If you’ve been sent this link, it’s because you’ve asked me to work for free.

As someone who works in the creative industry, this happens a lot.
So much that I’ve gone to the effort to make a web page about it filled with Joker GIFs.

“It will be good exposure”
If you’ve found my work, chances are, someone else will be able to as well.
Unfortunately our mortgage company doesn’t accept Exposure in return for keeping a roof over our heads and Tesco doesn’t accept it in return for food.

“It will build your reputation”
Unfortunately this reputation will be of someone who works for free, and this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“It’s for charity”
Alright, I’m not a total monster. But it’s happening on my terms.

If I want to do something for free, chances are, I’ve already offered.
But with free work, comes a few ground rules:

I get to do what I want.
If I’m going to get a good portfolio piece out of it, I want it to represent my true style.

At least cover my expenses.
It’s one thing asking me to work for free, but paint, diesel and accommodation are all expensive and I don’t want to be paying to work on your project.

If you can’t offer money in return, at least think of something you can.
Maybe you can take some photos I can use, get my website onto the 1st page of Google or supply me with a year’s worth of cake. Bonus points if it’s something that I would already be spending money on.

Don’t make me out to be an asshole for saying no.
I realise that if this hasn’t changed your mind, you will keep asking until you find someone who will work for free. There will be someone out there. But everyone that does it devalues the creativity of themselves and everyone else.

I just hope everyone in the creative industry takes the same stance, so in a few years, it will be as ridiculous as asking the same thing to a builder or mechanic.