"looking for free art"

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"looking for free art"

Postby Andy Finlayson on Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:43 pm

Stole this off another forum... (it's long...)

Every day, there are more and more Craigs List (and elsewhere) posts seeking “artists” for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service.

But what they’re NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be.

To those who are “seeking artists”, let me ask you; How many people do you know, personally, with the talent and skill to perform the services you need? A dozen? Five? One? …none?

More than likely, you don’t know any. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be posting on craigslist to find them.

And this is not really a surprise.

In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are professional illustrators. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are SEVENTY times as many people in the IT field.

So, given that they are less rare, and therefore less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street?

Would you offer a neurosurgeon the “opportunity” to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him “a few bucks” for “materials”. What a deal!)

Would you be able to seriously even CONSIDER offering your web hosting service the chance to have people see their work, by viewing your website, as their payment for hosting you?

If you answered “yes” to ANY of the above, you’re obviously insane. If you answered “no”, then kudos to you for living in the real world.

But then tell me… why would you think it is okay to live out the same, delusional, ridiculous fantasy when seeking someone whose abilities are even less in supply than these folks?

Graphic artists, illustrators, painters, etc., are skilled tradesmen. As such, to consider them as, or deal with them as, anything less than professionals fully deserving of your respect is both insulting and a bad reflection on you as a sane, reasonable person. In short, it makes you look like a twit.

A few things you need to know;

1. It is not a “great opportunity” for an artist to have his work seen on your car/’zine/website/bedroom wall, etc. It IS a “great opportunity” for YOU to have their work there.

2. It is not clever to seek a “student” or “beginner” in an attempt to get work for free. It’s ignorant and insulting. They may be “students”, but that does not mean they don’t deserve to be paid for their hard work. You were a “student” once, too. Would you have taken that job at McDonalds with no pay, because you were learning essential job skills for the real world? Yes, your proposition it JUST as stupid.

3. The chance to have their name on something that is going to be seen by other people, whether it’s one or one million, is NOT a valid enticement. Neither is the right to add that work to their “portfolio”. They get to do those things ANYWAY, after being paid as they should. It’s not compensation. It’s their right, and it’s a given.

4. Stop thinking that you’re giving them some great chance to work. Once they skip over your silly ad, as they should, the next ad is usually for someone who lives in the real world, and as such, will pay them. There are far more jobs needing these skills than there are people who possess these skills.

5. Students DO need “experience”. But they do NOT need to get it by giving their work away. In fact, this does not even offer them the experience they need. Anyone who will not/can not pay them is obviously the type of person or business they should be ashamed to have on their resume anyway. Do you think professional contractors list the “experience” they got while nailing down a loose step at their grandmother’s house when they were seventeen?

If you your company or gig was worth listing as desired experience, it would be able to pay for the services it received. The only experience they will get doing free work for you is a lesson learned in what kinds of scrubs they should not lower themselves to deal with.

6. (This one is FOR the artists out there, please pay attention.) Some will ask you to “submit work for consideration”. They may even be posing as some sort of “contest”. These are almost always scams. They will take the work submitted by many artists seeking to win the “contest”, or be “chosen” for the gig, and find what they like most. They will then usually have someone who works for them, or someone who works incredibly cheap because they have no originality or talent of their own, reproduce that same work, or even just make slight modifications to it, and claim it as their own. You will NOT be paid, you will NOT win the contest. The only people who win, here, are the underhanded folks who run these ads. This is speculative, or “spec”, work. It’s risky at best, and a complete scam at worst. I urge you to avoid it, completely. For more information on this subject, please visit www.no-spec.com.

So to artists/designers/illustrators looking for work, do everyone a favor, ESPECIALLY yourselves, and avoid people who do not intend to pay you. Whether they are “spec” gigs, or just some guy who wants a free mural on his living room walls. They need you. You do NOT need them.

