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The art of Thornwolf
"I'd like to buy it but I have no money"
I just read this article that addresses what's really going on in the minds of those who, when passively presented with a purchasing opportunity, say instead "I'd love to but I have no money".

At first I just considered it a form of unnecessary politeness, and while it sometimes is just that, it apparently can sometimes go deeper than that, and they address what you as the seller should do and expect from these situations. A really good read!

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shoomlah From: shoomlah Date: February 11th, 2010 08:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Veeeeeery interesting! Thanks for the link. :D

eski From: eski Date: February 11th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember seeing this somewhere before, I'm glad to be reminded of it!
iolarnula From: iolarnula Date: February 11th, 2010 11:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah interesting...reason #6 jumps out actually as one of the most probable, especially on the 'net.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah that one's a perfect example of an unnecessary action. "Good luck with your sales" would be an acceptable substitute I think, if one really feels they need to say something. It's both uplifting and doesn't give the seller false hope that maybe at another time or for a different price they might purchase that particular item.
sketchkat From: sketchkat Date: February 11th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have seen this before...
I missed it :3

Such wise words
spiffystuff From: spiffystuff Date: February 11th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I admit, I do sometimes wonder if they are actually trying to get ___ for free, or someone else to buy it for them. But I don't see that option in the blurb XD
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or asking for some kind of deal, like "I like your character so I'll do it for less bux" or something. I will admit, if something interests me THAT much I might make a deal with someone.

But it's rare that someone has something that I want to dedicate a lot of free time to. It's rare, but it happens.
briggswolf From: briggswolf Date: February 11th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think you're discounting the fact that your target audience is a specific fandom of people. Considering who they are, when they say "I'd love to but I have no money" I think they're telling the truth. ;P One thing you can count on is that everyone in this fandom loves the art.

Besides, this author is being very presumptuous about the motives of people. Don't fall down that path and start assuming people mean something other than what they say to you, otherwise you'll end up a bitter old person with 100 cats in your house feeling all worried about what people think and scowling at all the passersby through the window.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
See my response to Pac for my thoughts on the article.

And I can choose to take from it what I wish, that being the overall theme of "don't worry about it when people say that, it's not your problem and you don't necessarily have to change". I already know folks who have allowed themselves to become embittered by the actions (or inaction) of others and who are, in essence, crazy cat ladies, and I assure you, I make it my personal goal to not be like them ;) I just enjoyed the read.

But those statements are still annoying regardless of reason. I'd rather folks not say anything at all, even if they are being supportive, it kind of makes me feel bad, not in the sense that "aw you're not buying my stuff" but in the sense of "am I being unreasonable?"
maddogairpirate From: maddogairpirate Date: February 11th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the article missed the obvious one. 'Take pity on me and draw/sell/give something to me anyway. I complimented you by saying I'd like to buy your work, didn't I?'
purpurealuna From: purpurealuna Date: February 11th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed with this one.
martes From: martes Date: February 11th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Someone else had posted a link to that last year. For furry fandom (and probably all the SF/Fantasy fandoms) reasons #4 and #6 are the most probable. They say they can't afford it, but somehow they always come up with money to attend cons, buy porn or fursuits, go out and get drunk, ect, but somehow coming up with $8 or 9 to order a print or comic is far beyond their means. Yeah, and I have a bridge to sell'ya.

(the above rant is aimed specificly at people who post "I'd love to buy X but have no money.")
briggswolf From: briggswolf Date: February 11th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah but they probably really don't have any money and they forgo rent to buy those prints, comics, fursuits, and go to cons without a place to crash, living on the consuite foods. ;)
dustmeat From: dustmeat Date: February 11th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Coming from fans, i think it is just submissive politeness.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: February 11th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That author makes huge presumptions about the thoughts of others! Though, I think most of the article was written tongue in cheek, especially the "reasons".

It really boils down to what I wrote in reply to someone in your journal before FC. I also think it is most often a financial decision a person feels pressured on the spot to make, and need some distance to decide.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
See my response to Pac for my full thoughts on it.

But in terms of being put on the spot, I don't see how posting on the internet puts them on the spot? I can understand in a con setting where I'm literally staring at you while you make or don't make a decision, unless that's what you mean?
pac From: pac Date: February 11th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
i kind of agree with skorzy here: i can't really take this article seriously based on the presumptuousness of the author for the reasons.

i do think the practice of actively TELLING an artist they would buy it if they could "afford" it is a somewhat strange thing the more i think about it though. though, i agree with dustmeat in that in a fandom scenario, it's probably just people's way of being complimentary.

if someone saying that is believed to be honest, in that they genuine like the product/service, or in the case of fandoms, a FAN of your work, it may vary well appear as a compliment to express desire for the work despite the reasons for not wanting to or being able to purchase. i also agree with briggs that there is probably a different mindset between an open ended business to a general public (even in a niche like offering products to twenty something homemakers) and something specialized and encapsulated in a very unique community.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just like it for the overall theme of what you should do in the situations: eg: "Don't worry about it, it's not your problem".

It may or not be your prices, but most of the time it's personal preference or personal situations and people are just being polite, they feel that they have to reassure you.

Honestly in those cases, as polite as they are, I'd rather folks just not say anything because like you said, it's kind of weird and it actually does make me uncomfortable to think about other people's financial struggle. I'm well aware that times are tough, but when folks say that it kind of makes me feel like I'm asking too much of people by even posting passively that I'm selling stuff, if that makes sense?
From: captainq Date: February 11th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yes. We should all think before speaking, and honesty IS the best policy. And then, there are close friends of mine who will tell me that they would buy my art if they had the money. Should I not believe them when I know it to be true?

As true as the article is for the customers it applies to, it is far too abrasive to gain my respect. One is not going to gain much from assuming dishonesty and then proclaiming that assumption publicly.

