N.C. Winters is always drawing. When he isn't making comics, doodling or working as a freelance graphic artist, he spends his time painting pretty pictures for galleries from his home studio in sunny southern California.
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Haha, how appropriate
As a copywriter, i think about that often. 100% truth. Many clients should read this.
yea, this is something reminds be about cheap crappy bidding sites
So true! These comics are so damn awesome! Always spot-on!
I do things just for my portfolio. But it is always my idea and initiative to do it and it is always something that I will enjoy every second. Otherwise… just forget it.
Everybody wants things for free. It’s human nature.
However, when the situation is reversed, they want to charge extra for their own services or goods. It’s pretty hard to understand the inconsistency.
Why does he want to get a tattoo anyway? I’m gonna tell his mom!
Freelancer Dude, you’ve got some splainin’ ta do!
What’s the job of Freelancer Dude anyway? I mean, in what field of freelance job he’s in? Isn’t he also a freelance graphic artist?
I think it’s an ongoing theme, him trying to pull what people try on him. Anyone else remember the issue with the mechanic?
Thats funny, I just had a client say that to me the other day. He made it sound like he was going to LET me use it in my portfolio.
Ha ha Great strip!! I actually convinced a local tattoo artist (who is now a friend) to tattoo my full sleeve (full arm tattoo) in return i designed his website… sweet deal on my part
This is very timely. Nice work!
Another great one!
You took the words right out of my mouth.
Good analogy. I always liked the one about eating at a restaurant – you don’t get to order and eat the food, and then decide after you’re finished whether or not you think it was worth paying for.
Hey Its like Deal or no Deal, the tv show.
If it was for a $1000, then you would’nt even watch it, and it would be off the air by now.
Contests are fine as long as the prize is decent. Craigslist is full with $50 logo contests and the one we started talking about this past weekend was about a NY Publisher’s book cover for a $1000 bucks.
So, If it was for $25.000, I’d be busting my brains out and wearing out the mac and filling the computer with memory of each and every possible version of the cover, trying to WIN.
Not for the portfolio, but for the prize.
The thing is, I do graphic design for the money. I like it, almost love it. But is what i choose to do to make money. What I really LOVE is music, rock music.
So what I think is that there is a lot of people that think that all graphic designers just love what they do so much is like pleasure, and thats when they think you should almost pay the client for the opportunity to work for them.
I’ve heard that in some bars in Los Angeles, bands actuallly PAY the club to play, instead of the bar PAYING the band to play.
But that’s because bands LOVE what they do, but it is because is ART, and is FREE of clients, unless you work for a record company.
Graphic Design is NOT FREE of creative freedom as ART IS. A graphic design job is “limited” by the needs of the client, is restricted by wether or not the client likes it or not, and so the graphic designer has to keep working on the project until the client likes it. And its fair, just as long as you are getting paid for it.
And most of the times you should work so hard that you and the client like the results, but that does’nt always happen, sometimes you just have to finish the job to get paid, and the result is not worth putting in your portfolio cause you dont like what you did.
There seems to be an obsession with the portfolio, not everything you do goes in your portfolio, or is good enough to go in it. Not because you did a poor job, but because you did such a great job your client liked it, but you did’nt, just did it to make the client happy so you could get paid.
Like that tattoo artist cartoon, say the client wants a flower, a cheese yellow flower, well the tough guy tattoo artist on that cartoon will do it to get paid, but that doesnt mean he will do a poor job, he might do his best, but wont necessarily want to show it off on his “porfolio”,- show off the cheese little flower he just did!, NO! he did it for the money, cause that’s his business.
Once you get really busy with graphic design, you’ll do so much stuff that you won’t wanna show off everything you do, cause some of it is done for pushy clients that “know what they want” that have NO taste. So you do it, but for the money, NOT your portfolio, but for the MONEY. Other wise you’d be doing what you really love: Sleep.
This is very common, and most of those propositions are worthy to put on portfolio.
Even last week I got an offer to do this, they even proposed to advertise me on their site, but to the amount of work it wasn’t worthy.
