This is one thing that happens in most industries at least at the very early stages of people's careers. Unfortunately if you happen to be in a creative industry it seems to have become the 'norm' regardless of how far you have come in your career.
So what exactly is this dreaded norm that I'm talking about?
It's the assumption that what we create as creative individuals and by that I mean people who are actors, designers, musicians, film, photography, artists and a hundred other creative fields will work for free. A sentiment that seems to be shared amongst most of the public.What I've found lately though is that this kind of thinking is starting to invade creative people as well. Take for example an ad marketer who is looking for professional photography or art but is unwilling to pay for the service. It blows my mind when someone who has probably gone through this actually takes it on to try and screw another creative out of being able to earn a living. Yes people, just like everyone else in the world, creatives do have bills to pay! I have lost count of the times that I have heard things like: 'It's great experience' I'm sure it is. It won't pay my mortgage though. 'It's great exposure'So is taking off all my clothes and running butt naked through the middle of the city center. In fact, I'll probably get more exposure from doing so! 'We're not really in a position to be able to pay for that kind of service right now but all our future work will be given to you' Uhm, yeah. I actually tried saying this to my accountant the other day and funnily enough, they didn't really go for it. Might try getting my groceries this weekend with it and I'll let you know how I go. Don't hold your breath though. 'You're invited to my party! Bring your camera!' Really? I'm invited to celebrate an event with you but you want me to be working through the night? Did you get your friend Bob, who's a builder to build you a retaining wall on the night as well? 'All my clients will see your work and you will get heaps of more work out of it!' Really? Can I get that in writing from you please? I may even be tempted to give you a discount on my services if I feel like it's the right thing to do. Unfortunately being a creative in this life means that you will be constantly asked to give your talents away for nothing. After all, it's just some made up stuff that you thought up in your head - 'aint it?' So to all my fellow creatives out there in limboland, stick to your guns. If none of us give our hard work away for free we might just be able to change the 'norm'! Don't devalue your life's work as a creative by giving it away for free. I've seen so many new entrants into this life think that they're being smart by trying to either give it away for free or practically free that it just sends the wrong message to the world. Take some pride in your work, if it's as good as you think it is - they will pay! ~Frank