There’s been a lot of internet debate going down lately about whether or not to pay artists, actors, and other creative professionals for their services. I find myself in the tricky position of fully and firmly wanting to get a pay check, while having just produced two entirely unpaid productions. So, I thought about it for a bit, and I’ve come up with your basic “Should YOu Pay Your Artist” quiz.
1) Is anyone getting paid?
If the answer is no, it is perfectly acceptable to ask your artist to work for free. Your artist is perfectly within his/her (its?) right to turn you down. Artists have to make a living, too. However, if you have a neat idea, a great cause or an interesting experience to offer, and your artist’s schedule is less than full, you may just get lucky. After all, most artists become artists because they love what they do, and will happily collaborate to create for the kicks of it.
If the answer is yes, then pay your artist. Artists are no less valuable or professional than your technical people, and shame on you for thinking it. If you want someone to do a job for you, you pay them.