For young creatives, the words “opportunity” and “exposure” have become standard forms of compensation despite the fact that it’s not exactly a currency that will pay your rent or expand your diet from multivitamins and Ramen noodles.
So goes the cliché of the creative industry, if you want to pursue your dream, you better get used to working for free. The fresh faced writers, musicians illustrators, photographers, designers etc. of today are familiar with some version of this phrase; “There is no payment for this one, but if you impress me with your work, I can promise that doors will open for you in the future.” There is of course a problem with this logic—free services devalue the market.
So goes the cliché of the creative industry, if you want to pursue your dream, you better get used to working for free.
There is a silent practice in the world of advertising—literally commission-free work and then choose the best. While this practice works greatly in favour of brands, it leaves young creatives with hundreds of hours of unpaid work, only to see the dangling carrot of “opportunity” evaporate into thin air.
In the corner offices of today, the year’s young creatives have spent refining craft hold less value than a cup of free-trade coffee. Lack of respect has become normalized. So what would a restaurant owner say if I tried to pay for my food with a Tweet?