"I was furious and said that they should never voice their opinion on art ever again and if they did so in front of me I could not be held responsible for my actions."
This is like arguing with a child, being unable to convince them that 2+2=4, and then freaking out and forbidding them to speak of math ever again. How the heck does *that* solve the problem?
"I expressed that if I was capable of creating any type of art on command we would be having the conversation in the country I just purchased and not there. I said to them you speak, write and read English? ''Yes'' Do you speak, write and read Spanish...French...German? ''NO'' Do you understand my analogy? ''NOT REALLY''. "
Well, it's a pretty crappy analogy. Why didn't you just ask them if they get mad at the butcher for not selling bread?
I guess . . . that person expects artists to be Jack of All Trades. Considering the amount of time it takes to master a specific subject, I'm sure it is nearly impossible to be a true master of everything. While it would be great if an artist was the best at everything, like all things, being the best is often out of reach.
Also if you haven't been paid you're not obliged to do anything. So if someone does say to you, "I want you to draw my house," and you say "sorry I don't work on house paintings" and they go "but I want you to do it." you have a right to say no.
If you had said "sure I'll paint your house" took the money then "oh I don't paint houses" different matter. But I'm assuming no one in here would be that stupid.
If someone was marketing themselves as a general illustrator but only drew cats, they're not an illustrator they're a cat artist.
A professional artist has to be versatile and daring in a way that a hobbyist often isn't. And that's a skill, and that's what they're paying for. Such as I have before had to draw a rhino for a commission having never drawn a rhino before but you just think "yeah get some refs I can learn that." (And I did).
I also have a capacity to switch styles a little, and so I can do more realistic and more cartoony and a range in between where necessary as my 'default' drawing style does not suit every job. But I would never say yes to a client if they described something I didn't think I was capable of doing. Some Illustrators I know would, and will do anything and change anything about their style.
However, for example, I have no talent at 3D modeling for computer, so it would be silly of me to go "sure I can make you a 3D model" cos learning to model and learning to draw a rhino are two different things entirely.
I think that's why you'll find a lot of freelancers will say "I'm a Freelance Illustrator" or "I'm a Freelance Designer" or "I'm a Painter" not just "I'm an Artist"
This already says to a potential client what you do in a word. Artist does cover a very large spectrum. If you say "I'm an Artist" the first thing someone will ask (I know) is "oh what kind?" to which I reply "Illustrator" so I might as well say "I'm an illustrator" straight away and get the point across first.
The client approaches the artist with a commission and so would know from their portfolio if they were suited to the job. You are right. Artists cant paint and draw everything in the same way a musician cant play every piece of music, its just not possible.