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Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!Years and years ago, at the beginning of my illustration career, a veteran illustrator got mad at me, and at a number of my colleagues, for charging too little. We all protested loudly. "But, dude," we said, "we are not veterans like you, with years of experience and stunning portfolios to back us up. We are newbies, and we need to eat, too, so we'll take what we can get. We're not in direct competition with you, so why do you care?" Then, we added, with great smugness, "Oh, and our rates are the current industry standard, so pthbbbbbt!"
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Except more than a decade's gone by, and I see that my colleagues and I are now veterans, with our own pretty portfolios and lengthy CVs. We have become the indignant illustrator's direct competitors, and we're not earning that much more than we were at the start of our careers. We're certainly not getting what he did, at the height of his. And we did this to ourselves. Oh, sure, we're not solely re