So broke I can't even afford art trades?

Posted 6 months, 15 days ago (Edited 6 months, 7 days ago) by Mercenary_Ike

I mean I can afford chicken nuggets but its like the people you admire say no and when you find people who do want to trade, a lot of the time it's people worse than you. I know I should be grateful that I can even art trade but it's something that irks me. 

Edit: And by worse I mean not giving a shit on what they draw bc lol free art


I know the feeling xD Sometimes it is really hard to find someone to do an art trade with you. And I am always feeling bad if I need to say no because a stick man figure is not a trade :c Some people also never do their part. I became skeptical trusting other artists and never show my part first in full resolution. 

My AT partners only get a tiny version first so they know, that I am done with my part. The get the big version when they finished their part and I got it.


I don't think anyone should compare their art to other people art and call it "better" or "worst" tbh 🤔! You can only really compare your art with your own stuff, as your the one creating it, learning from it etc. Comparing art will making you feel bad while learning from others people's art (by studying it or thinking by yourself 'what would I do to make this piece look different.') is the best way of learning. Creating art isn't a competition, you don't have to be "good" at it to have fun!  I get that it's frustrating if you can't find any art trade partners, but cherish the ones you can find and learn from the way they draw things. 


I know it must be hard! ;^;

I have a good explanation to why artists might not accept trades sometimes, but i'll keep it under spoilers because it's quite long;

I used to wonder why wouldn't people with really nice art trade with other people with less experience, but consider:

Most artists who have really good quality drawings and a good grasp on the art fundamentals either work with art full-time, or have real life jobs and other things that keep them busy (i'm saying this because a really experienced artist takes years to learn, so you probably won't find anyone that's a high level pro at a super young age, and even the youngest ones, like, 15 might be very busy with school, etc). So, they need to optimize their time. 

A lot of artists won't even trade with anyone unless friends, because they need the time to spend on things that are more useful to them (like selling commissions), something they can benefit from in real life.

Even the ones who do trade have reason for that. You see, a high skilled artist takes hours to finish a drawing, since they put a lot of quality and effort to it. And a drawing from someone less skilled will often take less time, and come out with less quality than their art. So, i know it feels upsetting to not be accepted in a trade with some artists, but keep in mind it also might feel really frustrating to them to spend hours, maybe days on a drawing they are doing pratically for free, getting in the middle of their commission schedule, or even job/real life schedule. 

For some of them, it might feel like playing with someone at a younger age Like a 20 years old person playing with a 10. 

I, myself, tend to refuse art trades when i'm busy or overloaded with commissions so it doesn't get in the way of my agenda.

Also, a little secret, something i found out that actually works is to contact multiple artists which you admire and ask them for trades. Be sure to be nice and explain why you want to trade/how long you've been admiring their art for, and that you don't mean to bother them or get in the way of their schedule, if they don't have the time to do it. It usually works, and at least one of them tends to accept the trade. You get a bigger chance. Don't give up!

Last of all is to never compare yourself to other people, as Fizz said, or dismiss other people because you think they're at an inferior level.  

kittyee you're complaining that artists who are "better" than you don't want to do art trades with you and then you do the same with artists who are "worse" than you...? 



At this point, I don't even know anymore. Sometimes I draw something akin to the mona lisa while getting back a stick figure, sometimes they draw the mona lisa and get back a stick figure (figuratively) and sometimes were on the same level.


Trading is a barter exchange. It works well if the economic value of the items being traded is the same.

When I trade with a stranger, it's the same as doing a different commission and then using the cash to buy the art I'm trading for. Due to the difference in skill level, a quick sketch from me might be worth a full color piece from the other artist or vice versa.

The awkward thing is, a newer artist with room for trades doesn't yet have a proven reputation of reliability, so I never buy more than 20usd or about an hour of trade work. That way, if I never get the product, it's no big deal.

An experienced artist with a good reputation who can be trusted to deliver the product usually needs the cash and doesn't have room for trades, so I just buy the art outright unless that person wants to buy from me also.

When I trade with friends, it's more like a gift exchange, so the value doesn't matter, but they also won't care if I'm late or never finish my part, just like they wouldn't care if I forgot to get them a birthday gift.



Sorry if I sound rude but I don't get what your saying



I'm trying to not be rude but I don't want to spend 5 hours on a piece and get a stick figure in return


I think at the very least instead of saying people 'worse than you' you could say people who don't put the effort in return. Everyone has different levels of ability and practice with art, there's a difference between being a beginning, and putting your all into a piece, and then just not bothering at all.


Simplified with Explanations Removed:

If you are trading as a purchase, you get what you pay for.

If you are trading for fun as a gift exchange, you can't have expectations about the quality of gift that you receive.


I bet the people who you admire feel the same. Not in a rude way but generally admiration is tied closely with wanting to draw like that person thus a certain unspoken "your art is better which is why i admire it" naturally occurs. The people who you admire and ask to trade with probably dont think the amount of effort they put in is worth the product theyre getting in return, just like you dont want to trade with people of a lower skill level they dont want to either. Thats just the way it goes unless youre friends with someone of a higher or equal skill level youll probably only get offers by people who admire you and therefor have a lower skill level.

Coming from the perspective of someone who feels comfortable with his art (i know my art style isnt god tier but I consider it more visually attractive then a good chunk of artists) its not even a question of current effort put in- it takes me 30 minutes to do a realistic headshot and 2 hours to do a full body with a background-its a matter of past effort and refinement. Im able to be so speedy with out cutting out quality because ive spent 7+ years drawing digitally. Someone who is brand new to digital art might take 5 hours to do a headshot thats less refined and although thats WAY MORE EFFORT its not something id be interested in because the over all art style simply isnt as developed as mine which ive spent 7 years on is.

You also just gotta keep in mind general preferences. I LOVE shitty ms paint doodles and will take one of those over a hq anime styled art piece any day simply because thats my prefernece.



Alright! I'll keep it in mind!