Freelance creatives around the world have one common enemy and it’s one phrase —spec work. It’s killing the industry and has been a major problem of artists for too long. Most people may not be familiar with the term but they might be more familiar with the action. Want to know the meaning? Let actor Jameson Blake’s tweets from last night educate you.
Jameson’s tweet requesting for his graphic is now deleted, but not the enraged Filipino freelance creatives replying back. Outraged creatives ranted about his “reward” from the creative that collaborates with him. He indicated in his tweet that the best graphic will get a shoutout from him. And these creative netizens are not having it.
Check out some of these tweets that might help the actor realize why his request is a huge industry problem:
as long as people like jameson blake exists, people who think a mere “shout out” is enough compensation for labor, the creative industry of the country will always be belittled at best.
dont u dare call urself a creative nakakagigil ka
— Ellie (@elliemenohpy) July 5, 2018
ang kapal naman nung jameson blake na yun para humingi lang ng banner lmao mukha namang may pambayad.
— sheena scullaaay 🍕 (@_mulderitsme) July 5, 2018
:::Mode of Payment
✅ Bayadcenter/ 7-11
✅ Shoutout from Jameson Blake
— 👑wanderingprince👑 (@AkoSiPrince08) July 5, 2018
I do designs occasionally, and because I can't say I'm good enough to put a price, I sometimes offer it for free (but only to whom I choose).
While I know of an artist's struggle for proper compensation, we cannot invalidate the right of one to decide to get paid or not.
— glenntot (@DodongRabbit) July 5, 2018
His tweets about the matter has now been deleted. Still, he posted a follow-up tweet about the manner responding to the netizens that he outraged online:
Hope everyone has a great day ahead! Don’t let negativity ruin your day 😉👌🏼
— Jameson Blake (@Hashtag_Jameson) July 5, 2018
This request from the Hashtag member is a proof of how people paying creatives for mere exposure still exist. What people like Jameson fail to understand is how insulting it is to pay a person skill with an equivalent of a high five. “Professional designers should be compensated fairly for their work and should negotiate the ownership or use rights of their intellectual and creative property through an engagement with clients,” read The Professional Association For Design’s website on spec work.
Reading on about The Professional Association For Design’s stance on spec work informs people on why they should reject work for exposure. They have two main reasons for this. One is that it compromises the quality of the artist’s work and the other is that the act takes advantage of the artist themselves.
What enrages netizens more about the matter is that Jameson’s stature doesn’t exactly indicate that he’s broke. He’s the clear opposite of broke. Creatives are undermined by asking for spec work. It dismisses their careers, their skills, and the college degree that placed them there. This hurts Filipino creatives especially since there’s an existing phenomenon with them pricing their work for cheap. Here’s a Facebook post from a user that explains this phenomenon.
“I’ve realized that when you’re clueless, you’re prone to be exploited (and the sad reality is that those in power do exploit). it’s necessary to be aware of certain standards when it comes to pricing your craft because after all, if you’re good at what you’re doing !!NEWSFLASH!! you shouldn’t do it for free.”
There’s no promise that these incidents will stop. Educating people outside the creative industry about the effects of spec work is a must. This request from Jameson Blake isn’t the first nor the last. Keeping that in mind, it’s a problem everyone needs to be aware of.
Just in case our creative readers are faced by being tasked to do spec work again, The Professional Association For Design has a standard spec work letter you can send out to the client. The biggest middle finger to a shout out, after all, is a legal action. No tweet mention can pay for that.
Photo from @dohbaibrad
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