I got about 9 minutes to spare on this before it’s back to work time. So forgive me if it’s fast.
Heiruspecs is running a design competition to make some artwork for our very first record that came out in 1997. Skye Rossi and Felix designed the first artwork but it’s long gone and we have to get something up there (itunes, bandcamp). Our intern Eric decided to run a competition to get some artwork for this thing. Heiruspecs will make approximately $400 before I die on that record. We have a spreadsheet we will have put into action when we incorporate to insure that our people like martin devaney, bryan alvarez, dj judo, alex oftelie, michaela day and others will get a lot of that per sale even on bandcamp, even at micro-amounts. Like a lot of bands we’ve been slow to enact proper payment schedules for individuals who worked on our records, particularly our old members. We have been working hard to correct that both with our performance rights organization and with our accounting for income from itunes, bandcamp and record sales.
Heiruspecs has been doing this for 15 years and we’ve taken some things on the cheap and on the free. We’ve traded, we’ve done stuff for free. We’ve made some money, we’ve lost a lot too. The highest paid entries of our crew from 2000-2006 was Automotive Repair. This has been a living at times
Anytime we’ve put out a record besides for my brother leading the charge on Antidisestablishmetabolism we’ve paid for design. We pay shitty, but we pay on time. We believe in designers, engineers and everyone else getting paid.
But we live in an economy where free is a potential price from time to time. And folks have to climb on as best as they can until they have something to charge for. Did I play on Oddjobs records, P.O.S. records and Eyedea and Abilities records for free? Yup. Would I today? Nope. Did they screw me? Nope. I was trying to establish my talent. I have a talent, I charge for it now, but I sure appreciated that ladder being rolled out to me.
When we are rolling out a new shirt, a new logo, a new album, a new site we will be working and offering to make payments and make that stuff look right. But the truth is the next time I have that job that’s just right for an up and coming graphic designer I might be looking to the guy who redid the cover of our record from 97 for free cause he liked the band. He or she put the record in headphones, made us some art and won a bunch of signed free merch. That’s establishing his talent.
I’m not trying to take the money out of designer who charge hands. It’s quite the opposite, we write checks to those guys. And when I see a band with real money running competitions for the cover of their records what disappoints me is not that they are screwing designers, it’s that their screwing themselves. Don’t leave something as important as your artwork for a major release up to a competition. But, I don’t think we should get bent out of shape about Heiruspecs running a competition for our record form 1997.