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Mister Pink

Stop Working For Free

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Mister Pink

I saw this video below posted in Stop Working For Free ground on Facebook. I thought I would open up some dialogue here and see what you people think.

 

Being a photographer I've done plenty of working for free (which I regret). Worst thing is that if you do one job for free that person expects you to be like that in future. Word also travels. Say for example, another potential client asks for a recommendation to the client I did free work for, but there's little-to-no pay and but great exposure, my name will be passed on. You don't want that. You don't want to be associated as a cheap, work for free type.

 

Charge even if it's a token price. Even just so some cash exchanged hands. You'll free better for it and the client will to. But it also sends a message about how you value your work, not only for you but for you colleagues in your profession be it graphic design or photography or filmmaking.

 

It's bad practice. It cheapens the market. Imagine asking builders to build an extension on your house. "Would be great exposure." If people don't set aside a budget to pay the graphic designer or the photographer, then that's their fault. They set aside budget for everything else. These professions should be covered too. We need to set an example that if you want us, you'll have to pay.

 

They think graphic design is just play time doing art and photographers just have fun and take photos but they don't calculate the years of practice and hard work a good designer or photographer goes through. The expenses for travel, equipment, software, repairs etc. The hours shooting are usually the smallest/easiest part of the job the rest if editing photos, optimizing them for web, retouching, file management and then there's your time liaising with potential clients that you don't get paid for but it's time you are taking out of your day to deal with them (that's not a complaint about liaising with clients, just ammo to back up that artists are busier than people think and time is valuable.

 

This is obviously in the context of writing but the principle is the same for visual arts.

 

Edited by Mister Pink

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Jacobmaate

I totally get what you mean, but I personally don't think it's all that appropriate to be charging for work, (eg. in gfx), here on the Forums, unless you see yourself as a top-quality gfx artist who spends a considerable amount of time working, and hence would need some sort of income.

Sure, there are some here who'd be willing to pay for whatever, but I personally wouldn't, and nor would I expect anyone to pay me.

 

I have however got plans to hopefully make some money out of my GFX Work, primarily because it's a hobby of mine, and why not make some money while doing it right? With regard to what you were saying about the recommendations, I also agree, if you do it once for free, everyone seems to expect you should keep to that, also, if someone says something, you end up getting a few more wanting you to help them out.

 

Overall, yes, I do think that if you have a hobby or talent, then you should perhaps see if you could make some money out of it, I haven't got a problem with it, and like I said, hopefully one day I'll go on to do just that, but I don't intend to do such thing on this site. I kinda like just being able to help people out and enjoy what im doing at the same time, regardless of whether I am making money or not.

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Mister Pink

Helping people out on the forums is different. That's fine. I also want to vehemently state that I'm not advocating anyone on GTAF to try sell their GFX or anything of that nature to other members. It's a community here that when you make a avatar or sig, they're not using it for commercial purposes to further make money. . It's not what I'm suggesting.

 

Maybe I wasn't clear. I'm talking about companies, professionals, established businesses that ask people to work for me. Or even startup companies. They will say they are tight on budget but it nothing to with us and not our problem but they will be cheeky enough to ask a designer or photographer in exchange for "great exposure."

 

EDIT: And yes, there is work in graphic design and I would suggest to monetizing your talent. It's good to earn from something you have a passion for.

Edited by Mister Pink

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Jacobmaate

Maybe I wasn't clear. I'm talking about companies, professionals, established businesses that ask people to work for me. Or even startup companies. They will say they are tight on budget but it nothing to with us and not our problem but they will be cheeky enough to ask a designer or photographer in exchange for "great exposure."

Indeed, like you said earlier about doing free work and having them come back for more, they'd just abuse that if one wasn't to just go, "No, I'm not doing this for free anymore", they'll try and basically hook you up to doing the work for them regardless.

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~Tiger~

It's very true and has been this way for as long as I can remember.

 

It's not just visual art either, when I was in a band we would be expected to play a gig for free (at a wedding or whatever) but we wouldn't be paid, instead there was always the vague enticement that the gig would 'Raise Our Profile' and would be 'Free Publicity' almost as though we were the ones receiving a favour!

 

I have done book covers, album covers, illustrations, leaflet design...all for free on the promise of 'publicity' which amounted to nothing.

 

Not anymore. If I want to, I will work for free (for pleasure) but similarly if I want to be paid, I expect to be paid and I call the shots when it comes to pricing.

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RedDagger

I totally get what you mean, but I personally don't think it's all that appropriate to be charging for work, (eg. in gfx), here on the Forums, unless you see yourself as a top-quality gfx artist who spends a considerable amount of time working, and hence would need some sort of income.

Sure, there are some here who'd be willing to pay for whatever, but I personally wouldn't, and nor would I expect anyone to pay me.

It's fine if you personally don't want to get paid, but work is work - even if someone isn't a really good artist, they're still gonna be spending a few hours work on creating something; yes, they shouldn't charge the price of an experienced artist, but there's nothing wrong with expecting payment for your work in that regard.

