Creatives, Forget about Getting Paid, it’s Time to Work for Free!

Illustrator will work for freePeople of the creative industry, ever been hard at work one day only to be interrupted by a complete unknown asking you to commit yourself to a commercial project with no prospect whatsoever of achieving any kind of payment for it?

I think that there’s a good chance that the answer is yes. Below are the reasons why you should jump right in and do just that.

What could possibly go wrong?

1. You should want to work for nothing because being creative is fun

Yes, art is nothing but constant fun, didn’t you know?

How could you possibly dream of ever wanting to charge for it?

All those years of having to put up with people saying things like, “Oh yeah, Art, I could do Art but I’d much rather have a real job.”

Or how about the day you finally graduated and wondered how you were going to pay back all of those student loans while other people who had chosen more conventional career paths could look forward to a solid and steady income from the word go?

What about the small fortune you’ll have already spent on tuition fees, art materials, books, computers, software with no real guarantee of a return in your investment?

Or maybe you are also an illustrator like myself who has really had to work hard at perfecting a particular drawing skill in order to achieve something that even vaguely resembles a professional standard. If like me, the drawing of human hands has always been your Achilles heel then you will most likely have had to spend years filling endless sketchbooks of nothing but drawings of hands until you got some kind of handle on it. Maybe to the point where your own hands physically ached.

As you can see, I’m clearly talking about endless memories of total happiness here.

Work for free, profit making is for others.

2. It will lead to paid work eventually

Yes. This will happen. Definitely.

After years of sending out signals that you are completely comfortable offering a professional service and not charging for it, people will out of the blue decide that they should start paying you.

This is despite the fact that they’ll already have saved tens of thousands of dollars from taking your work for absolutely nothing. Suddenly they’re going to decide to part with their money despite the fact that they are under absolutely no pressure to do so.

3. People have more important things to be doing than paying you for your services anyway

Like laughing all the way to the bank and smiling broadly at their bosses as they explain how they’ve managed to save an absolute fortune for their marketing department by getting all their branding and advertising for absolutely nothing.

4. You’ll get some great work for your portfolio

Because lets face it, you are completely incapable of building a portfolio that showcases you or your abilities on your own right?

Yes, you’ll already have spent years understanding your craft, what you do and how best to showcase yourself to the world but you can forget about all that.

Your portfolio will only truly be complete once you can fill it with all the work that you have produced for a load of strangers that are hell bent on freeloading, cutting corners and only looking out for their best interests.

What’s more, once you’re able to effectively showcase the fact that you’ll happily work for nothing, you’ll be able to attract even more of these dream clients. Namely, more cowboys that will cheerfully take your work for nothing.

Imagine that? An endless stream of absolutely no revenue for the foreseeable future!

5. It will devalue your entire industry and make it even harder for your fellow professionals to make a living out of doing what they love

This is the end game right?

The only potential downside to this is that the line at the local soup kitchen might get a little longer as it fills up with lots of tired looking creative types with bags under their eyes from being up all night producing free work for people they don’t even know.

6. It will be great exposure for you

Like exposing the fact that you will allow yourself to be coerced into providing a professional and valuable service for absolutely nothing.

7. You’ll have a terrible experience and never do any of this “working for exposure” stuff again.

Like I did.

I’ve done all of the above at some point. I’ve been that person.

Please, don’t do the same. You work too hard and you’re far too valuable.

You’ve had the bravery to choose an uncertain industry and an unconventional career path and you deserve to be rewarded for it.


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52 Responses to Creatives, Forget about Getting Paid, it’s Time to Work for Free!

  1. Kelley says:

    Great article! Every time I think I’ve read enough articles about not working for free, I get an email from a stranger asking me to work for free. I’ll be sure to share this around.

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks for the comment Kelly! I agree with you.

      The vast majority of clients out there are wonderful to work with but there is still a minority that can just spoil it for everybody. Creatives and clients alike.

      I checked out your site! I absolutely love it! I love how so many of your posts are effectively case studies where you explain your process. Bookmarked for future reading!

  2. Dany Hauselmann says:

    Been there – my husband is still at it and our son is following…. and there are still requests for free work. ‘But you do it so easily, it isn’t any effort for you!’ SO – hold in there, we need all creativity. Thank you for your article.

    • Akamar says:

      Do they get the “pay you? But I’m SPECIAL” from aquaintences that ask for something?” God, I get sick of that

      • Gregor says:

        Too true Akamar!

