Yesterday I read an interesting article written by a lawyer about graphic artists providing free work for contests. Basically, the idea is that someone needs a logo, so instead of hiring a designer, they host a contest, awarding a monetary prize to the design they choose. The article author talks about how you would never do something similar to a lawyer.
Murray and I have encountered similar things, like acquaintances asking for free work from us. I liken this to doctors. You would never go up to a doctor that you kindof know and say, "Hey, I'm due for my annual woman's exam. I know this only takes about five minutes to do. Could I pop in and get this done [for free] sometime this week?" (Heck, I hope you wouldn't ask that of a doctor that you know well, either!) There are times that I have asked nurse friends advice (thanks, Sarah!) but again, they are friends, and I'm asking advice. People can similarly ask advice from me, which I'll happily give for free, according to the amount of time I have to dedicate to it.
Today, (funnily enough, the day after reading the linked article) a former client emailed me about an opportunity to create a logo. I could submit my design along with two other designers, and the winner would receive payment of $100.
Fortunately, I'm booked for the next couple months.
But still. I know that the client wasn't trying to insult me, and probably thought that he was presenting me with a pretty good opportunity. But this client happens to own a restaurant. How would he feel if I told him that I'd be visiting his restaurant tonight, another restaurant tomorrow, and a third restaurant the next day, and I would award payment to the best meal!
Why do you think that some people undervalue an artist's or designer's work? Is it because our jobs are seen as fun? (A lot of the time they are.) Ideas?