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February 21, 2013
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Every time artists are invited to work for free, or for exposure, or for the chance to be part of something very special and wonderful (ahem), people like to defend the offer of, well, nothing, by comparing it to other things, which it is not comparable to.  Here are a few of them, for easy reference:

Working for free is not like...submitting to the Spectrum annual (and similar publications).

Why not?  Because these publications really ARE used by creative directors looking for fresh talent.  I've been hired based on appearances in Spectrum, and so have plenty of people I know.  Submitting to annuals is a reasonable investment.  I know, I know, I haven't submitted to Spectrum in ages, but that's not because it didn't help.  It's because I was miffed about not getting my copies, but that's just me being curmudgeonly, and cutting off my nose to spite my face.  There IS value in annuals.

Working for free is not like...internships, student-teaching, apprenticeships, and similar on-the-job training programmes.

Why not?  Because many jobs REQUIRE on-the-job training, before you're allowed to do them by yourself.  On-the-job training is part of your education, not your working life.  You're there to learn, and if your placement is a good one, it can be incredibly instructive.  Furthermore, a good reference from an internship or training programme can be valuable, in the job market.  Sometimes, you may even be asked to stay on in a paid capacity, when your training or internship is complete.

Working for free is not like...collaborating with other artists and writers on projects you're passionate about, with no guarantee of compensation.

Why not?  Because when you're asked to contribute to a commercial project of any sort, someone is profiting from your work.  And it's not you.  When you collaborate with other artists and writers for the fun of it, or with a view to turning a profit eventually, either nobody profits or EVERYBODY profits.  Why on earth would you want to line someone else's pocket, while yours goes empty?  And why would anyone want to put you in that position?

Working for free FOR A LARGE COMPANY, OR FOR AN INDIVIDUAL is not like...submitting to small zines, which pay in copies.

Why not?  Because most small zines don't make a profit, or if they do, it's very slim.  They're pretty much labours of love.  They can't afford to give you much, if anything.  But choose your zine carefully:  some of them are widely respected, and can get you seen by the right people.  Others...well, let's just say they can't help you, and leave it at that.  If you're considering submitting to a publication that pays little or nothing, check out some back issues.  See if anyone famous is in there, or anyone you respect.  Google that publication, and see who's talking about it, and for what reasons.  Also, when you submit to a zine, you can often submit something you've already done, rather than creating something new:  that is to say, you can get legitimate exposure to the right people, for no extra effort, beyond the time it takes to submit.  Not a bad deal.

Working for free is not like...doing something you'd do anyway, for fun, and getting some added exposure for it.

Why not?  Because when you do that same thing for fun, nobody else gets to profit from it.  You don't have to give up any rights to your work, or allow it to be associated with somebody else's brand; you can save it for later, and maybe profit from it, yourself.  "Exposure" is a misleading currency.  Even if the project soliciting free work has a famous face or a large corporation attached to it, there's no guarantee your work will be widely circulated.  Even if it is, the bulk of the attention will not be on you or your work, but on whatever company, product, or famous face is being spotlighted. This is the age of social media.  If we want exposure, we can...ha, ha, ha...expose ourselves.  Let's flash the world, guys!  Yes, it takes work to get heavy circulation, but when you put in the time to advertise yourself properly, you can make sure the focus is on YOU.  And you can target that advertising to people who can help you, or people who'd appreciate what you do, or to whatever audience your heart desires.

Working for free is not like...cheese bites in grocery shops.

