I’m tired of getting these stupid offers to work on people’s “passion projects” for free, usually with the promise of compensation when/if the project takes off. Guess what? I don’t care that you’re passionate about it, I care if you’re competent. When you knock on my door asking for free work, its a clear sign that you aren’t. You might have hopes that your project hits it big and that you’ll eventually get rich off of it, but if you REALLY believed in it, I feel like you’d be more willing to put your own livelihood on the line instead of asking an artist to do it for you. If I do a bunch of free work hoping it’ll pay off, I’m not doing other work that could actually feed me and pay my bills. And what happens when the project doesn’t get funded or some important factor blows up or everyone decides to quit out early? I get screwed. So, no. I don’t want to work on your passion project. Not unless I get paid up front.
WONDERFUL ADVICE for artists. Please don’t undervalue your art, your time and efforts are valuable and deserve fair compensation.
Not going to give names but this shit really pisses me off.
I did work in the past for “proper” companies that fucked me over and decided not to pay me until after I produced the art, and then never did. Instead they dodged my calls and e-mails. I was young at the time and didn’t want to “press charges” or any of that. In the end gave up and never got paid.
I’ve also done work for “passion projects” that paid me, sure, but whinged and whined until I docked my prices so I had very little incentive. They also expected insane levels of detail, nitpicked every image and expected numerous edits and renditions, and wanted me to churn them out faster than I was willing because the pay wasn’t work it.
I am still getting offers from companies who refuse to pay the asking price. And I’m not talking small starter projects, these are full-blown corporations who can afford to pay but still try to leech art from unsuspecting artists. They use the “exposure” excuse to try to convince you to work for almost nothing, or wave the threat of “finding a cheaper artist” in front of your face.
So do it then, find someone else willing to work for you. I’ve been ripped off and taken advantage of too many times I am not going to grovel for you. I have a full-time job with a reliable income, if I work for you it’s in my overtime hours and I expect to be compensated for that.
New and aspiring artists, or people just starting out on the freelance scene: don’t put up with this. If you feel like you shouldn’t charge as much as some other people for your style or art that’s fine, but you shouldn’t ever work for free, or find yourself doing more work than the pay is worth.