"If we had money for this, we'd be going after real artists…who paint on real canvases. Not the digital fake stuff."
When I received the original Email from Roy Torres of Grey Advertising asking me to work for 'exposure' for one of his multimillion dollar clients, I was going to just let it go and chalk it up to another day, another non-paying offer in the life of an artist. We get this kind of nonsense all the time. That doesn't make it right but there isn't much we can do to stop this kind of thinking and behavior from the people that wish to use our very specialized set of skills… right?
After considering it for a couple of days, I decided that I didn't have to just accept this. No artist should… ever! You would never ask a Doctor to give you free treatment for good word of mouth. You would never tell a Coffee shop that in lieu of payment, you're going to tell everyone how great the coffee you just bought is.
I decided to reply to Mr. Roy Torres and say pretty much that! Here is his original Email to me (I've removed his client name to protect them for the time being);
My name is Roy Torres and I'm an Associate Creative Director at a respected global ad agency in New York called Grey. I'm personally reaching out to you to see if you would be interested in working on a proactive print campaign for ****.
I really love your work and believe you would be perfect for this assignment, the only downfall is that because it is proactive, our budget is very slim to none. The idea and campaign would have the backings of a global agency, who would submit your illustration into multiple awards shows and publications getting you global exposure; and the high chance of winning some awards.
If you are interested in the project, please let me know and I'll send you a PDF of the idea.
Hope to hear from you.
And, my reply;
Thank you for the Email and interest in my work.
While I appreciate your offer, I find it difficult to believe that a high-profile and international Ad agency like Grey who is working with a multimillion dollar company like **** has slim to no budget for promotional material and artwork that will be shown globally.
I'm sure you wouldn't be willing to work for free yourself, right? You've probably studied and worked hard to get your current position and maybe you even enjoy what you do and that shouldn't mean you don't get paid for the work you do.
I'm no different.
Thank you once again for the Email and offer, I do appreciate the interest in my work and considering you found me to contact me personally I would say I already have great exposure to my work in this modern age of the internet.
I wanted to remain polite while also showing him just how rude and ignorant it is to approach an artist in this way.
Here is his response to me;
If we had money for this, we'd be going after real artists…who paint on real canvases. Not the digital fake stuff.
And going onto Behance, searching for "Digital Sci-Fi Artist" took about 3 minutes. Not as much exposure as you think.
But good luck, I'm sure you're having a blast in Tokyo. It's a brilliant city.
Personally, I would say that only 3 minutes of searching before I popped up is great exposure to my work!
Seriously though, this response was so unprofessional and disrespectful that I was left dumbfounded. Any Creative Director who would reply to an artist in this way has absolutely no respect for any artist, whether they work digitally or otherwise.
Could I just let this go and chalk it up to another day for any artist?
Not this time. This time I'm sharing my experience with other artists, warning them to stay away from any offer made by Roy Torres of Grey Advertising and people like him who make similar, hollow offers.
People like Roy Torres need to learn to respect artists in this day and age and fear how easy it is for us to give them exposure when they treat us poorly.
I would love to and end round and find who he is working for and see if they know he trying to pocket their money.. I think NO I know from my early days working at an Ad agency as paid intern companies pay well for artist.. it may not big big some time but it good work and the pay covers bills.
I betting this screw-up is looking for a starving artist to abuse and get work out of and then pocket the money that was given him for the the artist talent and work.. I love to hunt him down profile his life and expose him..
Better yet Any one from ImageFX want to enlighten this got about how Digital arts are no fakes ? FAKE!! That really ticks me off.
I work hard on all my work I do analog or Digital as do many of us..
This guy need a wake up..really and big one..
Someone needs to school this moron on how this 'works'. He should be ashamed considering his position considering almost everyone can see how full of shit that statement is.
A) Medium of work is irrelevant to how 'fake' it is. Why is digital 'fake'? What is his logical determiner between what makes digital fake and traditional 'not-fake'?
B) Content? Well, if that's the case, someone better remind clue him in to the embarrassing obvious..... because content applies to either digital or traditional.
Logic Error 404: Not Found.
Either he's malfunctionally incompetent (And should lose his job), or being downright deceitful (And thus should lose his job). It's screams so much of, "Well...I didn't get my way, so I'm going to insult and berate this artist who's profession I EFFECTIVELY MAKE MY LIVING FROM, who didn't buy into my con"
Both scenarios do not bode well for this guy - whoever he is, I doubt I'll ever hear about or from him again.
"Never regret thy fall from grace, O' spirit of Icarian flight, for the greatest tragedy of them all to face, is to never feel the burning bright"
Believe my lies, for I tell the truth about them. Or would you rather me lie about telling the truth?
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In fact, advertising agencies love digital art, because time plays a big role for them: They often need the work yesterday, and in digital illustration, there's no paint drying time, no waiting for mailed originals, and alterations can be easily made. Plus, ad agencies tend to really, really dig the smooth, Photoshop-airbrush look of illustrated storyboards, the shinier the better.
It seems that this "art director" just failed at making an effective insult, he just sounds incompetent and frustrated.
Starting to think this is some running a scam his answer back is like he not anyone who deals with art or artist .. this give art work for 'exposure' sound fishy plus to call Digital artist fake artist show a limited education in the arts these days. If he is a real agent he is the one that needs 'exposure' Warn off all artist from dealing with him.
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What a scumbag. Amazing that he works for a pretty major ad agency and yet has this attitude about digital art.
Have to give props to the guy who posted the whole email exchange and called Torres out on this. I really wish more people called attention to this kind of predatory practice. Stuff like this happens all the time and then we wonder why people feel pressured to work for free. These big-shot ad agency directors need to be called to task for pulling this kind of crap.
Yeah, my first thought on seeing the email was, eh, it's a scam. Ignore the guy and move on. But after checking out that link, seems he might actually be an art director for a real ad agency.
Ouch. Talk about shooting himself in the foot.
Thanks for posting this thread, NeechMonkey.
Thanks for the support everyone.
As a small but important update on this; I was recently speaking with a great artist who received the same exposure 'offer' from Roy Torres... only this artist paints oils on a canvas. By Roy Torres' definition, a 'real' artist that Grey New York would have budget for.
Pretty much confirms my point that the guy has no respect for any artist, no matter the medium.
damn dude. I want to bury this guy in the ground, so to speak. Im going to share this thread link to everyone I know, and hopefully this guy gets exposed for being an asshole.
My immediate response was to dismiss this as just another director trying to cheat an artist out of making a living, and therefore not to take him seriously as a professional.
Like a number of you, I was both surprised and appalled at reading that this guy has held positions at a number of major ad agencies. For me this was the real insult, but also it gave me the determination to push myself professionally, with the objective of one day ridding, or at least reducing, the industry of incompetent, and unprofessional individuals like this.
I think that this summation of his character speaks volumes.
“I think his creative style comes from a history of childhood mischievousness and young adult recklessness.”
Well done for making a stand.