Why not?  (Are you serious, with that?  Well, yes; somebody was, at one point, which is why I'm including it here.)  Because the value of a cheese sample is, what, half a cent?  A cheese bite is not an entire meal.  It is not satisfying.  You eat a cheese bite, and you want a whole sandwich.  But to get at the sandwich, you need to buy cheese.  And bread.  And veg.  And whatever else you like on your sarnie.  Basically, a cheese bite is a teaser that costs next to nothing, and whets your appetite for a whole lot more than just cheese.  If even one person likes their cheese bite, and buys sandwich stuff, the promotion's a success.  If not, who cares?  Nothing of particular value was lost.  A free illustration, however, is worth quite a bit.  At least a couple of hundred dollars, in most cases.  And it IS an entire meal.  It IS satisfying.  The customer has what they want.  Maybe they'll come back for more, later--in fifteen years of professional illustration, I've seen this happen exactly ONCE, and most of the "paid" work given out as a result of free work was never, in fact, paid for, as the company went under shortly thereafter--but probably, they won't.  If you want to hand out free samples, they need to be equivalent to cheese bites, so, I don't know, send Christmas cards to your favourite clients, or something.  Include free doodles when you sign autographs.  But don't give out sandwiches.  ;-)

Added 24/02 - Working for free is not like...lawyers (for example) doing pro bono work.

Why not?  First, let me explain the term.  It's short for "pro bono publico" -- for the public good.  It doesn't really mean "free."  Pro bono work CAN be free, or it can involve a reduced rate.  The idea behind pro bono work is to allow people who can't normally afford professional services to benefit from them, nonetheless.  There are also a variety of less altruistic reasons for performing pro bono work (good press, for example).  Many law firms require employees to perform a certain number of pro bono hours per year.  But when you provide free artwork to an entity that CAN afford to pay for it, and chooses not to--a corporation, for example--you are not working pro bono publico.  You're working pro bono cheapo.  (Providing free art to a charity, a school, a library, or any number of deserving beneficiaries, however, could certainly fall under the pro bono umbrella.)

Also, a note to all artists who believe they have to work for free, or for exposure, just to get a toe in the door:  cracking into the illustration world is difficult, but not THAT difficult.  I promise you, you don't need to do that.  You really, really don't.  You might have to brace yourself for a spot of rejection, but if you keep approaching companies which regularly commission art that's similar to yours--that is to say, companies which are buying what you're selling--sooner or later, you'll be hired.  In the meantime, keep expanding that portfolio, and use social media to spread the word.  And keep your self-esteem up.  If other artists can become successful without coughing up free work, why not you?  Are you worse than they are?  Are you too lazy to promote yourself?  Of course not.  Be proud of what you do--and if you want to do it for free, at some point, make sure you're doing it for a good reason.  Charity springs to mind, or, y'know, a present for your mum.
  • Listening to: birds
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:iconstephensilver:
stephensilver Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
Fantastic article, do you mind if I share it on my facebook page.
Thanks
S
Reply
:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013
Your excellent "rant" reminded me a bit of the "fuck you, pay me" discussion found here: [link] He touches a bit on getting paid what you're worth, most of it focuses on the importance of a binding contract. I've been burned a few times without them, I have to say.
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:iconsethfitts:
SethFitts Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Great journal entry. Many of the points you made express what I have not been able to define to those who have these misconceptions of "benefits" of working for free.

I am curious about your experience with Spectrum Magazine.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :-)

In fact, my experiences with Spectrum were MOSTLY good (I got accepted both times, and I received offers of work both times). It was very good advertising. There were just two problems I had, which should not discourage anyone from submitting:

1) I never received a copy of either edition I was in. It was my understanding that contributors got one copy each, and that was one of the reasons I submitted, so I was disappointed.

2) The second time I submitted, instead of listing the medium of my work as "digital," they listed it as "blow." I don't know why this happened, but apparently, the same issue has cropped up for other artists. I guess they use "blow" as a placeholder, and they forgot to replace it with the actual medium, on mine. I got a few e-mails asking if I used "blow" so I could stay up all night and finish the piece (obviously, they were just pulling my leg, not seriously suggesting I did that!)--otherwise, I'd never have known.

I will probably not submit to Spectrum again, as they seem to focus mostly on fantasy & sci-fi, and those are not the markets I'm interested in, for the most part. But for anyone who does want to use those markets, I would absolutely recommend Spectrum, especially if you're just getting started, and need to pick up new clients. That was when I submitted, when nobody had really heard of me yet, and it was very helpful.

