Working for A Song.. Wrong?

April 10th, 2010 | Posted in General

Over on the Alan Gardner‘s excellent blog The Daily Cartoonist I found a link via Tom Spurgeon‘s excellent blog The Comic Reporter to this excellent post concerning the solicitation of creative work for free. I have written about this topic before here and here, and previously linked to the video above, which was mentioned in the comment discussion on the Daily Cartoonist. Another great (and funny) example of this kind of thing is an e-mail exchange between a graphic designed and an art director who was trying to get him to do some graphs and graphics for nothing that was floating about the interwebby recently but I can;t seem to find the kink… anybody know what I’m referring to?.

The bottom line is simply that a professional creative person makes a living creating whatever it is they create, and they should not give that work away for nothing. I’m not talking about stuff for a charity or causes that someone wishes to support, I’m talking about a commercial endeavor that someone else stands to make a profit on… or at least expects to.


  1. The only thing worse than soliciting free work, is stealing work. And that is in the limelight this week, as well. I’m sure you probably heard about the fracas between Chris Buzelli and Dana Blankenhorn. I just don’t understand why people think that creativity as a commodity is cheap. It truly angers me.

    • Tom says:

      Yes, I had read about that incident. A sad example of how little people think about the value of a creative work, especially on the Internet.

  2. sharprm says:

    Have you ever had a client that wanted things done in a certain way that looked bad? Did you try to educate them, refuse to do the project, or just complete it as they asked even if you thought it looked bad?

  3. jimh says:

    Yeah Tom. I had posted this link as well. This guy really makes the point!

  4. That was great Tom,

    I agree with you 100%. People seem to expect everything for free then want to critique it as though they are paying top dollar. This subject is constantly talked about at our house. Keep up the good work.



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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