Artists – Do You Teach Others How To Treat You?

I’ve got a brilliant friend who is a musician – an artist in so many ways. This morning, I happened to see a link on her Facebook page that piqued my curiosity. I clicked…and here is what I found:

(Click on the ad to view it larger. If you’re like me, my eyes are failing as I get older!)

Craigslist Musician to Play
Teach Others How To Treat You!

It’s sadly funny. Nothing gets my goat than a request like this. It’s not the restauranteur that I’d like to spank, but the eventual musician (or artist) that will respond to this ad and fall all over themselves to get the gig.

Why? Because…..that musician is teaching the restauranteur how to treat them.

For too long, artists, musicians, writers, dancers….ART folk…have been holding this Dirty Little Secret and “giving it up” in the name of promotion & exposure. Newbies and even experienced artists all buy into the Hollywood dream that “someone” might discover them, or a patron will emerge from the wings.

Yeah…sometimes it happens but more often than not, you’ve just given away your time and money.

I love the approach the responder has taken in this ad. It’s important to teach others how to treat you and set expectations. Trust me – every time you do it, you’re educating the public that the arts is a business too and you have a family and financial obligations like the rest of the world.

I pick and choose my times to donate and I have a policy in my art business that guides me and enables me to say “no” to every request that comes through the door that does not fit within the policy guidelines. Do you?

How do you “treat others how to treat you?”


Here are some resources on this topic:

Artists and Their Dirty Little Secrets

6 Limits for Donating Artwork –

Educate Those Who Ask for Donations of Your Art – Fiona Purdy on

The Problem With Donating Art and the Solution – Maria Brophy

The Art Newspaper – Artists should have the same tax deductions as collectors when donating works of art

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