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  1. #1
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    Kaitol's guide to artist exploitation

    http://kaitol.com/how-to-hire-an-artist/

    Yet another episode in a series of blog posts that make my brain hurt.
    (some comments were entertaining though )



    Starting freelance artists beware! Know the value of your work and we'll keep the number of these people to a minimum,

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    EDIT: Here's an article in response to this post,
    An interesting read
    Last edited by Vatsel; August 10th, 2010 at 10:12 AM.
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  3. #2
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    man had a good laugh reading that encyclipedia dramatica article xD

  5. #4
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    I really don't see anything wrong with this....
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    I'm gonna stick my head out there but ... Why pay a professional more when any deviant artist can do it for less money and better (According to the article)?
    Last edited by CGMonkey; August 10th, 2010 at 02:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickTrip View Post
    I really don't see anything wrong with this....
    The problem with this is that the guys attitude is condescending and predatory, some of what hes saying is absolute BS. If you could get past the ego yeah maybe one or two things hes saying makes a bit of sense. Heres a better example a point for point break down Elwell linked just a minute or two ago - http://www.thejonjones.com/2010/08/0...ire-an-artist/
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  8. #7
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    This must be exactly why I don't get commissioned anymore on DeviantArt, since I raised my prices. I hardly have posted anything there in months. Unfortunately, it's not a very professional place like CA seems to be. I do have a few good friends there, but my interest in the site itself has dwindled a bit.

    Above all, I think any artist should learn to value their work, and don't take shit from dickish clients. The good thing about being a freelancing, whether part or full time, is that you are your own boss. If a client leads you on a wild goose chase and doesn't want to pay up, ditch'em. There are red flags for these types, watch out for them.

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    From http://www.realitypanic.com/archives/432 (emphasis added):
    Of all the talks, the most impressive was from Chris Gregorio (XDragonX10 Productions), who started his presentation on monetization with three numbers about himself: 15 (his age!), 35 (the millions of plays/views his Flash games have gotten), 45 (the thousands of dollars he’s made).
    Same guy? (how many Flash game developers named Chris Gregorio can there be?)
    That would explain a whole hell of a lot.
    EDIT: Yup, links from the ED article check out, he's sixteen. Tool.
    Last edited by Elwell; August 10th, 2010 at 03:11 PM.

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  10. #9
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    "Why pay a professional more when any deviant artist can do it for less money and better (According to the article)?"

    Because the article's wrong. Whatever he thinks is better, the fact is you're going to get superior quality work if you hire a reputable professional, and when it comes to games, you really don't want to skimp on the artistry. Even a simple retro game, going back to early 90's graphics can benefit from a good artist.

    Practices like what was described in the article upset professionals because it becomes that much harder to find a job and make money. They have a valid reason to be angry just as the game developer has a valid reason to want to cut costs. The closest thing you're going to get to a solution is: both parties researching standard practices and prices, both parties respecting each other, both parties acting responsibly according to timelines. This is the kind of situation in which bridges aren't burnt, reputations are built instead of ruined, and people can work together long term.

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    From a purely capitalistic point of view, his advice is sound. Using his method he gets as much quality and work done as possible for the smallest price, even if the price-to-work ratio is heavily distorted against the artist's favor.

    What personally bothers me about this is the fact that he actively goes out to prey on the ignorant and desperate so he can get them to work for them for unreasonable prices and unreasonable demands. But it's not as if he's the first or the last to do that, he simply voiced a technique that's very common in the art industry (and other industries as well). I guess his "crime" is coming out as one of the people who does it, not to mention being completely oblivious to the fact that what he does is unfair to the people who work for him (he comes across as incredibly self-centered to me).

    Instead of defending his actions with "But but... capitalism!" he would've been better off deleting this blog entry. Better yet, never making it in the first place.
    Instead he decided not to do that, which gives us something to point to aspiring artists to watch out for.

    Also, the article in response mentions that $45000 is peanuts compared to what the big 'uns make in the gaming industry, but compared to what the average person makes that's actually pretty decent. And this guy's apparently only 16 years old.

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    what professional would want to work with this asshole anyway

    anyone who doesnt see anything wrong with this in this very forum should be banned

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    A 16 year old explaining to everyone what marketing is...

    I'm gonna go ahead and say something isn't right here.
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

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    Am I in a minority for not being mad at this kid?

    This kid.

    Just helped educate thousands of young artists.

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  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckWeisel View Post
    A 16 year old explaining to everyone what marketing is...

    I'm gonna go ahead and say something isn't right here.
    souljaboy made millions with a song that redefined the rap industry and he was only 16, biggie only wish he could be this big. Always bet on 16yr old assholes

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    Quote Originally Posted by zwarrior View Post
    souljaboy made millions with a song that redefined the rap industry and he was only 16, biggie only wish he could be this big. Always bet on 16yr old assholes
    .............what?!
    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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  18. #16
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    ..yep

  19. #17
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    Another article in response to Kaitol's:
    http://www.thejonjones.com/2010/08/0...ire-an-artist/

    (Stole it from Jessica's FB page)

    I really liked reading it, the way he speaks of mutual respect and comradery, while debunking Kaitol's arguments. It's worth a read.

  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armonah View Post
    Another article in response to Kaitol's:
    http://www.thejonjones.com/2010/08/0...ire-an-artist/

    (Stole it from Jessica's FB page)

    I really liked reading it, the way he speaks of mutual respect and comradery, while debunking Kaitol's arguments. It's worth a read.

    Its already be posted above
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  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zwarrior View Post
    ..yep
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha....*INHALE S*....hahahahahahahahahahah.

