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Aurora
07-16-2016, 03:41 PM
Hello all! I was hoping there could be discussion on what to do about the influx of beyond below poverty wage jobs being posted on the jobs forum. $25 or less for a full comic page is beyond unacceptable. That isn't a job, that's a freebie with a tip. This was one of the few websites posting actual realistic paid comic jobs, and now it's slowly disappearing.

Steven Forbes
07-16-2016, 05:00 PM
Wait.

You want to make a post about the amount of money being offered to people by others, and you want to view it as a "problem."

You don't like the amount of money being offered, don't apply for the job.

This isn't a forum problem. It is a problem with your perception.

I'll leave this open as long as it doesn't turn too nasty, folks.

This is the only warning.

Thanks.
-Steven

Michael Ford
07-16-2016, 06:18 PM
I completely agree that artists should be paid well for their hard work. It is typically harder to draw than it is to write.

That being said, the writer's perspective should also be considered.

If a writer wants to create their own story then they have to pay for it. Even if they only do the bare minimum, they have to hire and penciler, inker, and letterer. If they want to make it look really good and professional, they need a colorist and editor on top of all that. That could end up being about $100-$200 per page at the very least. A single 22-page issue will cost a couple thousand dollars. This is not including marketing or the cost of printing. Those are a whole different set of costs and problems.

And after the writer pays all this there is no guarantee that they will make even a fraction of their money back, let alone ensure that anyone will even notice their story. In a lot of cases, writers will spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to have their works only read by a couple hundred people. Not a great investment.

Granted, the writer can absolutely use it as a good reference for their abilities, but the artist can do that as well.

A lot of times, artists really do get overworked and underpaid trying to break into the comic business. However, writers have their own sets of problems too. It really is a tough business to break into and there will be some loss for everyone involved.

I am by no means claiming that being a writer is harder than being an artist, I actually argue the opposite, and I certainly am not saying you should work for cheap for some writer's convenience. I'm saying this to show a new perspective. There are writers who take advantage and offer the artist next to nothing to pull the majority of the work, but there are also some writers who want to try but either don't have the money or they aren't aware how much the artist should be paid.

Showing patience and understanding goes a long way. Helping aspiring writers know how much is appropriate to pay for an artist's services is the truest way to change this.

Stewart Vernon
07-16-2016, 07:15 PM
I think people can offer whatever they want, and people can hold out for whatever they want. Where I get disappointed is when someone with funding or a company wants to low-ball someone... they should know better. But a lot of the ads you see are from people who are trying to do their own thing and don't have any money to pay. So they throw out an offer and cross their fingers.

In a perfect world we would all be paid what we are worth and there would be jobs enough to go around. I'm having a hard time finding paying jobs, at any price, sometimes.

Lee Nordling
07-16-2016, 10:16 PM
I sympathize with the situation.

Here somebody is CLEARLY showing no respect for the value of an artistic effort...which reflects badly on the person offering the job.

And while I can appreciate NOT wanting to let people use the site to take advantage of others, there's a problem with trying to stop them (short of shutting down that portion of this site): there is NO SIMPLE WAY TO ESTABLISH A MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE DEAL on a forum.

DW isn't a union or a guild, which typically DO establish standards for what is and isn't acceptable.

And here's the thing, somebody who wants/needs the work and doesn't care about the money will take the job for her/his reason. And that reason is probably okay, because it's a free world and free market economy, even if accepting the work continues to keep art pricing deflated.

Does it suck?

Yes.

Is it perhaps better to respond to these postings for low or no wages with WARNINGS to people who are so naive or desperate that they have an opportunity to reconsider?

Yes.

I hear entrenched people complain about the nature of political correctness in our society, and I always think, "There's a closet bigot who's been shut down. GOOD! Let them keep their big mouths shut and FEEL THE PRESSURE OF SOCIETY FORCING THEM TO BEHAVE WELL, even if behaving well isn't in their hearts. With vigilance, eventually, and over time, attitudes change and hearts mend."

Until these people are MADE to value the work of artists better, they will continue to take them for granted.

I can promise you nobody here has ever walked into a dentist or doctor's office and said, "I need an appointment today, and I'm willing to pay no more than $25 to get my work done."

Why not? Because, even if we WANTED to do it, we know we'd appear to be fools and still not get what we wanted.

