Many times I have sang the praises of writer extraordinaire Mark Evanier‘s blog, an example of blogging at it’s entertaining and informative best.
Mark recently wrote about a topic he occasionally touches on… the dreaded “working on spec” issue. Well, not exactly working on spec as that implies working on an actual project for a professional client. I’m talking about the jobs that come along from someone with a million dollar idea but a ten dollar bank account who only needs your work to complete the idea and to make the millions… whereupon you will then share in the riches. I’ve blogged about these issues before as well, and on the actual “working on spec” issue as well as giving your work away for nothing or next to it.
Doing this is damaging to everybody, not just those who foolishly agree to work under such an agreement, because it devalues creative work in general.
Mark says in part:
I mention all this because first of all, we all need that constant reminder. If you think you’re creating something of value, treat it as something of value. No one else will if you don’t. That means insisting on being paid that value and not in hypothetical, down-the-road bucks. There are times when it makes sense to invest but when you do, you have to think a little like an investment banker. Their success is 100% contingent on knowing which stocks are good gambles and recognizing that many are not.
Mark links to several columns he’s written on the subject, which are must reads. He also mentions the blog of illustrator Colleen Doran, who has written about some of her bad experiences in the same area. Horror stories like this can really wake you up and give you the wherewithall to protect the value of your work and say “no” when these types of situations arise.
I posted this today simply because you can never have enough reminders or repeated discussion about this topic.
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254 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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