        That’s a great point actually. It’s not always the strangers that irk. Those close to us have the power to hurt also. Perhaps even more so for that very reason.

        I remember once when I was exhibiting my work (would have been about nine years ago now) a friend of mine enquired how much an oriignal illustration would be. When I told him he said something along the lines of, “Nah, sorry. I’ll just print the same drawing off of your blog and stick it in a frame.” Ouch!

  3. Dany Hauselmann says:

    Thank you for your article

    • Gregor says:

      Wow Dany! So you mean to tell me that this sort of thing is now spanning generations? Why am I sounding surprised?

      It really is a vicious circle. Once you get into the habit of accepting a situation it makes it less likely that you’ll do otherwise next time around.

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. wilika says:

    Last week, someone asked me 10 drawings (A3) for free, because this one would offer it as a gift for a birthday – but, no money to put on it and it’s so funny to draw people :p
    I’m also screewriter and last month, two producers asked me a script for a long-movie theater for the amazing coast of 750€ and a ridiculous deadline :/ (for them, 750€ is a big risk to have a big story for a movie)

    • Gregor says:

      That’s some story Wilka!

      It’s amazing how many stories I’m getting that are just like yours. You make a great point, if someone is not prepared to make a reasonable investment in the a project that requires a creative hand then they’re also most likely setting themselves up for a fall themselves. Nobody really wins in the long term.

      I checked out your website! I laughed out loud at your all female Tintin characters. Great work!

  5. Akamar says:

    I get so tired of all that crap, too. People like my art, they want pictures, but heaven forbid they have to pay a sum that makes it worth the amount of time I put into it… Dammit, no, I will not paint you a full color, full body character illustration for 15dollars.. >_< urgh…

    used to work for a company that liked to make use of my art skills.. they'd try to get me to come in off the clock to do some project or another, but couldn't give me decent hours to do my regular work in the first place. Eventually they begrudingly started to let me do it on the clock, but they'd do things like call me at 7pm, and expect several hours worth of work in a small span of time, with an impossible level of detail… then get all "why does this take so long?"

    Because, dammit, paint has to dry, and I'm not a goddamned PRINTER… and you keep changing your mind!

    • Gregor says:

      Ha ha! I love your comment Akamar.

      Just learning to say the word “no” is a valuable skill. Maybe it’s almost worth saying “yes” just that one time so you’ll understand what a waste of time it can be. Almost.

      There are great clients out there though that will understand and respect what you do and will pay you the reasonable rate.

      That’s the good news!

  6. Nick Miller says:

    I used to be a graphic designer. I once received a letter from a client, printed on the letterhead I designed for him, explaining why he wasn’t going to pay me for the letterhead I designed for him.

    • Gregor says:

      Seriously? You couldn’t make that one up Nick! That is amazing. Solid gold.

      Please tell me that you made a cartoon out of that! You did right?

      Seriously though, these people deserve all the scorn that comes their way.

      Are you this guy by the way?

      Your wix link didn’t work. 🙁

  7. Laura says:

    “Or how about the day you finally graduated and wondered how you were going to pay back all of those student loans while other people who had chosen more conventional career paths could look forward to a solid and steady income from the word go?
    What about the small fortune you’ll have already spent on tuition fees, art materials, books, computers, software that you’ve shelled out with no real guarantee of a return in your investment?”

    yeah…that’s why I had to get a desk job 🙁 They’re a trap once you’re in that 9-5 grind you rarely find time to be creative.
    I had a person once try to convince me to only charge less than the price for one head shot when he wanted 7 people in his office photographed (ie he wanted to pay more than 75% less than what I charge)…Yes because all we do is click a button once on our camera and magically your smug face looks nice and retouched.

    • Gregor says:

      Yeah Laura, my wife is a photographer also. She has stories almost identical.

      I agree about the 9-5 grind. That’s a whole story in itself.

      Thanks for commenting. 😀

  8. Robyn Osmond says:

    Oh my gosh, this is the bane of my life. People who either want creatives to work for exposure – because drawing and animating is fun, right?! It’s not a like a real job! – or people who think your work is worth a book voucher and a bag of peanuts. And of course, there are so many people in the industry who are willing to work either for free or for a very minimal amount- especially here in South Africa, where people are desperate for any jobs, even if they know they are getting taken advantage of – that the whole industry rate is lowered to an almost unliveable income level, screwing everyone over because clients know they can get it cheaper or for free somewhere else.

