New Year’s is almost upon us….that time of year when many make resolutions, many of them empty…or well intended ones that never come to fruition. But there are those who are disciplined enough to actually follow through and others wise enough not to make them in the first place, knowing they won’t follow through…both are honest! But one resolution I’d like to propose, that seems simple enough to stick to, is to value art and artists in our society!
Being a full time freelance artist for several years now, it astonishes me how many people I see from across the globe who are either under valuing their own work or those who want to hire artists to create original work for literally pennies and way below minimum wage standard! I’ve witnessed this on every freelance job site I’m a member of, which is MANY! For the artists, selling your work for too little doesn’t do anyone any good, including the artist themselves….it sets them up for future low paying jobs, looks unprofessional and inexperienced and will lead to them getting ripped off. It also encourages this behavior to continue from other clients which negatively effects us all! It can also lead to the belief that artists aren’t to be taken seriously and can easily be under paid or not paid at all! Just check out this blog about the non-payment freelance dilemma: https://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/ Nuff said right here!
Artists used to be valued so much more hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago…we were the ones who documented life, recorded history, called down the gods to our aid, and spread knowledge…then we were the communicators, the advertisers…but now that everyone and their mother have high resolution cameras on their phones, and fancy filters and photo editing programs, I guess people think being an artist is easy! I’m NOT devaluing these technologies as I use them myself but people don’t realize that it’s the creative mind and thought process and years of education that makes a true artist, as well as knowledge of “old school” art techniques, and not just cranking out mass produced graphic images, that forms a TRUE artist…and this takes WORK!
So next time, as an artist, someone wants to pay you $20 for a company logo they can use forever, or $50 for 25 book illustrations (weeks/months of work!) or $5 per hour for graphic design work, speak out and tell them why this is insulting and unfair (but be polite, of course)! And for those who truly just have no idea what artwork should cost, do research and don’t be afraid to ask what goes into creating and why it should demand as much money as any other skill. As a client, you do have the right to know and to get value in return for your payment. The old saying is often true that you do get what you pay for!
So, I leave you with this…make a resolution to see the time, effort and creativity that goes into all forms of art and have a HAPPY, HEALTHY, ART-FILLED NEW YEAR!