I ran into this Twitter page a few days ago. It's a collection of real comments that artists get all the time asking them to work for free, or, as these people often prefer to say, "for exposure".twitter.com/forexposure_txt
People like this are usually trying to guilt-trip artists into taking on massive projects for no pay, claiming it'll be good advertisement or that they'll get paid once the project becomes a success. The truth is, the chances of getting picked up by a major studio are extremely small. The so-called free advertisement the artist may or may not end up getting is usually not worth the effort.
Just to give you a taste of the disrespect for an artist's time and energy that some people have, here's a choice quote:"Need Animator-I have a story that's 4 seasons long, 10 episodes each. looking for maximum quality. No pay. I will warn that I am very picky"
Does this person even realize the amount of work that goes into animation? Depending on the animation style, it generally requires up to 24 frames or drawings to create one second
of movement on screen. So they're looking for someone who is willing to commit to 2-4 years worth of drawing on a single project, 10 episodes of high-quality animation for no pay. And if the artist is lucky
, they may not get bitched at or told to redraw one or more scenes multiple times by the project's picky overseer.
Deviants, beware: this is the kind of thing non-artists tend to expect from you. They think art is something you just crap out at your leisure. They think nothing of your other commitments or real life demands and have no respect for your time or energy. They expect you to commit months or years of your life to their pet project that is by no means guaranteed to succeed.
Sometimes, when an artist dares
to turn down the offer, they are told they're the ones being selfish and how they should be happy to be working in a field they enjoy, pay or no pay. Here's the thing, though: artists love creating art when it's their own heart and soul that's being poured into it. Watching your own dreams come to life makes up for a lot of frustration and you'll gladly do it for free because it's yours. Making someone else's
dream come true isn't so easy. Especially when that person is just as protective of their ideas as you are of yours. It is not
a blessing to work on someone else's comic book or animated web series when you're not personally as invested in it as they are. Just like it's not a blessing to work at McDonald's just to watch someone else dig into their juicy burger.
If you want to commit yourself to a project with no guarantee of pay, keep two things in mind: 1) make sure the other person has respect for your time and energy, and 2) make sure it's a project you are personally invested in. You will always work harder for your own dream than someone else's, and will enjoy it more too. Don't buy into the idea that working on someone else's indie project for no money is going to make you famous and that you'll be making big bucks once Marvel or DC gets wind of your skills. Just think of some of the most popular artists on DeviantArt who still aren't millionaires despite making it to the front page almost every day.