Until these people are MADE to feel like fools, they'll continue to try to treat us like fools.

Just my two cents.

ja-son-g
07-17-2016, 02:15 PM
I understand the frustration. I've been trying to get into freelance and most of the people I've met only want to offer me that 50/50 deal. It drives me crazy but it is what it is. Not everyone can afford to pay competitive page rates. You can't really fault them for that. You can ignore them (which I recommend). You can even try to negotiate with them but you can't force them to pay you more money any more than they can force you to work for less.

Most of the people I talk to are not paid writers, so I don't expect them pay what a publisher pays. They use disposable income to pursue their passion and in my experience, disposable income is rare. Now, if we're talking about a legit publisher trying to pull this $25 a page stuff, that's fucked up.

I'm with you though, it sucks to see these low offers. Very deflating. I've been looking for better places to look but from what I hear the best way to find a good job is to just keep on hustling. Get your stuff out there. Throw a wide net to catch a big fish and throw the little ones back.

Lee Nordling
07-17-2016, 11:23 PM
Even if you don't want it, at least a 50-50 deal says, "Let's take a leap together/we're in it together/we're partners in ownership or profits (depending on the situation)."

I don't have anything against working towards the opportunity to sell.

I think that's different from the complete disrespectfully low prices ANYBODY is offering, whether they're a publisher or a cash-poor business person.

To repeat the situation, does anybody think this same cash-poor business person tries to negotiate down his/her doctor or lawyer?

Y'know, we all get that offering a cent or dime tip is an insult, regardless of the business we're in. We seriously need to get people to realize the same holds true for hiring creative people.

Okay, now it's four cents.

sevans
07-18-2016, 02:08 AM
You READ the rate before you apply.
Too low, Don't apply.

Many of these comics are being made by inexperienced writers or just comic fans etc, if they don't have or make money from this, they can't pay a lot either.

BUT, that being said. If you want TOP RATE artwork, be prepared to pay top rate too.
Good art takes time.

ja-son-g
07-18-2016, 10:32 AM
Y'know, we all get that offering a cent or dime tip is an insult, regardless of the business we're in. We seriously need to get people to realize the same holds true for hiring creative people.

I haven't really been doing this long but on one of the places I frequent, people will post this https://fairpagerates.com/ whenever someone offers a ridiculous page rate. We also just ignore them. I think it's working but I can't tell.

I think the real problem is that there are people willing to take those low rates. Unlike a lot of professions, artist have to compete on a global scale. People from other countries can and will work for less. There's really nothing we can do about that. It's not cool but no one said being a comic artist would be easy.

JamesVenhaus
07-18-2016, 10:38 AM
I agree that the free market system is what will work best on these forums. I learned what the "going rate" for good art is by making several offers and being turned down until I started making better offers. I can still only pay what I can afford, and artists can only work for what they think is fair. I learned a lot that way. I never learned anything from being banned, or lectured to about the value of artists.

Bulletboy-Redux
07-18-2016, 03:57 PM
Any of you nerds want to paint my garage for 20 bucks?

Scribbly
07-18-2016, 04:15 PM
Well, maybe not in America, but in some countries overseas $25 dollars is a lot of money. Money exchange talking. And in any of these countries are many excellent artists ready to give a try out if the project is a good prospect and beyond initial profits a share on the intellectual property is part of the payment.
Good artists are usually not stupid people.

sevans
07-18-2016, 07:17 PM
I can paint your garage for $20 dollars.
BUT I won't guarantee the quality, or what gets written on it.

Cash up front too. LOL

vartemis
07-18-2016, 10:19 PM
Its a matter of perspective for who your client is. When I am doing corporate design, I am charging thousands of dollars. When I'm working for an indy comic client, its usually a couple hundred at most. Corporate work pays better because they are being bankrolled by a larger company.

When I get hired by a movie studio, their previous movies are subsidizing my work on their new stuff. Same with better known comic people. The people offering jobs here are usually working a standard 9-5 and paying out of their "extra" funds to make a go of it. Someone's coffee and movie slush fund isn't going to give you a decent page rate.

Junior athletes often get a small per diem to live off of. Many have day jobs. They grind until they get noticed by the pros. Erik Larsen never paid page rates for the backups in Savage Dragon. You can sit around here bitching about the lack of good paying jobs and never actually make any comics, or you could just suck it up and put some skin in the game until you get noticed.

