Things To Stop Asking Artists, Designers, Poets, & Writers, or How To Stop Being a Jerk To Creatives

Image description: A blue sky full of very pink clouds over a neighborhood where you can just see the telephone lines and tops of houses in the bottom of the photo. Text over the image reads “if you can do it yourself, go ahead & try”
  1. Why does it cost so much?
  2. Have you ever heard of/tried Etsy?
  3. Can you donate some work?
  4. We can’t offer any pay but could you come teach?
  5. Can you make me this (provides link to another artist/designer’s work), but for less?
  6. Have you ever thought about/tried the farmer’s market/street fair/swap meet/garage sale to sell your work?
  7. Why doesn’t it come in (some variation)?
  8. Do you really make a living with this?
  9. Couldn’t I just make this myself/my kid could paint that for me?
  10. How do I buy this/why can’t I find your shop? (always asked when the link is attached or prominently displayed in the profile info)
  11. Ok, but what do you really do? Like, what’s your real job?
  12. Do you take (trade/another form of payment not listed/a form of payment clearly listed)?
  13. What you have is nice, but do you have (some random item)?
  14. Why are your necklaces/earrings/whatever so big? I like delicate things.
  15. Don’t you have a coupon or discount for me?
  16. Can you make this longer/shorter/bigger/smaller (on finished products)?
  17. I like the one you sold, can you make another one just like it? (Especially common when your branding is “one of a kind.”)
  18. Could you just rearrange this poem this other way/completely reformat your poem?
  19. We love this design, just a few tweaks… can you (completely redesign it)?
  20. I want to publish this essay about your experience of x, but I need you to rewrite it so it doesn’t talk about y because I don’t think that’s relevant, ok?
  21. Can I pay you next month but get it now?
  22. Can you hold that for me (indefinitely) and don’t let anyone else buy/publish it?
  23. Have you offered your item/service on Fiverr?
  24. I heard you (knit, paint, make, design), can you make me (something completely outside our wheelhouse and without having looked at our site to see what we do or if we already have something available they like)?
  25. Oh, you’re a writer? Great, I have this idea for a book. Can you ghost write it for me/give me pointers/connect me to your agent or publisher?
  26. Why do you write about (your identity/ies) so much?
  27. Where do you get your ideas?
  28. Didn’t you pray about it before you decided to do this and think you could make money at it?
  29. These things should be about passion, not money. Why do you charge?
  30. What does your husband/parent/employer/child/random person think about your work? Don’t you think about how it impacts them?
  31. Don’t you think you’re revealing too much personal experience/information in your work?
  32. Don’t you think it’s time to grow up and do something real?

With special thanks to Sumayyah Talibah and Brooke Benoit for contributing common questions they are also asked, and Noemi Martinez who has shared experiences that inspired some of these.