Asking For free Stuff from a Designer/Artists Perspective

The person in the video who is an artists goes around asking for free stuff that is valuable. The video symbolizes that just because someone is a creative person does not mean that their skills are not valuable.

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NO I don’t take Exposure as payment

 

As creatives we can be tricked verbally into the saying of you’ll get so much exposure. When you get exposure you’ll get more clients and etc. But to be honest this trick never works in most situations. Then which will lead us to being in situations that end up being negative for both parties involved.

What I want to say is do not involve yourself in situations that you feel as if you are going to be taken advantage of. The value of your skill and work does not mean you should accept pennies for payment or nothing at all. You have to remember you create your own value of your work.

If you feel as if “I have to take whatever I can get” then you will get whatever you can whether its little low paying jobs here and there. Especially if you are working as a freelancer you are running a business. You want to focus on should I accept projects and if I do accept this project is it going to be worth my time.

Exposure is a double edge sword at times. You’d be damn if you do damned if you don’t. With situations that people want to pay you in exposure think of it in regards to would it be a good use of my time. Remember you cannot eat with exposure nor pay your bills.

Believe in yourself and Your Design work

When we you start out in anything you have to believe in yourself. I experience this time and time again that believing in yourself and work is key. As a creative person we can doubt our work like no one else can. We tend to fall into the same habits of doing what is easy.

The way that I have gain belief in my work is to trust myself. I trust myself and the process that I go through completion of the work. I had learned that as long as the work is 95% complete in regards to my terms it will be just right. The 95% completion of the work will be as close as it can get to 100%.

I say that because there is nothing out there that is 100% complete. The reason is because there is always something that can be improved or has room for improvement. Being self aware of this is allowed me to develop a stronger belief in my work and myself.

Family, friends, coworkers and whomever do not have to believe in your work. The reason I say that is because its your work! No one has to do anything for you your life is your life. If your clients do not like your work then it could be, a number of things.

With all of this sad believe in yourself even when no one does. If you are not getting clients or making sales of your artwork keep at it. The amount of information out there is endless on you becoming better than you already are. When you start improving and getting better you will learn how much of an impact it can be on you.

Every wish we have gets granted

Whether you me or anyone else believes it or not every wish we have gets granted. Because the mentality that we possess as a living being can determine a lot. The decisions that we make in our life is what helps us get our wishes granted.

For example if you are a graphic designer fresh out of school and you are not able to land a job at agency your wish will get granted by you putting in the work. The reference can be seen the same as the principle of putting in the work. When you put in the work the results will show.

I will be the first to admit I did not have a lot of patience before I embarked on my journey of being a successful graphic designer. Because the amount of patience and persistence you have to have a graphic designer and or in any career is a secret.

When you realize that you yourself have been lazy and not doing what is needed to be done you make the corrections. Be honest with yourself and you’ll move a lot quicker in your profession. Because you may not know that a lot of people fall into the trap of being comfortable in the cycle of their day to day.

Your wish will get granted if you believe in them.  But remember no one else has to believe in your dreams and the reason is because they are your dreams and not someone else’s.

The Hardwork Matters

The hardwork matters whether you believe it or not. Because the time that you spend doing nonsense or productive work is what determines a lot. Sitting around watching netflix and watching the game is not helping you. If you are playing the victim mentality that is not doing you any good.

For example as graphic designers and creative people we can be so hard on ourselves. Which then will lead us to believing that we are not good enough. then will lead us to want to give up. As a creative person our gift can be a gift and a curse. But focus on appreciating that gift.

Do not go around wasting it and not putting it to good use. The same goes for anything else you do. Why would you want to let something go and die. If you let it die you would not be able to see its full potential. Just think of the returns you would get as a designer.

There are many people who have never gave 100% in their career and probably never will. But that is ok for them to do. The reason why I say that is because you are better than them. I do believe that if we dedicate ourselves to being a better graphic designer, interior designer, calligrapher or whatever we will see results.

Now go and execute and stop talking but not doing what you talk about. If you talk about being so deep and etc none of that matters if you are not living what you speak about.

You as a Designer have nothing to lose

If you are content with thinking that I’m a designer and I have nothing to lose. Well you should be thinking on a larger scale. Because you are putting yourself at risk. By putting yourself at risk you are risking your creativity drying up.

Think of your creativity and thinking abilities as a muscle. If you do not take the time to nurture and strengthen them they will become weaker. Then when that happens you will think things such as I don’t know if I can do it or I’m not good enough. Well If you are not working on anything that is no ones fault but your own.

Because we like to create excuses and blame others. A good example is if I went to another college I would be in a better position. When most likely you probably would still be in the same situation. Because that is a victim mentality to have. But you know what this is a common thing.

Stop letting those around you take advantage of you and your creativity. Everything you do is a choice. Whatever clients you have or go after they are what you’ve found instead of them finding you. So do not let people take advantage of you on a constant basis. Learn how to say no and stop chasing the money and work on your craft.