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks for commenting Robyn!

      The desperation factor is something that is very important. Poverty is definitely an issue that enables these sorts of attitudes exist.

      In fact, it’s any sort of vulnerability.

      That is what get’s me so annoyed and ultimately concerned. The majority of the victims of this are young creatives who might not have the right amount of self confidence or experience yet to deal with people who would effectively bully them into feeling like they have no choice but to work for little or no financial reward.

      For many young creatives, this will be their first experience of working in the outside world.

  9. Kayla says:

    I’m actually on the other end of this. I work with a lot of artists in my job, ranging in different skill levels, and do a small amount of creative practices myself (mostly calligraphy and pencil work). I am launching a new business this year online (as I already work a similar job for someone else’s business) that promotes artist while giving them proper credit and payments and I am disgusted by how often they expect cheap labour from artist! The company I work for a good, and seeing as I’m in charge of overseeing the design department, I have a bit of control in this. But I know so many other businesses/people who are not so great when dealing with artist.

    But what I am even more surprised about is how many artist are actually willing to do work for free, hoping that all you said above will work out for them. It irks me to no end. I had a young man in our ‘Creative data bank’ come in for an interview on a prospective job, and after showing me his portfolio he said “Honestly, I will do whatever it is you want for nothing. I just need some exposure! Then maybe things will get better for me…” It pained me to know that this was how so many artist where traveling – he wasn’t the first. The guy got the job, but I put him in my personal team to show him his work was great and he should NEVER settle for less then what he should get.

    I hope that artist around the world don’t cave in. Your article was great! Thank you for sharing.

    • Gregor says:

      I’m so glad that you commented Kayla. It’s great to get a different perspective on this.

      One thing I was weary of with this article was the danger of tarring all clients with the same brush. This is not the case. Most-like yourself-will have a clear understanding of the value of the work. It’s just the minority that’s out there that can spoil it for so may. Creatives and Clients alike.

      That young man was extremely lucky to have met you! There are many out there that would have happily accepted his first offer exactly as he pitched it.

  10. Sorcha says:

    I am currently a freelance jeweller and artist. I graduated with a degree in silversmithing design in 2013. In the past two years I have experienced some terrible treatment as an independent creative including:

    1.) During my studies I completed a eight week internship for a sculpture build company. I worked for free one – two times a week. On the first day I was taught how to solder a rivet onto a large sculpture. I then had to complete this action hundreds of times a day for the rest of the placement. The studio managers never introduced themselves properly and did not give me any feedback at the end of the placement. Not once was I thanked for my labour. It never lead to any paid work or future opportunities. If I contacted the company now I would be shocked if they even recognised me.

    2.) In 2014 a wealthy and successful marketing office in central London commissioned me to make metal structures for a creative project for the measly £6 per hour. To add insult to injury on my last day in the office they asked if I would clear out and clean their office cupboards and run a heavy box of books to a charity shop – as I had finished an hour earlier than the expected deadline. I was fuming and refused obviously. Perhaps I should employ them to market my next exhibition and invite them round to give my floors a good scrub at the same time?

    3.) Shortly after the previous incident, I applied for a gallery assistant role at the Natural History Museum . A surprisingly low-paid position in one of England’s most famous museums in the middle South Ken at £7 per hour. In a dramatic X-factor style interview/elimination process a group of newly graduated, aspiring artists, actors and designers (struggling for relevant paid work) were made to battle it out for a guaranteed two weeks of casual work. During one of these rounds a rather patronising recruitment manager stated “This kind of work is great for people like you – the creative ‘types’ that have a lot of energy and imagination but also need flexible, paid work to support your ‘arty’ projects”. I left the interview feeling frustrated and hopeless like a trapped lap-dog jumping through hoops for the amusement of a controlling master.

    It is about time that this kind of negative treatment within the arts is recognised. New graduates are treated like dirt. It not only devalues the art and design industry, it also devalues the human beings behind the skills. All of these experiences are damaging and leave individuals with a sense of worthlessness.

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks so much for commenting. I’m sorry but not surprised to hear about your experiences.

      With all the stories that I’ve been hearing since publishing this I’m starting to wonder if this is even more prevalent than we all first thought.

      1. “Not once was I thanked for my labour. It never lead to any paid work or future opportunities.”

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they were waiting for you to thank them. That’s sadly the way a lot of them look at it. They’re the ones doing you a favour.