I will probably try Society of Illustrators, instead, one day, but they are quite pricey, so I am waiting till I have more money to throw around.
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:iconsethfitts:
SethFitts Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. I have missed the deadline for Spectrum this time mainly because I was not sure if my work would fit in their genre of focus.
Since I graduated in 2003 from college I do not know if I am still considered to be early in my art career. The reasons for submitting to Spectrum were exactly to advertise my work and hope for commissions and to share my work.
Again, great work. Ian enjoying it.
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:iconstudiospectre:
StudioSpectre Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well Said Well Said!
Reply
:iconh-e-n-r-i:
H-e-n-r-i Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank youuuu!!
I really needed to read this.

I usually hear or get told one extreme or the other: "never work for free!" and "your art isn't worth any amount of money!".
This is sensible. Well explained. I can definitely follow this! Haha.

You should write a handbook for common sense for artists. Really. It would be... priceless?
Reply
:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Such a handbook exists already...it is called the Graphic Artists' Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.... ;-) Ha, ha; just pulling your leg. (Well, I mean, it DOES exist, but I'm not REALLY being so dreadfully supercilious.) Seriously, thanks.
Reply
:iconh-e-n-r-i:
H-e-n-r-i Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Haha. I have that!
Although I feel it is more-so on conducting business and pricings rather than just... common sense guidelines for the little things in between. XD
You're welcome!
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
That's true, it is. I just felt the need to add a little levity to my response...it happens. ;-)
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:iconh-e-n-r-i:
H-e-n-r-i Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Hahaha. I understand! Don't mind when people do that at all. Gave me a chuckle. x')
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:iconexquisiteoath:
exquisiteoath Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Excellent post, and something that (sadly) we seem to be seeing a lot of education about. I say sadly because there still seems to be even more.

And I commend you for so evenly handling both sides of the Pro Bono argument.
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:icontimtoe:
timtoe Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013   Digital Artist
I feel like a bobble head doll. I keep nodding and nodding and nodding.
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:iconjohnmalcolm1970:
JohnMalcolm1970 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It annoys me when an artist I like (Gaiman in this case) gets involved in a promotion like this. And it is a promotion. It's baffling that someone who makes money from being creative would think it's OK to ask others to submit work for free.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Especially when SO many other people are profiting: DA (and probably other sites) where Blackberry is advertising the contest, Blackberry itself, Mr. Gaiman, and possibly others. That's a heck of a blind spot, not realising there's something wrong with everybody else involved, however tangentially, turning a profit, while the artists get nothing. Why should ONLY the artists go uncompensated, when the artists are probably the ones who could use it the most?
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:iconzetallis:
zetallis Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent and well said!
Reply
:iconaaronmiller:
AaronMiller Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
thanks Socar.
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:iconzemotion:
zemotion Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Photographer
:heart:
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:icontygriffin:
tygriffin Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
So very true! Thanks for posting this.
I've shared it on my FB page, too. :)
Reply
:iconmerlkir:
Merlkir Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Goodness, like I didn't learn my lesson yesterday...

If you're an illustrator, or any kind of artist aspiring to become a pro who makes money on art, I agree this is what you should keep in mind.

However, if you're not that, STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO K?!

There are people who absolutely love to draw and for whom an illustration is not worth hundreds of dollars. Paper roses I mentioned yesterday, remember?
I just don't think it's fair to tell people to only draw for free (and call it "work", which it's not) if they choose a "worthy" cause like zines, mums or collaborations. You know what? Screw that.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Please be aware, also, this post is not really FOR you. You know the score; you can make your own choices from an informed position. This information is for people who have not yet thought about it.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Dude. There are a LOT of instances where art is not work, and it is fine to draw for free. I only named a couple of examples, obviously.