DJA
07-18-2016, 11:43 PM
I can paint your garage for $20 dollars.
BUT I won't guarantee the quality, or what gets written on it.

Cash up front too. LOL

Ten bucks and let me watch you sleep.

sevans
07-19-2016, 12:25 AM
Can I sleep naked?
Otherwise no deal!

sevans
07-19-2016, 12:26 AM
You can sit around here bitching about the lack of good paying jobs and never actually make any comics, or you could just suck it up and put some skin in the game until you get noticed.

I like this comment ALOT.
NO ONE starts at the top!

DJA
07-19-2016, 12:57 AM
Can I sleep naked?
Otherwise no deal!

You know how to drive a bargain!

ayalpinkus
07-19-2016, 09:19 AM
I think it's something that just solves itself over time.

I think an artist would typically need 15 hours to make one page of art. For 75$ page rates, that translates to 5$ an hour. US minimum wage is 7.25$ per hour. So a 75$ page rate would be around 33% less than minimum wage.

You may be able to afford taking on such gigs at the beginning of your career, but you can't really "make a living" off of that low page rate, in the long run. It's not sustainable. So the artist will find other ways of making money, or charge higher page rates.

The good news is the artist doesn't miss much by passing on the opportunity. If the publisher doesn't have money to pay the artist, the publisher also doesn't have the money to print the comic, pay for shipping, hire hands to help with the warehousing, bookkeeping, editors, legal help (contracts and such), computers, offices, electricity, office management, toilet paper, coffee, advertising, money to hire PR bureaus, money for stands at comicons, money to fly the creators around the world to do signings. Et cetera.

Just don't take on low-paying gigs :-) Just shrug and move on... That's what I do :-)

That being said, who wants to clean my house for 25 cents?

Buckyrig
07-19-2016, 12:09 PM
Most people working in the creative arts don't make a living at it. Most SAG members have day jobs. Some members of even successful musical acts work a regular job when they're not playing.

If you want to make a go at being a full-time illustrator, go for it. But nothing is guaranteed, even if you're good. Even some of the artists you may have loved growing up are struggling to earn a living right now.

If you want steady, good pay and some security, work in an office.

I think an artist would typically need 15 hours to make one page of art. For 75$ page rates, that translates to 5$ an hour. US minimum wage is 7.25$ per hour. So a 75$ page rate would be around 33% less than minimum wage.

This is not relevant. Page rates are paid for a reason. It isn't factory work. By your standard, Frank Quietly should make several times the page rate that Mark Bagley does. (Maybe he does, I don't know, but rates are about consistency, experience, quality, marketability)

ja-son-g
07-19-2016, 01:13 PM
If you want steady, good pay and some security, work in an office.


Yeah, choosing art as a profession is a gamble. I feel like everyone here already knows this but there's no guarantee for success. For every Mark Bagley (with that guy's ability to crank out like 7 quality pages a week, he's definitely making bank) there are a 100 artists working day jobs they hate. I complain about not making any money just like any "starving artist" but I knew what I was signing up for. If anybody did any research, they would know what they were getting into.

That being said, I still rather be a poor ass artist than go back to my extremely lame retail job. My advice to myself is "Embrace the poverty, use it as driving force to become a better and more marketable artist. When you can't stand it anymore, suck it up and find a real job you scrub."

Edit- Screw comics. I just found a real job painting garages and cleaning houses! $$

vartemis
07-19-2016, 10:14 PM
The good news is the artist doesn't miss much by passing on the opportunity. If the publisher doesn't have money to pay the artist, the publisher also doesn't have the money to print the comic, pay for shipping, hire hands to help with the warehousing, bookkeeping, editors, legal help (contracts and such), computers, offices, electricity, office management, toilet paper, coffee, advertising, money to hire PR bureaus, money for stands at comicons, money to fly the creators around the world to do signings. Et cetera.

The only publishers posting adds on here are self publishers or really tiny indy ones, so they hardly have bank to do a ton. Adds here are posted by individuals working day jobs. Most of the people putting stuff out through anyone but DC or Mar have day jobs. Jim Zub is the program coordinator of Animation at Seneca College in Toronto, and up until recently Ed Brisson was still working a day job in addition to lettering and trying to get his stuff published.

The only reason I can afford to do comic work is because I work outside of comics in the animation and VFX industry. I barely do freelance graphic design anymore because it's just not worth it.

