shouldn’t be used to avoid paying for services rendered.

#19

This Terrible Dude Who Is Trying To Get Free Art And Also Kind Of Withholding Payment From His Babysitter

[deleted] Report

arenwy avatar

#21

“You Actually Want To Get Paid For Your Artwork?! You Privileged Monster!”

DeuceMandago Report

How you communicate with your clients is entirely up to you. Though you can learn a lot from other professionals in the field, at the end of the day, the best teacher is your personal, hands-on experience. There are lots of friendly and well-meaning potential clients out there.

However, they might not know how the industry works and what the etiquette around compensation is like. So, it becomes important to recognize those who are ignorant from those who want to take advantage of you. 

#22

I Know How It Is To Have Huge Self Esteem Issues, But Fishing For Compliments And Artwork Online Isn’t Going To Fix That

ElijahDemion Report

#23

Custom Artwork For Gift Cards And Merchandise

emfab Report

#24

Guy I Know Was Begging For Free Art For His D&d Character With ‘Requirements’. Personally I Just Think His Comment Was Gold

Ash1rogi Report

Broadly speaking, it’s always best to communicate with your clients politely and professionally right off the bat. You want to be clear and concise in how you present your info about pricing, deadlines, expectations, etc. Writing everything up in contract form will also help you avoid some nasty headaches in the future. When you have a paper trail, you’re safer.

When you’re faced with someone who asks you to work for exposure or for very little pay, you might want to consider politely rebuffing their offer even then. You can explain to them why this doesn’t work for you, why your skills are worth more, and try to negotiate a rate that’s fair to you. 

#26

Wow…such A Deal …. I Will Really Work For “Long Term” At “High Volume” For 5$ For A Business I Have No Idea About It

reddit.com Report

#27

Getting Free Art In Exchange For “Exposure” Isn’t Enough Anymore. You Have To Get Artists To Pay You To Get “Exposure” Now

reddit.com Report

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The important thing to remember is that no creative pro should be forced to work for exposure or for little to no money if they don’t want to. There are plenty of opportunities out there, but it takes some time to find them. Scammers usually prey on people’s fears and insecurities, so the best thing that we, as creatives, can do is to know when to walk away.

Saying ‘no, thank you’ takes a lot of courage! And it shows that you’re confident in your abilities and optimistic about finding future work. Hopefully, for proper pay.

#30

Because She Doesn’t Value Money, It Would Be Best To Send My Artwork To Her For Free. Oh, They Pay The Shipping Costs! Plus Exposure!

thubakabra Report

What has your experience with creative work been like, dear Pandas? Have you ever had anyone pressure you to work for exposure or barely any money? How did you respond? What do you think could be done to protect creatives better? If you have a spare moment, we’d love to hear your take on this!

Share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this article.

#31

Wait You Want Money For A Custom Piece Of Art? Selfish And Greedy. Don’t Contact Me Again

hollyisnotsweet Report

#32

Low To Non-Existent Pay For A *likely* Chance That I *could* Be Allowed To Keep The Rights To My Own Artwork? Sign Me The Hell Up!

Apprentice_of_Ixidor Report

#33

A Tattoo Artist At The Shop I Work For Has Been Working On A Sleeve For An Acquaintance Of His, Not Even Charging Her, And She Asked To Come In Today To Get More Done. He Was Booked For The Day And She Copped An Attitude Over Him Not Clearing His Schedule For Her

Downwardspiralhams Report

#35

Oh Lagoon… They Will Be Selling The Artwork, With Nothing Going To The Artists. Lagoons Response To Criticism In The Comments

REB3Lrs Report


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