Domainating: Brands, Art & Content

artist/illustrator/designer/webmaster/copywriter/videographer/optimizer/promoter/ad-man

Why Rip-off an Artist?

I am so tired of the current state of society.  Humans no longer matter and we take a corporate attitude of greed and protect-your-own-ass because no one else will.

Actually, there are real people who will stand-up and fight together and stick-up for each other.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that it should have never gotten this bad.

I see this all the time.  I designed a website that not only exceeded the needs and specs of the client, but it does so well beyond any parameters, including my own.  As I am just a freelance artist, it’ll never win any awards (I can’t afford to enter the webbies, etc… I am not surviving on what I get paid now) and only the client’s customers will ever really see it.

Ever hear the phrase “Charge a Corporation Twice or more what you would anyone else for the same work.”?  It is so very true.  Although lulled into thinking I could work with these people, they broke the original contract.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a contract in writing.  So *I* kept every promise and delivered an extremely search engine optimized, user friendly, interactive website  based on the MODx content management system/framework.  This is the most extreme I had ever gone with CSS, Sprites, Fly-out menus, minimal graphics, reduced graphic sizes, etc…

But in the long run I screwed myself because I didn’t have a written contract.  And it would have protected me, because these people were absolute abusers.

Now, let me tell you that I did bid low to get this job because I thought I would enjoy it, but I had no idea that anyone could be so rude, condescending, back-stabbing or ruthless.  Instead of treating me like a business partner with a humongous stake in  their online success, I was belittled and chastised as if a lowly underling employee.  I had never been treated with such disdain by a client, before.  The terms of the original contract agreement was breached on several occasions and the deceit I experienced was unconscionable.  It’s a surprise that I was able to complete the project at all.  And I had no recourse because the agreement was verbal and I trusted them.

But the project was finished, despite themselves.  Not only was it finished, it was done right (despite themselves): the way I wanted it done (which was well beyond what they had asked for).

But now I know why to charge 2 or 3 or more times the price for a corporate gig.  Either you are working for a committee, or you are working as a mere employee with absolutely no rights or benefits (like a slave).

The extra money covers the extra hassle of writing the contract, and in dealing with a committee or being treated like a peon.  And the contract protects you from getting the shaft, spiteful delays for meetings, etc…  Now I know.

I told them I would not work for a committee, that I would work with just 1 person in delivering them a site beyond what they expected. I did.  But not without giving in to allowing a second person in to the mix who berated me and crucified me to “corporate”, her bosses.

These employees have “corporate” on the brain because they are so scared of losing their jobs.  The girl they added to the communication chain was apparently the company bulldog.  And she thought she was right, no matter what the facts are.  In the end she twisted everything into lies, was dismissive and disruptive just to “show me” a thing or two, and delayed the whole design & development process, incredibly.

Today I was on the phone with her to reach the other party, the guy I actually get along with, in order to make the site live.  He’s gone for the day.  As I am talking to her, she grunts her displeasure with me and dismisses me by hanging up the phone without so much as a “Goodbye.”

Previously, I had always worked with the business owner and entrepreneurs such as myself where we were smart enough to understand and communicate with each other.  If only the masses could communicate, they could educate themselves.

Then, I run into this article on “Smart Planet” how artist’s should watch their own asses because it really is OK to steal someone else’s artwork!:  How a thief defends theft: http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/thinking-tech/how-to-protect-your-copyrighted-images-on-the-web/3684/

I am so angry this guy works there, at “Smart Planet”.  He’s telling us to watermark our artwork if we dare to put it online?  And all we are doing is trying to give our best work.  He says we could disable the right-mouse on a web page?  That makes our visitors angry because that right mouse button does a whole helluva lot more than save images, it is a vital tool for any web user.  He says to make a robots.txt file to steer the search engine bots away from our images… I did that once.  Not only did my images no longer show-up in Google Images, but my graphic design rank plummeted, and some search engines (such as the wayback machine) showed my web pages with all the images blocked out with a gray window over them.  Heck, I said stay away from crawling there, not to not show them on my pages!

There were plenty of lame excuses he gave, but they were all just excuses.  But it was interesting to see the criminal mind at work, how he could so effortlessly come up with any excuse and act as if it was actually a convincing argument.  Hey, fella, the reason Murdock gets away with it is because he owns Fox, not because it’s right, true or factual.

Listen, you self-centered “dogs” out there who don’t give a crap about anyone but yourself, it isn’t me or another artist that is “going to get you and bring you down”, it’s your own criminal activity and stupidity!

We artists are trying to give you are very damn best as a matter of pride in ourselves and our work.  And you treat us like we aren’t worth the same as you, that we are under you, your class, your level of achievement?  You rip us off for no good reason and excuse it as if we could do anything about it?

Where has morality gone?  What has happened to our ethics, and why do we dismiss them in order to make a point on TV or in a blog?  We used to be civil to each other.  Corporate America is NOT a good thing.  It seems to embrace ignorance.  But no one is fooled by Sarah Palin.  Being dumb is just plain dumb, no matter the excuse.