      2. “on my last day in the office they asked if I would clear out and clean their office cupboards and run a heavy box of books to a charity shop”

      That’s what happens. You send out the message just the once that you are willing to undermine yourself and that’s all it takes. The pattern is established. Well done for refusing.

      3. “paid work to support your ‘arty’ projects”

      No words needed.

      Eventually most get tired of this sort of thing and say enough is enough. The problem is, another twenty pop up in their place and the circle continues.

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  11. Flanners00 says:

    I did a few months learning how to make some basic wood turned pens, giving them away to family and friends when the quality wasn’t so great. Quickly I got onto the local markets / fairs and even more quickly got sick of people asking for discount as if their cash was better than mine or others. That’s after sitting most of a day waiting for the glory of their passing custom!

    I think the hard work is finding out what Joe Public wants and then working out an appropriate price.

    The cost of materials is important, but so is the quality, and so is my time! Accordingly everything has a price. That’s a retail price with a smile, thank you and pleasant conversation thrown in. I choose to who I may discount and by how much. Anyone asking me normally gets the “What do you do?” and quickly “How much discount do you offer off a XXXXX (based on whatever they do)?” followed by “Does the owner of the company know you discount?”

    The best ever line I heard was “I’ve been told by my mean brother that this is when I should ask for discount.” which I thought was a good way to bring it up without it coming from them. The reply of “My mean sister would tell him to {insert swears ending in off}” pause……… “which she did last weekend I think.”

    • Gregor says:

      Yeah Flanners! Fairs and markets can be hard. Been there myself.

      I guess the only solution to all this is to just be vigilant and not back down when quoting a price. I think that’s why the victims of all this tend to be younger graduates or even students who are not used to having to be assertive.

      It’s so easy to be intimidated when you’re first starting out.

      Cost of materials, quality of the work, time spent. Yip, it all has to be considered.

  12. Mark says:

    I have 15+years of stories but I will only give you the latest one.
    Fall of 2014 I hired my first agent (for the Fine Arts facet of my talents) based off of the pretext that I was told by said agent that everything is hot and said agent sells everything.
    Fast forward one year…Fall 2015 after investing thousands not tens of thousands of U.S.$ on “new” stuff, the agent fee and custom framing (I do that too). I sold one thing for a few hundred dollars by myself without said agent’s assistance.
    As of today I now work part time at a brewery, while still trying to keep my creative self afloat. After trying to “make it” for more than a decade I feel that it is a bleek future for the Arts. Unless you are old, dying or have died. The cliche’s and ironies in the Arts is infinitesimal.
    Keep up the struggle and keep struggling is what I am so close artist friends keep saying to one another.
    Keep up your dukes!
    AND NEVER WORK FOR FREE! I know that bit is hard but DON’T!!

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks Mark!

      Yeah, agents and illustration agencies are an interesting one. I think that at the end of the day, the person best equipped to represent you is yourself. Who knows your work better? Also, surely nobody would be prepared to work harder to put yourself out there. If that wasn’t the case then surely something would be wrong.

      I’m prepared to be optimistic though and predict a bright future for creatives out there. If you look around you, even in the room you’re in, you’ll see creativity everywhere. It’s a crucial part of our world.

  13. Gabe says:

    At first glance I was ready to pounce on you for this, then I read until the end.

    I always tell budding designers:

    “Never work for free. Would you expect a carpenter to work for free? What about a doctor? Would you ask a plumber to fix your toilet before deciding whether or not you want to pay for it? No, of course you wouldn’t. Why should you then work for free? Instead of working on free projects from people who clearly don’t value design as a service, be your own client and work on fake projects. Yup. Fake projects. This is how many junior art directors get hired. They go to ad school, team up with other students like writers, then work on fake projects and use them in their portfolios. You can do the same as a fledgling designer looking for experience. Pick you favorite brand, website, logo, whatever you love and redesign it to suit your tastes. Not only will you gain a little experience with a variety of subject matter, you will be able to flex your creativity the most and really shine.”

    • Gregor says:

      “I was ready to pounce on you for this”

      Ha ha, I thought that there might be a chance of that happening. I actually hope that a few people who have clicked on the article have been considering working for free and looking for encouragement to do so.

      It would be nice to have talked them out of it.

      Thanks for reading and posting.

  14. Bob Clark says:

    On the floor laughing! —But where others see discussing clients there are opportunities. Let me explain!
    You’re probably all familiar with sites that show examples of Worst Web Sites, but are there any Worse Art Sites or Funny Fake Stock Images? A site where artist can post a piece of crap that they’d like to burn as a example of fake “for sale art” – under a false name of course.

