Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wednesday PM.

I read an interesting article in my trade press today - and followed through with an online calculator that declared my daily freelance rate should be £420.00. Well, that's interesting - because I can assure you it isn't. What I can tell you is that when I work in-house, I'm charged out by my client at a bit more than that - but I actually get very much less - I also lose all the rights to my work. People also forget that for every day I'm paid - I tend to do about half a day of unpaid work, and when I work in-house - I'm expected to work very, very hard - and it's not unusual for me to be there until late at night - frequently after midnight (but it's OK - I usually get a pizza or something). Intriguingly - in an online conversation with someone about the matter later - I was asked if I thought £420 was too much or too little - and then told that they generally budget freelance creative directors at £500per day ( although she missed the point about what she actually paid the creative - and what she kept herself) - she also seemed to have missed an occasion last year when her husband asked me if I'd "do a logo for a client of theirs for £25, and a beer". Really

I struggle to get people to take creative work seriously - even people who should know better, and then to get them to actually pay for it. I can easily get the odd couple of days doing all the really difficult front end stuff, all the hard creative graft (because I always deliver) - then the rest of the project will go to a junior, or frequently an intern - for a couple of weeks, who may - or may not, be getting paid. No matter how good I am - or how much people appreciate what I do - once they get to the end of the month and look at the figures, all they see is the cost of the external freelancer and baulk. Last year I was asked to do a piece of front end creative work, developing a brand identity for a retail licensed fashion brand for one of the biggest names in global entertainment - the project was at the planning stage and was looking to get the green light - the product and retail spaces had been designed already - they just needed a 'brand' - and that's what I do professionally - I've done similar work before, for the same client - and we had about 2 weeks until the 'name' was due to see it and sign it all off. I decided on this occasion that I wasn't going to just spend my time working my arse off to make other people rich and do it for a pittance, so I gave them a good, still very cheap quote - and said that I wasn't going to just do the difficult part - I wanted to do the job properly. After some discussion - I was asked if I knew a student who could do the job instead. Clients also forget that I am responsible for all my own costs, taxes and National Insurance - don't get holidays, sick pay, benefits or a pension.

Whilst I'm on the subject - emailed my last outstanding invoice today - so I'm 'waiting to get paid' - and all the work I have on is either freebies or worthless - just waiting now to see if the stuff I've pitched for comes off. I have stuff I need to do - but none of it pays - and like I said, no work, no money.

I just watched a very good documentary about Lance Armstrong. It's astonishing how stupid we can be when we 'want' to believe something, and how much we resist the truth.

Senile greyhound is getting quite a handful, he's OK in the house but walking him is very frustrating - he's getting more wilful and disobedient, and every time we go out and come back - he assumes it's dinner time again. He's fine when he's asleep.

Last night - I was considering an early night (this is about 6.30pm) when a friend emailed ad arranged a drink in a local pub garden - it was lovely - under a giant gazebo as it rained. Inside was a regular meeting of folk musicians - they take themselves very seriously and I suspect that the inter-group politics are very poisonous - there was a clear hierarchy. The rest of the pub was full of old people eating burnt steaks with gravy running down they chins, enjoying the free fiddle music.

It's really windy - but really hot at the same time and quite overcast, this is what I imagine the Mistral is like, howling in the trees and like an oven door opening and closing - the bit of sun we have can be described as 'angry'.

I'm fairly unfazed by the appointment of Baroness Butler Schloss for the giant pedo-geddon enquiry - it's going to be one of the most scrutinised and critically examined events of the last 60 years - so whoever ends up doing it will have to be very careful - and I have a bad feeling all sorts of mud will hit all sorts of fans, there is so much of an appetite for scalps that I have a feeling a lot of people will be defamed, sometimes unfairly - but they will be dead or unable to defend themselves. I'm also getting uncomfortable with the ease that homosexuality and paedophilia keep getting lumped together as the same thing in a very 'old school' kind of way.

I should really finish 'Stoner' - but I'm going to watch a shit film instead. Probably something with sharks or Zombies. Or both.

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