Sweet Bles’sed Work!

Recent Commissions

It’s not all doom and gloom here at Knight Time Creation towers, no indeed. There are those beautiful moments when the scores of sent emails and the handfuls of potential replies turn into a sprinkling of actual jobs and oh what a feeling. It’s incomparably wonderful, the high is so glorious it makes it worth all of the desperately disappointing lows one has to go through to get to this point.

At the moment I’ve got a couple of jobs on, which is indescribably fantabulous, one of these jobs I’ve actually just completed and I’m really rather pleased with it. It’s for Appliances Online, who are bringing out a range (pardon the pun) of ovens (see…range…ovens…get it? Oh never mind.) Anyway, these oven people’s lovely new cookers are in a variety of colours, they’re called the Newworld Colour Collection and they’re pretty spiffy. Why do they need an illustrator, I pretend to hear you cry, well they’re putting together a Rainbow Cook Book, using the talents of 7 food writers and 7 illustrators each pair are given a colour of the rainbow and must write a recipe and illustrate that recipe between them.  Well, it was amazing fun. I stayed up most of the night working on the lovely Mango Lassi recipe I’d been given and the following day, it was complete and I’m very pleased.

Ahhh. *blissful sigh*

See, I don’t just complain and rant on here do I? No. So there.

What Makes Us So Special?

Rants

As a starving artist, I’m frequently to be found wandering the internet highways looking for work. Like the worldly wise tramp in the song “King of The Road”, after a while you get to know your way around and where to look for potential tit bits and scraps. So, I was at one of these proverbial soup kitchens the other morning and I was looking at the variety of freelance work they had available. Not just for illustrators either, but for pretty much every trade and professional you could care to mention. They had adverts for writers, escorts, programmers and adult movie stars, they had the lot. As I surveyed these dozens of job categories I was suddenly struck by a slight difference in the sections, the illustration section was the only one that was peppered with little symbols that signified competitions were available.

Yes, this site has recently introduced a new “exciting” concept, the competition! Not content with seeing people scrum to be the lowest priced creative talent on the market, now they want people to actually work for free. They don’t just say “work for free” though, no that would be too obvious, illustrators are too smart for that, no, instead they say “ooh, who can work for free the fastest?” to quote Tim Minchin “What, are we f***ing two!?”

Even this guy wouldn’t fall for it.

Seriously, illustrators, can’t you see what they’re doing? You’re working, for FREE! Just because they’re calling it a competition doesn’t change the fact you’re working for FREE, on the promise that maybe, just maybe, your work will get chosen by the client, thereby making you the winner and allowing you to get paid for your work (minus a cut for the site of course…)

The reality is, chances are you won’t get picked. In the mad free for all scrum of desperation, chances are someone else is going to get picked, or the client will go away from his computer and completely forget he even set up a competition in the first place. Whatever. End of the day, you’re left with a piece of work no body wants and you’re not one penny richer.

But you know the think that ired me, and prompted this rant in the first place? It’s the fact that the little “competition” symbols are all over the illustration sections, advertising, design, painting, caricature, cartoon, logo – they’re all at it. However the other sections on the site, the writing sections, the computer programming sections, hell, even the adult film star sections. They don’t have competitions, they don’t have “Who can write the most gripping novel? Winner gets paid.” and they don’t have  “Who has the most novel grip? Winner gets paid.”

I reckon she’d win…

Why are we so special, do the rest of the creative community took down on the illustrator section and just laugh? Are we, as a group, so gods damn moronic that we can fall for the painfully obvious “Let’s see who can sell themselves out the fastest!” infant school rubbish?

Yes. Yes it would seem that we are.

What a load of horse poop.

Prefer Another Style?

Rants

If I got money every time someone told me they prefered another style I could make quite a lucrative living out of it. I’ve even started ammassing a collection of emails in case that day ever comes when I’ll get paid for the backlog.

It annoys me so much every time I get it too, got one this morning if you hadn’t figured it out. Didn’t just suddenly wake up and think hey now it bugs me. No, I had a message from one of the many creative freelancing type websites I’m a member of, it was actually the potential client’s second response. Their first response yesterday was that they were rejecting my offer of work because my bid was too high, so I knocked a few quid off it in the hopes of landing the job anyway and lo…today I get a message telling me they’re rejecting my new bid because, they prefer another style.

If they had just stuck to their guns and said it was too high, it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. I could have just thought, well they’re pushing it if they think I’m going to reduce my costs any lower some other schmuck can work for nothing if they want to. It wouldn’t have bothered me. But it’s the fact that they “prefer another style” that really sticks in my craw, don’t they realise that I work in a variety of styles? There’s only room on the website to attach one image to your bid to give the potential client’s a flavour of your work, out of all the images in my portfolio I have to pick something relevant to the task at hand. He was looking for someone to design a fun, friendly map so I sent him an attachment of a map I’d already done. Granted, the map I sent him was more “Treasure Island” than “Magic Kingdom” but I thought, at least he can see I’ve done maps before, obviously I can make them more or less realistic depending on the needs of the client. It’s not like you ask me to do something new and I’ll fall onto the floor twitching and frothing at the mouth or anything.

I have a range of styles for goodness sakes, a range of styles. I can do things realistically, cartoony, delicately, boldly, graphically or paintedly…my style changes to suit the needs of the client so why do they all seem to think that if I haven’t already created exactly what it is they’re looking for, it’s something I will be unable to do. Are they that narrow minded? Do they really believe I’m lacking in any brain or talent whatsoever that I can’t follow a brief?

Infuriating it really is. I know, I KNOW, I could do the project he’s asking for, I could do it really well. But because I haven’t already done it, it would seem, I’m not the style he prefers.

*long drawn out sigh*

Back to the drawing board.

The Sin of Wrath

Rage On!