Thirty Thousand Streets

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I hate 'free'lance

Or anyway, freelance work where the emphasis is on the 'free' bit anyway. Working in the creative industry, albeit at the relatively lowly rung I currently occupy, I find no shortage of people (usually people I know personally) who want a hand with a bit of design, but don't actually want to pay for it.. The assumption being I suppose that as it's a predominantly a visual (for this read 'arty') medium, and therefore 'fun', that I'm in such a state of unfettered joy every time I do it that, hell yeah! I'll do it for free, in fact, can I pay you for the opportunity to do it?

I know musiscians who experience similar woes in actually getting paid, people who've played in professional venues and received a pittance, which seems scant reward in recognition of the love for their art, and years of dedicated practise and study they've invested in it.

But nobody really wants to pay, even though they could probably appreciate that no-one really wants to work for free. "Hey, I've got some rocks need digging up on the bottom of the Irish sea, fancy giving me a hand? I'll buy you a pint.."

Actually though, the idea of doing pro bono work for little or no money is not complete anaethema to me, providing it's an interesting project, and I least get beer money. There have been occasions though, where I've actually ended up out of pocket, and even the smallest job has the tendency to become a royal pain in the ass, usually more because you embarked upon it as a favour.

Much the same is happening to me this week, as 'a little job' I'm doing for my housemate threatens to become a full blown albatross, cawwing and flapping around my neck. I'll get it done, no problem, as I believe that once you've commited to something like this, you should try and do it with all the good grace that you can muster.

This really is it though. Next time? Pay the hell up!


gridrunner said...

It sucks. I've been plagued by it for years. In the early days of my webby career I took on loads of freelance to feed my portfolio and to hone my skills on.

But I can't get rid of it!

Just last night I was doing a ‘favour’ for a website I look after. It turned out to be a bit more fiddly than I had thought and I was still tapping away at my laptop gone midnight.

But as you way, hey we’re just hobbyists aren't we? Midnight Oil is our favourite fuel.

gridrunner said...

err, that should have read "But as you say..."