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Thread: Working for free?

  1. #1
    One Thousand Member Regantor's Avatar
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    Working for free?

    Seems kinda like a gimboid subject, and I don't mean to come across as ultra fired up or anything, but ever since I seen this perticular video from Stephen Silver (the character designer for kim possible and such things), I've been thinking alot about how crappy it really is being asked to work for free, as an artist...

    I mean, all I've really done for commisions are some snarky websites and band posters and stuff, but could you imagine asking a musician to do that for you? "Hey dude I don't know, you like playing the guitar, right? Well play me this song to go in my video! You'll get some nice *exposure*!"

    The video I was talking about;



    Have any of you guys ever been talked to like this before? Has anyone had any positive stories of gaining some glorious exposure? 'Cause I'm really starting to think this is kind of a nasty way to treat a buisness that is stereotypically starving and generally quite humble in character...

  2. #2
    Lord of Death jubeh's Avatar
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    When I was in school for audio only the guys that sucked worked for free. Exposure is not currency and, in my opinion, a poor investment most of the time.

  3. #3
    Ruler of the Seventh Empire GunZet's Avatar
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    I've done 'royalty' work and a little free work just cause I wanted to.

    I seek out good royalty work, which is the promise of pay if the project ever sees the light of day.
    Most of the time they're pretty legit teams, and they can't use your work for any sort of personal gain without your consent which is fine to me.
    So when I put in work with these teams, it's not because they ask me, but because I choose to join, and feel I'm getting at least a bit of experience in the field I'm looking forward to going into, and to say it's gone to waste in the past few years would be a lie.

    In short, this is how I see things.
    Working for free where someone gets to keep your work and has rights to it just for a little exposure is usually bs.
    Working for the 'promise' (for lack of better word) of pay, keeping the rights to your work, and gaining useful experience out of it all is good.
    Working with a group of other people who also are doing the work for free just because they love what they do can also turn out well sometimes.
    <My comic
    .................................................. ......................."Mind-controlling you into thinking this is awesome."

  4. #4
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    Never work for free. You are just de-valuating your self and your product.

  5. #5
    One Thousand Member Regantor's Avatar
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    I guess it's pretty unanimous, then. But still a pretty good message to spread to the unexperienced.

    Reg also feels like a complete dicknerd for ever feeling pressurized in the first place, but hey, that's how you learn. >_>

  6. #6
    Super Senior Member Celestial-Fox's Avatar
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    I almost never work for free. I have a real job that will pay me real money that gives me graphic design and illustration options if I want them. I don't need some punk "friend" trying to guilt-trip me into something that's nothing short of exploitation.

  7. #7
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    I'll pay you for that Naomi drawing, Seefy.

    I have little experience in paid jobs, but I have enough to share tips. First, if you're doing a big job for decently high pay, always background-check your employer. If you can't find any background information and the dude's username is xXmoneylessXx or something of the like and you can't even find his name or anything, proceed with caution. If you're working for an organization, like a college, you're probably safe (look for the .edu).

    Second, give yourself more time than you think you'll need, because you will frequently run into problems, e.g. crashes, rage-quitting and having to restart, the entire piece being more complex than you think, etc.

    Third, if you're having trouble getting started, grab your references and turn off your Internet. Remember when I was posting art frequently and improving all the time? That was back when I could only get online from school.

  8. #8
    Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er Rio's Avatar
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    I don't know what's going on in your life but for me it all boils down to this: Don't work for free unless you have the time to do it.* If you don't have the time to do it, then make sure you get paid. If you're getting paid, lay out the base price and the revision price for each modification thereafter.

    * Yeah, I agree with the guilt-trip thing. Don't get bullied into feeling bad because in the end, if you can't keep your end of the bargain, the other party will tear you down regardless and make you feel even worse. It's a no-win situation so don't play ball unless you have time and as Gunz said, you're personally interested in doing it. :|

  9. #9
    Devilish Member Black_Shaggie's Avatar
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    That's the truth if I ever heard it. Also...this is a given...don't sign contracts where you only get paid after you produce something. If a client wants you to do work for them, then they should be able to give you something for your time. Made that mistake...& I eventually after falling into the guilt trip/ revision trap, I had to flat out demand compensation. If your client keeps asking for revisions & there's no base price set for doing them then they'll keep asking for revisions. That's worth YOUR time & money.

    Alternatively, work on free projects to expand your skills. BUt only do them with folks who contribute to the project. At least, that's what I think.

  10. #10
    Super Senior Member Celestial-Fox's Avatar
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    Step-by-step payment plans are nice, because if something falls through, at least you were paid proportionally to the work accomplished so far.

    Matt: No, no, don't worry about that. I come back to it every now and again and start over. I think it's now a personal fixation of mine because I just want to make it really nice for you, and you're not demanding or anything. I like doing things for friends, but when they get funky about it I don't want to do it anymore. you're definitely not funky. XD

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