Work for Free or Wait for a Payed Gig?

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Work for Free or Wait for a Payed Gig?

Postby dogstar » Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:27 pm

I'm looking to get into the coloring business and I've gotten a few offers so far. The problem's been every one wants work for free or payment after the job's (ever) published.

As I'm just starting out is it best to take the freebee jobs for the advertisment benefit and portfolio examples or to wait for some one to pay you a bit? I can make and do need the extra income I get from regular illos and other random non comic commissions. I'm not sure which is better to do. My time is limited. So should I spend the time I do have on free stuff just to get my stuff out there or to wait for a payed gig?

Suggestions any one? Thanks a bunch.

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Postby SNAKEBITE » Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:04 pm

sh1t...I wish I can say those offers stop when you're seasoned but alas , something for nothing is as old as prostitution,especially when it comes to art and monkey boys. Trust your instincts, no one can give you an answer for this one. if you wanna get into comics and the only offers your getting is for nothing than you gotta do what you gotta do. If these people are serious though make them draft up a deal memo stating some kind of compensation on the back end. either backend page rate of a percentage depending on how you feel about the project. Its kinda rediculous, no scratch that, it IS rediculous if potential employers(ofcourse they would have to pay for that title) don't want to pay up front or on the backend. its one way to fuk up the industry...well, its been one of the ways the industry is fuked up...In my opinion, if they don't have the money and they're approaching artists they're just not ready to get into the business, you might as well work on your own project or your buddies project if you're gonna do it for free. but again, theres no one answer and no one can answer for you....I've been doin it for almost twelve years and people still expect me to work for free...good luck
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Postby dogstar » Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:45 pm

Thanks! The imput is really appreciated! One of my main concerns is starting on a free deal and then having some one offer up a payed gig. Then i'd be stuck doing the freebee gig instead of actually getting payed!
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Postby SNAKEBITE » Thu Aug 07, 2003 4:45 pm

well, not really. if anything it might encourage the non payin gig to pay.
I understand finishing obligations but your first oblgation is to yourself and..well, your stomach. usually the people behind the non paying gigs understand if you need to take time off to make money....andif they don't, fuk em.

whatever you do DON"T make any decision out of fear.
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Postby Seed » Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:19 pm

hm you have to get a feeling for this. If i really feel a comic i'd do it without upfront pay. The same if i know that guy and i can trust him.

Well can'T really give you a hint. you have to make a decision i guess lol

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Postby John Rauch » Thu Aug 07, 2003 7:05 pm

Personally, there's no circumstance that would cause me to do a gig that promised me nothing in return. Keep in mind, I'm not talking about coloring a sample page or personal projects. If you work for free, the only thing it'll gain you is more people expecting work for free. Besides that, you'll almost never get any of the exposure they promise on jobs that don't pay. If they aren't prepared to pay you, most likely, they're not prepared to pay for publishing either. If you'r just looking to build a portfolio, get together with someone you know and collab on some things specifically for that purpose. Anything else will just irritate you later on when people don't hold up their end of the deal. They have money, you have talent. If they don't have money, why waste your talent?
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Postby tedbragg » Thu Aug 07, 2003 7:19 pm

Absolutely not. Don't ever do something for nothing. If those people can't or won't pay you for your hard work, then don't mess with them. find smaller, PAYING gigs. Never work for free.
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Postby Seed » Fri Aug 08, 2003 3:35 am

I talked about no upfront payment not about getting nothin :)
It's true i helped someone out with one pin up and now everyday ppl are askin me to golor their pictures.
*sigh*
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Postby Big_K » Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:16 am

Gain experience any way you can. If you need the practice, adn the art is good, I don;t see why you shouldn't lay down colors gratis on some no name project...you'd do it for free just coloring sample pages right?

I think the key here is working over what you consider good art. When working on a portfolio, it is a good thing to work on good art work. GOOD art makes your colors look good. Bad art can make your colors less than spectacular. You don't want to have your name tied to bad artwork.

Just choose your projects carefully, all can be done to give you experience.

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Postby Bright-Raven » Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:46 am

You can get plenty of hi-quality images to build your skills and portfolio with online from others here in the community or just by surfing around, so unless you are specifically looking for published credentials, it's generally not worth the hassle of doing a lot of work gratis. Maybe a cover or a pinup here or there, just to establish yourself as a published digital colorist / painter. But you shouldn't do more than maybe two, three pieces tops like that. Otherwise you'll get a reputation for being willing to work cheap and / or free.

Personally, I tend to test the waters when someone emails me and asks me to ink a project. (Inkers have the same problem as colorists - we're just scuts doing the dirty work to make the "stars" brighter, y'know.) I do some background checking - ask around to see who else has been asked and how many lavender-scented panties (if any) has been offered. Don't do it behind their backs - tell them you'll be checking. If they balk, then they likely weren't going to pay you anyway and you've saved yourself the trouble. If they're legit, they'll either offer you pertinent information, or they'll be forthright with you and explain their status, at which point you simply have to communicate your needs and see if an agreeable arrangement can be made.

I'll be honest, this practice has led me to not accept projects that ended up working out well for someone else. That's just the way it is. The bottom line is you have to be true to yourself. No matter how many lavender-scented panties you might be making, you won't be producing your best efforts in a situation you aren't comfortable with, and that can affect your overall career.

One last thought- Might I suggest that if you're looking for published credentials trying freelance digital painting and submitting outside of comics to the various RPG and fiction publishers, both in print and online. My online studio partners Freddie Williams II and Victor Shane predominantly do the majority of their art related business through the RPG industry currently. (Which if our studio webmaster ever gets done resetting the site, samples of which will be posted and I can maybe show them off sometime.) Several of the RPG publishers out there might pay "low and slow", but they do pay. Which is better than gratis.
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Postby Zombie Dave McCaig » Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:26 am

My advice is to not work for free. There are people out there willing to pay at least a low rate on a book, and they will likely have somewhat better art for you to practice on. Find them instead...

Also, if you work for free, chances are the publisher will think you are a pushover, and will ask for a zillion little corrections. :)
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