Do me a favor?

“Do me a favor?”

It’s what makes every Graphic Designer cringe, once they hear that question. It usually means: “Wanna make me something for free?”

I know I’m going to offend some people who read my blog here that I know in person, because they’ve asked me to do such things. Which is fine. I’ve done them. But I really want to lay this out on the table for everyone else.

You don’t know how many people think I can “whip up” something in no time. It doesn’t take a short while to come up with a design piece that I’m proud of. It takes a lot of thought, and energy to come up with some really different pieces. I just don’t have ideas for your wedding invitations or christmas party floating around in my head. I mean, I don’t need to be a negative nancy (ha!) here, but seriously? If I wanted to be a freelancer, I would’ve been. But I’m not.

Another thing. Just because we’re friends, doesn’t mean that I am going to work for free, or even give you a discount. My work takes a lot of time, and a lot of times I don’t like to freelance based on the rates and trust me. It’s quite high. Especially since I’ve been a Graphic Designer for 5 years.  While I do work full time 5 days a week at my job, and while it doesn’t feel like work at all and I truly do enjoy what I do. I just want people to think before they ask someone such a favor.

For instance, I worked on design project as a humerous joke. Sent it to some people. Weeks later one of the people on that mailing list asked me to re-create the exact same thing, with different images. I can’t elaborate on it too much because a few people I know read this blog and they’ll know who I’m speaking about. But what was involved in that project was a lot of manipulation inside photoshop. It took HOURS. I’m not sure how many people really and truly understand that.

I just had to let that out there.  That’s one massive absolutely huge pet peeve of mine.

To leave you with a little humor, I found this image online. “Should I work for free?”. Most of the time the answer is no— lol.

[Start in the middle + click to enlarge]

Almost as annoying as asking the neighbour you only half know to do your taxes for you, for a piece of gum. Sure I’d take up on that offer, since I’m addicted to gum (only while sitting at a computer) but I mean c’mon the least you can do is return the favor and give a nationwide insurance review for my little white car. I know, that last paragraph made no sense. It’s not supposed to. Today will be my 5th day at CrossFit. I’m losing my mind. I drank the kool-aid. Addicting.

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  1. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU! It is the same for me and I get so frusterated!!! Do you know how many people email me and ask for nutrition advice. I don’t mind if it is an easy question but more often than not someone will send me a food journal and ask me to analyze it, make suggestions, and then proceed to ask a lot of questions about their diet and meal planning that I charge people for. A question like how many calories do I need isn’t always that simple. A lot of things play into it. And while I can easily give a ball park figure if you want exact calories complete with ways to incoprate said calories and what foods to focus on takes work and my time. This hit home with me because 99% of Keith’s clients expect me to do their nutrition for free and it drives me CRAZY!!!

  2. I agree with you. People don’t realize how much time is involved with their “little” project. They figure you can whip something up in a few minutes and in reality it takes hours of concentrated work. I don’t want to do extra work at home any more. I work in front of a computer all day long and if I get some free time, I want to work on some of my own projects. If I’m going to do something, I don’t want it sprung on me last minute. If I help them out with their freebees, I want to be proud of my work and that takes time to get it just right. Thanks for letting me rant……I feel better now :-)

  3. Can I copy and paste the first 5 paragraphs to use them as an answer to anybody begging me for FREE help? I work as accountant and speak 4 languages apart from spanish and I have given free tax tips and free translations since I left the University. This will help me to say no, thanks…..a lesson not yet learned.

  4. UGH! I hate that too. I’m an art teacher & I paint my own artwork for my house & sometimes get paid to do it on the side. I’ll make somebody the occassional gift, but I HATE it when people think I should just paint them stuff for free. It’s really time consuming, and I don’t think they realize what goes into it. I feel ya girl. **End Rant**

  5. I work in IT, and pretty much fix computers for a living. I would have a lot of extra cash for all the freebie work I’ve done for people. And these “friends” sometimes only contact you when they need something. It’s quite annoying. I only do things for close friends now and if someone else needs something done, I say I’m too busy.

  6. I feel the same way when people ask me to create training programs for free. I want them to be good and effective, which can take hours of work. Hours that I could otherwise be making a lot of money for! It drives me batty. I’ve pretty much stopped doing it.

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