Should you tip your artist? This is a question I've been asking myself for a while now - and when asking others about it, seems like a topic that is hardly ever touched on. I wanted to dump a few thoughts down and hopefully open some conversation on this. So let's get straight into it!
A 'tip', according to a search I did on Google, is
'a sum of money given to someone as a reward for a service.'
So, if you're already paying for a piece of work or for a commission to be done on an agreed price - why would you even need to tip? I recently did a poll on Twitter to get other people's thoughts on this. I was happily surprised that over 100 people wanted to share their views on this - including a lot of artists. Take a look:
As you can see 'Yes' was more than the most popular vote! A lot of comments submitted also echoed my own thoughts on this - which is that it doesn't come down to 'needing' to tip. Let's be honest - no one ever has to tip. It's more that act of wanting to. A lot of artists I know never, ever expect to be tipped; myself included. So why would somebody want to?
As I'm in the creative community - I realise what I'm about to say will probably be biased, but stick with me! I feel like there's an epidemic of undercharging for art/services within the creative community. I'm no stranger to this either - and is something I struggle with every time I price up a new print or take on a commission. I think the underlining problem is that people just don't feel 'good enough' to take themselves seriously.
Story time! Let me use a recent experience as an example: I attended MCM London earlier this year and whilst on my hunt for some awesome work for my new office, I came across an awesome lady selling inked/watercolour dragons. She had a print towards the edge of her table that I fell in love with, so asked how much it was as there was no price on the side. She was a bit taken aback and said she wasn't selling that - her desk buddy gave her a nudge and grinned 'Yes she is, aren't you. How much was it again?'. To which she said oh err £5. £5! I remember laughing as I gave her £20 and said this is how much I think your work is worth, if not more. She seemed so happy - and I was amped to make someone feel like that.
Here's a few thoughts from people on this subject:
I appreciate both ends of the spectrum when it comes to views on this. If an artist prices their work appropriately, then there would be no need to tip (unless the customer service is outstanding). But if you can see that someone is undercharging, would it enter your head to consider tipping - or would you be stoked you got a great deal?
Equally as important, if you would like to tip but just can't afford it - tell your artist! Seriously, kind words go a long way, especially in this kind of work. It can be a really hard business sometimes, so words of encouragement and praise can really make someone's week.
So, should you tip your artist? It's totally up to you!
I definitely want to delve into this further as like I said earlier - there just doesn't seem to be an open dialogue about this
Are you an artist - do you appreciate / expect / received / refuse tips? Are you a client that tips / doesn't tip / other? Then let me know in the comments below as I'd love to hear your thoughts on this :)