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What You’re Actually Paying Creatives For

Possibly one of the biggest frustration of creatives is the meager amount people are willing to pay. Some rely on their familial connections and friendships for “favors”. Some don’t even offer to pay, and when asked, the worst-case scenario is lashing out.

This is like a universal experience for creatives—either the pay is too little or none at all. The best reason behind this could be that clients don’t understand what’s being put into the work. It’s never “just a drawing” or “just a video”. It’s time, effort, and money.

Creatives spent years to hone their craft

Some artists have begun their journey when they were kids. From then on, they teach themselves how to improve their craft. For those who have the privilege, they go to school to properly learn how to illustrate, make films, or write.

Hence, when you see an artist complete a project in such a short time, it’s because of years and years of practice. Whether the 10,000 Hours theory is true or not, one thing’s for sure: artists have been training all their life to satisfy their personal expectations as well as their clients’.

Materials are not cheap

Let’s take for example digital arts. Adobe programs are heavy on the computer, and they usually need multiple windows and tabs open. Therefore, they need the most powerful device to work smoothly and deliver quality projects on time.

Some artists use the best gaming PCs, and their prices usually start at $500. On top of that, they use drawing tablets that can cost for as much as a couple of hundred dollars.

So, think of how much your photographer, videographer, and illustrators invest on their equipment. On the other hand, those who have physical media spend as much on paints, brushes, canvases, frames, and studio spaces.

Time and materials need money

Because artists go to school and use the best gadgets there are, their capital is not as low as you think. These artists are professionals, and some are not living off of their parents’ money.

They need to think of their ROI, too. That’s why they charge the amount that they charge. If for you, it’s just another thing the next ‘techy’ kid can do, for artists, it’s their business. This is what pays their bills and keeps them afloat.

Most of all, it’s their passion, and it’s not something anybody should exploit. They’re already taking a risk by commodifying their passion, so the least clients can do is support them by paying them right.

The idea of a starving artist should be abandoned. In the digital era, artists are more valuable than ever. Thanks to artists, brands can feed people’s hunger for content. Advertisements, copies, product designs, website designs, etc. are thanks to artists.

Support artists by sharing their work on social media. If they have streamable content, stream them. Most of all, pay them their rates, and pay them punctually.

The final product is not just an output of 30 minutes of work. It’s a product of years of learning and mastering, not to mention the expensive equipment they use.

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