“A person who is unable to earn a sustaining wage can no longer be threaten with expulsion from a society as a way to maintain law and order - they have already been expelled.”
— Shawn Abel

Frustrations of a Freelance Designer

How Elance Works (or doesn’t work as the case often is)

Elance is a website where freelance graphic designers like myself can search for, bid on, and sometimes win jobs doing random graphic design projects for clients all over the world. It’s the best place for someone like me that I’ve found online to date.

The problems, however, are extensive and quite frustrating.

1 - The site requires clients to maintain an award rate of only 5% meaning they can post, and get bids that cost money to submit, 20 times for ever one job they actually move forward on. A vast majority of jobs I bid on never get awarded to anyone, but they do cost every time I submit a bid.

2 - I, an American living with a high cost of living, have to compete with people in Pakistan, India, the Philippines and other low cost of living places. Made in America is rare enough to work as an effective advertising campaign for those companies still doing it, and Designed in America is heading the same way.

3 - The site seems to perpetuate this notion that what I do is easy. At least half of the job posts I see start out with something akin to ‘Easy, simple, quick job.’ I don’t understand how that thinking works. First, if it’s so damn easy, do it yourself. Second, a good chef can cook a steak better, faster, neater, etc than a bad one, but you don’t pay LESS for the good chef. Mechanics are the same way - the last repair I did on my car took me an hour, but the skilled mechanics with their shop full of tools wanted to charge $380 for that hour.

In math terms: Skill = (Quicker X Better) + More $

4 - I have an extensive portfolio. I have this portfolio so that clients can see the quality and diversity of my work because odds are I’m not going to have an example on-hand of something exactly like every random project I bid on. Clients are supposed to look at the portfolio and decide if I have done the quality of work they are looking for, but most of the clients want to see their project first before they make a decision. For example, I worked on a trade show booth display graphic for 6 hours last night until 2am. The client didn’t have any high resolution artwork, didn’t have any copies of the sponsor logos they needed, didn’t have finalized text for the piece, and didn’t even have usable files for their own logo. I had to build it all from scratch in a file size so large that it bogs down my computer. It’s not easy, simple or quick. I submit my draft version and, a couple hours later, find out that the job was awarded to another designer.

The story from the client was all too familiar as well. Behind the gun, someone dropped a ball, being pressured from above, I pay bonuses, can’t ya just help a guy out?!? Blah, blah, blah. 6 hours of work for $0. Hard to pay the $380/hr a mechanic wants when I earn $0/hr. The HVAC guy I need to fix my furnace is $80/hr, so I gotta find a way to do better than $0/hr…

But what choice do I really have? Work for a felon and his sex offender cell mate? Work for a big corporation with deep, but somehow for me, always empty pockets? Keep slinging pizza and pretending that it’s all worth it? FML.

Check out these recent additions to my CafePress and RedBubble shops. First: Pet revenge is a dish best served cold - and it’s very cold in space. The next two are fairly self explanatory…
These, and over a hundred other designs, on dozens of products here:
http://www.cafepress.com/andabelart
http://www.redbubble.com/people/andabelart Check out these recent additions to my CafePress and RedBubble shops. First: Pet revenge is a dish best served cold - and it’s very cold in space. The next two are fairly self explanatory…
These, and over a hundred other designs, on dozens of products here:
http://www.cafepress.com/andabelart
http://www.redbubble.com/people/andabelart Check out these recent additions to my CafePress and RedBubble shops. First: Pet revenge is a dish best served cold - and it’s very cold in space. The next two are fairly self explanatory…
These, and over a hundred other designs, on dozens of products here:
http://www.cafepress.com/andabelart
http://www.redbubble.com/people/andabelart

Check out these recent additions to my CafePress and RedBubble shops. First: Pet revenge is a dish best served cold - and it’s very cold in space. The next two are fairly self explanatory…

These, and over a hundred other designs, on dozens of products here:

http://www.cafepress.com/andabelart

http://www.redbubble.com/people/andabelart

Check out this recent addition to my CafePress and RedBubble shops! A Speed Racer/Skate Boarding mash-up!http://www.cafepress.com/andabelarthttp://www.redbubble.com/people/andabelart Check out this recent addition to my CafePress and RedBubble shops! A Speed Racer/Skate Boarding mash-up!http://www.cafepress.com/andabelarthttp://www.redbubble.com/people/andabelart
Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?
Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!
My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com

Need a T-shirt design? How about a dozen different designs based on a single theme? A theme like…. oh, I don’t know…. gorillas?

Certified Silverback recently hired me through my Elance profile to craft a dozen designs with a gorilla theme. Check them out above!

My understanding of the production methods available today also means that I create files you can actually use, and you can hire me too! Email me for more info. andabelart@gmail.com

Buy out 10 - provide hope to 46,500,000

THE 10 RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE US…

have a combined wealth of $410.5B (that’s this much: 410,500,000,000 dollars) according to ‘The Forbes 400: The Richest People in America’ list. According to the 2012 Census, there are 46.5M people (that’s 46,500,000 people) stuck at or below the poverty level in the US. If you sacrifice the top 10 people (and I mean more ‘comfortable retirement’ than ‘sleeping with the fishes’ when I say sacrifice), and distribute the money equally among the poorest 46,500,000 people (I think in math it would be represented like this: 10 < 46,500,000), each person would receive $8827.95. Two people join resources that’s $17,655.90, and so on. That would be enough for some people to start a business, get more education, pay some medical bills, get a place to live or reliable mode of transportation. The other 390 richest people in America could buy up assets and businesses so nothing would really change. The only thing different is when those 10 people cash out, they don’t get the cash. Give em a reality TV show, national hero status, let em keep a mansion and a couple cars. Give 46.5M people an actual chance.

WHAT&#8217;S WRONG WITH YOU!?!
&#8230;is a question you might hear from time to time, but I&#8217;m the type of person who likes to think there are answers out there, and that these are but a few of them.
Recently there was a big news story about a wedding disaster photo that had Jeff Goldblum and a T-Rex. Because Jeff Goldblum was in a movie with a T-Rex. So yeah, important - news worthy. It was all over the internet, trending #1, making TV shows, etc. It&#8217;s famous because of famous, and that leaves no room for anyone else. That&#8217;s one of the things that&#8217;s wrong with your society.
I did a couple of themed wedding disaster photos as a freelance job not too long ago. I think they are done really well. Lots of examples to point to, but it basically comes down to how full and alive my images are. Background and foreground elements give it depth. Dust and selective motion blurring give them life. An abundance of added imagery asks you to delve deep into the image to see everything. In fact, I think it&#8217;s a little better than just plopping a T-Rex in the background, but this photo didn&#8217;t make the rounds because it&#8217;s a cool new idea (it&#8217;s not) or done particularly well (I&#8217;ll spare you the boring critique). It made the rounds because someone famous was doing something they did long ago to help make them famous, and famous is just more important than average. That&#8217;s another thing that&#8217;s wrong with your society.
I decided to post my work in the comment section of a couple websites. BuzzFeed kicked my comment almost immediately, but I was able to track interaction on my post to IGN where other readers, 13 of them, had voted to send my post to the top of the comment string (they thought others might like to see my work). That was 8 more votes than the other top reply, but quickly thereafter my post was deleted. I think they had a problem with my wanting to make money by creating that style of photo for others - outrageous, I know. The use of fame and power to oppress capitalist efforts is also one of the things that&#8217;s wrong with your society.
If the article had been about cool wedding disaster photo ideas, or well done graphic design and photo manipulation work, then my comment should have been right at home where it was. My examples should have been embraced by the publisher the way they were by readers. But that&#8217;s not what it was about. The article is about allowing you average people a glimpse into the world of famous - you shouldn&#8217;t be able to get that for yourself. To some extent it&#8217;s part of the early marketing work for the upcoming &#8216;Jurassic World.&#8217; And it&#8217;s a blaring example of how those at the top are the only ones allowed to be there. That might be the biggest thing wrong with your society.
I&#8217;ve attached both examples, the famous one from Adam Biesenthal and mine, so that you can be the judge for yourself. WHAT&#8217;S WRONG WITH YOU!?!
&#8230;is a question you might hear from time to time, but I&#8217;m the type of person who likes to think there are answers out there, and that these are but a few of them.
Recently there was a big news story about a wedding disaster photo that had Jeff Goldblum and a T-Rex. Because Jeff Goldblum was in a movie with a T-Rex. So yeah, important - news worthy. It was all over the internet, trending #1, making TV shows, etc. It&#8217;s famous because of famous, and that leaves no room for anyone else. That&#8217;s one of the things that&#8217;s wrong with your society.
I did a couple of themed wedding disaster photos as a freelance job not too long ago. I think they are done really well. Lots of examples to point to, but it basically comes down to how full and alive my images are. Background and foreground elements give it depth. Dust and selective motion blurring give them life. An abundance of added imagery asks you to delve deep into the image to see everything. In fact, I think it&#8217;s a little better than just plopping a T-Rex in the background, but this photo didn&#8217;t make the rounds because it&#8217;s a cool new idea (it&#8217;s not) or done particularly well (I&#8217;ll spare you the boring critique). It made the rounds because someone famous was doing something they did long ago to help make them famous, and famous is just more important than average. That&#8217;s another thing that&#8217;s wrong with your society.
I decided to post my work in the comment section of a couple websites. BuzzFeed kicked my comment almost immediately, but I was able to track interaction on my post to IGN where other readers, 13 of them, had voted to send my post to the top of the comment string (they thought others might like to see my work). That was 8 more votes than the other top reply, but quickly thereafter my post was deleted. I think they had a problem with my wanting to make money by creating that style of photo for others - outrageous, I know. The use of fame and power to oppress capitalist efforts is also one of the things that&#8217;s wrong with your society.
If the article had been about cool wedding disaster photo ideas, or well done graphic design and photo manipulation work, then my comment should have been right at home where it was. My examples should have been embraced by the publisher the way they were by readers. But that&#8217;s not what it was about. The article is about allowing you average people a glimpse into the world of famous - you shouldn&#8217;t be able to get that for yourself. To some extent it&#8217;s part of the early marketing work for the upcoming &#8216;Jurassic World.&#8217; And it&#8217;s a blaring example of how those at the top are the only ones allowed to be there. That might be the biggest thing wrong with your society.
I&#8217;ve attached both examples, the famous one from Adam Biesenthal and mine, so that you can be the judge for yourself.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!?!

