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    Angry No pay

    On Craigslist, a lot of people ask for freelance artists to do work for them without pay. Of course these people have their reasons for expecting artists to work for free. But I, like most artists I assume, expect to get paid since we do live in a monetary-based economy. (Most of us do anyway.) Thus, I NEVER accept any freelance art jobs that don't pay. As for those who do accept freelance art jobs that don't pay, what the frak is the point? Are they expecting to get paid jobs once their pro bono art job is seen by others? Isn't it more likely that these "others" will also expect you to work for free? Just thought I'd bring that up. I also want to bring this up:
    http://povonline.com/cols/COL210.htm

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    Just don't do it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by timelike01 View Post
    I also want to bring this up:
    http://povonline.com/cols/COL210.htm
    A classic. And like all classics, it should be continually reintroduced to new generations.


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    Like Elwell said, but more harsh, those motherfuckers!!

    M

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    A good article. One point: He mentions "Unfinanced Entrepreneurs exist because of a fiction about creative people...", which is true. However, he doesn't really get into the fact that the fault also lies with the artists who do the work. If it wasn't for them it wouldn't matter what fiction did or didn't exist about creative people, the practice wouldn't happen.

    I've been warned in a couple of forums about badgering people who are asking for free work, and those who answer, so I won't press the point, but if this practice was clamped down on then that would be a small step towards eradicating it. Even here, a renowned art site, we have a forum for "Free job listings". There's no such thing. It's like having a forum for scammers on a consumer rights site. IMO, of course. Personal colabs, mods, etc. - fine; free work so someone else can gain financially - No.

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    I suppose an artist could argue that doing free work was good practice and experience. But, in that case, why not enter any number of free challenges or contests, or simply work on personal stuff. Equally useful as practice.

    The only exceptions would be for close friends or family - or if any financial gain was going to a worthy charity - the project over at http://www.toefluff.co.uk/ for example.

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    Thats a brilliant link from Timelike!
    Artists should print it and recite excerpts from it like a mantra...

    I am so angry with myself for the times when I have worked for free on scams like these. I was hoping for approval and the opportunity to find better circumstances, and so I sold myself off for nothing and much worse than that - allowed myself to be badly misdirected by suedo wannabe 'art directors' who dont know crap... hoping against hope that somehow, somewhere, the project would pull off and some small good or opportunity would come of it. But it never does.

    I think artists are very vulnerable to all this because we don't have a respectable roof under which we work, like doctors do for instance. Go to any doctor, and even if he's crap and cant help you - he still gets paid money and has an overall degree of respect.

    I have spent as many years studying art as the average doctor has done but wont get the same respect or money that a basic horse doctor gets.
    So why be an artist? Well, its just thats what I am and that is where my particular talents lie (but perhaps my parents should have forced me to become a doctor, LOL)

    Anyway it seems artists must exist out in the open like wild horses, and then if you're considered by the drive-by powers that be - to be a star, you might be brought into the royal stable. But otherwise you're on your own which makes you vulnerable.

    I don't do work for free anymore. I reckon that if somebody values our work they should pay for it. Otherwise it is better to be a house painter - as anyone expects to pay for that service now don't they?

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    I remember back in Uni when we were asked to pair up with someone from a different course and come up with an idea and produce something over a few weeks. The guy I paired up with had an idea for a comic, and we agreed that he would write it and I would do the artwork. He gave me a couple of pages of just different words and random thoughts that took him 30 minutes at the very most, and I had to come up with everything else. I must have spent days writing and drawing each of the few episodes trying to fit it around the few titles he'd jotted down.

    It wasn't a paid job but it just got to me how he could claim that half the work was his when I did most of the work while he kept asking me when the next one would be done by. Its damned annoying when people assume you can whip stuff up in a matter of minutes when it takes so much longer to do something to the level they're expecting.

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    Good thread. I think non-artists have serious misconceptions about professional artwork. I think they see it as something akin to children drawing or creating things. "It's fun, you don't need to be paid!"

    Time is money, man.

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    Timelike,

    I've seen this stuff occur time after time on Craigslist and they are the typical poor man's solution to getting design or creative services for cheap or free. I do not trust any Craigslist ad because I have read some postings there that insult me as an artist.

    That POV web link you gave is a classic. I remember reading this several years ago and it opened my eyes up. The advice is to not fall for BS 'con' clients. I've dealt with some of them and can smell them from a thousand miles now.

    Never do a project without a contract. If they shy away from the idea of a contract, drop them. The only exception may be a non-profit but I would NOT be very surprised if clients use the NPO status as a loophole so do your homework on their background to make sure they're not using this 'back door' to get services for free.

    If the Unfinanced Entrepreneur tried to steal from the mob (yes, I'm talking The Mob), they'd be fed to the fishies once they're onto them. So, always think like the Don and do business with those who won't screw you.

    Cheers,

    -A

    Quote Originally Posted by timelike01 View Post
    On Craigslist, a lot of people ask for freelance artists to do work for them without pay. Of course these people have their reasons for expecting artists to work for free. But I, like most artists I assume, expect to get paid since we do live in a monetary-based economy. (Most of us do anyway.) Thus, I NEVER accept any freelance art jobs that don't pay. As for those who do accept freelance art jobs that don't pay, what the frak is the point? Are they expecting to get paid jobs once their pro bono art job is seen by others? Isn't it more likely that these "others" will also expect you to work for free? Just thought I'd bring that up. I also want to bring this up:
    http://povonline.com/cols/COL210.htm


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    And don't forget this classic too.



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    Just wanted to share an alternative article on the topic;

    http://www.drawar.com/articles/two-c...e-of-them/242/

    I think the author makes some good points; working for free can be a rewarding experience, so long as you don't sign onto a product that drains you. Personally, I'll take one or two free projects in a year if I'm very interested in it, but ONLY if they're short. If you sign onto a project that's a time sink, you feel like your work is worth nothing and ultimately it eats into your general productivity.

    Of course this is just my opinion; if you do, however, plan to do a pro bono project, consider doing some artwork for a local school or some public art for your community! I did a 3600 square foot mural a few years ago for a low income neighborhood and people were incredibly touched. Most time consuming artwork of my life, but the most rewarding by far.

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    Why do we have a free section in the job forums? I mean seriously, can't we take it down and let the marketplace contact artists individually and beg for freebees? Why does concept art make it easy for them? Its a serious question; any mod or founder have a serious answer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Why do we have a free section in the job forums? I mean seriously, can't we take it down and let the marketplace contact artists individually and beg for freebees?
    Do you really want your inbox flooded with crap?

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    I must say, after just coming out of a project heading by an Unfinanced Entrepeneur I found that article right on the money, so to speak.
    My recent experience was exactly as Mark Evanier described it. However, the article Sanya posted- which takes the opposite tack - as a proponent of working for free, seems somewhat incorrect.

    "When they aren’t paying anything they don’t want to overstep those boundaries to piss you off. They are thankful for any work that they can get out of you."

    I have found this untrue, many U.E's are generally not 'thankful for any work' they can get. One of the reasons I left the 'employ' of this U.E was he asked for re-draft after re-draft to no end, and when I asked for a token payment of some kind, he cried poor.

    BaronImpossible and Dpaint make a good point, however I have found not all unpaid jobs can be lumped into the same category. Like Mark Evanier said in the Unfinanced Enterpeneur article, some partnerships can be mutually beneficial if they both bring significant work to the table. I myself have hooked up with a couple of these unpaid listing here at CA and have formed strong creative alliances with the people I found myself working with, I still work with some guys I met in the unpaid thread two years ago. (Sup Cory!) For that reason I would be very much against abolishing the unpaid job thread, but I certainly hear where you're coming from guys, I suppose much of the 'work' advertised there is questionable.

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    I have done free work and would do it again (especially in these next few months where I want to try moving into the industry). I have been told that it is a great way to start relationships with directors or other professionals while building a reputation (which I am told is very important for finding real work).

    It makes sense. Kind of like an internship. Sitting doing your own stuff all the time is one thing, but being able to show professional work and being able to give names of others (who probably have more established reputations than you do) would be a lot better.

    Once you are more established in the industry, there probably isn't a reason to do free stuff...but people coming right out of college or some other training need to prove themselves in order for people to take a risk on them.

