Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rant - They're having a laugh!

Not a day goes by when I don't hear a story of some artist whose images have been stolen from their website. The most famous recent case can be read here. Each day one artist or another doesn't get paid, fobbed off or told that the profits this month haven't been good so they'd get paid another day!

Can you imagine telling your plumber, 'sorry, I didn't make enough money this month, so I'll pay you next month, the month after, or maybe never'? I can imagine what the plumber would say. (I doubt I'd get away with using this sort of language on my blog...)

Thing is there are two types of artists, the ones who run it as a business and the ones who are grateful for every illustration, image, greeting card sold. The first have confidence in their work and it's value, the others seemingly don't. The thing is, if your image does sell it's obviously worth it. And usually someone else is making money from it. So shouldn't you be making money from it? Why should you be working for free? There's always the small claims court.

Oh, and then there are portfolio websites (badly and amateurishly designed) who want to charge us for registration AND any sales we make, the art contests and portfolio books who want to charge us an arm and a leg just to look at our images,... and so on. They're all having a laugh and a porsche at OUR cost.

It's time for us to stand up and be counted. It's not right for people to take us for mugs. We provide a service and should be paid for it.

Any tips, suggestions, rants - feel free to comment!


  1. Fantastic rant!!! Actually some tradesmen/ plumbers ask for money upfront for materials - can you imagine us artists doing that?? Licensing and selling your art has become a constant battle with publishers etc.. It is a business and our artworks/paintings are 'assets' and they are there to earn us money now and in the future. They have a value and should be sold/ licensed for a fair and an acceptable amount. Sarah

  2. I'm right behind you Sybille! Having been on the receiving end...or should I say, NOT receiving end.. of having to pester to get paid for an awful lot of work from one of these companies, work I just about killed myself to get done in time when they changed the deadline, it is something I also feel very strongly about. Maybe next time I go to the supermarket I will try and explain that they'll get their money next month when things are a bit better for me....see how long it is before I get into trouble! We artists should ALL refuse to part with any work without seeing money up front. Phew, you got me ranting too.....

  3. Right on Comrade Syb!

    You know how I feel about this....as I'm battling two companies as we speak...I wish we had more power or a union (I know about the AOI but I fear they don't have any real power and never seem to give a hoot about greetings cards designers)...worst thing is, we all know their office monkies are getting paid but not us freelancers....whos work they depend on!


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