Sorry, I’m Not the Artist for the Job

I got a message from my cousin asking if I could help her friend out with an art project he needed done. He wanted a reproduction of a KISS album painted onto a saw blade.

I replied:

I’m so flattered you thought of me for the art project, but I’m not the artist for the job. First of all, what your friend wants is copyright infringement. Even if I overlooked that it was illegal, not something I could sign my name to, or be proud of, I’m not good at reproductions. My best effort would not look like a photocopy. My art style is nature and abstract. Also, because of my schedule and drying time between layers of paint, it would not be ready before Christmas if it is meant as a gift. Since you asked what I would charge, my freelance fee is $25 per hour plus materials. The details in the picture you sent would likely take over 4 hours, costing over $100. I must turn down this art opportunity, but thank you for thinking of me and my art skills!

How discouraging that a chance to make money from art does not come from what I am doing up in my studio. Just like if I want to be a paid writer it seems I have to write what I’m not interested in, or to be a paid photographer I’d have to do my least favourite subjects, weddings and portraits.

I am an artist, not a Xerox machine. My art is creative, not replication. I have respect for the artist that originally created the album art this person wants. If he wanted a spooky tree with a moon, or some weird mythological creature, or splotches and drips, I’d be in. Ripped off album art? No.

I searched the picture on google and found it is sold as a clock. It would be cheaper to buy the clock than hire an artist, but hey maybe he thought I’d do it for $20 or something?

One day I hope to have an income from creative pursuits, but it won’t be from selling out to someone else’s ideas for less than my time is worth.


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