    Again, just think of it like an internship... lots of other professions have them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivory_Oasis View Post
    I have done free work and would do it again (especially in these next few months where I want to try moving into the industry). I have been told that it is a great way to start relationships with directors or other professionals while building a reputation (which I am told is very important for finding real work).

    It makes sense. Kind of like an internship. Sitting doing your own stuff all the time is one thing, but being able to show professional work and being able to give names of others (who probably have more established reputations than you do) would be a lot better.

    Once you are more established in the industry, there probably isn't a reason to do free stuff...but people coming right out of college or some other training need to prove themselves in order for people to take a risk on them.

    Again, just think of it like an internship... lots of other professions have them.
    Problem is the guys who are freeloading off you don't count for anything in the eyes of professionals. If their name on your resume was worth much then I'd expect they'd have the decency to pay you something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zx52hg View Post
    Problem is the guys who are freeloading off you don't count for anything in the eyes of professionals. If their name on your resume was worth much then I'd expect they'd have the decency to pay you something.
    Nope, that's not true. The ones I was doing work for were active professionals with careers far ahead of mine... and even helped me start a couple relationships with a large company.

    Besides that, doing the work I learnt a LOT and helped me get a better idea of where I wanted to go.

    Which, are all things that internships in other fields are meant to do. No matter how you look at it, doing the free work was FAR FAR more beneficial to me than doing another head study or some other random practice at home like every other day.

    And of course it is something I can mention to try and be taken more seriously when I look for paying work.... "oh yea I have experience, I was involved in a project for *insert company here* a little while back with *insert name here*".

    That sounds a lot better than "oh yea, i have experience... drawing... at home....and...school....?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_B View Post
    Do you really want your inbox flooded with crap?
    You mean it's not now? You're missing the point anyway, being that it seems wrong to have a forum dedicated to a practice that all serious artists find unacceptable and destructive. What next, a forum for warez?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivory_Oasis View Post
    Nope, that's not true. The ones I was doing work for were active professionals with careers far ahead of mine...
    That's a subjective definition. I'd describe those who ask for free work to further their own careers as con merchants, not professionals. And if they have experienced financial success, is it any wonder when their materials were given to them for free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivory_Oasis View Post
    Which, are all things that internships in other fields are meant to do. No matter how you look at it, doing the free work was FAR FAR more beneficial to me than doing another head study or some other random practice at home like every other day.
    If you'd have been paid you would still have had that benefit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivory_Oasis View Post
    And of course it is something I can mention to try and be taken more seriously when I look for paying work.... "oh yea I have experience, I was involved in a project for *insert company here* a little while back with *insert name here*".

    That sounds a lot better than "oh yea, i have experience... drawing... at home....and...school....?"
    I've never once been asked about my experience. And if I were, saying I'd worked for a "company" who didn't think enough of their artists to even pay them would not, IMO, be a good move.

    Last edited by Baron Impossible; June 20th, 2010 at 07:40 AM.
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    I tend to agree with Baron and Dpaint here. My art teachers, particularly Kay Allen, always warned against dealing with such "clients", sending spec-work mail straight into recycle bin. There's nothing to be gained from such projects, and I have a hard time naming anyone who succeeded in art related careers by working for free. That said, I find the aricles from this blog particularly interesting regarding the whole matter:

    http://escapefromillustrationisland....your-business/

    http://escapefromillustrationisland....roblem-client/

    http://escapefromillustrationisland....t-3-spec-work/

    Last edited by kv_ak; June 20th, 2010 at 10:06 AM.
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    Baron is 100 % on the money on this.
    I find it hard to believe Jason or anyone else associated with this site recommends working for free but I would honestly like to hear their opinion because I respect what they have accomplished.
    And I know Massive Black likes to be paid.

    Sites like Odesk and others are already out there for lowball or free work. I think concept art should take the moral high ground here and set an example. I mean we already have the under 500 thread.

