Every person in the creative industry has been asked to do something for free. Every single one. When this happens, the excuse is often “think of the exposure!” or “but I’m your friend!” Artists, writers, and performers experience this all the time.
Reddit user u/givemeayes recently had this experience with a friend’s husband, who expected a family portrait on an expensive, gallery-style canvas as a Christmas gift. OP is an artist who often uses the platform to promote their work, including the below digital pet portraits.
Recently, u/givemeayes posted screenshots of a conversation with their friend’s husband in the subreddit r/ChoosingBeggars, which is for “posting screenshots, pictures, or stories of people who are being way too picky.”
The post is titled “Friend’s husband doesn’t want to pay me for babysitting because I won’t paint a free painting from them. Even when I told them I’d do it for very cheap if they bought the canvas.”
In the text exchange, the husband demands OP do the portrait because “you’re my wife’s best friend, you should do it for free,” before admitting he’d already spent $5,000 on Christmas gifts.
He also said he would consider paying for babysitting, even though his wife had already promised payment. The husband also uses the “exposure” manipulation tactic and says he’s trying to help a friend in need and that the artist would be allowed to use the portrait on their website. (Check out their Etsy website, by the way—great work!)
As of this writing, the post has received 57k upvotes and 3.7k comments, all very supportive.
u/magical-red pointed out how expensive it is to purchase painting supplies, while another user came up with a brilliant idea to get back at the husband.
In the comments, u/givemeayes also admitted that the husband showed up at their door the next day, expecting them to babysit his kids. It didn’t happen.