What I am talking about here is offering up your work for free FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. If you don't see why this is almost always a bad idea, I don't know what to tell you.
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:iconnavate:
navate Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I think you're missing the point. It's not about "telling you what to do", it's about understanding when you are being swindled.
Reply
:iconmerlkir:
Merlkir Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I am very much aware what she's talking about. My point is - some people don't care if someone "swindles" them. This specific event, which seems to have prompted Socar to write this, attracts exactly that kind of people. Hobbyists who aren't as dumb and oblivious as we might think. I don't think anyone really went into this in hopes of "OMG exposure I'm gonna get famous and published and kick off my freelancing career!". I might be wrong.

I'm just a bit uncomfortable with the language there and the idea of worthy causes and so on. Sure, let's give positive examples, recommend what worked for us, but let's not tell people what (not) to do, that's lame.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Quite a few people HAVE mentioned their hopes of jumpstarting their careers through that contest, though.... But, in fact, this post is not directly about that, but about ALL cases of solicitation of free work. I wanted to post something more general, as there is a lot of similar stuff going on.

The point of this post and others like it is not so much to tell others what not to do (though, there really are some things you should not do, because they are bad ideas), but to explain WHY it's a problem when people give away their work in certain contexts. You are, of course, free to make your own decisions.

I wish I had known about the damage one can do to one's career this way a long time ago...not knowing did cause me problems. So I will not feel bad about spreading the message.
Reply
:iconmerlkir:
Merlkir Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Fair enough.
Reply
:iconnavate:
navate Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
If people don't care about being swindled, that is fine. But they need to be aware when it is happening.

It is true the event that prompted this entry wasn't promising fame and fortune. It does, however, promise a chance to have your work seen by Neil Gaiman. If that isn't the major motivator for most entrants, I'll eat my socks.

I say this as someone who HAS had Gaiman see my work. His assistant purchased one of my pieces and we were in negotiation to collaborate on Neverwear merch. I'm a professional; I do not get star struck easily because I've had the pleasure of meeting my heroes and many other literature/art celebrities. But I still flipped my shit when I got an email from Neil's assistant revealing that she was the winning bidder on my painting and that the man himself liked my work. And this was even though I knew he was probably going to see my stuff at that con, since the art show was so tiny.

If I had seen this contest 5 years ago... 10 years ago!... I would have been all over it for that chance to be briefly noticed by a celebrity I admired. If people submitting feel it's worth it--good for them. But they shouldn't be blind to the fact that the event is attached to a major corp that chooses not to offer any compensation for the work submitted.

That's the bottom line. It's exploitative, period, and it deserves to be called out. I applaud Socar for taking the time to address this issue. Whether you agree with her or not, it is a point of view that every artist and hobbyist needs to hear. Most don't think about whether their time/effort is worth anything until they're challenged to consider that maybe... it is.
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:iconmerlkir:
Merlkir Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Equally fair enough.
Reply
:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for that! That is exactly the thing...I do believe it is helpful for people to be aware of these issues. I know some people don't want to hear it, but it would seem a bit negligent to keep quiet when there's so much of this going on.
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:iconnavate:
navate Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Damn you and your principles! :shakefist:
Reply
:iconthe-goblinqueen:
The-GoblinQueen Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
very well said!
Reply
:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for posting this.
Reply
:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
BY the way...I'm sharing it on FB and Tweeting this....well done my friend.
Reply
:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :-)
Reply
:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
My pleasure hon- thank you frankly for being a voice. It needs to be shared and is more than worthy of being shared... :)
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
How dare you present a logical, sensible, informed, calm and reasonable dissertation on this subject... You may actually cause a few heads to pop out of their own collective asses by the sensibility of this!!!!! Honestly...we don't need truth and "common" sense- I hate calling it that as it implies that such sense is readily evident in most folks and readily had....when it isn't... But I digress... How dare you word this all so eloquently and, well...correctly! Some might rather keep their heads up their rainbow colored asses sniffing the flowery farts of their own self-delusion and stupidity and believe such offers as that which inspired this are not exploitative and damaging to all artists overall...Just...quit...IT!

This is a sarcastic rant of appreciation and applause. You rock the whole way 'round young lady- and I have always thought so! :aww: Thank you for taking the time I know it took to compose this and post it at the risk I know this poses...

