I am not an artist by trade nor ever will be, but to see other people be so silly and throw their time away just irritates me.
Having said that, I started out doing it almost for free just because I was so happy that anyone actually liked my art. I did it for fun, not as a business. So I traded my artwork for merchandise that it was going to be on, since I loved the Firefly franchise so much. I did that a couple of times and was happy to do it, then the guy that I was collaborating with (I did the backgrounds for his Maps) said it wasn't fair I wasn't being paid actual money, since he was being paid, and insisted that the company pay me. And they did.
Since then more work has come my way, TV, movies, books etc and i am being paid. Granted I doubt I am being paid nearly what professionals used to get, but in this day and age of internet they can go overseas and get it almost for free. But they keep coming back to me because they like the "look" of my art. I am not trying to make a living off of my art, I do it for fun and for the name credit/recognition, but if you are an artist trying to make a living then you should be PAID a fair wage and insist on name credit or IMDB credit, because you are worth it.
"Every time someone tramples on our work — ruins it, changes it, mauls it, damages it — it’s because they have no respect for it. And, generally speaking, they have no respect for that which cost them nothing."
From Jurassic Park- always loved this line... I think it says a lot about the people who take our work for granted:
"It didn’t acquire any discipline to attain it... You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourself so therefore you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had, you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunch box, and now your selling it! You wanna sell it!"
Might as well say it-Human beings have no respect for that which costs them nothing. I often find myself saying or thinking, "If what I do is so frickin' easy, why don't YOU do it?" It's NOT easy- most people can't do it- that's why they need us.
Think about this: After reading, writing (although letter icons are "drawn", not "written"), math, science, and history- drawing (not art per se) is the most important dicipline humanity has ever known. In our modern world, every product, building, bridge, dam, vehicle etc., must be designed before it is built. It must be drawn- EVERYTHING. That's how important we are.
Some of the folks (more than two) I work for have begun to ask me to perform non-artistic (non-drawing/color/ink) tasks that were not included in the contract. Set type, format a page... In-house designer type stuff. I've spoken with other artists who have noticed the same sort of thing. I belive that some publishers are trying to cut corners (save money) any way they can because the economy sucks so bad. This stuff almost never happened to me five years ago.
In it he relates a eerily similar experience...
Sergio Aragonés, once was selling some sketches he'd done. A browser was interested in one but blanched at the hundred-buck price tag.
"How long did it take you to draw that?" he asked.
"About a half-hour," Sergio answered.
The man was horrified: "You expect me to pay you a hundred dollars for a half-hour's work?"
Sergio showed uncommon restraint — at least for Sergio. He calmly said, "You're not paying for the half-hour it took me to do the drawing. You're paying for the forty-one years it took me to learn how to do that."