…is a question you might hear from time to time, but I’m the type of person who likes to think there are answers out there, and that these are but a few of them.

Recently there was a big news story about a wedding disaster photo that had Jeff Goldblum and a T-Rex. Because Jeff Goldblum was in a movie with a T-Rex. So yeah, important - news worthy. It was all over the internet, trending #1, making TV shows, etc. It’s famous because of famous, and that leaves no room for anyone else. That’s one of the things that’s wrong with your society.

I did a couple of themed wedding disaster photos as a freelance job not too long ago. I think they are done really well. Lots of examples to point to, but it basically comes down to how full and alive my images are. Background and foreground elements give it depth. Dust and selective motion blurring give them life. An abundance of added imagery asks you to delve deep into the image to see everything. In fact, I think it’s a little better than just plopping a T-Rex in the background, but this photo didn’t make the rounds because it’s a cool new idea (it’s not) or done particularly well (I’ll spare you the boring critique). It made the rounds because someone famous was doing something they did long ago to help make them famous, and famous is just more important than average. That’s another thing that’s wrong with your society.

I decided to post my work in the comment section of a couple websites. BuzzFeed kicked my comment almost immediately, but I was able to track interaction on my post to IGN where other readers, 13 of them, had voted to send my post to the top of the comment string (they thought others might like to see my work). That was 8 more votes than the other top reply, but quickly thereafter my post was deleted. I think they had a problem with my wanting to make money by creating that style of photo for others - outrageous, I know. The use of fame and power to oppress capitalist efforts is also one of the things that’s wrong with your society.

If the article had been about cool wedding disaster photo ideas, or well done graphic design and photo manipulation work, then my comment should have been right at home where it was. My examples should have been embraced by the publisher the way they were by readers. But that’s not what it was about. The article is about allowing you average people a glimpse into the world of famous - you shouldn’t be able to get that for yourself. To some extent it’s part of the early marketing work for the upcoming ‘Jurassic World.’ And it’s a blaring example of how those at the top are the only ones allowed to be there. That might be the biggest thing wrong with your society.

I’ve attached both examples, the famous one from Adam Biesenthal and mine, so that you can be the judge for yourself.