Thursday, October 30, 2008

Communication Breakdown

I'm sometimes surprised that it seems that artists are still unwilling to talk a whole lot about the deals they make for themselves in this business.

It is a business, first and foremost, so you should be trying to get the best deal you can get. Believe me, the studios do it, you should too. To say that you'd do this for free because you're drawing and/or animating for a living is EXACTLY what's screwing other artists over. You and your fellow artists have bills and student loans to pay, so don't undersell yourselves.

Studios will try to dissuade you from discussing your salary with your fellow artists. That's just silly from the artist point-of-view, as if you find out that you did indeed bid yourself low on this job compared to your fellow artists, you know that you'll be able to ask for more the next time you're in negotiations.

Are you in the union? Do you fill out their wage survey every year? If not, why not? Just do it, so we have a better idea of what's actually "average" these days. And then figure out if we can get a better deal. Again, the studios will do it, so should you.

There's a reason why actors and musicians have agents...they get their clients more money. The 90's were crazy with agents, and hey! some animation artists got some great dough. But when the boom went bust, so did the agents, it seemed. I would think it would behoove us if we started thinking like an agent...we need to get ALL that we can for ourselves, because we'll get screwed if we don't.

But it takes more than just one loudmouth on the internet to make it happen. It takes a majority of YOU. The hard-workers who feed the studio machine. Get your piece, you deserve it. Really, you do.

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