Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


My favorite off-the-blog anonymous correspondent Leggy Supermodel writes a number of good points this happy day:
"1. For someone who's so innocent, Anonymous Manufacturer sure spends a lot of time justifying what she does."

Well, when you're in a position of power, Leggy, it's hard to accept the news that you're abusing people when all you're doing is what all the other despots do. Once upon a time, orphan children lived in workhouses where it was perfectly legal to exploit them. Guess who the orphans are in my analogy. Now guess who's Mr. Bumble.

The strange thing for me is that I didn't post my stance on the abuse of Artists because I wanted to open a polite dialogue with manufacturers. I am patently disinterested in chatting with the manufacturers. The vast majority of manufacturers have lost all my respect, and I no longer want to be their best bud. I am more than willing to draw their ire, because really, if they loved me like little kittens, that would mean I support their tyranny. I don't.

I used to be more polite about manufacturers. Now I'm in the happy position from which I can ignore them and their concerns entirely, and I throw all my weight firmly behind the Artists. Treat me as badly as you like. But stop feeding the Artists gruel and calling it a meal.

"2. Have you heard from an Artist yet who said, 'No, I feel I'm being paid fairly for my work'?"

Yes, I have! One posted a comment just today. There are a few manufacturers who are known to treat their Artists nearly equal to their Graphic Designers. The trick is that most of those reputable manufacturers do not have "design teams." Most do not hold contests (a cruel gimmick which I in no way support). They do not curry favor on message boards. They rely on predominantly traditional advertising, marketing, and branding, and they choose their Artists carefully.

(And -- it might be pointed out -- they're not here responding to my lunatic ravings.)

The problem is -- there are dozens of manufacturers out there. There are hundreds of Artists being exploited. *Most* of the responses I've received are best represented by this note from one who wishes to remain totally anonymous, "You're kidding, right? More than one endorsement on a layout? I WISH! I'm losing money on postage alone!"

Just because I and a handful of others are being treated well by good companies doesn't mean that I should sit quietly while others suffer. Change is necessary, and perhaps it is best left to those who *are* treated well to help their oppressed brethren understand why.

"3. Have you heard from a graphic designer who says, 'No, I'd be willing to work for what design team members make'?"

Not one. Pardon me whilst I guffaw at the idea. Perhaps a better question would be, "Have you heard from a graphic designer who will stand up for the oppressed and exploited Artists?" And sadly, no, I haven't heard from a graphic designer who will go so far as to join me in my quest for fair treatment for Artists.

"4. Do you think you've done the Artists a disservice? Do you think the Artists think you've done them a disservice? I keep thinking about ol' amyk and her statement. If the Artists agree with you -- and it appears they do -- then have you done them a disservice by saying for them what they cannot say themselves?"

Well? No, I don't represent all Artists so I can't have done them a disservice. Besides, I'm not as talented as most of them. I'm begging them to join me in an all-out boycott of companies that treat them like crap, and I'm promising that I will not allow my name to be associated with such companies. But I can't pretend that all Artists are falling in line, quickstep, behind me.

The thing is, Leggy, most Artists have not formed a clear opinion of what is happening to them, and I feel I'm doing them a service to call a spade a spade. Having had my epiphany, I cannot possibly "go gentle into that good night." I'm accustomed to irritating those who disagree with me. (Just ask the famous plagiarists how much love they feel for me.)

Ideally, all artists, graphic designers, writers, publishers, and manufacturers would come together and just automatically do what's right. But this industry is still so volatile and unstable that competition runs rampant and taints most people's efforts. Everyone's looking out for #1.

Me? I'm looking out for the Artists. I'm OK with it if I never get another page published. I can make that sacrifice because maybe if I rattle the cage hard enough, something good will shake loose. I don't have to profit from this. I'm looking to make the world a better place. For Artists. Not manufacturers.

Snort -- "loved me like little kitties"! As if!

Now, Leggy Supermodel, I have a question for you: Should I wear my new green, white, and blue peasant blouse to CHA, or should I stick with boring old turtlenecks that might camouflage my extra chin?


At 6/3/07 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site » »


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