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:::SAY NO TO SPEC ART::: by Meiphon :::SAY NO TO SPEC ART::: by Meiphon
So, I have been seeing so much of this Spec work crap on the DA forums recently.
And more and more I see replies on these requests, why would you do that?
I happened to find a site that shares the views of many artists fighting this selfish act.

Here are some of the write ups on their site, they express very valid points on the subject.

"Spec work may seem seductive when you’re having a slow month, but it’s important to understand its downsides. Even for people just starting out in design, spec work can be detrimental. Not only might you learn bad habits, but the clients you “win” will continue to expect you to work for little compensation after you’ve built up your portfolio. This same pitfall of diminished paycheck expectations applies to established designers, as well."

"No matter what you call it, Spec Work, Free Pitch, etc the concept is the same. I’ll get a handful of designers or studios to come up with a handful of concepts for my website, and the winner gets my business.

Great concept? No! There are no winners here."

* Free pitching devalues your work.
* Free pitching hurts all of your clients.
* Free pitching produces crap work.
* Free pitching makes the client look stupid.
* Free pitching hurts the entire industry.
* Free pitching is a big sign saying ‘We’re going broke’.
* Free pitches encourages less planning.

Why are good artists giving away their time for the slim chance of getting, say...their picture in some other country on some advert?
Just because the employer is promising you exposure doesn't mean he/she will actually make it happen.
Your not only giving a stranger your time, talent and efforts you are giving them the rights to "your" work.
To do whatever the heck they want with it.
And please don't be naive, most of these people don't even have a "multi-million dollar company" or "publishing company all planned out" There are a lot of people out there just trying to get free art with false promises.

Its selfish to ask artists for high quality work with no pay, thats like asking a doctor to do a minor surgery for free.
Whether or not you have attended some fancy art school or not doesn't matter. I never went to art school, but look where I am. I learned it all on my own, I spent 10 years of my life studying my butt off to get where I am.
And for what? To give selfish people my time/talent/artwork rights? No!

You don't have to be an "amazing" artist to ask for money, and from experience it seems that beginner artists take even longer on their artwork. So thats more time going into free labor. There is a lot of time that goes into a picture, planning, concept, sketches, inking, scanning, ink clean up, coloring, sizing.

Your art is worth something, regardless of your artistic level or education.
Your time is worth something, hell you could be flipping burgers for more money!
The rights to your artwork is worth something, if they can't pay royalties then they should have to pay extra for the rights to the picture.

So please, stop replying to non paying jobs! Fight for your rights, your rights as an artist and as a worker.
Don't work for free!

Please add this stamp to your journals or a link to No!Spec in your signature.
Here is a link to the actual site, if you have the time please sign their petition and support our rights as an artist!

Thank you!
Add a Comment:
KevyMetal Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Good write up. I needed to see another opinion besides my initial reluctance to sign on for some such work with a new local publication as I am having a slow month. My first instinct is that the producers of the publication do not have enough faith in the success of their venture to pay for out sourced elements such as the artwork up front, then I feel that I can not be overly confident that I'll ever see a reasonable return for my work. Also, there is a tendency of suspicion on my behalf as to their true intent with my work.

You reinforced my own thoughts as well as bringing up other possible risk factors I had not yet considered.

Kevy Metal :thumbsup:
Shadow12000 Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
Not everyone on DA is an artist, a lot come here looking for art, or because their friend/spouse/relative is one and they enjoy their work, so not everyone is going to know things like Spec Art. I actually thought from the description that it was a campaign to make people only do art for money, including not doing works just because you felt like making something, not that it was submitting art for payment without having actually received some kind of request to do so beforehand. Just saying, nothing that doesn't spell it out is 100% will always look like what you want it to be, and a simple definition isn't that hard to add to it. I almost went on a bit of a rant about letting people draw for fun if they want to unknowingly, but the site you linked had an actual description that I saw before I finished it.