    Then when you get those “non-clients” you can send them to this site, so they can spend useless hours of their time searching for just the right piece of garbage they can get out of the trash can. If the non-client calls back complaining – just tell them they had an art education for FREE and you had to pay for yours.

    Of course the name couldn’t say Fake Art but something like: Peor Galería Jamás, and
    to be really mean the site could post the names of the Trash Pickers. This site may become wildly popular in the art community for it’s humor.

    • Gregor says:

      Ha! That’s a great idea Bob.

      That’s the thing, all my blog post actually does is point out the problem. The next step is to try to find a solution for it.

      Your idea might just be a way forward at dealing with this. Giving this some more thought.

  15. Bentar Fitro says:

    Great article! A cynical article thought about creatives.. Nice one man..

    Hello from Indonesia.

  16. Nick says:

    I see so many young designers being conned by this ‘scam’. You wouldn’t ask a dentist, let alone a plumber to work for free. Your dry humour is a great response Gregor.

    • Gregor says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Nick.

      I agree with you entirely. The more you sit and pick apart the ideas behind “working for exposure”, the more absurd they start to become.

  17. Wonderful, funny, sad article! I’ve been designing logos since forever – from mom & pop businesses to Las Vegas hotels. I ALWAYS charge. Only a criminal tries to steal. Why would I want to make my client a criminal! Deep down, that’s what he’d feel like……..However, friends are different – the ONLY exception. I have a built in soft spot for them. I tell them, “Yes, c’mon over to the studio and we’ll have some fun with it. And fun it is! In short order we’ll come up with a logo that they just fall in love with, and are so thankful for (that’s my pay – their happiness)………and spend the rest of the evening enjoying each other’s company – so satisfying. AND, I know if I ever need a favor they’re right there for me, the back and forth evens out. But in business? Business is business!!!!!

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks for the comment Michael.

      Interesting that you describe it as “sad”. I guess you’re right. There is a tinge of sadness to it. The sadness for me comes from the blatant lack of empathy that a person has to have for another person -who happen to be almost always young and inexperienced, neither of which they can obviously be faulted for- when they effectively tell them that their work is worth taking to make use of but at the same time doesn’t merit any kind of payment.

  18. Marc says:

    I’d go with the Joker on this one: “If you are good at anything, never do it for free!”

  19. Ron says:

    Great Post! haha Feel the same way. I have a personal belief not to charge family and some friends. but it would be nice if they would reciprocate, maybe send a client my way or maybe realize the work that went into it. My family members still can’t really say what I do. Oh I’m sorry, they do! For some reason everyone thinks All I do or want is business cards! grrrr.
    Getting back to the post. I love #3. It’s scary, but when I’ve shut a client down for not paying it’s usually turn into a positive., but it takes guts especially when they are one of your best clients.
    PS: another reason why you don’t give working files to your client!

  20. Really fantastic article Gregor, good hook and so well constructed. It’s also amazing the comments you are getting, this is so common in the creative world. In the end, I guess we have to trust that those that don’t pay get what they pay for? But often, due to all the pressures of making it in this world, there will always be good designers willing to work for nothing or next to it.
    Saying “no” does take real guts. I suspect there are a load of creatives who typically find it very hard to value their work monetarily, or we overwork to reach a level of personal satisfaction with the art, and then find it easy to take a pay-cut in order to not get into payment discussions or disputes of worth.

    But you must seek out the clients who appreciate you and can show you the money. No amount of goodwill or reciprocal marketing will pay your rent/food/mortgage etc etc. The trick is true self-believe and running your creative business with tight planning and financial control. Then you will feel less “guilty” for saying “no, go away, I don’t have the time for your cheap and lousy view of the creative profession (insert many bad words here)”

    Awesome work!

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks for commenting Chris. You’ve said some great stuff.

      I agree that a lot of it is an initial lack of self confidence on the creative’s part.

      I think it was Wayne W. Dyer that said something like “if you’re getting pushed around then it’s because you’ve been sending out push me around signals”. I think that there is a lot of that going on in these types of situations.

      I wouldn’t want to state that this was the complete reason though as that might imply that it is all their fault and that’s not the case.

      This world is full of predators who are only too quick to pick up on insecurities and inexperience and bend it to their advantage. That probably sounds a little melodramatic but I think there’s some truth in it.

