This week, I built in a little "spare time" into my schedule, and produced a few designs on spec, in response to some "I need a cheap logo" ads I'd run across. I have said over & over on many occasions, that I think it's a bad idea to do work for free. I know there are better ways, but those take an investment of time, energy, resources… and frankly… a network I just don't have. Anyone in our profession knows the reasons against spec, so I won't go into it too much…but, I thought it would be a shortcut to some quick cash, so I gave it a try.
I justified myself. I thought of it as humanitarian (given the clients' low budgets), as creative exercise, and is a chance to earn a little cash. In the end, only one of those came true. I got a nice peice of creative fodder that will probably eventually make it into my portfolio… and it did not take me very long to produce. But, I gambled with my talent, my time, & my emotions and lost.
Any seasoned professional could tell me that I was just setting myself up for wasted time, for failure, even to be stolen from, etc. and they'd be right. The good news is that there's grace.
I tried something that probably wouldn't work, and it failed. I'm not marred for life as an amateurish bottom feeder… I'm not blacklisted & banished to the deep recesses of "design-hell"…entrusted only to a handful of menial production tasks. I did what an artist does. I tried something out of the ordinary, learned something from it, andexpect to have a better perspective on business as a result.