The saying goes, “you get what you pay for,” (or don’t pay for, depending on the situation).
One aspect of the arts that has always confused me was the idea that some people and businesses have that an artist should do things on the cheap, or even for free. This isn’t limited to graphic design by any means. I’ve been asked on a number of occasions to perform a show with my band for free, make a piece of art, design a logo, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
As a professional artist, I love that I absolutely love, L-O-V-E LOVE, my career and how it allows me to create and explore. That love, however, gets thrown back in my in statements like, “well, since you love what you do, this project should be a breeze,” or “I can’t pay you now but this will be great exposure.” Unfortunately, while I’d love to have the type of artistic carte blanche that celebrities have, “exposure” and “passion” do not pay the bills.
Another way to look at it: the next time you go to the doctors for an emergency, tell the surgeon that you can’t pay your bill but that the stitches you receive from him or her will be great exposure for them. Or the car dealership sales person; let him or her know that your love of driving and the dealership giving you a free car will help give them free publicity. See how that goes.
Thankfully, I’ve been fortunate enough to only have to deal with this situation twice in my career (though I expect that number to rise). My other clients have been nothing short of respectful to me and my work and, in kind, I them.
But juuuuuuuuuuust in case you ever have a question about a project, I’ve included both an infograph (and its subsequent link) so you can avoid the pitfalls of asking one of your artistic friends/family members or professionals about free work. And for professionals, this is a great visual to fall back on.
Have a great day!