AdWilliams
07-20-2016, 10:39 AM
I completely agree that artists should be paid well for their hard work. It is typically harder to draw than it is to write.

That being said, the writer's perspective should also be considered.

If a writer wants to create their own story then they have to pay for it. Even if they only do the bare minimum, they have to hire and penciler, inker, and letterer. If they want to make it look really good and professional, they need a colorist and editor on top of all that. That could end up being about $100-$200 per page at the very least. A single 22-page issue will cost a couple thousand dollars. This is not including marketing or the cost of printing. Those are a whole different set of costs and problems.

And after the writer pays all this there is no guarantee that they will make even a fraction of their money back, let alone ensure that anyone will even notice their story. In a lot of cases, writers will spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to have their works only read by a couple hundred people. Not a great investment.

Granted, the writer can absolutely use it as a good reference for their abilities, but the artist can do that as well.

A lot of times, artists really do get overworked and underpaid trying to break into the comic business. However, writers have their own sets of problems too. It really is a tough business to break into and there will be some loss for everyone involved.

I am by no means claiming that being a writer is harder than being an artist, I actually argue the opposite, and I certainly am not saying you should work for cheap for some writer's convenience. I'm saying this to show a new perspective. There are writers who take advantage and offer the artist next to nothing to pull the majority of the work, but there are also some writers who want to try but either don't have the money or they aren't aware how much the artist should be paid.

Showing patience and understanding goes a long way. Helping aspiring writers know how much is appropriate to pay for an artist's services is the truest way to change this.

You also have to consider the fact that it's much easier to rip off writers too. Almost all artists I've encountered want money up front. That's not a bad thing. People should get paid for their talent. However, I've personally experienced on two separate occasions paying half the money upfront, the artist completes half the work and then cannot be reached to finish the rest.

In these instances, the artist gets paid for his work, but the writer completely loses his investment as he must hire another artist to redo the entire issue (otherwise have inconsistent artwork or their story). A contract can always be made out, but the money spent to get the artist to live up to the contract can outweigh the initial buy-in. I've managed to save up money in the past to pay for short stories to be illustrated, only to be left at the altar.

ayalpinkus
07-20-2016, 10:42 AM
This is not relevant. Page rates are paid for a reason. It isn't factory work. By your standard, Frank Quietly should make several times the page rate that Mark Bagley does. (Maybe he does, I don't know, but rates are about consistency, experience, quality, marketability)

Depends on how you look at it.

A publisher may have X budget, and need N pages. So the maximum he can pay per page is X/N.

An artist making M pages per month would thusly make Y=M*(X/N) per momth. If Y is not enough for him to pay the rent/mortgage (and put food on the table and clothes on backs of his wife and children, and pay for medical care and pension plans), if he actually needs to make Z a month, then that artist should find another way to make at least Z per month. He can not afford to spend much time on that project, and making comics takes a lot of time.

I was trying to argue that the artist isn't missing out on much if he walks away from such an offer, because that publisher also won't have sufficient budget for marketing/PR/Sales/Logistics and some more people you need to make a consumer product a success. (I forgot to mention book designers and cover designers by the way. There's probably more I forgot.)

Regular jobs usually do pay by the hour though. Lawyers and software engineers and such get paid by the hour. Those are not factory jobs. If something takes a software engineer twice as long, his employer pays him twice as much.

It's okay if comic creation is a hobby. It is for me. This gives me a ton of freedom. If I want to write, I write, if I want to thumbnail, I thumbnail, if I want to do character designs, I do character designs, if a story bores me, I go work on another story, if I want to spend time with my family, I do that. Because there isn't a deadline. And, I own the work I create.

If artists need to practice to get better, they don't necessarily need low-paying gigs to do that. They can work on their own comics too. That's what I do.

ayalpinkus
07-20-2016, 10:52 AM
You also have to consider the fact that it's much easier to rip off writers too. Almost all artists I've encountered want money up front. That's not a bad thing. People should get paid for their talent. However, I've personally experienced on two separate occasions paying half the money upfront, the artist completes half the work and then cannot be reached to finish the rest.



That's not very professional of these artists... They should have declined the offer if they couldn't hold up their end of the deal...

Were they experienced artists? Or beginning artists? That's not an excuse, of course, but something you can look at in the future. You could check out their track record, find out if they deliver on their promises, or if they may perhaps be a bit too inexperienced to pull a project to completion...

