"nothing's free"

Friday, May 20, 2011

I was struck & inspired to write about this the moment I came across this quote.

"Do not work for free under the guise of good exposure. It is bad exposure. If you don't value your own work, neither will anyone else."

So true.
And I'm saying this especially to all you creative people. Creativity is your own, it's a piece of you - so why give it away for free?

I have many friends (fresh grads mostly) who work for free because the people they are working for are saying, "I'm giving you FREE exposure to the industry, just think of the work you're doing as work experience, and an addition to your portfolio. In return, you do it for FREE." You know what I say? I say those are the words of a cheapskate-con-artist who don't value the work & effort put into a design; who has no work ethics; with a filthy, money-minded mindset. They don't care about your experience or your portfolio. All they care about is reaping the rewards that should partly be yours.

Creative work takes time & thoughts, whether it be in the form of words, graphics, motion or even sound. No one, I repeat, NO ONE has the rights to use your work and not give you a dime for it. And because most fresh grads are 'new' to the industry, they are easy preys for these conniving con artists with their flamboyant words of 'FREE exposure'. In all honesty, that's utter bullshit. No one gave them the rights to take a person's work for free, which is why they need you to willingly agree to do the job. That itself shows their lack of respect for the value & integrity of your work.

No respectable designer/artist works for FREE.
Photo HelloZSO

In my experience, I had never accepted jobs for the sake of 'free' exposure. I was lucky to have started an internship with Vector Bros Studios, and was given not just a reasonable compensation; but a great working experience, exposure, advice and friends. :)

My advice to fresh grads are to demand at least a minimum payment & credit for anything you do, be it a simple flyer or even a brochure. If you want good exposure, get it from good people who value your work. Never work for nothing and never work for less than what you think you're worth (I mean like, who does work for 10 bucks, right?). Getting ripped off at a cheap price is just as bad.


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  1. Yep, had to do let the word out, too many corporate con-people out there these days. :/


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