One of the inconvenient truths of being a creative person, whether you’re an artist, filmmaker, musician, or writer, is that non-creative types rarely appreciate the fact that you’ve spent years developing and refining your skills in the same way that doctors, lawyers, and scientists do.

As a result, you’ll be asked to create plenty of free work — sometimes by people who simply don’t know any better, but also by legitimate companies that know exactly what they’re doing and will never pass up an opportunity to save a dime on a project.

So, what’s the best way to explain to all of these people that you don’t work for free? Lily Williams, a visual development artist at Sony Pictures Animation, came up with this simple template that lets artists deliver the message in a good-humored way, while educating others about why your creativity has value:


Here’s how she filled out her template:idontworkforfree_c

Here’s another one filled out by DreamWorks artist Samantha Kallis: idontworkforfree_b

How would you fill out yours?

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