As a graphic artist I extend my services every and anywhere applicable. As a former musician, I have clients whom I’ve worked with in the past who request cover art and other needs. The lessons I’ve learned is to never work with “friends” especially the lazy ones. I cannot take away from their craft because their music is nice, however that artists work ethic suck. This business is based on time and I would like to think that I provide a decent turn around rate being a 24 hour completion. That is not the case with this particular musician.
Last month I was contacted by a friend who was in need for cover art and I was more willing to support that idea. Instead of drafting a contract I decided to work anyway since I promised my services for free in the past. I waived the initial fee as well as given him a discounted rate which is basically unheard of. That idea has turned out to be a total nightmare and a waste of time and resources. Well, not much of a waste since I managed to settle matters with a slight barter which worked out in my favor. The artwork posted in my previous gallery post was created & edited on a very small phone with an entirely cracked screen. I was going to provide a picture, however, that would be an embarrassment on my behalf. Anyways, The initial cover art was completed in less than 24 hours and submitted that morning awaiting approval. The artist and management loved it and I assumed they were ready to move forward.
Every graphic artists knows that time is as valuable as gold. Normally, there is no revision after final approval and in some cases a quick revision can be worked out at a small cost. Keep in mind that the total fee was reduced to suit his non-existent budget, yet this artist not only wanted me to provide countless revisions of the artwork, but to virtually run his whole marketing campaign. This is a no-no in my world. Being a former musician I followed a certain online marketing strategy and at a point had a fairly nice following. I would figure that this artist, being my understudy at one point, would take notes. That was never the case in this situation. At this moment I refuse to provide work to friends. I would love to continue to show support but at the end of the day this is still a business. Whether it is music or art there is a certain work ethic that must be established. Some fail to understand the countless amount of time and resources that goes into this type of work. Friends will be the first to take advantage of others talent to their own benefit. This is still a business and no one works for free no matter what. At this present time I cannot put aside commissioned work to provide services to anyone on a mere friendship basis. Even if I was hired as an in-house graphic artist, I have other clients who show consistency and pay on time.
The time wasted was my own fault since the services were based on my promise. A situation like that can lead any client to believe that they can walk all over the graphic artist. Since majority of my work is created on a mobile platform it still benefited me to the highest due to a barter. The guy knew he owed me money for the cover art and revisions, yet he had it in his mind that I will buy a brand new phone from him (he must have been high to think I would actually buy it from him lol). I am no opportunist but I saw this as a moment to barter the fees he owed in exchange for the new platform. In the end I learned a valuable lesson and received a new mobile device to continue creating. Providing services to “friends” can be a painstaking task which could lead to a waste of precious time especially if they become lazy and manipulative. The key is to be as manipulative as they are when they want to escape ways to compensate others for their hard work, time and effort. I never wanted to play the reverse manipulator but it had to be done because no one really wants to take their “friends” to court over matters like this.
We live and learn, grow and change. Yet, others cannot grasp the concept.
P.E.A.C.E, Love & Prosperity to you!