    I disagree with Ivory that you gain anything from working for free; those games or projects rarely see the light of day and no one cares if you and your friends made a movie or game in your basement. The chances are that if you are good enough to get noticed for your work it would have happened without working for free. We always paid our interns but then we were funded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    I disagree with Ivory that you gain anything from working for free; those games or projects rarely see the light of day and no one cares if you and your friends made a movie or game in your basement. The chances are that if you are good enough to get noticed for your work it would have happened without working for free. We always paid our interns but then we were funded.
    Working on video game mods is fun if you are personally invested in the project but that's about it.

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    And somehow yet, we are constantly producing and posting art up for free. The problem isn't working for free, but its goal. Basically, if you like working on something and will gladly contribute your time to it, it's great. You have have personal satisfaction and a learning ground. Sometimes you do it for free for charitable reasons.

    The goal of "If I work for free and I'll be FAME-MOOSE and rich because this is a stepping stone" wrong goal to set.

    For example, Newgrounds has some animation shorts, done for free by people who love it and worked together which is better than a lot of Hollywood I got paid for stuff.

    I'm not taking away the money and need to make a living aspect, I'm just saying there are valid reasons to work for free.

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    I agree with that but most of the stuff I post especially in the finally finished section I was paid for. My sketches aren't done to a pro level for pay, so I don't mind sharing those. I don't post finished unpublished or unpaid for work.

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    and can you all stop helping people with their websites for free, as well please.

    you're killing me here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    And somehow yet, we are constantly producing and posting art up for free. The problem isn't working for free, but its goal. Basically, if you like working on something and will gladly contribute your time to it, it's great. You have have personal satisfaction and a learning ground. Sometimes you do it for free for charitable reasons.

    I'm not taking away the money and need to make a living aspect, I'm just saying there are valid reasons to work for free.
    This is how these types of discussions get weird. I'm very sure no one is arguing against that.

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    http://acidcow.com/pics/5743-please-...charts-11.html

    Found that somewhere and thought it was pretty hilarious.

    On the subject though, I think it's alright to work for free as long as someone else isn't making money off of your work. Like Arshes said it's ok if it's just something fun, non profit.

    @ Ivory Oasis: interns get paid

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    This is how these types of discussions get weird. I'm very sure no one is arguing against that.
    Yes and no. How else do you work on a project that is non paid with someone on the internet who you really don't know. You may come across a listing in a non paid work section and think "ok sounds fun, I'm doing it".

    Or the many Nibru artworks that spawned from one thread? You know people originally hassled the guy for even making the request in the first place, till MB artists did something about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alinn View Post
    @ Ivory Oasis: interns get paid
    Not always. When I was interning as a student, I didn't get paid. Neither did the interns at the firm I used to work for. It depends on the internship. But internships are a special case, because you're generally going to a company and rubbing elbows on a daily basis with potential future connections - a good internship is like an extension of art school. (And hey, in art school, you do TONS of "free work" for classes.)

    Of course, a bad internship may result in some company using you for free labor and that's it. (Mine was like that. But it was required, so I didn't really have much choice in the matter. At least I got class credits.)

    Anyway, a good internship isn't the same as doing free freelance jobs for random scammers. An internship might get you somewhere. Free freelance work won't.

    As for doing free work, if it's not something you're doing for yourself for fun or promotional purposes, or for friends and family because it's something you want to do for them, then it's usually not worth it. The only time I can imagine it might be worth it is if you're doing pro bono work as a donation for a charity or cause you want to support, AND you have full creative control (in which case you can parlay the work into a promotional piece.)

    Even then, you want to be careful. A designer I've worked with used to get suckered into doing pro bono work for charities, thinking it would result in good promotional pieces, but after a few jobs where the clients nit-picked things to death and generally compromised the design into mediocrity, he now refuses to take charity work unless he's got the creative freedom to make it look 100% the way he wants it.

    Other than that, you're probably best off seeking payment for everything. Most of the time when people claim working for them for free will give you an "in" in a particular industry, or "exposure", or "it'll look good on your resume", nothing results from it. Except more requests for free work.

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  39. #30
    Arshes Nei's Avatar
    Arshes Nei is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    I think the non paid work in a way is like a hot stove. We can tell you 20 ways till Sunday the dangers of touching a hot stove. Some of us will listen, others have to get burned or killed by it to learn, unfortunately.

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