And for those who are looking for someone to do work for free… please wake up and join the real world. The only thing you’re accomplishing is to insult those with the skills you need. Get a clue.
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Postby dillon on Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:57 pm

i think we've all got stories on that topic. a few years back i was contacted about producing a comic book cover for use in a tv series. i came in and met with them to find out it was going to be used in close up and an important prop in the story, etc. when i told them what i would probably charge for the work, they laughed in disbelief. "it's going to be on tv, you realize!" apparently comics illustrators love what they do so much that any public display of their work should be thanks enough.
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Postby Demongoldfish on Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:37 pm

IMO free work should be

A. for fun or a challenge.
B. for a charity.
C. for a friend.

B and C should probably still come under A anyway

If i am doing free work i don't expect to

- be asked to change the style/look
- be hassled about deadlines
- have any assumptions made that i will do more free work in the future
- have my work sold without my permission [and would probably expect payment after giving permission]
- be told my work isn't good enough

i would expect

- to at least be thanked
- to have my name, and if possible contact info, linked to the work somehow.
- to receive my fair share of any unexpected profits made [or at least have them go to charity]
- to be worshiped as a god no matter how little effort i put in
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Postby apple head on Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:39 am

Demongoldfish wrote:IMO free work should be

A. for fun or a challenge.
B. for a charity.
C. for a friend.

B and C should probably still come under A anyway

If i am doing free work i don't expect to

- be asked to change the style/look
- be hassled about deadlines
- have any assumptions made that i will do more free work in the future
- have my work sold without my permission [and would probably expect payment after giving permission]
- be told my work isn't good enough

i would expect

- to at least be thanked
- to have my name, and if possible contact info, linked to the work somehow.
- to receive my fair share of any unexpected profits made [or at least have them go to charity]
- to be worshiped as a god no matter how little effort i put in


Exactly what he said ;)
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Unfinanced Entrepreneurs

Postby jpaulos on Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:44 am

The following excerpts are from a great article by Mark Evanier and I think you guys will like it ...

Unfinanced entrepreneurs don't have any money — or, if they do, they're not dumb enough to risk it on their own projects. They want you to assume the risk.

Unfinanced Entrepreneurs exist because of a fiction about creative people, so widely believed that even some of us writers and artists accept it. The fiction is that writing and drawing are not assets...they are things we whip up out of thin air and which cost nothing to create. If someone steals your work from you, you can always bat out another for nothing.

They think writers and artists "just knock it out" but we don't...not really. And even when it seems like we do, it's because of a lifetime of developing whatever skills we bring to each project. My best pal, Sergio Aragonés, once was selling some sketches he'd done. A browser was interested in one but blanched at the hundred-buck price tag.

"How long did it take you to draw that?" he asked.

"About a half-hour," Sergio answered.

The man was horrified: "You expect me to pay you a hundred dollars for a half-hour's work?"

Sergio showed uncommon restraint — at least for Sergio. He calmly said, "You're not paying for the half-hour it took me to do the drawing. You're paying for the forty-one years it took me to learn how to do that."



For the full article ...

http://www.povonline.com/cols/COL209.htm[/url]
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Postby dillon on Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:11 am

uh... sounds like evanier might have borrowed that from this famous story:

"Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.

"It's you -- Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist."

So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

"It's perfect!" she gushed. "You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?"

"Five thousand dollars," the artist replied.

"B-b-but, what?" the woman sputtered. "How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!"

To which Picasso responded, "Madame, it took me my entire life." "
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Postby maggie on Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:08 pm

dillon wrote:... when i told them what i would probably charge for the work, they laughed in disbelief. "it's going to be on tv, you realize!" ...


Yeah, and then when the poor hapless sap who said "OK" finishes the job and it airs he finds... sure it was on TV, but _no one will know who did it_ because there's no credit, they can't sell copies of it cuz they don't own the property and they will get a "that's nice" when they use this 'great opportunity for exposure' in their portfolio for the next bastard who doesn't want to pay anything either.
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Postby Egofreaky on Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:06 pm

Andy, do you mind giving the link for that forum post? I'd like to link it up in OzTAKU's forums... Mainly because I've had a few of the OzTAKUs come to me with stories of the after effects of falling for these.

