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Tim Kreider: “Don?t give it away”

Writer, cartoonist Tim Kreider pleads to those in the creative fields to just say no to requests to give away their work for free in exchange for exposure.

So I?m writing this not only in the hope that everyone will cross me off the list of writers to hit up for free content but, more important, to make a plea to my younger colleagues. As an older, more accomplished, equally unsuccessful artist, I beseech you, don?t give it away. As a matter of principle. Do it for your colleagues, your fellow artists, because if we all consistently say no they might, eventually, take the hint. It shouldn?t be professionally or socially acceptable ? it isn?t right ? for people to tell us, over and over, that our vocation is worthless.

Community Comments

#1 Tyson Cole
@ 11:16 am

Steven Silver has a lot of great posts about this subject on facebook.

#2 G Louis Johnson
@ 5:39 pm

When it comes to web comics it only makes sense to “give it away for free.” How else are you going to gain the exposure. You want people to see your work. However, I think artists are shooting themselves in the foot when they provide unlimited access to their archives. When it gets deep enough they should either set up a pay-wall and/or sell the archives as an e-book.

#3 Carson Haring
@ 9:54 pm

As well as a Cartoonist ( paid ) for the past twenty five years, I’ve been a sign painter. At the beginning, stock car people would try to get me to letter their cars for free in exchange for adding my own advertising. I finally came up with the perfect response….. ” So you want me to paint your car for free and then advertise that I do it for free ?!! “

#4 Tyson Cole
@ 10:44 pm

Web comics are one thing, but when somebody comes to you wanting work done for their project or business, it shouldn’t be free – especially if they’re going to be making money from it.

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