I’ve met a very weird group of artists on Twitter who are socially left but at the same time of the mentality of a 80’s yuppie when it comes to greed. The game developer for the coming game called Beyond Good & Evil 2 created a fun contest for gamers to be apart of the game. Create a character, submit the character, and if they used the character design somewhere in the game, they would pay you money. The elitist and entitled artists of Twitter had a field day with this. They called “exploitation” and then gave excuse after excuse why they themselves were being put out of work because a game company was having a contest. They made it sound like that the people submitting the work were giving them, as “professionals” a bad name, because they were doing the work for free. I guess none of these top shelf “artists” ever met a Realtor who markets and spends time and money trying to sell house. If the house doesn’t sell, that Realtor does not get anything and is out of all of that time and marketing cost. But no… The Twitter Artist is above the little people who do work to make money. They feel entitled to having cash in hand before they commit a single pencil to paper…or whatever easier than hell digital medium they are working in. They go on and on about protecting their community… from a fun CONTEST for Gamers in a Gamer Community. But wait… Then they said, “You do know artists are gamers too so this is how it should be.” So the Twitter Artist community were basically just appropriating the gamer community and telling them how things should be done. Pathetic.
Anyone who has ever really marketed themselves (Marketing 101 and Personal Branding) knows that pro bono work, in writing, design, and yes… ART… can lead to bigger and better things that pay down the line. Getting your name out there, promoting your work, and getting recognition isn’t “free work” or exploitation, it’s self promotion. The limited and narrow minded view of the Twitter Artist believes that everyone will want your work for free then… because to them, everyone, is some evil group opposed to their elitist, hive minded, entitled and closed off community. Or they think that by you promoting yourself in this way takes away paycheck from their more deserving hands. They’re pretty much wrong on every aspect of this from the top down. They no jack about self promotion and believe that looking out for their elitist community is better than putting yourself as an individual into a place where you come out ahead. The mentality is one of failure for these people.
They all ask why no one else took my side in this debate and that’s an easy one, the main person who brought this up, is someone they follow. So the entire group of these Twitter Artists have this failure mindset. Sure the ring leader is telling you followers to look out for the community and beware any pro bono work because in the end, that keeps your name out of the picture and is less competition for the elitist snob telling you to do so. The ring leader cornered the pond and is keeping you lackey’s down. I say pond because the imprint from this person is nothing anyone has ever heard of anyway. Maybe someone in the crime streets of Chicago but no one in the mainstream has heard of this publisher or cares about the smack they put out. So this person is just a big fish in a small pond with Twitter followers who don’t get that they are being duped. It’s not the big company running a contest duping you people, it’s your Twitter overlord.
Speaking of the game… If you submit your work, they are not looking for polished, or complete work. Just a basic design you like. You aren’t being asked for a backstory, print ready design, or anything like that. Just a character you think might work well in that universe, and winners will get to see their design in the game, and get paid if it is used. It’s a good contest that fuels gamers to be more artistic and get involved in their own community. So anyone who tells you differently is just one of the elitist and entitled who are jealous that their way, is not the only way in this world.
FYI: A community has NEVER put food on your table or paid your bills. If doing something free helps you out later but does deny someone else a paid gig… tough. All it shows is that you were smarter than they were. Therefore YOU deserve the reward.