 

But yeah, it's a bit of a...meme, if you will, with how regularly people will expect to pay an artist, writer or what have you in "exposure", or baulk at the prices expected by an artist. Creative work seems to be heavily undervalued by a lot of people, since they're under the impression that it's something done mostly for fun and thinking it's all talent instead of hard work, and ooh you're only spending a few hours on it, why are you charging so much...

 

I know this video is leaning towards professional design work, but hey:

 

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Jacobmaate

 

-snip-

It's fine if you personally don't want to get paid, but work is work - even if someone isn't a really good artist, they're still gonna be spending a few hours work on creating something; yes, they shouldn't charge the price of an experienced artist, but there's nothing wrong with expecting payment for your work in that regard.

 

But yeah, it's a bit of a...meme, if you will, with how regularly people will expect to pay an artist, writer or what have you in "exposure", or baulk at the prices expected by an artist. Creative work seems to be heavily undervalued by a lot of people, since they're under the impression that it's something done mostly for fun and thinking it's all talent instead of hard work, and ooh you're only spending a few hours on it, why are you charging so much...

 

-snip-

 

 

Personally, just don't think being paid for helping out on a community forum, such as GTAF, is necessary, as in I wouldn't do such, but I do agree with you when you say, "work is work", indeed it is. I, myself, have spent a number of hours working with GFX requests from threads and PMs here, and off-site, but I'm fine with doing it without being paid. If someone wants to be paid because they're giving up their free time to help others, of course, that's totally understandable, and like I said earlier, this is a hobby of mine, and of course it'd be real nice to make a bit of money doing something part time and for fun in a sense.

I haven't got a problem with people who want to be paid for their services, I just wouldn't do such a thing here, but as the OP stated earlier, with companies etc, who are making profits and expect others to work for them, and not be paid but instead get this so-called "Exposure", yet the only real exposure they're likely to get is minimal, and even then, it just like waving a flag over someone that has, "This guy will do your stuff for free", printed on it.

But like you also just said, "Creative work seems to be heavily undervalued by a lot of people, since they're under the impression that it's something done mostly for fun and thinking it's all talent instead of hard work.", but the fact is, for the most part for many, it is hard work, you can enjoy doing work and still be working hard at it, as hard as they may seem to be to believe aha.

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EmSixTeen

To be frank, I've had a fair amount of downtime this past week or so at work, and have been looking around the GFX Requests forum.. It turns out I couldn't make something for someone for free even if I wanted to, as I have absolutely zero interest in making 'patches' (da fuq are patches).

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Hullian111

Stop working for free? Do you even know how much Helvetica costs?

 

I came from ModTheSims, and a major taboo there was uploading to paysites. I still hold that dear here - I'd open a Patreon if I were able to so I could fund...stuff, but I will never stoop to the level where people pay for my mods. It's immoral. And as a centre-left person, it goes against my own values - everyone should deserve the chance, not the credit cards few, even if it were 50p or £1.

 

That's why I hate the price of zModeller so much.

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Mister Pink

I wrote a big fancy post responding to you all but it got lost as the site was down for 5mins and couldn't retrieve the post. Made me so angry.. I'll re-write a more concise post tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm leaving this here.. Interestingly enough this artist mentions Rockstar Games as a client. Not negatively of course but to make a point.

 

sOsHnbf.jpg

Edited by Mister Pink

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~Tiger~

When an organisation or individual approaches an artist and asks them to provide services "In exchange for publicity" it needs to be remembered that this is not a fair deal because the artist would get the same publicity if they were paid.

 

Indeed, the publicity from paid work is often greater because the organisation or individual will utilise the artist's work to a greater degree if they have paid for it, in order to get their 'Moneys Worth' out of it; rather than if they got the work for free and it therefore is of little value to them.

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luisniko

Yes, I support OP's post above. If you're an artist, no matter if you're a photo/videographer, graphic designer, video editor, 3D modeller, painter, etc. and you have to produce something for someone to use personally or commercially, then please damn charge your client no matter who they are. You can charge them at full or discounted, it doesn't matter, just ask them to pay. Let them know that this sh*t takes time, effort, experience, knowledge, and technique and you use those to bring food on the table.

 

Please don't support the culture that makes people think that this profession only requires imagination and will get printed out of our ass in the next minute.

 

-----

 

Slightly off topic but still related, especially we are in a gaming forums. When I was still in GTAOnline section, I got the impression that some people there seemed to think that Rockstar could produce update in a matter of less than a week and ready for them to download. And I noticed that they thought so because Rockstar 'manipulated' them to think that way; to think that what they do wasn't planned and just sort of popped up in mind and make it 3 days before release, while the fact is of course the opposite. I remember this happened for that Hipster Update as an 'apology' for the delay of something, I think it was Heist, which was definitely bullsh*t and not meant to be released in that day in the first place.

 

Now just imagine how many 'Rockstar Games' out there who are selling something that also related on art and doing this to their consumers.

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