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“Happy birthday to your GF” M’sian Illustrator Draws ‘Sunset’ For Customer With RM10 Budget


Source: Kazel Lim | Facebook

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People who think that being an artist isn’t a real career and that their work is not worth paying for need to stop undervaluing and undermining the livelihoods of others.

One Malaysian shared how a customer only offered to pay RM20 for a painting. When she said she couldn’t do it for that price and he still insisted that she fulfil his order, she proceeded to draw the ‘perfect’ picture for him.

Kazel Lim, an illustrator from Kuala Lumpur, received a message from the customer requesting a painting that he wanted to give to his girlfriend for her birthday. Kazel asked him what kind of painting he wanted and asked for a photo reference. But the customer just told her to go to his Facebook and pick one herself.

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  • Customer: I’m looking for someone to paint. My girlfriend’s birthday is coming up. I want to surprise her.
  • Kazel: Hello, what kind of painting do you need?
  • Customer: I want you to draw a picture of our previous trip.
  • Kazel: OK. May I have the photo, please?
  • Customer: I have a lot on Facebook, you go and see which one is suitable.
  • Kazel: OK, or if you have a favourite you can give it to me.
  • Customer: It’s a lot of trouble to choose. Size? How to calculate?

Kazel then told him that the size of the painting depends on the content and the size he specifies. She said that most customers choose either A5 or A4 as it is easy to choose a photo frame for it.

He then told her to choose the largest one that’s “not too expensive”.

“I don’t have much money to come here, because I have to give her other gifts,” he said.

Kazel explained that the price is calculated according to the size of the painting. “The larger the sheet and the more materials and colours are used, the higher the price will be.”

The customer then replied, “I want the cheapest and the largest one, and help me draw the photos of our trip to the seaside, with the sun and the beach. You can find the photos yourself, I can’t choose, I need them tomorrow.”

Kazel told him that completing the project by the next day was too soon and said that she would often recommend customers with a budget to choose smaller sizes because it’s more “delicate and economical”.

“Usually it takes a few days to prepare the painting, so I don’t take urgent orders,” she said.

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The conversation continues as follows:

  • Customer: I’ll pay for it, and you can help me choose a size.
  • Kazel: What’s your budget, please? I can take a look at it for you.
  • Customer: It was RM10, but I can add RM10 more. I want a bigger one so that you can draw more things
  • Kazel: Haha, are you serious?
  • Customer: ??

Kazel then told the customer that she couldn’t take his order and that he would need to find someone else.

However, the customer became upset with her. “What do you mean? Was it fun? We’ve been talking all this time, and now you’re saying no? I don’t have time to find anyone else. You have to draw.”

Kazel replied, “I can’t paint at this price. All I pay is my time and spirit + my accumulated experience to complete an artwork. The amount of time and money spent is proportional to each other.”

The customer responded, “Now this time already, I give you to earn money and you still hang high to sell (haughty)? Many people want to earn money but they can’t, you think that many people need this painting? I have your IG and online shop, if you don’t draw, I’ll give you a bad review.”

What Kazel did next was pretty savage! She took a piece of paper and a pencil and scribbled stick figures at the ‘beach’ while holding a large ‘heart’ and looking at the ‘sunset’.

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“Well, it’s finished. I’ll give it to you for free. Happy birthday to your girlfriend,” she said.

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Kazel did not reveal if the customer responded to her ‘painting’ or if he left the conversation, but he certainly deserves it for thinking that he could just pay RM20 for her time, skills and effort.

What do you think about this?


Also read: M’sian Design Agency Laughs After Client Asks If They Can Just ‘Test’ Their Work First


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