I work for myself so I work for free.
I think the main problem with it is because artists are just trying so desperately to get a job in what they're passionate about they sort of blur the lines between work and leisure. To get asked by a big company to do a picture is a big thing for some people, especially when those people are just like "hey this could be my lucky break, I love doing it anyway". Companies prey on this sort of thought process and just take advantage. But to be quite fair, don't allow yourself to be taken advantage of.
Personally, I never do anything for anyone unless I'm getting paid for it. Of course, if a friend asks a favour I will do whatever they need; but outside of friends and family, fucking good luck getting me to do anything.
i wake up every morning and brush my teeth with rainbows after i piss excellence and wash my face with glory
I've learned by my professors over the years that friends and family are the worst culprits for taking advantage of you, and I've found this to be true in almost all cases besides my mom and nana.
^^^ That's right.
I work for free because I suck and want experience/practice.
There is the naked truth. I'm not at the level yet where anyone would actually PAY me to do anything, unfortunatly. Of course, then I see blokes who are worse than I am get paid for stuff... maybe I should stop doing that. (Point is, I don't think I deserve to be paid for half the stuff I do. It just isn't my best.)
"Make sure the room is brightly lit and stay far away from the TV."
(Also, I'M BACK FROM THE DEAD!!!)
What you think isn't good may be great in someone else's eyes. If they think it's worth paying for, then don't fight them! I think your problem is just accepting the fact that your art is good enough for these people. Stop being so harsh on yourself.