However, Spectrum hates me...but that's neither here nor there... ;)
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, thank you! :-)

I always bit my tongue on things like this, for years, but then I realised whenever the topic did come up, it was only in private conversations between artists. Preaching to the choir, sort of thing. Very few artists were saying anything in public, for fear of getting shouted at, or losing potential clients. But recently, I noticed some artists starting a group called ArtPACT, I think, dedicated to improving conditions for illustrators. They were being very frank about issues facing us, and in public, too. I decided I would therefore also say something, when the need arose.

I think from now on, though, I won't call out specific people or organisations in public: I will post in a general sense, about what kinds of things are going on, and shouldn't be. I have noticed that it can cloud the issue, when people think I am taking potshots at someone they like and respect, or something they are participating in. In fact, I am always careful not to say anything cruel, or make ad hominem attacks, or ascribe malign motivations to anyone. I always leave room for the possibility that these problems are caused by terrible lapses in judgment. (Who knows? Maybe they are.) But any criticism can come off as harsh, when it hits close to home. So I want to be able to say these things, without people thinking I'm coming after them.

I think things are reaching a bit of a breaking point, for a lot of illustrators. It's reached that critical threshold where NOT saying anything is a bigger risk than saying something. A lot of us have had pretty hard times, lately, which we were not accustomed to.
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:icontempesterika:
TempestErika Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think its great you said this. I have been noticing lately how much I appreciate it when an artist is honest about how they make their living and what the details of that are.

For some reason there seems to be a taboo in the community about sharing the details of success, and success is measured SO differently. I dont understand why more proffessionals dont share their experiences for the benefit of everyone. There are expectations, and then there are truths. The artists I respect and admire are probably not making the kind of money I would expect, they are probably not getting jobs as easily as I expect, and they are probably not living as high on the hog as I would expect. My expectations are not based in reality though, because I have no idea what reality is, because no one talks about it publicly.

Its like a dirty secret or something. I think we need to start talking brass tax. Does having One Million views on Deviantart translate into sales, and jobs? I like having conversations like this (so thanks for these journal posts, Socar) because knowlege is power.
Reply
:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, you would be very surprised, I think, by how many skilled, well-known illustrators are nonetheless suffering financially. I think the industry has changed a lot already, and is continuing to change fast, and we may all need to figure out new ways to survive on our artwork. This is a scary juncture, in some ways.

As far as DA goes, I can speak only of my own experience. I have found it much more valuable as a means of connecting with other artists than as a means of getting work or sales. I do get a fair number of commission inquiries via DA, but most are turned off by the prices. Weirdly, I get a lot more work via Facebook and LinkedIn, which are not art sites, at all. Social media have been boosting me up a lot in sales of originals, also. This year, I sold more drawings to viewers from Facebook than any other site, including my official site...it's surprising.

Most of the jobs I got last year were from existing clients, or people referred by existing clients. This year, I am hoping to find more new clients by myself, and possibly try a self-directed project, if I can find the time and money.

That said, there is huge value in connecting with other artists, and being part of the art community, so DA is a good place to be.
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:icontempesterika:
TempestErika Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I totally agree. Community is definitly valuable. I have noticed the same thing about Facebook. Its probably working well because those fans are not also artists (like on DA), and so may have more income to spend on art. We need those art appreciators. They are very valuable people. :)

I dont know if its just my perception, but in this age of the Kardashians, it seems like if you have a ton of fans/followers/views that equals importance. It used to be that to be taken seriously in the art world you needed to be 50, have at least a BFA in post-secondary education, and a CV as long as your arm. Now to be taken seriously you need to have a million fans.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Fame is certainly one way to estimate someone's probable success, but again, I have been surprised quite a few times to discover that people with several times the number of DA pageviews/FB fans/Twitter followers/big-name jobs (et cetera) of the average illustrator are struggling, or having to take part-time jobs to supplement their incomes. On the other hand, it's possible for an artist to earn quite a handsome living from a consistent stream of jobs with little or no glamour associated with them--private commissions, interior illustration, technical illustration, that sort of thing--while slipping almost entirely under the radar.

