“Can I have this meat for free?”
Stop it; get your head out of the gutter.
Today a series of memes sprung to the top of my Facebook newsfeed. These memes were titled ‘If people talked to other professionals the way they talk to artists…” It showed a customer speaking to a cashier in a supermarket the way a lot of people speak to us as artists.
So I want to outline some myths that hit people working self-employed as artists and creatives are tarnished with…
1. We do it for fun
Firstly, this is my full time job. I love it and I am still amazed that this is what I am able to do every day, but I work very long hours. This is not a hobby, or something I do for fun (although it has its fun moments). It is a job. As real a job as working as an accountant or a nurse or as the meme shows: in a supermarket.
2. We can give you exposure that you need
Sometimes yes. I have had amazing opportunities which have gotten me brilliant exposure. For example this includes being featured in high gloss print magazines and dressing celebrities. If you send me a Facebook message at 4am on a Thursday morning telling me you run a Steampunk and Cosplay site, and that if you can have some of my pieces to wear (FREE OF CHARGE) it will get me great exposure in an online fan-blog I will not be impressed. Your exposure is not what I need. You need me. Its like that awful thing when you come to the end of a failed relationship. But its not me, its you. Because of this I offer a paid rental service of all of my garments, because I really do want you to succeed as well. Just not at my cost.
3. Have you thought about…
Probably yes. I could get key rings made, tote bags printed and duvet sets to match, but there is probably a reason I haven’t. I do love your comments and advice, and sometimes it is exactly what I need, but please keep in mind that when I’m on a night out sipping my third mojito, the last thing I want to talk about is brand merchandise. Just let me dance.
4. If you lowered your prices I could buy more pieces
And I could not make a profit, pay any bills or keep my car on the road.
5. I could make that for a quarter of the price
Well go on and try. I would love to see your results.
Now earlier this week I made a pact to myself to not have any of my sarcasm on the internet. I’m sorry (not sorry) that this has broken the pact. I love all of my customers and admirers, absolutely totally and truly. But I feel that writing this post had to be done on behalf of my fellow artists.
You can see examples of images that have been created through loaning my garments here…
And for a good old chuckle, here is the link to the memes that inspired this post ♥