Correction: This is very common, and most of those propositions “aren’t” worthy to put on portfolio.
“This could be a really great piece for your portfolio.”
Maybe do that once–if it really will be a great portfolio builder, but no more than that.
All that time spent crafting that piece for free could have been spent directly contacting paying clients.
Don’t waste your time chasing after that carrot stick.
Get paid for you work.
The one person you shouldn’t haggle over price with is a tattoo artist – that ink is damn near permanent!
great discussion! i agree with camilo. i’ve been freelancing for 15 years and i still get deep-pocked outfits suggesting that while i won’t be compensated well (or sometimes at all) for my writing, i’ll be paid in portfolio points. big deal. one lousy credit isn’t going to buy me groceries.
Rock on NC. Awesome comic. Meanwhile, here’s a comic for those of us still working a day job–>
CLient told me the other day, “Well we’re having money problems”
I wanted to say, “Well %^&* don’t we all? Pay your BILLS!!”
LOL – I have, like many; had this happen. I return the proposition – and it is like you can see the entire thought process play out on their face.
Are these comics supposed to be funny? I’m confused.
Wasn’t this one of the arguments justifying the (in)famous FSw design contest?
“While a big-time book cover probably would look good in your portfolio…”
I love freelance freedom, they’re all so true!
Beautiful! In few more months the new potential clients can’t use that on me. Just because I am a student doesn’t mean I am incapable of producing professional work.
thats so true.
Nice. I recently found a project offering a portfolio piece as payment on a freelance bidding site. I think the only appropriate time for a free website or free work is for a close relative or friend. Thats it.
I feel this comic 100%. I’m putting it on my wall and carrying it with me everywhere I go and will show it to prospective clients.
Sadly, I think everyone lives & breathes this.
I don’t mind doing the occasional piece of free work for the right reasons (& the right client ) but more often than not, if it’s free of charge, it is treated like something throw-away. Appreciation of time / effort go out the window and both sides are left with an unpleasant taste.
In my country there’s a saying that goes something like this “Џабе работи, џабе не седи”
with all due respect to good designers; there are a few crappy one out there as well.
I will speak on behalf of the customers, we were a new start-up, and couldn’t go for a well reputed agency, so asked a free lancer to do it for us; he showed us his portfolio which was not great but acceptable but when he came out with a few logo designs for us, it didnt reflect us at all.
So he finally decided to take a detailed brief about our business; spent on a few more days, made 12 more logo designs (we asked him for a few) but again, 10 of them were not suited for printing but would have looked good on the web. so again we explained this point and he took it with a pinch of salt.
Went again and made 4,5 more logos but till now we understood the level of creativity he had as 2 of the logos were hugely influenced (copied) from the examples we showed him . So it ended up paying him nothing.
The next step was paying more and finding better person or agency but in all cases, after this experience, we did not find it feasible to pay anyone in advance; and why should we???
If you pay a mechanic in advance and he tells you that the car is fixed, but in actual it is not fixed and he tries again to fix it but still cannot fix till the time you realize that he doesn’t know how to fix a car but insists that he can fix it. So if you go to a different mechanic, will you pay him mechanic money in advance???
Despite the author using the mechanic analogy before, I don’t think it entirely fits for graphic design. With a mechanic, either your car is fixed or it’s not. Design is more subjective and opinionated, what the client may not necessary like may be best for the clients (and vice versa).
In addition, freelance designers – like many other project professionals like builders / etc – HAVE to have a portion of the project cost up front in order to make a living. For all we know, the client could sit on changes / etc and we wouldn’t get paid for a year, all while we have food, rent, utilities to pay.
You said the freelancers portfolio wasn’t great (but acceptable), so I would have went with your initial instinct there and not dealt with them. I certainly understand the apprehension after a poor experience, but if someone didn’t want to pay me 40% of the estimate up front to get started, that’s fine…but they get no work. This would be no different with contract builders, wedding caterers, etc.
Down with Free Pitching!
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