Freebies

mural and I

Can you believe I still get requests like this?

Hey Leland, can u design an event flier in exchange for tickets to the show plus exposure of your work such as placing your logo onto the flier?

OK…I admit I do get sucked into things like these things all the time.  It’s just the nature of doing art in the community.  I come from the days when doing things for the community was like a duty for the good of the community.  Always getting hit up to do free artwork and photography.  For the people!  People’s art!  Serve the people!  I’m crazy to be still thinking this way.  Not getting any money or very little money for doing art definitely does not bring food to the table nor money for my kids college tuitions.

Look at the recent Leway Reunion poster…that was free and I doubt if the Kanzaki’s are gonna even let me attend the reunion for free.

Look at the poster I did for WGUISFCT’s Winterblast, a benefit for Chinese Historical Society of America.  I didn’t get paid a cent for it.  CHSA made money on the event and I don’t think it even dawns on them that they should pay me a little for me artwork.

Then DBL comes up to me to do a free poster for Ohana E’s big picnic again.  I did the poster last year for them and they still made me pay to go to the picnic.  I even had to make potstickers for everyone.

The Miss Teen Chinatown poster I am only getting paid $150 for the whole thing.  For all the time I spent coming up with the design and pulling all nighters doing it.  Think $150 is getting me anywhere?   That doesn’t cover my monthly electric bill!

I am not blaming anyone… I blame myself for getting suckered into it.  It’s not like there are people lined up to commission me to do artwork or purchase my paintings or prints. Maybe I do need the exposure.

Yet it’s the only way I know to do art.  Would I be happy if a big corporation ask me to design a poster for their tires or cigarettes?

At my age I don’t need the exposure.  I am not like an art student that needs exposure.  I’ve been doing art for more than fifty years…exposure?  Ha!  I’m not some dumb kid that needs exposure.

On the other hand, if I really wanted those free tickets bad enough I might get suckered into it.  Hmmm….neh!…yeh…neh….

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