Tu Ha An - Dreamlike & Multicultural Illustration

Should we accept or decline working for free? (as a creative freelance)

“Should we accept working for free?”

This is a question every creative freelancer encounters, whether it’s from potential clients or within their personal circle, especially at the beginning of their careers.

Today, I promise you a holistic answer to this question, thanks to insights from two experts who have guided hundreds of project initiators in various fields, including creative entrepreneurs like photographers, graphic designers, painters…

I am delighted to introduce Naïma Da Costa Kohler, Director of CAE Bourgogne, and Karine Basset, Business Support Specialist at CAE Bourgogne. I can vouch for their expertise, having personally benefited from their guidance for a year and a half!

To complement their answers, I’ll also share my perspective based on my own experiences.

You can discover all this in a brand-new video:

A Secret Behind This Video (for which all contributors worked for free 😁)

Dear readers of my blog, you’ll be the first to uncover this secret.

This video, “Should You Accept or Decline Working for Free? (Creative Freelance)” wasn’t originally planned.

If you’ve read my recent blog posts and watched the video to the end, you know that I am in the process of making a documentary film, “BEHIND THE DREAM“, which explores the transition from a salaried life to that of a creative freelancer.

To successfully produce this film, financial backing is essential! And to persuade funding commissions and future partners, it’s crucial to present concrete elements. Not an easy task when the film hasn’t been shot or edited yet, as there are no funds available.

So, I needed “prototypes”. Since I want “BEHIND THE DREAM” to feature experts addressing the questions of creative freelancers, in September 2023, I reached out to Karine, my then mentor. The team at CAE Bourgogne immediately agreed to film 3 minutes with me to create this “prototype”.

This prototype became one of the key elements that helped “BEHIND THE DREAM” secure initial funding through a grant from CNC Talent (which is the French National Center for Cinema and Animated Image)!!!

But given the value of Naïma and Karine’s 3-minute responses, I couldn’t let these recordings gather (virtual) dust on my hard drive. They had to be shared with you so that we can all learn from them for our current or future creative journeys.

That’s how this video came to life!

Behind the Dream- another secret I must confess

In addition to the interview video with Naïma and Karine, the entire pitch for the future film was designed as a mini prototype.

I don’t know why I waited so long to make this presentation video public, considering it’s been unlisted for two months.

Maybe I’m afraid. For two months, I’ve been afraid to reveal to you the most daring project I’ve ever conceived.

My dear readers, it’s not an exaggeration to say that everything you’ve helped me build, overcome, and embrace has led to the creation of this film.

I don’t know what else to say. This video, hidden for two months, will probably convey my idea, my intention, and my vision far better than these awkward words.

Help me bring BEHIND THE DREAM to life

If you want to become a creative freelancer (not just a videographer or illustrator…), but just imagining this future is impossible for you, I suggest you share your dreams, fears and questions with me via this form.

And if you’re a family member, friend or loved one of a creative freelancer, I’d also love to hear about your apprehensions, doubts and concerns for that person. Don’t hesitate to write to me using the same form.

Before shooting the series, scheduled for this summer, I’ll draw lots among those who fill in the form to offer a small gift to one lucky person. 

To support this project, you can buy a cup of coffee for me and my little team here: https://ko-fi.com/tuhaan because yes, we’ll need a LOT x1000 of cups of coffee to bring this film to life, between right now and October 2024.

Keep creating!

Tu Ha An

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