But I am sorry to hear that happened to you... that is definitely not cool!

Buckyrig
07-20-2016, 11:59 AM
Regular jobs usually do pay by the hour though. Lawyers and software engineers and such get paid by the hour. Those are not factory jobs. If something takes a software engineer twice as long, his employer pays him twice as much.

Hourly wages as a concept are tied to the rise in factory jobs. The template may be used elsewhere, but it's a logical result of the work. Contracted art is another story.

With the software example, the firm itself would be the independent contractor analogous to the artist. If someone hires the firm to create software for them, they're going to agree to a price up front. There may be some fluidity in there between maybe an initial estimate and final fee, but the client isn't paying an hourly rate for programming.

AdWilliams
07-20-2016, 12:30 PM
That's not very professional of these artists... They should have declined the offer if they couldn't hold up their end of the deal...

Were they experienced artists? Or beginning artists? That's not an excuse, of course, but something you can look at in the future. You could check out their track record, find out if they deliver on their promises, or if they may perhaps be a bit too inexperienced to pull a project to completion...

But I am sorry to hear that happened to you... that is definitely not cool!

One's actually working at Marvel now (I won't mention who). They were on the indy circuit for awhile and I caught him when he posted about looking for some short time work (on Deviantart). I had an 8 page story, asked if he wanted to do it. Got the first four pages out over the next few months but once the conventions started in full swing ... he was almost impossible to reach.

The other was a bit inexperienced.

I'm not impatient, I can wait. I also realize that some of these artists have more pressing day jobs too. Many factors can go into why someone can't complete a job. However, it's professional to be upfront about all that going in to the project, or at least give a reason why something can't be completed if something sudden happens.

Sorry if I sound bitter. Been trying to get some projects done for sometime now and always seem to be sidetracked by something. That's life I guess.

ayalpinkus
07-20-2016, 03:02 PM
Hourly wages as a concept are tied to the rise in factory jobs. The template may be used elsewhere, but it's a logical result of the work. Contracted art is another story.

With the software example, the firm itself would be the independent contractor analogous to the artist. If someone hires the firm to create software for them, they're going to agree to a price up front. There may be some fluidity in there between maybe an initial estimate and final fee, but the client isn't paying an hourly rate for programming.

Okay, I see your point now. A page as a product. I have to admit I hadn't looked at it like that, and you are right, it is a product.

An artist shouldn't sell his products for too little though, he still needs to make sure he can pay his bills.

A shoe manufacturer has to charge enough for the shoes or it goes out of business.

And I maintain that if the publisher can't pay the artist a reasonable amount for his "products" (the pages), the publisher also doesn't have the budget needed for a successful product launch (the product being the comic in this case). Because making the "product" is just a part of it. So the artist isn't missing much in that respect if he passes on the offer.

Lee Nordling
07-20-2016, 03:46 PM
Let me add a constructive pov to why artists shouldn't take insult-level prices for jobs.

Why spend hours and days working on a logo or cover or comic for $25, when you can work on your own comic and OWN the whole thing?

I think it's better than to invest in yourself than something others own...UNLESS the others offer pay and/or a deal that helps push your goals forward better than what you can do on your own.

That's pretty simple/clear logic, and it SHOULD take the agony out of deciding whether or not you should take the freelance job. (Taking a page from Steven Forbes's prodding for me to tout my work better, this discussion is covered more specifically in a chapter in my book, "Comics Creator Prep," though I don't think this simple paradigm I just wrote is so succinctly in it.)

Stewart Vernon
07-20-2016, 05:04 PM
If you literally have free time... then you can work for less money if you choose. I mean, if you have NO work lined up and have the time, you can argue that taking a low-ball job is better than no money at all. But that's about the only scenario you should consider it that way.

You don't want to weigh yourself down with commitments to low-ball jobs and then be unable to take a higher paying job should that come along... and you don't want to ditch a low-ball job part-way through either. Even if you feel you aren't being paid enough, once you agree to take the job and especially if you accept an advance on the fee, you finish that job as promised.

Keep in mind too... it isn't just publishers or writers who might undervalue your work... your fans and comic readers often undervalue it too. Nobody cares about the colorists, but they balk at black & white books sometimes... nobody cared about the letterer but if the lettering is crappy they won't read the book... and they will trash an artist for doing poor work, but don't necessarily think the good artist is worth much more money either.

