Ever been contacted by someone, asking you to work on their thing for free? Apply the Peppermint Monster Principle: either this person has money, but just doesn’t want to pay you. In that case, they don’t respect your time and effort. Or, they don’t have money to pay you, in which case they also don’t have money and resources to create the project they’re talking about.
Do not feel that you are missing out on any real opportunities by turning these people down. You can be certain that their project, whatever it is, is not going to happen. Because people who are unable or unwilling to invest in their own product, going around the internet asking complete strangers to work for free, is not how bestselling books and big hit tv shows are made.
EDIT: Of course, if you want to take on an unpaid, collaborative, mutually beneficial project with friends or other artists, that's totally fine. What I'm talking about here are total strangers asking for favors from artists.
EDIT: If this flowchart offends you, and you feel that people should care about your project regardless of whether or not you have money, I recommend reading these two articles: www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-t… and medium.com/life-learning/why-i…
And then I remembered that he had his own bills to pay and that time spent on my work (for nothing) was time not spent earning money to pay his bills. In the end, we agreed that I would either save up, or take out a loan to pay him for his services. Because that's how the world actually works.
Not surprisingly, he never even put his (writing, he wanted to make a video game) pen to paper to do ANY of the unpaid effort and in turn, neither did I.
That said, I agree with this flowchart wholeheartedly. I'm really scared by all these 'So $$ is all that matters???' comments because....are you really taking as much risk as I am if I do 40+ (on the low end) hours of unpaid work or is your ass still covered by you paying your own bills while asking me to go out on a risk limb for you?
Well, if it's magic, magicians deserve to be compensated for their time and work.
Everyone has bills to pay.
Once, I was asked to work on something for a pittance of what they were paying others; and then told that 'a monkey' could 'scribble things out'.
So, get a monkey.
No doubt artists are glad to contribute to a project, when everyone is pulling together, or trade services, if they have time.
But, no one likes to be made to feel worth less.
No one can afford that.
But there were also plenty of people that took advantage of me, even one guy that tried to guilt trip me because I said I didn't have enough time for free side projects. He made it sound like all artists are greedy for thinking about their own well-being and refusing to work for free. Come on! Sigh
It really has to do with your passion for the thing, I guess! If you're super into a project who knows, maybe it will pay off. That's sorta a risk you take in doing any hobby or thing that doesn't net you a profit, right? And maybe if it was someone close and/or trustworthy that asks you to do a thing for them...I think that would also be an exception
But otherwise you are right, don't sell yourself short, people! People WILL try to take advantage of you, if not now then later down the line. People will approach you for things you will have to compromise security on, and it's up to you to decide which roads are worth driving down
you certainly cannot wait until the project "gets off the ground" and hope and pray you...may...get paid some....time. We have bills to pay, and bellies to feed, if they don't respect us enough to pay us, then they don't deserve our services.
Now I just need to learn how to not take cheap jobs - my reasoning is that a bit of money flowing in as long as I have enough time left for personal art is better than no money and ALL the time for personal art, but I'm kind of stuck in a cycle lately... Times are hard, I guess.
I'm surprised by the amount of comments defending not paying artists - people seem to be utterly confusing the idea of friends/like-minded people teaming up for a mutually beneficial collaboration and one stranger needing something from another but not wanting to give anything valuable for it. I know a lot of people doing zines together because they have similar interests, and then I know too many people who think artists owe them free services because they happen to have a novel/script/concept/site/channel...
But What If I could do something that may save people a lot of money worth more than the money one could use to get 1,000 DeviantArt points. I want to be a famed let's play personality specializing in mods and having more completist runs than many of the famed let's play personalitites you see and raising awareness of mods or good internet games that don't cost money while players get into out-waste contests in freemium games buying more stuff with in-game currency, exchanged from real currency to beat players that are doing the same.
I honestly see freemium games as a scourge that needs to be dealt with somehow. A entire episode of South Park pointed it out. The more recent Call of Duty games have over 100 dollars worth of possible DLC (these same games tend to have mixed Steam reviews). Candy Crush makes over 500,000 dollars A DAY. Games openly sell shortcuts that allow you to get a powerful class or item much quicker than through normal gameplay; and The Sims 4 has even openly remove a feature from Sims 3 and sells it back as DLC on current game.
It's great that you want to do something positive for the games industry, and it's ok to want to be an online celebrity. Those things are fine. But artists have to pay the rent, just like you do, and we can't pay the rent with your dreams and ambitions.
One mustn't forget the lone wolf geniuses of the world, kelleybean. Never underestimate the crazy ones, as they often find a way to get through, despite all obstacles put in their path. What's more, then tend to have long memories, and be much more generous in distributing thanks to those who have helped them.
Food for thought.
lol. I never said anything about excluding "finding money" from the possible paths around obstacles. Indeed, I feel "at all costs" covers that quite nicely, don't you think? Maybe you simply don't want to take the time to update your nifty chart, no?
Let's take for example, authors. Often they don't have the money to be one as a full time job, and they could do with artwork for the book, but they could be sat on a best seller. Terry Pratchett was a journalist before being an author full time.
Or if I am a programmer, I could have the structure of a game made for a demo that I have made for free aside for my time and if an artist joined me then an agreement could be made for a share of the profits when the demo is put forward and/or it makes a full game.
Context. Money isn't everything and its arrogant to assume that because monetary worth up front isn't offered that a project isn't worth your time.
Equally its worth being cautious over those who choose to profit from your given free time and not give you your dues or credit.
I agree that an artist could choose to work for a profit-share deal under certain circumstances, if they know the person personally and have confidence in the project. But asking a complete stranger on the internet to work for free is an entirely different deal.
lol. I'm glad to have stumbled upon your post, stanto. We need good people like you in the world.
And if you think about the other side of the argument, if being an artist is your full time job, then you need to be sure that you'll be paid, because you've got bills too and they won't accept a "maybe, hopefully, sometime", even if you believe in the project, you might actually not be able to afford working on it, when you could spend the time working on something that you know will pay.
Not like I wouldn't want to pay for someone's help... but, hey, what can you do when all you have is the ideas you got in mind ?... Not worth your time, yeah, I got it...