Requests to Work for Free

This is something that happens far too often for creative professionals.

You get a message in your inbox from a big name, multi-million dollar company working on a high-profile job, and they would like you to work for them.
Only the budget is very small, so they won’t be able to pay you for it.

I get roughly one of these every week. I was fooled once. Then for a while I would reply with my working rates, “if you want x, pay me y”, and I’d get a sob story about how tight things are financially in these “hard times” and bla bla bla, or I’d never hear back from them at all. Lately, I haven’t even bothered to reply, I just mark it as spam and go on with my day.

Earlier today I came across this post by Juan Luis Garcia who had been offered to design the posters for Spike Lee’s version of the South Korean classic revenge movie, Old Boy. Not only did this company refuse to pay for the design work, they even threatened legal action against the artist who they refused to pay. There is no sense in me typing out a recap of the story, you should go read the original source instead.

This story really struck a nerve with me because it coincided with a rush of these crap offers in my own inbox, and I am tired of dealing with this bullshit from these shit bag companies.

So let me make a clear warning here and now: If you send me messages requesting that I work for free, you are consenting to having that message, complete will full personally-identifying information published for the world to see.

I’m also going to be getting in touch with several of my artist and designer friends, and see about working together on compiling a list of shit bag companies and agencies who abuse creative professionals.

What’s that? “It will be good exposure for me”? Well right now I would like to expose my middle finger in your general direction.

Published by

Kyle Clements

Kyle Clements is a Toronto-based artist and nerd. During his thesis at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Kyle began working on his Urban Landscapes series, a body of work that aims to capture the energy and excitement of life in the fast-paced urban environment. After graduating from OCAD in 2006, Kyle spent a year living in Asia to gather source material and experience in a different kind or urban environment. His work is vibrant and colourful. Whether painting the harsh Northern landscape, or capturing the overwhelming buzz of life in the city, his acrylic paintings hover between representation and abstraction.

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