Humans are a weird bunch. Almost to a person, individuals don't want to pay much for anything BUT what to BE paid lots for anything they might do themselves.

Bishop
07-20-2016, 05:29 PM
Let me add a constructive pov to why artists shouldn't take insult-level prices for jobs.

Why spend hours and days working on a logo or cover or comic for $25, when you can work on your own comic and OWN the whole thing?



Yep

sevans
07-20-2016, 07:33 PM
Bingo to what Lee Nordling said.

Unless the script is so damn good or creative...do your own.
(said as someone how can draw - slightly)

Michael Ford
07-20-2016, 08:02 PM
I am learning so much from this thread. Seriously, great work everyone. This is really a great discussion.

We should do threads like these regularly, where we talk about all aspects of comics from the writing to the art to the business behind it all.

Buckyrig
07-21-2016, 11:37 AM
A shoe manufacturer has to charge enough for the shoes or it goes out of business.

Sure, but this is where the analogy breaks down. A business has to turn a profit. A person can pursue illustration in his spare time.

And I maintain that if the publisher can't pay the artist a reasonable amount for his "products" (the pages), the publisher also doesn't have the budget needed for a successful product launch (the product being the comic in this case). Because making the "product" is just a part of it. So the artist isn't missing much in that respect if he passes on the offer.

Of course. But most of these lower offers are coming from writers who are trying to get their script drawn up. It works best if, as Lee suggested, a writer and artist team up and split potential - albeit unlikely - future profits on a co-owned spec project.

Here's the thing though. Been watching this little corner of the creative world for 20 years now. One group says spec work exploits artists. How dare someone not offer money up front. Another group says spec work is fine, but the writer needs to offer something upfront. Another says only up front pay is acceptable. (My own suggestion is that writers shouldn't work for free either . . . be surprised how little value many artists - who clearly don't feel they are strong enough writers to write their own creations - place on writers. They think a writer should work for free because they've scored an artist.) I honestly don't think there's a job post a writer could put up that won't offend someone. Hell, it's why there is even a split between paid and spec offers. People used to complain endlessly about offers that no one was forcing them to entertain.

End of the day, if an artist wants to do work-for-hire, they should build their portfolio and try the big companies. Alternatively, the should write their own IP or team up with a writer on an original IP and put in spec work. It's working for free, for something you may never get paid for. But if a novice is unwilling to do that, then they don't want it badly enough. It's how it works in every creative field.

ayalpinkus
07-21-2016, 02:07 PM
(My own suggestion is that writers shouldn't work for free either . . . be surprised how little value many artists - who clearly don't feel they are strong enough writers to write their own creations - place on writers. They think a writer should work for free because they've scored an artist.)

Who says writers have to work for free? I don't think anyone feels that writers should have to work for free...

You have to find Deep Pockets that believe in your project, that's all :-)

ayalpinkus
07-21-2016, 02:12 PM
Sure, but this is where the analogy breaks down. A business has to turn a profit. A person can pursue illustration in his spare time.


Hey, it was your analogy! You said pages were a product, and I was agreeing with you! Heh.

I pursue comic creation in my spare time. As I mentioned, I enjoy the freedom of being able to work on my own things, whenever I want to.

Many people also for instance go snowboarding or skiing in their spare time, because they enjoy the activity, realizing full well that they will never be paid for it. Like I said, it is okay if it is a hobby. At least it is for me for now, until I get "good enough", which is probably never :-)

Why do I not try to get paid for it? I have tried collaborations, they tend to start to feel like "work". Someone tells me what to do, there is a deadline and everything... Right now I can do whatever I want in my spare time. I can write, draw, spend time with my family, whatever strikes my fancy. And like Lee Nordling said, I get to own everything I create.

Rob Norton
07-21-2016, 02:52 PM
well.. having read MOST of whats on this thread... I kinda wanted to throw in a thought I have about this subject matter, specifically about artist demanding not only to get paid, but to get paid fairly.

this is subjective and can vary from situation to situation... but my thoughts are

how many of us want a career in comics, where we make a living off it? most of us right? but its NOT gonna happen. probably 99% of will NEVER get there. so do this as a hobby and as something that makes you happy and maybe makes you a few bucks here and there.

