This is what I hate.
When being offered a job, the person tries to ‘sweeten the deal’ by telling me the show has easy, cartoony characters to draw.
This translates to, “So this show won’t take you too long and you can just whip it off faster than usual, right?” or “Yeah, I know you’re burnt out, but this one will be easy because the characters are so simple to draw.” That kind of thing.
Here’s a news flash guys:
Quality storyboarding is NOT about the drawings.
In the last post I asked you to think about how you value yourself and your talents.
Here is how I value mine.
At this stage of the game when someone hires me, they are not buying a stack of drawings from me. It may look like that. That’s what I hand over, right? A big, honkin’ stack of about 600 panels in a binder clip.
Well, you could ask a 5 year old to do the same thing if it’s only drawings you’re concerned about.
But you might end up with one crappy cartoon (on second thought, it might not look any worse than some of the stuff on TV…hmm).
No, you’re not buying drawings from me.
You’re buying my knowledge and experience. In essence, my brain.
You’re buying how I put all those drawings together. You’re buying my shot choice. You’re buying my film sense. My storytelling ability. My acting. My sense of timing. The final outcome of all that happens to be a bunch of drawings.
Drawings that make sense and you can make a cartoon out of.
I don’t care if I’m drawing Spiderman or a stick man. It doesn’t matter. It might save me a bit of pencil mileage but that’s about it. I will put just as much thought and effort into either one. Saying it’ll be easier because it’s a ‘cartoony style’ is an insult to what I do.
I worked on a show that had the simplest character designs in the world. One was a square, one was basically two triangles and one was the shape of a pill (yes, that’s them…meet the Adrenalini Brothers).
And that damn series nearly killed me.
I liked the show, but thirteen months is a long ass time to be drawing squares, triangles and pills and make them funny. And they didn’t speak english…but that’s a whole other post.
So yeah…what I do has value.
Which comes to the question “Should you ever work for free?”
Well, that depends. On many things.
And I’ll explore it further in the next post (ya like how I’m milking this?) and I’ll give you questions to ask yourself when faced with this dilemma.
In the meantime…have you worked for free? Do you regret it? Where do you draw the line? Let me know in the comments. Cause I love comments. 🙂
UPDATE: While you mull that over, check out this article by Mark Simon at AWN for a kick in the crotch. It seems to be for the U.S. only (at this point) but it’s scary stuff. It shows how if we as artists don’t stand up and say our work has value, then no one else will…and take full advantage of it. Give it a read.
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