Monday, December 21, 2009


This is an unfinished job I more than likely will never finish at this point. I still needed to flesh out the 3 people standing on the phone, and I needed to add the title above the monster's head.

A couple years back a guy asked me to do a dvd box cover for his movie. I sent him a couple very rough ideas and and then we talked out a plan. I told him I'd do it for free for the exposure, and also he said I could do a camero appearance in his movie for fun. After I started working on this everything became mysterious. I didn't hear back from him for a year so I gave up on his project.

As luck would have it, I went to a monster movie convention and saw his booth with stacks of dvds on the table, and all the dvds had my crummy rough sketch on their covers. It was uncomfortable for both him and me. He was embarrassed for not telling me he went with the crappy version. I was uncomfortable and embarrassed that awful drawing was on all the dvds. He pointed at the dvd and said, "See? We put your name under your drawing!"

I looked and sure enough my name was under that bad drawing.

The cameo appearance thing never happened either. It was a big disappointment. Free exposure jobs are dumb and I'll never do one again. This job learnt me.

The topper-offer to this sour experience was when he gave me a free dvd, and signed it to me, and spelled my name "K-E-N." It was extra revolting because my actual name was 1 inch away from his signature, on that very dvd, under that terrible sketch, and he couldn't trouble himself to look that far away.


  1. Never, never, never, never, EVER do a job "for the exposure." Ever. I did a couple in the past, and I will never ever do another one. I don't care if Steven Spielberg or George Lucas come to me and ask me to do a job "for the exposure." I will tell them to scram.

    I don't understand why the illustration and graphic design fields seem to attract these types of jobs so often. Obviously I have a talent that people find useful, or they wouldn't ask me to create something for them. But when it comes time to pay for it, suddenly my talent is not worth anything.

    I wonder why nobody ever tries this on people in other fields. If you take your car to a mechanic and he says it'll be $1200 to fix your water pump, nobody ever says, "How about I don't pay you, and you fix it for the exposure?"

  2. KW: I used to have an artist girlfriend that was very talented. For some reason, she wouuld sometimes do a job "just so her work could be seen). Like you, it was never a good experience. I used to tell her, it is better to overcharge that do something for free. Why? Professionals get paid. Amatuers don't. You don't charge, you tell the world you are an amatuer and that is how they will treat you.

    She took my advice finally. It was also her instinct to really undercharge for her work, too (I think part of being an artist seems to be being really, really humble and dumb about money). I would say - sell cheap, it tells the world you aren't worth much. She now is paid loads for her stuff (after we are no longer together, of coure - but that's another and very boring story).

    Do a work for gratis and nobody respects you or your work. I think I'm preaching to the choir, here, though! -- Mykal

  3. That's a great painting!

    I wouldn't have known the painting was unfinished ... it looks like the silhouettes are intentional. Like they are representing the people/conversation on the other end of the line. Or the monster's one-dimensional perceptions of those people.

    Maybe he's a telemarketer. :)

  4. Oh man..ya GOTTA finish this one!!

    I agree with Mr. Canada. Doing it for the "exposure" seldom works always seems to end in regret and frustration.

    Speaking from bitter youthful experience.

    But please finish the painting!!

  5. Of all your great stuff this is one of the best. I love that skeleton hand holding the phone. There's a real Venture Brother's "vibe" going on in this poster (this is a supreme compliment, as I worship the visual design of that show). This MUST be finished Keith, as, IT WILL SELL!
    Happy Christmas to you and Mei.

  6. That is Fantaznical art, Kevin!
    Heh heh!...I mean Keith!
    That's a beauty! Great design!

  7. Thanks Everybody!

    Merry Christmas!

  8. ha! i guess one good thing came from it all. a story.

  9. Hey Keith, This is why I called you Ken! Great bad story!!!

  10. Great story, Great comments, and I like the piece a lot. I'd recycle it. The monster figure in the back is totally worth saving.


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