It is time to spread this message. I just recently posted about giving your
art away for free, and your time and effort for free,
where a lot of people do this. Companies out there that are calling people, And I even get calls where people just kind
of say, “Hey, you know, can you do us a favor?” Can you, you know, can we use this information?
Can we use your image?” to promote whatever it is that they need
to promote. And I’m talking big companies. And this happens with many different companies,
and a lot of different people are getting called. And I get messages from students who say,
“Stephen can you tell me kind of what to do? I have a company who’s asking me to do some
work for free, do some animation for free, just do some designs for free, because
they may pick up a show or something may happen for me to do it for free.” And it’s just ridiculous and it’s just
not the right thing to do, and it’s got to stop. And the only reason and the only way it can stop
is if we stop and you stop as any individual, as young artists, old artists, to stop giving
away your time and effort for free. One of the things where people say to me, “Can
you do it? You know I don’t really have a budget. You know, it will take you too long, right.
You could just whip it out right?” It’s like no, for me in order to do that drawing
that you need, even if it takes me 10 min. to do You know the reality is it’s taken me
40 years and 10 minutes to do. because of all my experience, and that’s
what’s so important to understand that this is your energy, this is your time
and you don’t go and ask, you know, people, plumbers to come to your house,
“Can you fix my drain?” You know, it’s just, “Maybe you could learn
something by fixing it” or have an attorney think they’re going
to do something for free for you, or anyone else is going to do something for free. And these people who are asking you to do
this stuff for free, are they getting paid? Of course they’re getting paid. And when these
big companies from Warner Brothers to Disney, to you name it, and I’m not just talking about
them, I’m talking about everyone as a whole who comes through and thinks, you know, “Can we
just…can we use this?” and for nothing. It’s like, it’s ridiculous. When this happens and people do this, this is
why there’s so many starving artists out there. This is why people complain that they’re
struggling and they can’t find work because people are willing to do stuff for free,
and the reality is they talk about, “But it’s good exposure.
You’re going get good exposure.” You know there is nothing with that.
You create your own exposure. You want to get exposure? You create your
own blog, you create your own Facebook page, you create your own website. You do whatever it takes and you create the
exposure and you get the opportunity to put out the good work that you want that people
will see, and your name will be all over it because the reality is
you name’s not even a show up. And also the reality is no one’s going look
at any of the stuff that you do and go, “Oh my god. Did you just see his credit? Wow!
Oh my god, I’m really going to start… I’ve got to hire this guy. I’ve got to have
this guy on my team.” You know, we’re going to do this.
It just doesn’t work that way. What it does is just that expression we’ve
heard it, “All artists are a dime a dozen.” Why are artists a dime a dozen?
Why does that even exist? Because we let it exist, and we need to
stand up and stop this from happening, and the only way to do is to spread this message
and to get it out and to let everyone know is just to stop this with trying
to give away your free work. Because when you start and have the integrity
and the belief in yourself and if someone asks you to do something say,
you know, it costs whatever your hourly rate is, even if it costs $20, it’s $20, and for them
it should be worth it to pay that $20. And if they don’t, run for the hills,
because I have found in my experience if you DON’T get paid, or people don’t pay you,
they treat you with very little respect. They’ll probably never even use your artwork. They don’t give a rat’s ass about you,
and that’s not what you want. You want, as an artist, you want exposure. You
want to be known, sure. But how do you do that? You start developing your own projects, you do
your own things, you take the bull by the horns, you do it yourself. You self-published, you
create apps, you do whatever it takes. You know, you could go to any sort of store. I used to go around and create my own work at
at local stores where I used to live. If it was a pet grooming place, and ask him
if they needed a cat or a dog drawing for an advertisement, and I got paid for it. Sometimes they didn’t want to pay that much,
but at least they would pay. But if someone says you know, “Just do this. You
know, draw the cat and dog for me and we’ll put on our flyers and we’ll spread it out, and
if we get response maybe we can use you again.” No, bullshit. No. You don’t do that. You say well
thank you for your time. My time is valuable too. I’m sure you get paid for what you do,
so I want to be paid for what I do. And we need to start this
and you have that mindset, you’ll start to see that people
won’t take advantage of you. But get this word out and let it be known
because too many people, too much lately have been telling me that people are
asking for stuff for free, and you are destroying the industry
as a whole and you do not want this. Trust me. It is going to keep you down in the dumps.
If you’re down there. If it’s just someone, if it’s friends and you guys are working on
your own personal project for the achievement of trying to work something great, you do that. There’s certain things you do for free. Someone had mentioned on one of the writings,
you know, if it’s for a charitable cause, if it’s for something where it’s going
to help benefit someone, you do that sort of stuff for free.
If you understand and you believe in that cause. But you just don’t do it for nothing just
because, because trust me, these other people are lining their pockets and these other
people aren’t starving and they’re taking advantage of you,
and when they take advantage of you, they disrespect the art form and they
disrespect everyone else. So do yourself a favor, don’t give away
your time, your talent for free. You are better than that.
You deserve better, okay That’s my rant. I had to get it out.