Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Nobody likes to work "on spec", if you can believe that malarkey.
Alec Longstretch, a cartoonist and illustrator, publicly responded to a request for spec work (that's work-for-free, for you non-freelancers). Part of his response:
"Why should a freelance artist absorb the risk for YOUR concept? Whether or not your idea is going to be successful is YOUR gamble, not ours. If you want talented people to develop good ideas...you should pay your creators."
I know I've been approached a few times about illustrating stories or pitches for free with the promise of back-end profits should the project become successful. It's a pretty iffy situation. Maybe everyone who thinks it's fair for artists to spend days or weeks working on a project on the off chance that someday they might be compensated should read the rest of Alec's post. It may be enlightening.
And, while I was writing this, I happened to come across a post by marketing professional Sharon Hayes who listed Seven Reasons she can't work for free. Again, just some food for thought for anyone who might be thinking about approaching someone else with a work-on-spec project.
I know this isn't one of my usual, fun posts with drawings and bad jokes. My money's on this being the least popular post I've ever put on this blog. And there are probably a few people reading this whose dreams I just crushed. But information like this is actually good for the non-artist. I think, in the end, it'll improve things between creatives and their clients.
Or maybe they'll just beat us with sticks. -v