What do you get when you combine an abundance of creative material and talent with a world that’s insatiable for exposure? Demand. That’s right, there’s perhaps never been more demand for creative work as there is right now, and likely more tomorrow. However, technological developments have made it so that there are more people able to supply that demand with work that’s ‘good enough’ that it often seems the bargaining power lies with the consumer or buyer who knows that basic economics applies: there’s demand but exposure is worth something, and someone is always willing to do it on a dime when you ask for a dollar. this leads those looking for material to believe all the work is worth is exposure.

This is not the case.

If the creative community would collectively value its work appropriately and working for ‘exposure bucks’ became much rarer, it’s fair that on a whole the produce would be valued more, because we value what we pay for. The problem is many creatives don’t know what they’re worth, nor do they know how to communicate in that capacity with potential clients. To that end, Jessica Hische, a ‘a letterer, illustrator, type designer, and relentless procrastiworker since 2009’ has created a rather clever little web-tool that aims to help creative types craft a good response to requests for work for free or what might as well be free or insulting.

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How does it work? Simple, go here, and you’ll be presented with the basic chart. Click the options that suit you and below that will be generated a body of text which corresponds to the choices you’ve made. The selections you go with are color coded and thus you can see where the text refers to that selection reflected in the text. If you click on ‘good’ for budget then the chart expands and you have even more choice, and you’re not limited to choosing one block of the lower set.

click to enlarge

Keep in mind this was written more particularly for designers, but a few words substitutions here and there and you’re off to the races because it gives you a starting point – anyone who has ever stared at a blank page knows that’s the hard part.

Being able to craft responses that are sensible and firm, but polite and engaging, are critical to ongoing success and Jessica has given a nice leg-up here. Check it out here, and more from Jessica on here site.