graphic design

Seriously, Yo. Creative Work is Hard Work

I'm a writer, not a graphic designer, but I empathize with this graphic designer's attitude. I've come across my fair share of job posts wanting blog posts and articles for free, offering experience, exposure, or (the worst), a piece of the pie when the money starts rolling in and the online publication turns into the next Huffington Post (or something equally lofty). Of course, no one wants amateurs, even though the "payment" offered for these services are exactly what amateurs are looking for. Why this hasn't gone viral yet, I have no idea. With a tumblr like Clients from Hell, this attitude is a common experience among creative professionals. looking for free labor

I've also come across my fair share of clients who don't think this work takes any effort at all, who think that us writers and content creators are able to write 20 articles per day. Because they think we can write 20 articles per day, they also think that $5 or $3 an article is a fair price. Or, the worst, when clients only want to pay upon acceptance, or use those crowd sourcing strategies to give their own customers choices in content. These tactics often shaft writers because if our pieces aren't accepted, we're stuck with hard work that didn't get paid for (and that we might not have another use for) and, oftentimes, we are stuck without feedback to understand what it would take to get accepted the next time around.

What most people don't realize with this line of work is that you get what you pay for. If you're only offering $5 an article, then someone who typically charges $25 or $50 an article isn't going to be interested in doing work for you. The money isn't there for their time (and their skill and expertise). By offering $5 an article, you're only going to get those who are interested in working at $5 an article, which means you get those who blast through content to make a quota so the work is worth while, or you get someone who isn't all that good and needs whatever work they can get to earn a few dollars.

wedding photographer meme

Creative Work is Hard Work

It differs from other services because it's very subjective, and it's not just a matter of picking and choosing a pre-manufactured product.  If that were the case with blog posts and logos and such, then there would be a lot more copyright infringement and plagiarism than there is now because it would mean that you are purchasing something that someone else is already using and claiming as their own. This work isn't as simple or as easy at seems because you've watched someone use Photoshop or you write a blog yourself, or you think you could do it yourself if you have another 30 minutes in your day. If this were the case, then you wouldn't be needing PROFESSIONAL HELP to get this done. This is why us writers and graphic designers TAKE TIME to create something new from scratch and something that is customized to your brand and your needs. WE CHARGE FOR OUR TIME because we don't just sit and whip something together. We think about what we need to accomplish. We do drafts before we hand something over, and most of the time, we are willing to do more drafts. Believe it or not, we don't want to put the 'starving' in "starving artist."

Creative work isn't free, and shouldn't be free, because it's a process. You can't pick up web designs and white papers at a garage sale or at the nearest Target. If you're not willing to pay for the process, then you should expect a horrible process. Much like in any other process or business: if you aren't willing to pay, then we aren't willing to deliver.