Beggar My Neighbour




Alan O’Regan writes:

“I’m signed up for notifications to my phone for illustration jobs and I got this e-mail (above) this morning. This shows the high value Illustrators have in this country. 120 illustrations (if they were any good) would take me at least 2 weeks (if you’re talking about completing maybe 9 a day – which is a stretch) and this individual is willing to pay €100. Sickening.”

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36 thoughts on “Beggar My Neighbour

  1. Happy Molloy

    Supply and Demand – if someone is wiling to worl for that price then the price is correct. If no one is willing then that person will not find an illustrator and will have to raise their price.

    And maybe they only want something quick with felt tip pens, I dunno.

    Times are tought but at least you can freelance and do nixers

    1. Grouse

      You say “times are tough” as though this was a temporary devaluation of skilled labour. As though there was a time on the horizon where Irish illustrators could make a living wage for their work.

      “The market decides” is often espoused as some kind of balancing force, but it can function to end an industry rather than continue it. That’s fair enough if ultimately illustration is not a viable paid career in this country. But it has huge ramifications for society, culture, the arts if we simply acquiesce to the market without making any sort of balancing argument. “The market” is individuals setting a price based on their perspective of the industry (and the work). This perspective is skewed. The undervalued supply comes from an emptying well of desperation, and temporary new suppliers who will do underpaid work before giving up and moving on to another career. i.e. Those working for nothing to try to get a leg up into an industry that no longer exists. This perspective can be influenced by open debate, such as this post.

      1. Gers

        “As though there was a time on the horizon where Irish illustrators could make a living wage for their work. ”

        Clearly you need to have another job then on top of illustration or change job all together! Either way, what’s hard to understand in there? Or maybe you would force people to pay more? Crazy thinking here.

        1. Grouse

          It’s not about forcing people to pay more. It’s about vocalising the genuine cost in time and skill (i.e. the hour breakdown done by Alan above) and seeing if they’re willing to pay a sustainable price for those services. So that the labour pool is sustainable, not provided by a diminishing pool of people trying to get their foot in the door of a dead industry. I don’t think you read my comment beyond the first two sentences.

    2. Steph

      The market shouldn’t decide the value of human dignity and paying someone so little is insulting. As OP said it’s two weeks work for him – say that’s 80 hours based on your average work week and that’s €1.25 an hour. €7.40 less than minimum wage for a rare skill.

      1. Happy Molloy

        Then they need to inform the person who placed the ad. It isn’t a very well known profession, we ain’t all experts

        1. jaysuswept

          The person is offering less than 1euro per illustration you don’t need to be an expert to know that is off the wall.

          No proffessional will take this job and if this is how they value their project they are bound to fail.

    3. Mr. T.

      In other countries artistic skill and experience is valued like any other profession. Not so for knuckle dragger ‘business’ types here who are usually bored rich kids looking for lazy ways to make money off the backs of other people’s efforts. Their other business plan is to get a load of work done and then dodge paying for it.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      That was deadly, Deadly. I especially howled at; “I don’t come downstairs and tell you how to send text messages, log onto Facebook and look out of the window”. Lol.

  2. Meyelze

    “And maybe they only want something quick with felt tip pens, I dunno.” Jesus Christ why would you comment on something you obviously know absolutely nothing about?

    1. scottser

      i was thinking the very same clamps. artist should copyright the bejayzis out their work before submission.

      1. jaysuswept

        Nope copyright automatically belongs to the artist unless signed away. There is no process for copyrighting. Copyright is a right which exists automatically.

  3. Tucker Done

    Ah here, if I put up an ad offering a fiver for an accountant to file my tax return does Alan think all accountants should be sickened by what I think of them? Get a grip.

    1. jaysuswept

      Accountants aren’t constantly being asked to work for free or next to nothing. Creative people are. That’s why we get annoyed by crap like this.

  4. Murtles

    I’m a dab hand at stick figures and I have three different colour pens so could knock out the 120 very clear ones in about 15 – 20 minutes. Plus kids love stick figures. To the Tree of Gums immediately.

    1. andydufresne2012

      They’re playing cards. In colour. You can do 120 in an hour? Off ya go so. easy 100 euro for The Flash

    1. Happy Molloy

      Well the crap ones shouldn’t be so upset, I’m crap at darts but amn’t jealous of Phil “The Power” Taylor

  5. Annie

    The annoying thing about this is it’s highly likely someone will take this job *for the exposure*.
    I wouldn’t. But someone will. People who do illustration for a living may smile at this ad and think *Nobody would work for that* but I know plenty of people, not just graduates either, who would not only jump at the chance but would very likely have done it for nothing. Would like to see what they look like when they’re finished though.
    This Harlan Ellison video is played every morning before work starts.

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