    I'll take your word for it.
    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armonah View Post
    From a purely capitalistic point of view, his advice is sound. Using his method he gets as much quality and work done as possible for the smallest price
    No. No, it isn't sound. And no, he most probably does NOT get "as much quality and work done" as he would if he hired professionals at professional rates.

    I can tell you from experience that most of the time, you get what you pay for. Garbage in, garbage out. And if you hire inexperienced artists you can all too easily end up spending ludicrous amounts of time managing them, fixing mistakes, or just plain finishing stuff yourself that they couldn't complete (and if you treat them like crap, odds are they won't want to finish the work, anyway.)

    Trust me. I had to manage a bunch of interns once for a company that thought "hey, we'll save money by getting a bunch of kids out of school to work for free!" HA, boy was that a production nightmare. Never again. (The person who suggested that approach was fired shortly thereafter.)

    If that kid thinks he's getting "quality work", I can bet that's because he doesn't have a clue what quality work looks like...

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  24. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    No. No, it isn't sound. And no, he most probably does NOT get "as much quality and work done" as he would if he hired professionals at professional rates.

    I can tell you from experience that most of the time, you get what you pay for. Garbage in, garbage out. And if you hire inexperienced artists you can all too easily end up spending ludicrous amounts of time managing them, fixing mistakes, or just plain finishing stuff yourself that they couldn't complete (and if you treat them like crap, odds are they won't want to finish the work, anyway.)

    Trust me. I had to manage a bunch of interns once for a company that thought "hey, we'll save money by getting a bunch of kids out of school to work for free!" HA, boy was that a production nightmare. Never again. (The person who suggested that approach was fired shortly thereafter.)

    If that kid thinks he's getting "quality work", I can bet that's because he doesn't have a clue what quality work looks like...
    Yeah, the article I linked earlier (that was also posted before) made me revise my earlier opinion. I decided not to edit my post for whatever reason.

    But still, 45k a year amounts to something. You think it'd actually been more if he wasn't this dickish to his employees, or would've resulted in significantly better looking games that wouldn't necessariliy have raked in more money? I'm not sure whether or not it's as simple as "garbage in, garbage out", simply because he obviously had an idea of what he wanted, and got it too. He would've used a different technique if he wasn't satisfied with it, instead he's promoting it.

    I'm also skeptic about the author's optimism about Kaitol not being able to hire any more artists in the near future because of his greed and dickishness. There will always be people willing to scrape the bottom of the barrel just because it's better than nothing at all.
    And in a similar fashion that a lot of popular merchandise has blood or slave labor sticking to it one way or another doesn't stop them from being popular, nobody is going to care that the flash games they play was created by a selfish dick. They only care about whether or not the game is actually fun.

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    Just pointing out this was cross posted in the 'art discussion'.
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=193945

  26. #23
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    What this kid is doing is indeed exploitation. He knows how much non-programmer art can increase a flash game's value to a portal, and he knows that the employed artist doesn't, and he preys on that ignorance.

    If this kid really knew the market economy he would know that the business practices he is using are conceptually equivalent to those during the worst of the industrial revo. His practices are indeed unethical. He should be ashamed of himself.

    Then again, he probably doesn't "understand what the big deal is".

  27. #24
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    45k a year might be nice for an individual kid, but it's peanuts for a real company. If he doesn't change his practices, he's going to find it hard to grow his one-man-basement-business into a profitable, competitive business capable of handling big jobs.

    I can't help but wonder if he's paying his vendors under-the-table on top of all this (wouldn't be at all surprised, given his "business" approach)... If he's trying to cheat the IRS as well as artists, he's in for a rude surprise down the road.

  28. #25
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    This article isn't shocking, just look at how popular the unpaid work section is in the employment section. The one thing that concerns me is this guy is the future of game development. He may set the new model for successful game development one day.

  29. #26
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    I don't think he's going to set a new model for an entire industry. These business practices have been around as long as business and they certainly aren't illegal. So if they were effective in a larger sense, all of the gaming companies would be working this way.
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    I think it is pretty entertaining that artists are getting upset at being told that they are a commodity to be traded at the lowest possible cost to the employer. Evidently some have not been told how business works!!
    Reality sadly is that in many industries that still need our services they do not place a respectful dollar amount on our abilities. Many have the attitude that anyone can do what we do and that might be true to a point (and with education/practice/drive) but that does not mean it will be done well.
    Was his delivery a bit abrasive? Sure, he is 16 years old, he hasn't learned tact possibly hasn't even heard of the term yet

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    See this for what it is. An unprofessional, disrespectful little shit with a small operation offering advice to inexperienced young directors on managing art assets. No serious art director with any ounce of professionalism would ever consider his advice and no artist with even minimal professional experience would ever find themselves in his employ. I can't imagine that this guy's ignorance is anything less than obvious in his very first "Hi! I love your stuff. I'm working blah blah blah and I think you'd be perfect for it" email.

    With that said, the opening line "Holy crap, artist nerdrage." in a response to the outrage he's caused makes me want to hock a loogie in his mouth.

  32. #29
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    This kind of thinking is becoming all too common in the game industry.

    Kaitol's guide to artist exploitation
    Kaitol's guide to artist exploitation

    It's a very profitable industry so it's drawing in businessmen instead of people who are honestly passionate about games or art. What's been seen and what we will see more of is the game industry turning into the music and movie industry. Where the good produced is treated as a product instead of a service or art form. Games will increasingly be made to appeal to the broadest audience possible with franchising in mind. Original and what could be considered more risky ideas will be discouraged and rejected.

    This is the problem with business, it's not a conscious tool. The point of all industry isn't or shouldn't be profit. Especially when that industry concerns something as un-business as art.

    Luckily there is hope.

    Kaitol's guide to artist exploitation
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

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    It's inevitable when an entire industry hits it big.

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