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Artist demands sister pay for work her son damaged, 'it's just a drawing;' AITA?

Artist demands sister pay for work her son damaged, 'it's just a drawing;' AITA?


Kids will be kids, sure, but what happens when 'being a kid,' costs dollars and hours in damaged work?

So, when a conflicted aunt and artist decided to vent to the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about her nephew's mistake, people were there to help deem a verdict.

AITA (Am I the A^shole) for asking my sister to pay for the damage her son caused to my artwork?

I (32F) am an artist and I recently had one of the biggest commissions of my career - a large mural for a local business. It took me weeks of planning and about 10 days of actual painting. I stored the final sketches and painted samples in my home office.

Last weekend, my sister (36F) and her family came over for a visit. She has a 6-year-old son, Ethan. While we were chatting in the living room, Ethan went off to play.

A little while later, I walked into my office to find Ethan had found my watercolors and decided to “add” to my sketches and painted samples. He essentially ruined weeks of work.

I was furious and immediately asked my sister to supervise her child more closely. My sister apologized, but when I mentioned she needed to cover the damages and the cost to redo the work, she scoffed and said it was “just a drawing” and that kids will be kids.

The business was expecting the mural installation in less than a week. I had to work around the clock to redo everything. It cost me sleep, extra materials, and a rush fee to get some supplies delivered ASAP.

My sister is now angry with me for sending her an invoice for the damages and we haven’t spoken in days. My family is divided - some say I’m right for wanting to be compensated, while others think I’m being too harsh on a child’s innocent mistake.

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this mess...

FreijaVanir said:

NTA. All of these parents thinking their little angels don't need supervision and can't do no wrong give parents a bad name. First off, that child should not be allowed to just wander off unsupervised. He could have gotten hurt by trying to play with something dangerous.

Secondly: a 6 year old should, by now, know that they need to ask to use something that isn't theirs. He could have asked, and you could have given him some scrap paper, come paints and 2 old brushes, to knock himself out.

Third: because of the parent's lack of parenting, the child cost a business a lot of money. Now the mother won't pay because faaaaaamily.

And, apparently, it's ok to cost your family money, without consequences. You are not harsh on the child. You are harsh on the parent, for not parenting that child.

_cly said:

NTA. The child is just being a child who probably just saw a drawing and wanted to draw too. But your sister? Laughing at your work and not realizing what it means in hours, money and investment?

It would drive me mad, you're totally in the right there to insist on the damages being covered up. I would send her the price of the extra supply you had to buy, and the contract you had for the painting, so she realizes it IS work.

Hecklehound said:

'It's just a drawing' speaks volumes about what your sister thinks of your career. Insufferable, NTA.


NTA, her kid did the damage, she should pay. It's no different than if he knocked over a TV.

Panaccolade said:

NTA. Kids will be kids, that's true, but parents should be parents and teach their kids what is okay and what is not. Ruining someone's work is NOT okay and therefore, since she didn't raise her child to keep his hands to himself, she now faces the consequences of that.

Panaccolade said:

He didn't make a 'mistake'. A mistake would be throwing a ball indoors and accidentally knocking over a vase. What he did was a choice, albeit probably due to his age, and that choice has had a negative financial impact on you.

So, there you have looks like it's time to pay us, sis!

Sources: Reddit
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