Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Don't Sell Your Art for Cheap

"Don't Be a McIllustrator.
Working for Big Mac prices will only slow your progress."

 -Chris Oatley

Hi friends. This last week I received an email inquiry asking if a non-profit organization could use my artwork for free in a slideshow. I have been asked this type of question before by non-profit organizations. Unsure of what I should do, I mentioned this to my fellow class mates in the Oatley Academy. I got some good responses, but none better than from my amazing teacher, Chris Oatley, who followed up with a blog article that I think every illustrator/artist needs to read and then spread the word. Here it is: The Bad Client Diet by Chris Oatley.

It is so empowering for illustrators to know that we have the power to say "no." Chris has helped me understand that just because a job pays, doesn't mean you need to take it. Instead it's important to take time to make a good portfolio and then seek those clients who will give you good jobs that will pay you what you deserve.

 I myself have taken on so many jobs in the past that have not paid me what I deserve. These jobs also tended to be jobs that I hated doing because they didn't build my portfolio in any way. This year I have decided that I want to stop this cycle. I have turned down many jobs because they were not taking me in the direction I wanted my career to go and not paying me what I deserved. Sure, I needed the money, but it wasn't worth it to take on those jobs if it was just going to bring me down. We artists have spent just as much if not more time learning our profession. Don't give in to the mentality that art should be freely given away or given away for cheap. This is your profession. This is your hard work. Don't sell it short of what it deserves.


Nasan Hardcastle said...

Aarrgh . . . I hate hearing about these 'clients'. Thanks for the link!

My personal favorites are the 'friends' who faun over what I do and admit they could never do what I do (as if it is the most fantastic thing they've ever heard of anyone being able to do), then become upset when they ask me to do something for them and find out what I charge for this 'fantastic' ability (I've worked dang hard all my life for).

I hope you don't mind me sharing this on Facebook with some of my other artist friends.

Shawna said...

I'd love it if you would share and I'm sure Chris would too! Thanks, Nasan!