The speculative art one in particular really pisses me off though, because huge companies do that one the most. Streets in particular, was running a competition a few years back. You know those themed Magnums they come out with every year? There are 7 flavours, and they all make a theme?
THAT was from a spec artwork competition... ONE winner, out of the hundres that submitted was given $2000 and a "years supply" of magnums (which I assume is simply 52 boxes.. hardly a years supply), but ALL of the entries became property of Streets Icecream.
What an amazingly good way of getting a dozen years of specialist campaigns for about $2500!!

Fuckers...
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Postby Cybermotron on Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:16 pm

I don't think there is a single industry I'm not jaded about. As a musician, as an illustrator, as a writer...you've gotta be that thing that I and a lot of us most certainly aren't, and thats a business man, or theres just no money in the arts. It has nothing to do with talent. There's plenty of people with no talent making a lot of money doing this stuff. And I've seen so many talented people have to work in a factory or an office job or something...really talented people...people who should have their names in lights...I'm not someone who has this option...regular jobs always chew me up and spit me out...actually every job just chews me up and spits me out...which is why you'll probably find my carcass in a gutter one day...unless someone actually pays me for my efforts for a change, rather than yanking my chain for a few poverty stricken months only to be payed with more poverty.

On the flip side I'm now making a movie...and I'm not paying anyone...its OK they know. Maybe its karma, but after whoring out my services for nothing over the last ten years all these people have suddenly come to the table to help make my movie, and I'm talking professionals. CG special effects, camera, stuntmen, costumes, props, special effects makeup. And most of them don't even owe me anything. If anything, I owe them cos I'm the one who's broke all the time! I'm making a multi million dollar action movie for nothing...so far. Of course I'm not getting payed either, and I'm not exactly just going to be sitting on my laurels, its already a full time job, consulting with all of the departments and working on the script.

So it all inevitably comes around again, a full time project and no money...always and forever. It seems like money is never going to have any presence in my life at all.

How depressing and hopeful all at the same time...thats the life of an artist I suppose. Damn brain!
My 24 hour comic from this year which I'm still finishing....
http://forums.pulpfaction.net/viewtopic ... 1956#31956

And the one from last year which I did finish...
http://forums.pulpfaction.net/viewtopic.php?t=1895
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Postby maggie on Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:16 am

Warning: Long off-topic rathole follows.

There's a big movement of the same here, Mo: people willing to work for little or nothing on 'film' projects. But the difference between this and people trying to is that it's the crest of the wave that is the digital revolution. It's all about inclusion and accessibility and ownership. (you know all this, I'm sure... I'm just having a sermon moment. hehe) Prior to this revolution, ordinary schmoes were at the mercy of the movie studios. Now, regular people can make 'real' movies with very little money. And some of these movies get sold and/or distributed and make actual profits. Karl Marx would have wet himself if he were alive to see this.

ASIDE: and musicians are already in the thick of their revolution - I've heard several stories of bands turning down record deals because they're bette off doing it themselves. The record companies are also wetting themselves, but for different reasons. Why become beholden to some record company when CD Baby will sell your CDs for you and even get you on iTunes. "Oh, but what about the tour support?" Tour support??? No band really gets tour support until they make the record company tons of money. It's a lie. All you're getting is the privilege of being in debt to a record company until you've sold crate loads of CDs. "Oh, hey, and you need to pay us back for all that tour support now." Rip. Off.


Anywho... Some of the new cameras coming out are going to blow the lid off this revolution, too. Cameras that would have once cost in the tens of thousands for a fraction of that. My laptop is as powerful a NLE as many Avids out there. And I can composite, color correct, time... you name it. All from the comfort of my kitchen table (ok, I have a desk at home but kitchen table sounds so much more punk. hehe).

Very few of you know this, but like Cybermotron I also have the movie bug. Unfortunately I can't devote as much time to it as I'd like, but I do belong to a guild (pixelcorps.com) and one thing that keeps me from drawing is that I'm honing my skills in editing, compositing and such. Final Cut Pro, After Effects and Motion are eating my brain. ;)

Question for all who read this far, how many people in Australia do you know who are interested in indy film making?

