The coming Global Supersweatshop
I'm not much of one to partake in the gloom and doom talk of the illustration industry, as I think there is a lot to be hopeful and excited about in today's illustration and art scene. But every now and then I'm taken aback.
Today my rep called and we talked about a bid on a job offer from one of the biggest and most sophisticated toy companies in the world. Twenty six drawings to be used on building-block like toys and sold in it's world-wide store chain. We put together a price that we felt was reasonable - good for us and good for them - and submitted it.
An hour later I get a call back from my rep saying it was 2 pm and he was all ready now for his martini. The buyer was shocked at our price. Apparently the one other bid they got was for less than one third of what we asked for! Not only that, but apparently it was a bid from a "well known regular-contributing New Yorker artist".
He may have been b.s.-ing. But if not, why is a "well known regular-contributing New Yorker artist" bidding so ridiculously low? We're talking a fee that when parsed out amounts to less than what a regional newspaper would pay for a b/w spot. I'm trusting it's not one of you guys here. If so, please talk to me and help me understand your logic!
It's not that I don't understand and respect each person's need to pay the bills and get what they can and whatnot. But at some point we really do need to take some responsibility for our prices, no?
The client explained they're used to using artists in Asia. I guess that explains it...
Now, it's time for my martini...