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April 9, 2010 Posted by | Brands, Government/Politics, Graphic Design, Internet, Media, Social Communities, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development, Website Optimization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Posted my Logo Designs to Facebook

I’ve posted quite a few of my logo designs to Facebook.  As I am looking for a decent career somewhere, I am hoping that my talents with logos (which I absolutely love doing) might help win the right company over.

The link to my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/symbioticdesign

You do not have to be my friend to see my the ‘photo’ album: Logos by DP at the next link:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=23644&id=1628191759&l=c081e8a41a

Enjoy!
(If not, comment me with your criticism)
-Doug

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Brands, Graphic Design, Logo Design | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Career Search

Trying to find a good job is in itself a full-time job.  And now I am starting to get pretty discouraged.  Although I am still working on my own projects, these self-employment web design projects are now becoming few and far between as less work is coming in.

It is actually a pretty bad, huge mistake to make on the behalf of business, not to advertise or not to hire.  It is now, when the advertising rates are lower, and the job market is full of great talent, that companies need to continue advertising and hiring the cream of the crop people it needs not only to survive, but to grow in the face of difficult times.

Advertisers that continue throughout these hard times will be rewarded in the long run because they will have much less of a difficult time establishing brand recognition when compared to the competition that refuses to maintain brand awareness.  Part of that reason is that consumers are more careful and are now establishing lasting business relationships with people they trust.

It is the same reasoning that businesses need to continue hiring the talent required to not only survive this economy, but to grow in spite of it, because the landscape of the internet and successful marketing techniques are changing so quickly that new alliances and innovative approaches have to be developed quickly and effectively with the business community itself.  Sit on your laurels too long and it is highly likely that your company will not survive the current economic devastation we are experiencing.  If GM and Chrsyler did not teach us through their lack of innovation, we have learned absolutely nothing.

I had been able to look pretty optomistic about all of this until now, as I know that I have great talent to offer the right company for the right position.  Unfortunately, I am not getting any favorable replies from anyone, anywhere.

Admittedly, I am located in a bad spot here in South Dakota.  Very few companies here get the new medias.  They are still having trouble accepting television’s role as a marketing tool, much less understanding that every single business and professional require a well branded portfolio that can represent the business in a positive light 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (or 366 days per year on a leap year).

We started out here not simply because I have roots here, but because it is such a great place to raise a family.  However, due to the considerable lack of understanding for the incredible advances in technology and new media, my skills have largely been ignored by the community as a whole.  Plus, it is more of a challenge for me to get the word out about my business when I am working out of a home office.

However, I am still trying to remain positive in my career search despite the frustration I have encountered.  But just like taking my business to the next level by aqcuiring a commercial property, it seems that in order to be noticed by potential employers outside my own area, I really need to personally visit their locations.  This is actually much more difficult than I would have thought.

It takes so long just to establish contact with a potential employee that it is significantly difficult to setup a scheduled appointment with any one of them.  And herein lies the real problem, because I have no problem visiting any location in the pursuit of a career advancement.

While it is true that I will make significantly less than I would be getting as a freelance artist/designer/copywriter/webmaster/seo/promoter/marketer/director on a contract basis, the reason that I am looking to find a decent career in the web design industry and relocate to wherever I am required for such a new position is the very attidude that I am facing because of the ignorance in this area for my industry.

Although getting to a few interviews for my craft is still a vital concern of mine, I have run into an article that was quite eye-opening for me.  In fact I actually started writing this post so that I could mention it. Therefore I should possibly apologize for this post since I am sort of backing into this recommendation, but I found that the Seven Great Questions to Ask at a Job Interview was a great article posted at Lifehack. If you are looking, or thinking of looking for a new position, I highly recommend that you read this article.

Remember, the interview is for you, as well.  Any company would want you to make an informed decision if you are offered the job.  They don’t just want people who can offer winning interviews, they actually require a person that is capable of performing the job and fulfilling its requirements as they see it,  as an educated leader.  But if you don’t know what that position entails, you are probably flunking the interview as yet another amongst the masses of applicants they are getting, anyway.

Though I have had a few interviews, they have not been in my chosen field of web design.  I know HTML, XHTML, CSS, graphic design, branding, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, copy writing, keyword optimization, search availability, website optimization, online marketing, social networks, one way link building, search engine marketing, PPC adverising, as well as traditional marketing and advertising.  I am also gaining knowledge and experience in Flash and have quite a few tricks up my sleeve for other creative solutions to web design issues.  In short, most serious businesses need someone like me directing their creative art department.

I just don’t have the resources to expand my business to the next level with a commercial presence and a complete advertising campaign.  And just like any other advertising business, I would be doomed to failure without a significant advertising campaign.

Which is why I am quite serious about relocating out of this family friendly area back into a metropolis where my talents would be valued and exploited.  I need a steady career that my family can count on guys, and if you are checking out my blog, please consider that I am quite serious about excelling as the web designer everyone would want.

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Brands, Employment, Government/Politics, Graphic Design, Media, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment