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Don't Work for Free - Read this post from a Craigslist Artist

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  • #16
    Bravo! Bravo!

    Good call on making it a sticky, Kool. I think everyone was thinking the same.
    "To be is to do" --Socrates.
    "To do is to be" --Jean-Paul Sartre.
    "Do be do be do" --Frank Sinatra

    .

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    • #17
      effing awesome, and I have replied to many a craigslist postings asking for free work with somewhat of the same reply (although not as witty) I will have to store this one away and use it in the future. I just saw one yesterday asking for a custom illustrator for a card game, and of course they couldn't pay.
      ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson

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      • #18
        Sweet.Awesome post.

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        • #19
          I am a business not a charity. Artists unite!
          It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh

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          • #20
            I'm fuming. Check out this nitwit's response to the original Craigslist post:

            http://andyswan.com/2007/01/26/10-re...is-dead-wrong/

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            • #21
              Undressed, that response made me so mad. Are we going to bombard that post with comments? Or not worth our time?
              It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh

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              • #22
                This is just like the Logoworks spew that happened last year (or so). Happy angsting against the idiot bloggers of the world.

                There will always be lowballers and idiots, and there will always be hobbyists and idiots to help them out.

                Why get ulcers over it. They deserve each other.

                While the original link in this post is witty, I would definitely question most of his 'statistical' theory on the rarity of a good illustrator. Good Illustrators and GDs are even easier to find than a good neurosurgeon. I have never had trouble finding a good illustrator or GD. And I know what I am going to pay once I find one.

                Sometimes the question does come up whether the client can really afford $8K for a custom illustration or do they want to pay $750 for the rights to an image and have it altered slightly to suit their purpose. It's kind of the same analogy. And the artist doesn't care. He just moves on to the next $8K client.

                And while the 'nitwit' response is making you angry, it also speaks a truth that some people just don't care. They don't care what their design looks like and they don't care to learn how to decide the good from the bad. And they don't want to pay for it either. Screw em. If they don't care enough about their business to care about their design, they won't be in business long enough even not to pay you.

                It also speaks a truth about the quality of designers out there who do work for below value. Hmmm... "Gee, I don't want to pay but I want you to spec because the quality of the artists who come to me is poor..." LMAO! I'd say that is a no brainer there. Run away!

                The schools don't teach students of art or GD that they shouldn't take on free work. In fact they encourage it. And then there are the designers/illustrators who never went to school.

                But there is a difference between Free work and Spec work. And when a student is doing that 'free' work, he is being paid with experience. They just have to be taught the difference between 'free' and 'compensated' in some meaningful way. Heck, I've done signage for free dinners. But because I chose to, not because the client didn't offer to pay.

                Spec work, done correctly can pay off. Pitches go on all the time. You have to learn to recognize the value of the client and recognize a pitch from a scam. You can't brazenly go out there and declare ALL spec work is bad.

                So rather than worry, get out there. If you have the skills (and I mean that you are good at what you do in the real world), get out there and give seminars. At the schools (college, high school, career days, tech schools), at your Chamber of Commerce meetings where the business community comes together, at your AIGA meetings etc. If you are just going to sit at home and worry about it...
                THAT is not worth your time.
                Last edited by PrintDriver; 01-27-2007, 10:24 AM.

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                • #23
                  I just saw this somewhere else and was about to post it here.
                  I love it.

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                  • #24
                    It makes me angry because even family and friends (or especially) expect that since we enjoy art, we may draw/design/paint for free. These people that love you especially will realise the concept of struggling artist. At roots level you need to educate the ones you love so that they understand that yes, you do this because you enjoy it, but also that you have bills to pay and no, you can't work for free for the rest of your life.

                    While I often feel obliged to work for free for family and friends. More often than not I am compensated. Sometimes I am even overcompensated (given more than my normal price).
                    It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh

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                    • #25
                      I agree with both PD and Budafist.

                      As with any enterprise (even the medical industry) you'll have your "bargain basement professionals." Those who do business with them should remember the adage, "Let the buyer beware." Regrettably, there will always be these sorts about because folks who can't (or won't) pay will try their luck in manipulating a "flea market" find. Moreover, there will always be that mindset that believes that free exposure of any kind is the key to financial success. It is what it is, and as PD said, they're welcome to each other...just don't go crying when your milk turns sour.

                      On the other hand we as designers face a glut of such demeaning offers that they border on the epidemic. And why? Because there are still designers, a good portion of them "newbies" who may be ridiculously talented, but have little to no concept of negotiating their skill on a business level. How many designers would be happy to just design and let someone else bring in the clients, spearhead the sale of estimates, invoices and other menial managerial tasks? And that in part is because of their lack of training in this area (whether through the university's lack of a structured business design program or if they're self taught).

                      So I believe that we do need to keep educating our proverbial young and continue to enlighten those who've gone astray, rather than leaving them to their own devices. We may not save them all, but if we can save a majority then this industry may yet have a chance to achieve the level of respect that our artisanal skill deserves.


                      |
                      Archetype Design Studio - Creatively Disciplined, Design Driven | Portfolio Peepshow - Taking a featured projects peek | ARCHE-BLogGER - A virtual exploration inside the Creative Mind | no!spec - Eradicating speculative work one designer at a time | Combating the Stigma of the Overpriced Designer - A Creative's first intrepid adventure in design journalism |

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                      • #26
                        woot
                        www.jackiecreative.com

                        People who live in glass houses sink ships.

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                        • #27
                          I have gladly posted a response to this Swann guy...he obviously cares nothing about the design field...he just wants his stuff to look pretty enough that he doesn't have to pay a bunch for it...so I am sure he gets the appropriate quality and talent...

                          my repsonse is posted...http://andyswan.com/2007/01/26/10-re...is-dead-wrong/
                          "A man with no imagination has no wings." - ALI

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                          • #28
                            This letter popped up as a thread on the Graphics Designers of Canada listserv last week. Many people supported the posting and protested that it was pulled. This was my response:



                            I'm not surprised it was pulled.

                            Is this the right strategy? I don't think so--unless the objective was to rally the converted, or simply to relieve a lot of frustration.

                            Illustrators are not neurosurgeons. Graphic design is not rocket science.

                            Spec graphic design work is wrong, but not because designers are rare. I would argue that they are not as rare as presented int that piece. I can't remember the last time I attended any kind of mixed group social event where at least a half dozen complete strangers, when hearing what I do for a living, responded that either they, or someone they knew was 'into that' too.

                            Rarity does not equal public value. Rare talent might, but even that's no guarantee. The value of our skills needs to be connected to what we bring to the business investment--not what we bring to the culture. And that's never going to be a collective public recognition-- I can't see it.

                            There's simply too many people calling themselves graphic designers at the low end to ever reposition ourselves, as a group, as an elite corps of skilled workers. I don't want to get into the whole certification thing, I just think that we're wasting our energies if we think that we can convince everyone we're more valuable because we're relatively rare. So are serial killers and tightrope walkers.

                            Instead, we should be working out the best ways to clearly communicate the value of good design, and the cost of bad design to the people who pay for our services. As soon as we cross into the whole 'value entitlement by talent' argument, we only come across as an elitist group of precious whiners.

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                            • #29
                              you're an eloquent so and so aren't you!
                              at best my spelling *and grammar* is crap and at worst it are be carp

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Broacher
                                This letter popped up as a thread on the Graphics Designers of Canada listserv last week. Many people supported the posting and protested that it was pulled. This was my response:



                                I'm not surprised it was pulled.

                                Is this the right strategy? I don't think so--unless the objective was to rally the converted, or simply to relieve a lot of frustration.

                                Illustrators are not neurosurgeons. Graphic design is not rocket science.

                                Spec graphic design work is wrong, but not because designers are rare. I would argue that they are not as rare as presented int that piece. I can't remember the last time I attended any kind of mixed group social event where at least a half dozen complete strangers, when hearing what I do for a living, responded that either they, or someone they knew was 'into that' too.

                                Rarity does not equal public value. Rare talent might, but even that's no guarantee. The value of our skills needs to be connected to what we bring to the business investment--not what we bring to the culture. And that's never going to be a collective public recognition-- I can't see it.

                                There's simply too many people calling themselves graphic designers at the low end to ever reposition ourselves, as a group, as an elite corps of skilled workers. I don't want to get into the whole certification thing, I just think that we're wasting our energies if we think that we can convince everyone we're more valuable because we're relatively rare. So are serial killers and tightrope walkers.

                                Instead, we should be working out the best ways to clearly communicate the value of good design, and the cost of bad design to the people who pay for our services. As soon as we cross into the whole 'value entitlement by talent' argument, we only come across as an elitist group of precious whiners.
                                Amen to that.

                                I never asked, but does anyone know why it was it pulled?


                                |
                                Archetype Design Studio - Creatively Disciplined, Design Driven | Portfolio Peepshow - Taking a featured projects peek | ARCHE-BLogGER - A virtual exploration inside the Creative Mind | no!spec - Eradicating speculative work one designer at a time | Combating the Stigma of the Overpriced Designer - A Creative's first intrepid adventure in design journalism |

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