Re: I've solved all your problems...

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Posted by Bruce on March 16, 2000 at 09:31:55:

In Reply to: I've solved all your problems... posted by SNAKEBITE on March 16, 2000 at 00:13:39:

SNAKEBITE wrote: if you want to get ahead, I have your solution, and here it is.....hate your job.

Years ago, I did some work for a Scientologist organization (hey! I was broke, I was hungry, gimme a break!) I was treated so miserably by this client, in a fashion that seemed so undeserved, that I was left completely frustrated and swore off ever working for anyone associated with the group again (as if I needed a reason.) Subsequently, I was told by someone who'd left the "church" that what had happened was right in line with a whole program they teach, a set of instructions for dealing with artists. And now I discover that it didn't originate with the Scientologists! Imagine my surprize!

In fairness to the Scientologists, no animation executive in my experience has been quite as good at it as they were. But I'm sure, with a little practice . . .

Nonetheless, I wouldn't recommend to anyone that they hate their job -- unless that motivates you to go find or create something better. My advice would be, love what you do with this eight or ten hours of your day (which may or may not coincide with your job); love it so much that you want to protect it, make it good, make it valuable in some way that's meaningful to you; and don't give anybody, especially some know-nothing exec, the opportunity to demean what you love. After all, it must be valuable to them or they wouldn't be paying you to do it.

Artists always tend to think that there's somebody else right behind them who can and will do the job for less (and these days, that's more likely than not); but having been in the position of needing (and hiring) artists I can attest that, when you've got the work, you tend to look very closely at the first talented people to show up at your door -- because you want to get to work. That gives those people a lot of leverage they often don't know they've got. Simple fact, as has been pointed out elsewhere on this board: if you're willing to accept work for less than what you really believe it's worth, you're an accomplice to your own exploitation.

Oh, and the end of the Scientologist story above? The client claimed the work I'd turned in was completely unacceptable and if they weren't in a deadline situation, they wouldn't be paying me at all. As it was, they would have to turn it over to some other artist to re-do what I had done, and I should be willing to accept a reduction in my fee to account for that. I refused, told them I was keeping the artwork (which was better than acceptable, it was actually GOOD) and returning their advance. An hour later, they called back. Seems they'd made a mistake; could they have the artwork? and there was a check waiting for the full fee. When I finally saw the finished piece, it was exactly what I'd given them, no fixes. So maybe the last item on that list of instructions for dealing with artists was: when all else fails, pay the artist for his work.

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