INVEST IN LIVING ARTISTS - SHOULD I WORK FOR FREE? - THE BUSINESS EDITION NO.1

Tuesday, 25 April 2017




Every creative professional has heard the phrase ‘for exposure’ when being approached by a client or company. It means that your work will be seen by a new audience and in return, you will not be paid.

Sometimes there are benefits to working for free, and for these benefits I direct you to designer Jessica Hisches’s ‘Should I Work for Free?’ flowchart, which states unless it’s for your mum or you owe someone a proverbial kidney, never work for free. In which I completely agree.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some good opportunities out there in which you’re asked to work for free but the benefits are actually good, but most of the time this isn’t the case. Ultimately it is your decision what work you choose to accept.

If you’re one of those people who believe any creative work should be done for free, let me tell you why artists should never work for free. – Because artworks take up their valuable time and effort. They use equipment that’ll eventually need replacing, and most importantly they go out of their way to make you a piece of art in which you have asked for, so in return you are entitled to be respectful and pay for this work. Being an artist or creative professional is a full-time job in which the artists reply on commission/client income to make a living and fully support themselves. Just like you, they have bills and rent to pay.

Whether an artist should work for free or not has become a very controversial topic among the creative community. There are many heated debates on the subject; some artists believe doing work for free devalues the artwork itself.

One artist and writer Ryan Estrada started the twitter account @forexposure_txt to share real quotes and posts from people who wanted artists to work for free. With over 53k followers (As of April 2017), those in the creative field can now share their experiences and screen shots of clients they’ve been approached by expecting them to work completely free. Many artists are then attacked by the client for declining.

Because many of the celebrated artists of today died thinking that their art was worth nothing, and reaped none of the benefits of the fame they have now received. Support living artists. Invest in them. “– Support artists on social media with the following Hashtag - #PayArtists


 / ZOE-EMMA

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