Self Help Readings

Priorities, beliefs, and needs, these are some of the things that guide our behaviour. Last week, David Green, our professor added to the list. Money (I think he said it three times in succession), and user experience. The topic of this post is to elaborate on some of the pointers in two readings: On Getting Paid by Jessica Hische and Make Every Word Count: Tips for Polishing and Tightening Copy by Steve Buttry. Both provide a step-by-step approach to doing better at business. My teacher’s desire to share these articles with us comes from a perception that we have not been educated in our worth nor understand the market place. He hopes that we can start charging prices we deserve. He also hopes that we can deliver. We will see if his hopes for us come true.

On Getting Paid by Jessica Hische

The article is directed to new freelance designers who are trying to figure out pricing for the piece.”The cost of creative work is shrouded in mystery and very subjective.” The moral of the story is that getting paid by the hour only works when the client is needy or when you are working on a long-term project. It is my job as the artist to know how long it will take me to complete a project, but not use it as a quote. She could charge up to $32 000 for a project, not because she works many hours, but because she is signing away her rights to the piece. “You inherently own the rights to anything you create, this is why it’s incredibly important to read every contract for every job.” Be warned for “work for hire” because that essentially means you that they own your piece. Because you are no longer working by the hour, the price is based on how long the client can distribute your piece. A negotiation has to be made in the contract that explicitly outlines the time period. 1 month, 1 year, forever. Furthermore, how will it be used? A subcategory includes a comment on Internships – many organizations will take advantage of students. As a students I should take careful consideration of a potential employer if they are not compensating monetarily. Will I get hands-on training and one-on-one time with the supervisor? She then goes on to talk about getting the work. It appears the only people who get jobs are those with all the friends. She elaborates on all social connections that could lead me to land a job. Finally, she talks to the Illustrators and Letterers directly. There are a number of ways to gain exposure which mostly include putting your work into the art world and entering competition. On the whole, these are the tricks she used to gain her success and tricks of the trade are always helpful. I still feel hestitant to ask for such a large amount of money for a job, but I guess it would depend who I’m telling it too. I’m far to accustomed to working for not-for-profits and for causes I believe in. But its time to change the game. I’m almost graduated!

The second article was : Make Every Word Count: Tips for Polishing and Tightening Copy by Steve Buttry

This article is what I imagine Strunk’s book, Elements of Style, must be like. The theme is economy of words and the audience are fast paced people and have a short-attention span. While I understand the appeal of concentrated information, I am a bit sad that intellectual foreplay is out of style. This article is a list of guidelines to follow when writing. “Be demanding, minimize it is usage, challenge all weak verbs”… these are some of the drills he has for writers. It is this way throughout the entire article and is an impressive complication of the do this, do that, method. But I really prefer my writing to be more intuitive. Otherwise, where’s the fun?