I recently came across a journal post on Deviantart that Stated that one of the best things a Completely unknown artists could do is to offer their services for free… now normally I would be almost completely against this suggestion, but the way that this explained it completely made since….
*Take note that this advice is meant for people that are completely unknown beginners that have no options and are looking to learn***
Comic legend Lynn Johnston (creator of “For Better or For Worse” gave me today’s tip of the day. She wrote to me with some advice after listening to my audiobook “The Perfect Bait”
"I wondered if there should be a portion dedicated to people- students etc who are completely unknown, who just want to get a foot in the door.
Working for free is the answer. You might balk at this because some critics say this gives the appearance that there is NO value to skill and talent. However- consider this: Working for free gives you amazing experience. It allows you to practice on someone else’s project, see your work in print, establish a reputation and learn- big time. People who won’t work for free WILL pay for a course! What better learning experience is there than to work with a client- such as a library or an independent book store or a school- producing posters, in house ads and other media, voluntarily? You get to see your work in print- which gives you experience with printing methods and costs. You get to see your work on the wall or in a publication- something a course usually can’t provide. You gain a reputation for being on time and reasonable to work with and you learn how to deal with a deadline. This is in the real world- not a classroom. Some of my best clients came to me through the referrals I got from people for whom I worked for free. Free artwork will be appreciated by service clubs, libraries, local live theatre, transition houses, food banks and so on- this is a “donation” on your part; they pay for the printing and distribution and BINGO- you have a credible piece of work for your growing folio.
Just because someone works in a Transition house, for example, doesn’t mean they can’t help you gain a foothold in your career. Their network of family and friends always includes someone in the industry who can help you- and you will have doors open to you through the most unlikely channels! Doors open, however- only if your volunteer work is excellent. This means giving it your best shot at all times. Nobody recommends someone who is a slacker or a whiner or produces a half-assed job. As a young, inexperienced artist, working for free is your most valuable introduction to the business and if you are GOOD, will result in full time work- either freelance or with an established company. That’s my experience! LJ”
- Thank you Lynn.
Sending positive vibes to you all!
when I think about any success stories we’ve all done something for free that got us noticed weather it was intentional or not. The end Justifies the means is how I look at it. you might be working for free for now, but if in the end it leads to you getting paid why not. don’t be afraid to sacrifice for what you want.