I was pondering some of the same issues left over from this post and I decided that one thing that would probably help is to keep a better eye on new art that's floating around, and to that end I went over to Yerf to take a gander at what's popped up in the past few weeks. And something that hit me was the recurring phrase, "My half of an art trade with X..."
What hit me about it was that I almost never participate in them, and it made me curious. I've kinda-sorta done a few informal trades with Vince, and I was formally asked to do one a long time ago and took forever to get something back to the other artist -- I utterly suck at punctuality.
Truth of the matter is that with those exceptions, I don't get asked to do art trades; I don't know if it's because people think of me as a cartoonist rather than an artist, if they assume I'm too busy to be interested in them, or if it's just that my art isn't worth the trade. But on the other hand, I never ask other artists for them, either.
A lot of the artists I know are professionals, and to that extent I'd feel like I was insulting them to ask them for a trade. (Many of them are not exactly rolling in dough, either, so I'd feel bad cutting into time they might otherwise be using to draw paid commissions.)
Another issue is coming up with things to ask for. I drove Vince absolutely batty by giving him a vague topic and asking him to draw something around that; while many artists like to be given free rein, many more want to know cut-and-dried what you want them to draw, and I have a hard time coming up with that. Half or more of the pleasure of it, for me, is seeing what they come up with. What makes an artist's work special and unique, is the unique perspective that artist brings to a subject.
Of course, with my well-known problem with slowness, the honorable thing for me to do if somebody approached me about a trade would be to decline anyway; it's pretty cheesy to say, "Yes, I'd love to have a piece of your artwork, and I'll return a piece of my own in about ten months." Maybe if I can stick to my get-commishes-done resolution in the upcoming year, things will be different.
I dunno; think I'm rambling. I think I'd better hit the hay while I'm still using a language vaguely resembling English. G'nite, all.