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How *NOT* to Hire an Artist- AKA *rageflail* - Metamorphosis
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How *NOT* to Hire an Artist- AKA *rageflail*

Okay, being an artist who does not do commissions, I may be looked upon as an outsider to this in the respect that doesn't really effect me the way it does for those who do work for money. I do, however, have friends that work on commission and this pisses me right the hell off that there are douchebags such as this one who prowl about the different dA, elfwood and other art communities looking for an easy scam.

Okay, I'm being easy on the guy. What I'd really like to call him is a fucking elitist snob who thinks his shit doesn't stink and of which, has the right to scam artists off on their hard work only to line his own pocket with more money so that his life can be easier while the term "Starving Artist" is once more proved to be more often than not truthful.

But that's a mouthful.

Link to the original article is here.

Also, for those of you on my friends list who are newly working on commission, have thought about starting to work for commission or have been working on commission but not doing your research as to what you should be charging- aka, fair art rates- please, please, please read this article and beware that there are such scumbags on the prowl hoping to scam you out of your time and talent.

It's disheartening that there are as many people out there like this as there is, but the more people who know about this jerk, the better. Because if someone's going to be making fair use of your art and lining their own pockets with the money that would not be there were it not for your artwork to promote the project... well, I'm not saying you have to charge an arm and a leg for shit, but if you're doing it for a living, then yeah. What's fair is fair... or should be, at any rate.

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nalidoll From: nalidoll Date: August 10th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC) (link)
Here's the thing...

As the opinion of someone who has worked on art for a living, he's not really doing anything wrong. He's letting the artist set their price. It *is* the artists' responsibility to research and figure out what to charge. The fact is, also, that inexperienced artists cannot get as much for their work, and the fact that there are people out there willing to look for new artists, even if it is to save themselves cost, is a *good* thing, because otherwise it can be hard to break into a professional level where you can start charging more. I don't see where he's "scamming" anyone (that would fit if, say, he were getting art and not paying them at all, rather than paying them what they themselves ask) or where this qualifies as "scumbag" behavior. He's not using anyone's art without permission, he is not impeding their ability to ask a fair price or turn down a commission, and he is not extorting them for more than is contracted through underhanded practices. *Those* things would be scumbaggery, and they happen. This guy is doing business, and it seems he's upfront about his policies. If an artist does not like his terms, they are free to say "no thanks", and if they are contracting for professional work without looking into fair prices, then that is their own failing. Common sense and a level headed approach to business are not mutually exclusive from artistic talent. What really too often perpetuates the whole Starving Artist thing is the unfortunate truth that too many people with an artistic bent don't seem to think they should be bothered with the "cold", "soulless" and mundane details of practical business and finances. I know... I have listened to that sort, countless times, complaining about being bothered by things that are so very beneath them, and watched those who have some luck/success (rare as it is) pay someone a chunk of their earnings to think about such things for them while those who don't get that far just keep starving and whining about it. Most of those I know who have had ongoing success as a self-representing artist have sucked it up and done the research and watched out for themselves, often after getting their first step up by taking commissions for low pay and some experience/exposure (and feeling lucky to get it).

(Deleted comment)
shadows_wolf06 From: shadows_wolf06 Date: August 11th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC) (link)
Nope. I actually got it from the loverly moonvoice's journal. ;)
shadows_wolf06 From: shadows_wolf06 Date: August 11th, 2010 05:22 am (UTC) (link)
Hmm, okay, here's the thing...

While I agree with you that artists should do research on acceptable fees and payment options, the fact of the matter is, this asshat is promoting poor business ethics (ie, "keep them in the dark,") and then trying to defend himself for doing so.

He's also trying to call an ace a spade and then getting frustrated when people aren't buying it.

I get the point of using lesser known artists, and honestly I think that it's kinda cool that more people are looking for them on different art groups and sites out there. That means that more people are getting a chance for exposure than ever before, and it's making it easier for people to get the breaks others work entire lifetimes to achieve.


This should not be at the cost of swindling the artist. I know of several different friends that have been commissioned to do different pieces of work where they've put in 60+ hours and then had the person off and disappear, never to receive payment for the hard work that they've done.

That kind of shit pisses me off.

I'm not saying that all artists are created equal and newbies should be getting paid top dollar for their work... I realize that the more well-known the artist, the better paid they're going to be. It's kinda common sense, that one.

But I am saying that fair prices should be given all 'round and businesses should not be looking to fuck over the smaller man simply in the name of capitalism and good work ethics.

Fuck that noise.

After reading sydneyrodriguez's take on the whole deal, I gotta say I whole-heartedly agree with her. She's able to explain things in such a way that I'm unable to communicate nowadays, but it's pretty much exactly bang on to how I feel.

Edited at 2010-08-11 05:38 am (UTC)
arualanne From: arualanne Date: August 11th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC) (link)
speaking as an artist who makes a living with my art, even though it is commercial art and not fine art, I understand how the hiring world works and I get this guys viewpoint as a lot of people think that way.

As an artist it is truly frustrating that to get your foot in the door, you have to take jobs that even with a degree you can't support yourself while working. My first job as a graphic designer was at a newspaper that paid me 7.25 an hour and didn't even give me the full 40 hours a week that a full time job gets. When I went in for a raise I got a quarter that is how I ended up at 7.50 before I quit for a job that would pay me 13 and hour untrained just because I had a college degree.

The job that paid nothing though got my foot in the door and made me a working portfolio for my design work so that I could then land a job at a direct mailing house which paid me 9 an hour, still not enough to support myself well and still not 40hrs a week. I would apply for the jobs in my field that paid a living wage and get turned down as I didn't have three to five years of experience. It was so frustrating how do you get the experience if you can't even feed yourself while working the piddly jobs that give you the experience?

I finally came down south and landed a design job where I do make a living, but have no benefits. I finally have enough experience to land the decent jobs, but the economy is in such a state that they are no longer around. I would call the job I have decent, but I now know after working my way up how much I can make and I am only about half way up the ladder, even though the people I work with think I make a decent wage for an artist. I make about 18/hour and have 40hrs a week and then I pick up freelance from some of the guys here for about 30/hr. Sadly I know I am still cheap for designing magazines, but a lot of people look at that and think it is expensive. I know my employer charges at least twice that for getting graphics done through the company. So you tell me could I make more money, probably, but I take what I can get as we all need to eat.
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