PS - Mo, there's a new book I highly recommend. Here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321413644/
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Postby apple head on Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:28 am

Funny thing, I make the movies too and I see money flying in weird directions.

I was helping out AD-ing on a short. The budget was around $10 grand. I was just a voulanteer, which is OK. I only charge for illustrations, story boards and After effects compositing.

What I found funny, that the director was willing to pay $600 for two stunt co-ordinators to pull a kid on to a mattrasse (It was an effect that could have easily been done for free), but the producer and director were unwilling to pay an editor to cut the film. I found it weird as I for that money if I was the director could have given it a roughcut and pay that money to a proffesional to tighten it up.

I'm producing a film for a friend, and I was tallking to some of the actors, as we were just expecting students and hospitality staff to apply. One actress told me she can only work if half the acting work is paid the other free. She told me it keeps her motivated.

With my film it costed me under a $1000 to make, and I had a school donate me their area to shoot an arse probing film, we also had Parramatta council help us out. City Rail were being difficult. If counting the extras I had over a 100 people work on it too, with around a core 10 people being involved for over a year.

If I can be in a fun environment it's not work, why I don't mind to voulanteer on fims, and I walk away if people are being stupid. If I'm hunched over a desk doing something, I rather do it for myself. Which is why I don't board for free. I tell the directors to board it themselves. I sometimes teach them how to do a communicatable board in stick figures, or just use a shotllist.
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Postby apple head on Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:45 am

maggie wrote:Question for all who read this far, how many people in Australia do you know who are interested in indy film making?


In the past 2 years I would say I met hundreds, but I only kept the numers of my favorite 30 in my phone, why?

Yeah, final cut and a Canon XL camera has made a lot of people seem the next el spielbergo.

Camera has been an issue, in hindsight I'm not that happy with the XL2 I used on my film. For my next personal project I eyed out a Panasonic thing that shoots in 1080p, and I worked on some of the films it looks super nice.

Distribution is a total other ball game. I'm producing a feature, and I told the director to stop promising and telling everyone it'll be in cinemas. It's a film that'll be done and most likely look OK (We're just renting a HD from metro on this one), but it's just a learning excersize for everybody and fun for others.

I'll just be making shorts for now, as I know I can find an audience in festivals, Atom films, and cable/community TV.

I would say you would still need backing to have a feature seen. Mainly because you want it out there, and distribution is very expensive, and it's hard to convince people to sit through 90 minutes for something that might not be good. Also with my tastes in things, I can honestly just expect people to sit through 10 to 20 minutes max :p although for a short to be excepted anything over 10 minutes has to be very 'special' :(
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Postby maggie on Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:10 am

The rathole gets deeper... sorry guys...

Hmmmm... So... what do you think? Does the Aussie indy filmmaking industry need something along the lines of this here site and forum? A place to share tips, tricks and gather people and resources? It would be a small-ish community in comparison, I'd imagine, but what do you think? I'm prepared to host it and set it up if you guys feel like we could at least get 20 or 30 people signed up off the bat (the number one killer of forums is low early numbers which leads to people walking away before it can get going).

M
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Postby apple head on Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:29 am

Sorry, Maggie, here's my two cents. I still love comics, and as off topic as I get I don't want comics to loose out. Kinda Like Supanova isn't about comics as it once was. Although Danny does have a startegy, and he needs to eat too.

If I want to talk movies, you allready have a forum for that. Believe me I think there's a lot more film maker types then comic types, so for traffic it might be better, but it might be a good bye for the comic crowd.

Most people I know is through other people, Uni, and random drunken adventures. I would hate to know how much a loytering on the internet, especially if there are people willing to pay money to join other film boards, kinda like the screenhub and such.
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Postby maggie on Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:35 am

Oh, no. Sorry I wasn't clear.
I don't mean _at_ PF, but another site altogether. Not connected to PF at all.
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