May 8, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

For God’s Sake, Value The Time you Sell

I celebrated a birthday last week, and if there one thing I’ve learned in my years is that the chunks of your life that you sell to mega corporations should be placed at high value.

I see so many artists and writers selling it as if they were having a garage sale.

I see it with these amazing animation projects that I see others selling to networks or even “go-between” so called “producers” for pennies on the dollar. A few thousand dollars for what can earn a company or “producer” millions.

I also see it with some Internet animation websites. Buy out all rights to characters and properties for a couple of thousand dollars.

It makes me sick.

The reason why I see this at birthdays, is that when I look back at my life, the moments I cherish most are not the time spent working for conglomerates so they can put more money in the hands of the shareholders with little regard for art or integrity. Its the time with my kids, travel, projects of my own. So time I sell away from that comes at a high price.

I found the work on Rocko and Lazlo rewarding on it’s own merits and the opportunity to work with some very developed artists and writers. But I also made sure that the time traded for it was compensated at a fair price for what I felt it was worth. I was willing to take less for more ownership of the project, but if the media giants want all of the rights, then they should compensate the creators of those rights. Your time you are trading, and your creation you have yielded is worth a lot. Don’t accept a ” Standard” contract, don’t accept a first offer because you are afraid it will go away. And see what a company can potentially make from what you are selling.

This really goes for any creative project. Yes,there seems to be a going rate for certain creative offerings, and these companies are taking risks. But there needs to be more give and take.

Don’t sell yourself short. You and your work have high value. Stand up for it.



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3 Responses to May 8, 2012

  1. Nichole says:

    I am struggling with this very issue. I am afraid to make major moves because I am afraid I won’t make as much money. I also hinge so much on my job, my status, my imagined successes. I want so badly to just be and enjoy and savor and positively impact, but fear keeps me reigned in. Time slips by me because I am paralyzed, and then I regret the time was not better spent.

    I think I’m turning a corner though by at least recognizing this pattern. At least I hope so.

  2. Matt Stevanus says:

    That is highly valuable insight, Joe. I have always said that money means nothing to me as long as I have enough to get by and make the people I care about proud. I hope to one day have my series on a network but I will make damn sure it’s worthwhile and that I make it the best it can be, regardless of the money I make. I’d rather my creation be truly special. My friends think I’m crazy but I’ve never cared about money, it’s about doing the thing I love for the rest of my days because I only have one life and I want to spend it animating and creating something great.

    I really am grateful that you have been there to inspire and help me to grow as an artist and as a person. You will forever be my hero and I hope that you are well and enjoying yourself these days. If there is ever anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask. If you need an intern for animation, I’d be more than happy to oblige and no need to pay me, I love what I do and cherish every opportunity I get to do that one special thing; animate.

    Take care and keep up the great work Joe!
    -Matt Stevanus

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