Sorry if that seems a bit mean, I was in a bit of a bad mood due to personal matters, and seeing something that looks like someone saying "If you're not drawing for money, don't draw at all" was kind of like a fire to a fuse since my girlfriend draws just to draw all the time. >_>
Raylorn Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Student General Artist
Don't even want to do spec work. (Even if I did I'll just spew out something in less than an hour because spec work encourages me to produce quantity over quality)

If my friends ask me to draw for free, I usually wouldn't and they accept this because they know my attitude. (There's one time my friend ask me to draw her face and I told her I will draw wrinkles, warts on her face and turn her face into an old ugly woman :lol:)

Most of the time I tell them "I'm lazy!!" :la:
TriumphantRed Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this.
coNstantine2530 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2011  Student Filmographer
Thanks for this. This is something everybody should be aware of!
vanishingpoint Featured By Owner May 11, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree with you totally.

The worst in my experience have been wannabe "children's book writers" and some wannabe "comic book writers". They have this great idea that is going to make everyone a ton of money, and all they need is some artist to work for free. It took them a few hours to come up with their silly ideas, and all they want is for you to spend dozens of hours breaking your butt on some illustrations.

They always, always, underestimate the hard work that goes into creating art. They always act like they're doing you a favor. There is always some pie-in-the-sky payoff that is supposed to happen for the artist, that never happens.

After getting burned in the past, I will never ever work for free. Even for family members (who always took the artist in their family for granted). People need to learn that your hard work is worth something.
SarahIsAlmostUseless Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Right on! n_n
And this may be kind of off subject (Or it seems so anyway), but I also hate it when people you know ask you to do stuff for free, and they think they deserve it because you're "friends" :P
(I never have that problem -.-, but my mother has :P and she doesn't like drawing for people with high expectations >_>;)
Meiphon Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009  Professional General Artist
Being the artist in a group of friends always puts you in that situation. "Well your my friend so you'll do it for free right?"
If its something small I dont mind, but I get that from DA people a lot, try to make friends just to get free art.

Anyways, wow I dont know how you even found my old write up, its old. But glad you did. :)
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm going to use this!
GhettoDaveyHavok Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2008
yo, i know, doin art for free is total crap. i did it for free a few times for a few high shcool students... im never gonna do it w/o pay again. shit take sa long time. i hate when ppl hav to scam u and shit. we really shouldnt do ti for free cus we putour time to this shit.
yajido Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008   General Artist
:thumbsup::+fav::glad i havent had any~ XD
DeathInTheReaper Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
What exactly is Spec art? I've never heard of it before...
Meiphon Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008  Professional General Artist
the description tells you everything you need to know :)
shameous Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008
I believe you have made my point for me......
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Superdemon-Inuyasha Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great job ^-^
hot4yaoi Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
whats spec?
Meiphon Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008  Professional General Artist
please, read the description that is what its there for :)
hot4yaoi Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ForeignSin Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008  Student Digital Artist
OO Good to know you're there and I hope you Christmas/Newyears was great and that your surgeries and such is going well and you TMJ is lessing. >< Mines been going on and off>> But not too bad. Instead I got a new job, then got ulcers, now I'm working with them but onions make it worse and I work at White Castle which is based ON onions LMAO But I'm making it and I hope you're well to!

And this is very cool. I had no idea what spec art and stuff wasOo; But I have enough since not to do stuff for free LMAO But it's good to learn a name for this kind of thing^^ :hug:
Meiphon Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008  Professional General Artist
Christmas was pretty fun :) I got a digital camera *dances*
mmm TMJ has been about the same...wah....

Guess you'll be scraping a lot of onions off your meals lol.
Ugh an ulcer, well...hopefully that clears up. Ive never had one before, but I hear they hurt a lot.

Anyways, got any new years resolutions?
ForeignSin Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2008  Student Digital Artist
Oh wow! CONGRATS!!!!
Sorry to hear that sweety. I really hope it improves! :hug:

Yeah>> >< I'm trying to get a new job and everything><
Yeah>> It hurts 'like the dickens' ^^; But it's slowly getting better! Thank you^^

Hmm.. YUP! Improve on my art. loose 30% body fat... and get into collage^^
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January 2, 2008
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