To be a graphic designer you have to do it often

If you are in college or just out of college and you are frustrated with the way your career is going, you have to keep doing it often. By doing it I mean graphic design. Sure you are upset at not finding that job or having clients. But doing graphic design work often will polish your skills.

Because you have to truly want to be a graphic designer. Think for the long game and not the short game. Many times we focus on the now and what can we do to get paid. Even though I do understand people have bills to pay and demands to be met. You just have to truly believe in your heart that it will get better.

Truly loving graphic design comes from within. If you are thinking I will be a graphic designer because it is easy. Well its not easy at all. You can teach people how to be creative, but being creative is whats difficult. Just because you learned how to be a graphic designer in college it does not mean you have finished learning.

Also if you believe like I do that your time may not have come yet. By that I mean you have not reached your plateau yet of being a good designer. Or you have not found an employer who is willing to invest in your skills to make you a fit for the position you are applying. Because people will promise you so many things and then do absolutely nothing.

Learn to see through the bullshit immediately. If someone says I will recommend you after you do this job for me and not want to pay you. Well they are doing nothing other than taking advantage of you. You want to know why? Its because they do not value you and or your profession.

Setting goals for yourself as a designer are very important. There is many ways you can set goals and achieve them for yourself. I for one set a goal to do at least one branding project that will help someone at least once a week. Well I fell off the rails and slipped up and let life creep in.

The amount of discipline being a designer takes a lot of time. You have to sit down with yourself and then focus on your strengths. I for one focused on my strengths of typography and I have made drastic improvements.

If I took the time and did not focus on what I was somewhat good at I would’ve taken a longer route.  Which is pretty interesting on how that works. When you focus on your strengths then the weaknesses are very minuscule. Then they tend to take care of themselves.

The act of cutting out what you are doing that is not helping you as a graphic designer is needed. If you want your life to change you have to focus. For example being out with friends drinking, and getting in trouble or whatever you’re doing is not going to do any good. They are simply distractions from the real goal here. But I mean if you are just being a graphic designer for the moment that is ok. We are able to use what we learned as a graphic designer and move with those skills in the real world to other industries and starting up a business.

Why hiring a cheap graphic designer hurts your brand

When you hire someone to do creative work for you and you want to pay them cheaply there is no benefits for you. Well it may be a financial benefit and that is short lived. Because you want to understand the value that Graphic designers can offer. I would immediately be suspect of someone who does not have a portfolio.

Since the day and age we live in now there are many people who pretend to be something they are not. Which is understandable because of the opportunities to make a quick buck. Sites such as 99designs, fiveer are just run of the mill websites with little respect of the client.

You honestly think that if you were to go to a doctors or lawyers office and had them all line up and told them you’re problem, then asked how much do they all charge you most likely will go with the most expensive one or the one who is near your spending limit.

See this is where society tends to fall short in regards to hiring designers whether its freelance or for a permanent position. This is repeated time and time again. The Graphic designer you hire for 25 and 50 dollar flyers or logos is something produced of poor quality. If you do not believe me just do a quick google search of cheap logos.

Honestly do you think the fortune 500 companies hire cheap designers. The answer would be no they hire people with experience and they understand the value of good design. Then you have your local restaurant or business whom they have one person who designs everything and it looks mediocre.

When you try to cut corners and not hire a designer and pay what they are worth your business will be looked at differently. For example if you have a menu with misspellings on it or pictures you’ve taken from google you should’ve or you need to have a designer.

One of the many risks you take when you hire a cheap graphic designer is getting a copy of a copy. You may want your logo to look like a certain type of logo. Well do you know if the font they have is widely available and do you have to get the rights to use it? Are the images you are using on your website royalty free? You see these are a few questions that you may have not taken into consideration.

Because honestly who would care? Well you should care for legal reasons. These two questions can do great harm to your business. I know there’s companies who take these matters very serious in regards to companies who want to not pay for items they are using.

So the next time you think paying for a cheap graphic designer is getting a great deal remember you get what you pay for and you could either have a unique custom design or you could just have a copy of a copy.

Give it away

At first I did not understand this concept. Because I had the mindset that whatever I put out I need to be paid for it. When I put the wallpapers up for free I was nervous. More so because I thought nobody will download them.

Then another mind-frame was feeling as if I would not get anything back from it. The same thing for writing blog posts can be a similar comparison. If you are always worried about getting something back then you will be limiting yourself. Because sooner or later you will be paid back for your contribution.

A great example for receiving something back from giving something away for free is when you do pro-bono work. Many people are against it. Well for me it depends upon the circumstances in regards to pro-bono work. Because there are a lot of organizations that will take advantage of designers.

But you have to remember that you have to be willing to work from the bottom up. There are countless amounts of stories of people whom gave their time and dedication away for free and they are people whom you admire nowadays.