the gentleperson’s guide to artist etiquette on tumblr
Hi there! Artists are a dearly beloved part of fandom and Tumblr, and yet they also get a lot of shit. A lot of shit. I think much of it comes from a place of unfamiliarity, so I’ve put together a quick guide to how to make artists happier.
1) Be mindful that many artists have thousands of followers. If they don’t respond to you, that doesn’t mean they hate you, or that they’re an asshole: It means that they have a lot of followers and fans and can’t get to everyone.
2) If you tag an artist in something, or write them a gift fic, don’t make repeated demands that the artist look at your post/AO3 and tell you what they think. The artist might be busy, they might not have noticed, or they even might be uncomfortable with what you tagged them in. They’re not obligated to look at what they didn’t ask for.
3) Don’t write unrequested fanfic on their art posts. This might be controversial, because it’s done a lot in fandom, but honestly: a lot of artists are uncomfortable with this. Some of them have been triggered by what was written. Sometimes they just don’t want it associated with their work. Ask permission first, or write your fanfic in a separate post and link to the art.
4) Do not RP on art posts. See above.
5) If you’re a minor, don’t contact an artist about their porn. Don’t tag an artist in YOUR porn. I can’t believe I have to say this! But really: don’t.
6) Show basic decency in your tags. Don’t hate on the pairing, fandom, character, art style, whatever. Don’t be racist. Don’t be homophobic. Don’t be transphobic. Don’t be misogynist. Don’t say things like “this art but with pairing [X] instead” ESPECIALLY if you’re suggesting that an artist who’s doing m/m or f/f should do a het pairing.
7) Don’t tell the artist your sexual fantasies about their work, even if you leave that to the tags.
8) Don’t request things if the artist has not asked for requests.
9) If an artist has a FAQ page, read it before contacting them and follow those guidelines.
10) Artists are wonderful and I love them.