Naughty or Nice: good intentions that offend artists

The line between naughty and nice can get pretty hazy when trying to express admiration of an artist’s work. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the naughty, nice, and even nicer things artists experience when interacting with followers and customers. What’s really awesome is that there are plenty of ways to help artists that don’t require you to spend any money at all! Have you helped an artist for free lately?

For a companion piece to this post, check out “Top Ways Artists Anger Their Customers”

Naughty… obviously

  • Commenting on an artist’s work with insults
  • Criticizing an artist’s prices for being too high
  • Posting their art without credit or permission
  • Tracing their art without permission
  • Using their character for RP without permission
  • Commissioning inappropriate artwork of their character without permission
  • Filing for a chargeback without talking to the artist (but ESPECIALLY after receiving a commission or merchandise – that’s called stealing, kids!)

Nicer but Naughty-ish.

These are some things people have done that may have been made with good intentions but most of us artists can’t help but hear the Debbie Downer trombone music in the background.

“Nice” things you do to artists that drive them crazy

  • Saying “I want to commission you but I don’t have any money”
  • Agreeing to commission an artist and promptly change your mind or ghost on them (never pay)
  • Complimenting them on how cheap their commissions are
  • Comparing their art, OC, or style to someone else’s
  • Making inappropriate comments (lewd/sexual comments about a character in PG artwork)
  • Flirting with an artist (especially one who has already made it known they are in a committed relationship. But realistically, unless an artist explicitly says they’re looking to meet someone this way, this is our job and we don’t really want to deal with the added awkwardness of someone hitting on us while we’re trying to make ends meet.)

Small things that lead to big problems

  • e-checks: When an artist is in need of funds, these are a severe setback as they often take days or even weeks to process payment from bank to bank.
  • No ref sheet or poor ref sheet
  • Constant changes/edits/requests beyond what was agreed to at the beginning of the commission process
  • Vague, incomplete, or absent replies when information or approval is needed (take the time to answer your artist’s concerns. Everyone wants this commission to turn out correctly and be completed quickly. For that to happen, they may need your input from time to time. Vague responses will lead to more questions, frustration, and time wasted.)
  • Checking-in frequently or inundating them with small talk (as much as I like to form a relationship with customers — many client relationships have turned into friendships — but we artists need to get work done so that you can get your artwork as quickly as possible!)


Small things that make for big smiles

  1. TIPS – Add a tip whenever you commission them
  2. GIVE A LITTLE, GET A LITTLE – If you can’t afford their commissions, buy some small merchandise from them, support their Kickstarters and, Patreons, or buy them Ko-fi!
  3. USE THEIR REFERRAL LINKS – If you’re an artist, save money on your own orders (for things like prints, banners, and stickers) by using an artist’s referral links (mine are here!)

9 Nice things that help artists for FREE!

  1. Follow them on social media
  2. Share the love: Retweet, shout out, and promote their sales posts (whether they’re Kickstarters, shop links, convention table or commission advertisements) on social media
  3. Leave positive and thoughtful comments on the artist’s work (not comparisons; do some inward thinking… tell them what do you enjoy about it! Why do you enjoy their work?)
  4. Write reviews on their online shop (it helps to show how much you enjoyed working with them for anyone who visits the shop in the future!)
  5. Talk about artists you admire with your friends (maybe they’ve never seen the artist’s work and would want to commission them too!)
  6. Redistribute artist business cards at cons (whether the artist is selling there or not)
  7. Wear the badges that you commission from artists to cons (make sure tell anyone who asks about the art how to find the artist online)
  8. Swag brag: Tag artists in posts when you get your new swag from them in the mail or at cons
  9. If you see a friend asking for artist recommendations on social media, tag an artist you recommend for the job. Even if the job doesn’t suit your artist’s schedule, it means a lot that you thought of them and sung their praises!

If you found this post informative, feel free to share on social media!
If you have experience or suggestions to share, I would appreciate your comments below!

Much LORF!

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