I find her other articles are similar. Her negative world view and arrogance in being correct poisons her writing.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
It must just be her style, but in my response to Pac, I can ignore the author's brashness and get the overall message of "don't worry about it when people say this, it's usually not your problem".
xothia From: xothia Date: February 11th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm, I think the article is a bit presumptuous. I've found myself saying that occasionally, any my usual motivation is seeing something that I think is particularly cool and wishing I had the SPARE cash to spend, but just not being able to justify that expense. (art, toys, etc, are, after all, purely luxuries)

I know that there are TONS of toys and sculptures I think are absolutely fantastic, but it's also a matter of space and clutter, too.

Yet, for some weird psychological reasoning that is beyond my immediate comprehension, somehow acknowledging it publicly appeases me.

Maybe more people are like that... Just wanting to say, hey, that's cool, really cool, but I can't justify the expense or space or whatever.

Maybe other people are trying to get free art, but I imagine most of the time it's simply a sincere compliment.

I'd take it as encouragement and otherwise ignore it. *shrug*
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is usually the action I take, but there's always that little voice in the back of my head that says to me "your prices are unreasonable, you should really lowball yourself for the sake of others". I know this is not necessarily right (for myself anyways) but it still nags, yanno?

And as my stepmom says, there's never such thing as "spare" cash lol! But yeah I get what you mean ;)
yaochi From: yaochi Date: February 11th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
In general terms, I think artists are underpaid. Problem is, for a lot of us customers, resources vary over time and sometimes we cannot indulge without repercussions that exceed our desire to own. At Califur I was a person who slept on the floor in a room full of equipment. Sometimes folks will say that the market sets the value of any given item. In one sense that may be so, but it can just as easily over or under value items. I have not seen the results of the art show this year for FC, but my gut was telling me that purchasing was down. That is heartbreaking because quite frankly there was a lot of stuff that deserved to go home with somebody. I suspect that a lot of folks who, in previous years, purchased more art, purchased less. Some may have had less money, some may have had more insecurity, some both. When someone tells us that they cannot afford a thing, it can have many meanings, and often more than suggested by the writer of that article, whose arrogance reads through their text.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are one of those people who really appreciates the value of art, and I really like that about you. It's a rare thing that I meet someone who understands the kind of work that goes into each piece of art.

That said, you commented that a lot of things in the art show deserved to go home, there was a lot of nice art but honestly I mostly saw limited edition prints (which I don't really buy), it seemed the majority of the show was that. I would have loved to see more originals honestly. I really look forward to that part the most. Looking at a piece of art that has brush strokes or marker lines just really is /awesome/.

Sales were indeed rather abysmal this year (for me anyways but I priced my items for prices I wouldn't be disappointed if they went so..maybe that's my fault) but I am thankful that I sold anything at all, because it means that the things that went will truly be appreciated rather than casually purchased because it's their murrsona (which there's nothing wrong with that, but I don't like to undersell myself either just to draw a yiffy yiffy fox cuz I know it will sell, i like to draw things I enjoy).

And yeah this individual is indeed arrogant, but I try to take away a bigger message from it being "don't worry about it just keep on keepin' on, people will always have their reasons, it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong"
synnabar From: synnabar Date: February 11th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't mind her tone, because I liked the underlying message - it's not you, don't undersell yourself, and so on. Also, maybe I'm a bit jaded, but it seems like a lot of people online speak with that kind of "voice", so I didn't notice it. In any case, I did see her points, and I agree with the idea that artists shouldn't feel bad or undervalue/underprice themselves, or feel pressured to sell for less than their work is worth.

I actually don't mind if people say "I'd love it but I can't afford it," because I figure, like you and others said, they're most likely just being polite. As for me, if I really like something but don't have room for it/need for it/have money for it at that time, I'll just leave a compliment and nothing else. Or, I won't say anything if I think the artist is the sort that only wants comments from people who will be buying (I wouldn't want to get their hopes up over a sale if I can't buy). OR, sometimes I just miss that they have something for sale!

But I digress. I think she made good points nonetheless, though again I don't mind comments along the lines of "I like it, but..." And I know what it is like to be poor - you have heard my story. However, there have been a few times I've gotten "I WANT ONE! Reserve one for me!" but not gotten a reply when I sent a query; or done something for someone then gotten an excuse why they can't pay, and then see them buy stuff from other people; or hear about why someone can't afford it, yet they seem to have the newest version of every electronic gadget out there. And no one likes to hear, "oh, I love your work but I'm going to so_and_so_big_name's table first, and if I have any money left i might come back..." But what can you do but keep going, and have faith in your work, right? There are a lot of wonderful people out there who do mean well, and fortunately the people I've encountered who don't are few and far between.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 11th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah this seems to be the case whenever I post an article or a link to something, people don't like the way it was written and therefore assume that I am ALSO that brash OR that I condone it, and ignore the message completely. I LIKE the message of "don't worry about it". It reassures me. I don't care how it's delivered, just that at least now I know I'm not crazy in feeling the way I do when I get that statement, and now I know how to deal with it...do nothing.

I have also received the "reserve one for me please" and then they disappear entirely. That is annoying because that's a sale that could have gone to someone else. When they do it consistently I stop accepting their reservation. If they pay me, I'll do it for them, but I won't put them on a public list or anything thus scaring away anyone else who might want to sneak in before the list fills up. I don't mind making room!

This con I also received the "lemme see if there's anything better and if not I'll come back" I mean I KNOW what they're trying to say but it's the delivery that could be improved. They want to shop around. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and in fact, I encourage it, but to tell me in a way that they're looking for something "better" is kind of..mm..off color. I just chalk it up to mis-speaking. I don't let it bother me much even if it does kinda make me go "wait..what?" initially XD

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