Whether you’re a graphic designer, web designer, creative writer or any other kind of creative, the undervaluation struggle we constantly face doesn’t seem like it’s going to let up anytime soon. I guess that makes for a big reason why the typical creative would rather not work for a formal corporation, choosing rather to work for themselves, ideally even on a freelance basis.
If you are indeed any kind of creative you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, otherwise those of you with more of a technical background should perhaps just take a moment to try and empathise with use creatives. It’s more than a little disheartening having to sit through your weekly briefing meeting amongst all your other colleagues for example, and have your portion of the work periodically and subtly belittled. It wears you right down to the point that it starts to show in your work.
To be honest the bulk of us creatives do our best to try and understand where all the technical guys are coming from, mainly because it does indeed take a bit of talent in order to master the requirements of pursing a professional career in any creative field. Still, that doesn’t mean we’re at all content with being constantly undervalued – it’s just something you simply cannot get used to.
Adding fuel to the fire are many of those pretenders to the creative world being churned out by what are admittedly very talented programmers in themselves, such as logo-generation software.
Artists perhaps have it the hardest because I mean art was something which we did as somewhat of an afterthought or fun subject at school, right?
The good thing though is that you can instantly differentiate between a logo generated by some logo-creation software and one which was conceived by the talented, skilled and well-trained mind of a professional and passionate graphic designer. Never give in to the undervaluation though…
Ultimately as a creative you know just how much value actually goes into the work you produce and if you ever find yourself feeling like you’re getting drawn to the dark side and that value becomes a little fuzzy, place a time-factor on the that value. In other words – look at it as somewhat of an hourly billed labour instead of how the final product produced for review is perceived. Yes, you may have to rework the logo a bit to satisfy the client, but the work you produced so far should be billed by the hour so that it’s worth something.
It’s your time that’s worth something and so it’s your time you’re selling, so while you could very well take a leaf out of the books of the likes of the Alliance Law Group and offer free initial consultations, beyond that you should value your time in the same uncompromising way that such legal firms do.
Never, ever give any of your professional work away for free – a free initial consultation is put in place just to gauge the viability and magnitude of the project that lies ahead.