At the moment, I am trying to boost up my presence on the Internet, while continuing to do the usual jobs that keep food on my table--taking a two-pronged approach, sort of thing. I neglected the advent of social media for a very long time, and I'm beginning to see that I made a mistake. Having a lot of fans DOES contribute to the impression of success, and you definitely want to appear successful to prospective clients! :-)

I have been realising more and more that I have to take technology into account, when running my business. I am in the unfortunate position of having nothing to fall back on, if I am no longer able to get enough illustration work--I can't work outside of the home, and am not qualified for anything else, anyway. So over the last few months, I've been working on revising my entire business model, in hopes of being able to stay, y'know...alive. Ha, ha!
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
All those very salient points and you achieved them in the way you hoped to do so...I get too fired up at times and end up sort of exploding as it were... You did it eloquently and just, shall we say, GENERALLY enough to make a reasonable point that I truly believe one would have to be in denial NOT to get... And yes, NOT saying anything is every bit as bad as being one of the sheep dozily trotting along to the abattoir.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah...it's sort of a rock & a hard place situation. But I think things may be on the verge of improvement, with more of us beginning to speak out. It's easy to ignore one artist complaining about poor treatment that's so pervasive it's become the norm, but when artist after artist speaks up--especially when they're experienced ones--it becomes harder to dismiss us as greedy whiners.

That's a big pet peeve of mine: when people try to make me feel like a small, petty, GREEDY person, for advocating fair treatment, even for beginners and hopefuls. It makes me want to behave just as childishly--I don't know, wave tax receipts in their faces, showing my charitable donations, or something--but, of course, that sort of behaviour is terrible for one's credibility.
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes- i got a right public padding a few years back for publicly condemning the exploitative treatment that many creative people suffered and on the very grounds you state above- this person even had the gall to refer to me as "naive"... many a long and not so...objective...response was typed by myself and promptly deleted before I could have unwisely hit "Send"...but they would have been justified responses to such willfully obtuse thinking...maybe not professional, but damned good cutting replies! :D But yes...all the more reason I truly appreciate your ability to be cool and just objective enough about a subject that is not an unemotional one to be sure.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah...it can be very hard to keep cool, especially during tax season, when you are looking through your financial year, and perhaps noticing a decline, compared to the year before. I was surprised to learn how many incredibly brilliant artists are having pretty bad times, lately, people you would never expect to find in that situation.

Sometimes, we even see direct proof of the detriment unethical practices have on our businesses, when rates descend to what beginners have been conditioned to expect--ie, next to nothing. But people outside the business don't have that experience; they don't want to believe it.
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes....as I said perhaps less professionally: heads blithely up collective rainbow-colored asses... Which would be fine if it was just they would suffer the consequences, as they seemed so convinced is the case....but we are all in this together as Red Green used to say...

One advantage that a fool like myself has is that I just do what I want to do and hope that people like it as well and will find their way to it... But I learned long ago what one gets by having little or no respect for one's own work. And that is simply no respect from any one else as well. There's no getting your foot in the door or acting like some drug dealer on the playground giving them that first one for free and them getting the suckers hooked so that you can then get them to pay what you want to later... They just laugh and go predate another weaker member of the herd...
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Very true. I know that low confidence can be common in artists, as we get a lot of rejection, and a lot of raw deals. It can be hard to rise above that enough to respect our work and its value. But we have to.
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:iconostentatiousnessness:
Ostentatiousnessness Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What working for free is like:
Spending hours and hours of your time to pump out what would normally be (Insert commission price fr sad work) and have someone else use it to their heart's content for nothing and more than likely NOT get ay recognition that it was indeed your work.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Precisely!
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:iconostentatiousnessness:
Ostentatiousnessness Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Also your talk of sandwiches made me hungry
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