Speculative or “free” work. My 2 cents.

THEM: “We need a sample first. ___________ who drew __________ had no problem doing that. We want to see what we are paying for before we hire.”

ME: “Thank you for your time and consideration. I personally don’t supply free work.”

THEM: “It’s not free if you get the job. If a top tier Marvel artist does it for us then it works for us. Sorry you don’t get it. You cry like a baby for no reason. I have may artist who feel differently. We want people who are into this. It’s more fun that way”

WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?:

Can you go into five restaurants, ask for 5 free burgers with only the promise that you’ll buy future burgers from only one restaurant later – assuming you like any of them?

Can I get 4 plumbers to clean out one clog each for free with the promise that I’ll pay one of them to unclog a 5th clog?

Can I have 4 carpenters each construct a wall for free with the promise that I’ll pay one of them to do the roof?

Can I get 4 cars from 4 dealers and promise to buy one of them but expect the others free?

Then why do you think it’s acceptable to say “because I got someone else to work for free, so should you.” I have a portfolio, as most artists do. It demonstrates skills and style. If you cannot imagine your character drawn in my style, then pay for a quick sketch; I offer black and white line drawings for as low as $5 for a pinup – so really, if that’s too much, do you, the artists out there, really think you’ll ever see a dime?  My time is mine to spend and your sketches cost me time. Even worse is this morning, someone wanting a full page of art for free. What’s saddest of all was their justification that they had a “top tier marvel artist” giving a free page for the art, and if its good for him it should be for me. Wait – so not only do you have a “top tier marvel” artist working free but you’re admitting that you’re not hiring him because you’re looking for other options?

My advice to anyone in any industry is if your skills are demonstrated by a portfolio or previous work experience, then the only reason someone wants free from you is that they are cheap and simply looking to take advantage of you. They are saying your time, effort, and skills are not worth their money. These people are the very definition of parasites. I would rather spend my time typing this out then waste a second on free or “speculative” work. If you think so low of yourself that free is the only option, do not get into art.

My 2 cents.

Jason M.

 

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