An open letter to clients from a freelancer.
Did you know that deep inside we want to charge an actual price for all the efforts we put into the project you assign to us? But over and over again, we stop ourselves from quoting that price because we fear of losing this project. There is this constant question that revolves around in the mind of artists like us – “What if there is a dead-end after this U-turn?” And that’s the reason why we never take that U-turn and redefine the worth of the potential we hold inside our brain.
Did you know that we wanted money in exchange for the work, not exposure? But we settled for it because you promised millions of views and great insights to us. We really wanted to express how our electric bills and room rents cannot be paid by the exposure you promise us. We really wanted to tell you that our landlord won’t understand the insights that our work will receive from the digital platform. Even though my mind showed me the reality, my heart assumed that at least one out of a million will want to give me a project. And I settled for all that you had to offer me!
Did you know that we feel anxious at the end of every project, especially now when times are full of uncertainty? Submission of final work or delivery of the product doesn’t really show us a road ahead. Sometimes, it feels like a dead-end because we don’t know when the next project will arrive. We don’t know if the pay will be sufficient enough for us to meet our basic needs. While we desperately wait for your constructive feedback or a sweet referral, we doubt our work more than you can imagine. Every day we spend waiting for you to revert back and leave an encouraging review is a day spent questioning ourselves if we were good enough.
Did you know that for you this pandemic might be a bad phase, but for us, it could change the course of our career? There are a handful of people, actually reconsidering their decision and hanging between waiting for payment and waiting for new projects. Every e-mail ignored by you is like another ray of hope diminishing and pushing us towards a breakdown. A breakdown of not only dreams but also the courage to keep going on this path.
Did you know that some of us have a life beyond partying and ordering food from Zomato? Some of us are simply struggling hard to make enough money for buying 1 BHK in a town and get a permanent place for our parents after retirement. And it really kills us every second to wait for payment updates about the work where we invested hours and days of our life. Just for once, we want you to step out of your business plan and look at what we, as an artist, go through between getting a project and receiving the payment. Every payment delayed or denied feels like another weight added on our already heavy shoulders.
Did you know that most of us have faced battles when we started walking on the road less travelled? Some of us are surrounded by relatives and neighbours wanting to know how far we have reached in our lives. No matter how much progress we are trying to bring in society, sometimes we just wish you understood what it has taken from us to be here. Sometimes we really wish you remained a little more patient and didn’t cancel the project. Because every project cancelled, is like another defeat that we will face until the next one arrives.
At the end of the day, all we want is to get what we deserve. All we want is to not regret walking away from an engineering degree. Dear client, if you made an effort to step into our shoes, you will know that we are not overcharging and what we make is not just adding colors inside the lines. We add colors to what you have envisioned and we serve it as you like. You don’t just pay for the canvas, paints, graphics, sound, and performance; you pay for all the days we worked on our skills thinking someday we will meet someone who will understand our imagination. We know what we signed up for when we chose to make art, but we want you to know what you sign up for when you chose to hire artists.
A freelance artist
We have released the third episode of our weekly podcast show 'When We Met' which talks about The Gig Economy & Freelance Culture of India ( Part 1 ) Listen to it and let us know your views on Instagram DM.