I also know I tend to be in the minority on this, but im not on board completely with the "don't work if they aren't paying you" mindset.

if that's your position, that's fine, but you are never gonna see ANYTHING getting done. I don't see a problem with working for free if its working towards your goal. there are lots of small indy publishers just wanting to put books out in some fashion, like we all do, but no one has the money to pay YOU, Mr. All-important-artist a $100 per page or whatever you think you deserve.

BUT, what some of these indy publishers DO have is connections to a team of like minded guys that can do the things you don't know how to do.
I have worked with a few small publishers and they have letterers, colorists, and guys running it that know how to package the whole thing and format it and submit it to have a dammed completed book.

so as a result, I have a few small press books with MY work in them. its completely minor in the grand scheme of things, almost no one has seen them. but I have a product IN HAND. I have done something.

and another thing, I look at this is PRACTICE. much needed practice. some of you guys here know me and have followed my art here for a while. im "OKAY" at best, but im not pro level. other wise id be working for marvel or whatever. but that is another point to bring up.

not to sound harsh.. but some of these artist DEMANDING to be paid money absolutely SUCK.

know your skill level. do you REALLY deserve to be paid $75 a page for stuff that looks like what I did when I was 12 yrs old? seriously, ive seen guys asking for stuff like that. (and..if you can GET that money, good for you but, seriously...)

if your art is GOOD, pro level good...you WILL get work if you are paying attention and looking in the right places and sharing your work on the right forums and utilizing social medial correctly.

and example.. a forum member here, who doesn't show up much these days.. my pal IZIK BELL. this man does nothing but draw all day every day. follow him on facebook and see... he is constantly posting his commissions and work for hire and everything he does. he NEVER lacks for work and is killing it, AND making a pretty damned good following of fans. he has a very specific style that calls back to the old Image comics Extreme studios day and people love it. And he just draws all day. hes basically doing it. (now, hes fortunate to be in a position to be able to draw so much with no family/kids,etc..)

and my last thought, about drawing for free... it has paid off for me personally, if only in small ways. I started working for small publisher Redleafcomics. drawing a full book, some small stories, and tons of covers. I saw my work colored and in print. I made connections to fellow creators that have helped me to this day.
through all this NETWORKING, I was given the chance to draw several covers for an officially licenced property of HIGHLANDER, a comic another publisher secured the rights to work on. how many people in our position get THAT kind of chance.
now..being honest, the book didn't work out, only went one issue digitally, and basically became nothing. BUT it was a chance, a shot.. and my name and work IS on the cover of an officially licensed property.

AND..through the same networking, my longest running collaborator has secured the rights to produce comics based on another different but VERY well know property that I guarantee you all know about. have to keep it quiet until it all comes together hopefully. but he wants me on covers and maybe pages inside the book. we will see what can be done.

again, another major licensed property that you absolutely know about. and this guy came to ME, immediately, because I helped and supported him(and he the same to me) and we want to work together on this potential big chance. and THATS the power of working for free when there are no other options...you build relationships that could pay off.

so... that's all I have to say about that.

rob

ayalpinkus
07-21-2016, 03:24 PM
again, another major licensed property that you absolutely know about. and this guy came to ME, immediately, because I helped and supported him(and he the same to me) and we want to work together on this potential big chance. and THATS the power of working for free when there are no other options...you build relationships that could pay off.


That is just very, very cool!!!

Stewart Vernon
07-21-2016, 04:37 PM
The thing is... there are different kind of low-ball offers. There are low-ball offers where the person simply can't pay more, can't even pay themselves... just scrambling to try and get something done and hoping... this person, you might consider entering a co-ownership deal with and deferring some payment until IF the project turns a profit. Be careful with such deals, but it's a scenario worth considering sometimes.

Then, there are people who simply don't value artists (or writers) at all... they think they should make money but not you, because they had the idea... Think corporate CEO who believes he should get a huge bonus while he lays off his widget-makers and forces those remaining to work twice as hard for less pay because they are replaceable. You can't work for long in this scenario, it will frustrate you and you'll never be valued properly.

And, sometimes... there are people who do recognize your value, that's why they want you! BUT, at the same time, they want to stick it to you so they can make more profit on the back end... they know your work will sell, and they'll take advantage of you if you let them. You might be able to show confidence and get your worth from them, since they know you have value... but you'll have to fight for it!