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Have you guys heard about Dan Cassaro, the designer who publicly “shamed” Showtime for asking him to take part in a design contest? How do you feel about it? In general, I feel artists (actors, fine artists, designers, etc.) are asked to work for free far too often. Common excuses are “it’s a great way to get your name out there”, “it will be a great portfolio piece” or “we can give you a share of the profit once the [product, movie, event, etc.] makes money.” Would you say the same thing to a building contractor, a lawyer, or a medical professional? No. These professionals are paid for doing things that you don’t know how to do. It’s the same with artists.
In this instance, some devil’s advocates will use the excuse that this was a contest, and that Showtime was merely asking the artist to take part. My response to that is this: Showtime stands to gain way more than the “contest winner” does. They are using the word “contest” to veil the fact that they are having a bunch of designer monkeys jump through hoops to give them a free, kick-ass poster. There are too many of these “contests” out there. Getting a bunch of designers to “compete” for the slim chance of having their work shown, when they are trying to make a living out of this and are likely putting hours and hours of work into it, is wrong. Just one girl’s opinion. That said, there are some legitimate contests out there. This was not one of them.
Here’s an article on the tweet heard ’round the world: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/meet-hero-designer-who-publicly-shamed-showtime-asking-him-work-free-159579