Hobby Doesn’t Mean Free

Sometimes I am just baffled by people who still don’t think being an artist, photographer, videographer or designer deserves compensation, that the jobs that we get should be for “exposure” because it’s just a “hobby”.

Today our Program Director came up to me (the resident Lead Designer) and asked me if I knew any students/interns in art or photography that would come to our Meetups downtown Chicago and take photos and videos for us.

Me: “Like for internship credit?”

Him: “No, not interns. Students that like to take photos and video. It would be like a hobby. [Our Company] would not pay them.”

Me: “But you’d have to pay them. Even interns get paid these days. And if you want them to come downtown to Chicago, there’s parking expenses, train ride expenses. Plus no one would do it for free.”

He gives me this blank look. “These students wouldn’t even do it because they like it? Because it’s a hobby?”

Me: “Nobody, not a student or anybody, is going to do photography or videography for free. At least an intern should get minimum wage.”

He looked completely baffled that we would pay someone to come to our events in Chicago, whether by train, bus, or car of their own expense, let them take photos and video of our speakers, and not pay them a single thing.

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I’m kind of livid, as an artist, you know? Like it’s unreal.

No, artists do not do things for free. We do not do things for trade. We have these skills, hone them, and use them for money so we can eat, put a roof over our heads, and clothe ourselves and our family.

Don’t let anyone try to persuade you to do things for exposure either. Work = $$$. Bottom line.

Cheers,

HK Rowe

 

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Letting Go – Old Writing

The big packing and de-cluttering continues at my house as we prepare to get it ready for selling. I’ve gone through so many of my things, that I’ve gotten to that exhaustive point of not caring and throwing old stuff out.

When I began sifting through my old writing stuff, I admit I was nostalgic. Looking over the print outs with notes of my own as well as from some of those in writing groups – the good and the bad. I wondered if the stories were worth salvaging in their half finished forms. I wonder if I could go back to them. In my gut, I knew I can’t. I saved a few ideas, a few snippets of notes with ideas written on them, but as far as the stacks and stacks of old stories, I sent them to the recycling bin. I felt a small pang for them, but then I realized that I have to start fresh. I can’t hold onto old ideas or stories that I never felt the motivation to complete.

I even discarded the notes and critiques. What good are they for me now? Do I take them in the move and get something out of them later?

Or would I rather nurture new ideas, ideas that are fresh in my mind that I can actually do something with them?

The answer is of course obvious. After chiding myself for wasting so much paper on the print outs, I knew that if a story was going to last, I would have kept at it. I would have transferred the idea onto my Google Drive, a much more environmentally friendly repository for all my copious thoughts.

Sometimes you gotta let things go. I’m starting to learn that as I slowly de-clutter my life. I’ve grown out of those stories, and though I may have gained something out of them in their time, they are no use to me anymore. Sometimes characters and stories just have to die; especially, if your writing style and craft has grown so much more since then.

What do you think? Can you de-clutter your own past writings and move on from them? How much do you mourn them knowing other better stories and ideas will take their place?

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe