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So, I have been seeing so much of this Spec work crap on the DA forums recently.
And more and more I see replies on these requests, why would you do that?
I happened to find a site that shares the views of many artists fighting this selfish act.

Here are some of the write ups on their site, they express very valid points on the subject.

"Spec work may seem seductive when you’re having a slow month, but it’s important to understand its downsides. Even for people just starting out in design, spec work can be detrimental. Not only might you learn bad habits, but the clients you “win” will continue to expect you to work for little compensation after you’ve built up your portfolio. This same pitfall of diminished paycheck expectations applies to established designers, as well."

"No matter what you call it, Spec Work, Free Pitch, etc the concept is the same. I’ll get a handful of designers or studios to come up with a handful of concepts for my website, and the winner gets my business.

Great concept? No! There are no winners here."

* Free pitching devalues your work.
* Free pitching hurts all of your clients.
* Free pitching produces crap work.
* Free pitching makes the client look stupid.
* Free pitching hurts the entire industry.
* Free pitching is a big sign saying ‘We’re going broke’.
* Free pitches encourages less planning.

Why are good artists giving away their time for the slim chance of getting, say...their picture in some other country on some advert?
Just because the employer is promising you exposure doesn't mean he/she will actually make it happen.
Your not only giving a stranger your time, talent and efforts you are giving them the rights to "your" work.
To do whatever the heck they want with it.
And please don't be naive, most of these people don't even have a "multi-million dollar company" or "publishing company all planned out" There are a lot of people out there just trying to get free art with false promises.

Its selfish to ask artists for high quality work with no pay, thats like asking a doctor to do a minor surgery for free.
Whether or not you have attended some fancy art school or not doesn't matter. I never went to art school, but look where I am. I learned it all on my own, I spent 10 years of my life studying my butt off to get where I am.
And for what? To give selfish people my time/talent/artwork rights? No!

You don't have to be an "amazing" artist to ask for money, and from experience it seems that beginner artists take even longer on their artwork. So thats more time going into free labor. There is a lot of time that goes into a picture, planning, concept, sketches, inking, scanning, ink clean up, coloring, sizing.

Your art is worth something, regardless of your artistic level or education.
Your time is worth something, hell you could be flipping burgers for more money!
The rights to your artwork is worth something, if they can't pay royalties then they should have to pay extra for the rights to the picture.

So please, stop replying to non paying jobs! Fight for your rights, your rights as an artist and as a worker.
Don't work for free!

Please add this stamp to your journals or a link to No!Spec in your signature.
Here is a link to the actual site, if you have the time please sign their petition and support our rights as an artist!

Thank you!
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KevyMetal's avatar
Good write up. I needed to see another opinion besides my initial reluctance to sign on for some such work with a new local publication as I am having a slow month. My first instinct is that the producers of the publication do not have enough faith in the success of their venture to pay for out sourced elements such as the artwork up front, then I feel that I can not be overly confident that I'll ever see a reasonable return for my work. Also, there is a tendency of suspicion on my behalf as to their true intent with my work.

You reinforced my own thoughts as well as bringing up other possible risk factors I had not yet considered.

Kevy Metal :thumbsup: