So the other day I get this email saying Blah blah blah We are a company that specializes in Branding artists and advertising there work and printing there book and we saw your work and we love your stuff, would you be interested in doing some work for us? I am thinking to myself, ok this sounds interesting I will email them back. These people must have sent out a lot of these emails cause they asked me to send some samples after I answered the email.
So I felt kinda funny and I think it was that feeling you get when you know something is very wrong. So instead of sending attachments I sent them to my online gallery and they replied saying sorry we can't see all the images you sent because they don't all show up can you send attachments.
I started asking questions and they were replying hurry up and send us the attachments we are going to be starting some great advertisement campaigns next week and we will need you to sign a contract so we can start branding your name. The contract, they said was for a year and they would have exclusive rights to all my pin up work and they would put out books and stuff.
I start looking for these guys online cause that is big talk for a company I never heard of. I find a Myspace page and a unfinished website but no real information on these people. If you are hiring artists and contracting them, you better have a properly finished website. I started asking them if they have any already finished books or samples of what they have been doing with other artists and they just replied "hey we need you to decide right away cause it is Friday and we will be out of the office this weekend and all this stuff if happening next week, so can you send us samples so we can send out the contract."
I am thinking to myself man they want me to send samples and sign a contract awfully bad. I don't even know who these people are or what they do. I have never seen them at a comic convention and they don't have any solid evidence online showcasing there artwork.
The reason I am bringing this up is this. I get a lot of these emails. I use to really get a lot of them when I was at Kubert school. People wanting me to work on this BIG project they had coming up and PLEASE design the characters for there new lip gloss campaign that is going to be in Walmart but, they never want to PAY UP!
I have taken a SHOW ME THE MONEY attitude about these things cause there are people out there that are looking for young artists that are good but don't want to pay them what there artwork is worth.
They want to benefit from your skill that you spent $60,000 on to get from going to school but they don't want to pay you enough to live on. There was one guy that my niece actually sent my way. She worked as a telemarketer for a long time and she gets this call one day and ended up chatting with the guy who runs a t-shirt business down in Louisiana and was looking for artists that were in school, looking to make some extra money. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE IN SCHOOL DOES NOT MAKE YOUR ART WORTHLESS!!!! Anyway, so she gives him my phone number and I talk to him. He is COMPLAINING, "yeah there was this artist I had designing t-shirts for me and I paid him $50 for the designs and I made a few thousand off the shirts and he came back and actually asked me for more money?" Then he complained about how he hated working with him cause he wanted more money after he had already been paid.
Ok young artists. 50 DOLLARS IS SLAVE WAGES! YOU CAN"T PAY YOUR CAR PAYMENT WITH 50 DOLLARS. If you are in school and some one asks you to use your talents to design something that they will make a lot of money on, DON'T DO IT!! I can't even pay my student loan with $50 dollars. This guy gets mad cause the artist felt he was getting taken advantage of.
Another example. I worked for a women at this little company in NJ, lets call it STINKY KIDS DRAWINGS cause I don't want to say any names and get in trouble. Basically we were working for 8 dollars an hour to clean up art for her that was drawn by little kids to put on greeting cards. Now THAT was slave labor. I had to sit there and smell white out all day and on top of that she was intimidated by me for whatever reason and we later found out she didn't like black people but she needed help so bad she hired me anyway. One day her sister calls on the phone. Her office was not really an office it was just a big room she rented to do the production work with some tables and desks and stuff. She puts her on speaker phone and her sister is talking to her about some art work that the woman wants her to do for her for a new series of cards with flowers on them. She had spoke to the sister about how much to charge for the work previously and the sister wasn't sure but today she had a good idea. The sister proceeds to tell her that she bought a book called Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook.
(If you ever want to see what your work is really worth this is a great book to own so go get one NOW!)
So she tells her according to this book this is how much she will be charging her for doing the paintings for these flowers. The woman that OWNS the company and CLAIMS to make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS every year gets belligerent. She starts cursing her sister out saying I am not paying you that much money cause some stupid book says that is how much I should pay you and all this stuff and starts screaming at her sister about wanting FAIR PAYMENT. A few days later her sister calls back after they hadn't been talking to each other for the whole time cause of this argument and she gives in and tells her she is right and family members shouldn't discuss money and she will do the artwork for free. FREE!!! Artwork that will be the center piece on the cards the women will be selling! She is going to do it for FREE!!!
This is why I don't like to do crap for family cause they want to go out and pay somebody else all this money for doing what they want done but they want you to do it for FREE!! ARTISTS DESERVE BETTER! WE DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER! DON"T LET PEOPLE BULLY YOU INTO WORKING YOUR ASS OFF FOR NOTHING. YOU CAN NOT PAY YOUR STUDENT LOAN WITH FREE ARTWORK!!
All these things make me angry. I have one more thing to talk about then I will let you all get on with your day: The comics industry. Ever see those ads asking for artists to work on comics for no pay or pay on the back end or even saying that This will get you exposure. DON'T DO IT!!! Why because first off, It Won't get you exposure unless it is Marvel, DC comics or some other size decent company that is willing to pay you what you are worth. Second, getting paid on the back end is working for free. Chances are that no one will buy their crappy book and they won't sell enough copies to actually pay you enough money to pay a month's rent. Third, why would you draw a comic for someone for free. You can draw a comic for yourself for free. I am not talking about that comic you did with your college buddies either, I am talking about those classified ads you see Myspace or even deviant art saying they are looking for artists to work on there comic and it is unpaid.
You are wasting your precious time on those projects....time that could be used more productively on your own mini comics or stuff to go on a table at a comic convention.