      I agree with you. Having a strong sense of your own identity and the value of your own work will go a long way to eradicating the cowboys riding up to your door!

      Checked out your Tapestry Creative Site, btw.

      Great stuff!

  21. Zed says:

    Agree with you on all, but have to say I have noticed a new trend. Other creatives coming up with a project, try to get you on board because now it’s ‘our’ project and we should risk together, when it’s very clearly their project because they came up with it. I feel a little uncomfortable about asking another artist to pay me especially when the project is interesting and any profits would be shared, but I found this is sometimes a trap for freelancers because it still takes up a lot of your time and you rarely get anything in return (aside from exposure and contacts, which are more important than exposure sometimes). What do you think?

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks for the comment Zed!

      If somebody really wants to encourage you to think of the project as “our project” then that’s all well and fine but you both have to be on the same page as to what that actually means. Does that mean that it’s 50% yours, 50% theirs? If so, then both of you will have no problem whatsoever drawing up a contract stating just that. That they you will both be assured that any revenue created is divided out accordingly.

      If an idea is pitched to you that you’re genuinely interested in then that’s fine but I’d be very wary of entering into it without being 100% satisfied that you are both on the same page in terms of any revenue generated. Not only does that protect you, it protects them as well.

      But yes, you are right to be wary about the “our project” pitch. I would be very cautious.

      The question is, while you are investing all your time in this project with no guarantee of any revenue, how are you dealing with cash flow issues?

      Also, how are you supposed to dedicate yourself fully to the project when you’re having to continually put it on the back burner when other “paid work” comes in? My guess is that you won’t.

      My advice to anybody that wants to start any kind of profit making venture is that in order to give themselves the best shot at success, they really have to generate some kind of working capital that allows them to invest accordingly. That includes being able to pay those who they would seek professional services from. How else are they going to guarantee their best work?

      Great question! Thanks for posting.

  22. Kate Isles says:

    These stories make My blood boil cos its the way the world isthese days! I too have had experiiences just like this! Arggghhh!

    But what us highly talented creatives must remember is that we have been given a talent that so many of these crap “business people” would have loved to have had and we are fantastic well rounded brilliant people with superb brains because of it! I would say to you all to love yourselves and NOT give your talent away! But it is SO hard when you need to do something as worthless as eat!

    Our talent and ability are priceless! And folks can be very envious of it… But that is their problem, not ours!

    If i hear another person say “but the computer does it all for you, doesnt it” i might well hit them on the head with it!

    Please, all you ceatives out there, dont work for free, your talent IS worth money and you are all wonderful people because you have a talent that others would die for!!

    • Gregor says:

      “but the computer does it all for you, doesn’t it”

      You’ve had this? That’s amazing. Although not necessarily surprising.

      Great comment. I agree with you 100%!

  23. R.Rajendren says:

    Great article.
    I am a freelancer engaged in designing dentistry related practice stationery and find some dentists too in this list you mentioned. I had to deal them with caution or else they will viral it with a manipulated message to their community leads to create decline in getting orders. I choose this career out of passion but has pains of its own.
    Thanks for all those opened out their heart.

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      “Thanks for all those opened out their heart.”

      Yeah absolutely! I’m starting to have genuine trouble replying to all the amazing comments people are leaving on here and across social media. It’s amazing to learn about all these similar stories.

  24. Kerry says:

    This article simultaneously had me laughing and also getting irrationally angry. I’ve been asked to do things for free so many times. I even had one guy, who was working on a startup for a game app, ask me to MOVE to India, because it was cheaper to live, while I worked for free on the character designs and illustrations for the game… and then he had the gall to get offended when I said that I wouldn’t do it.

    • Gregor says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Kerry. I’m amazed at the response to the article. I knew that this sort of thing was a problem for us all but I’m starting to wonder if it’s more widespread that I thought.

      You say that HE was the one that got offended? Oh well. Keep offending, that’s what I say. 😀

      Nice website by the way. You have some amazing detail in your illustrations.

  25. Peta-Ann says:

    When my food, utilities, and medications (plus fun stuff) all come for the awesome price of FREE, them maybe I’ll work for the same. Till then? Pay up or shuffle off.

    Great article. Love the sarcasm. My favourite ‘clients’ are the ones who call on late Sunday afternoon expecting you to do 50+ drawings ‘for tomorrow’ with no mention of payment whatsoever.

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