So tonight I made my first submission to crowdSPRING. Yeah, I know, I know — they’re the bane of the design community, they’re cheapening the industry, yada yada yada… As a professional designer I should hate them, right?
And here’s why. There are many talented people out there that don’t have “professional” design backgrounds, or young’uns that just haven’t gotten their big break. I believe they deserve a chance. So what if it means an increase of competition in the industry? Competition is good — it keeps us on our toes.
There are many UNtalented people out there who think they are designers. (Some of these get a paycheck in the industry, by the way.) If their submission stinks, they’ve only wasted their own time, and a little of the buyer who has to sift through the crappy entries. Has no effect on the rest of us.
It’s an easy way for those of us with talent to make a little pin money on our own terms. No beating the bushes for freelance clients, and no being saddled with clients or jobs you don’t want. You pick the gigs you’re interested in, and when you have the time. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.
It’s a great outlet for all that pent-up artistry that doesn’t get to see the light of day at your regular job. It gives you a chance to flex your creative muscle on a variety of projects that you normally wouldn’t get a chance to do. And you don’t have to stand idly by while your hard work suffers through design by committee – YOU get to call all the shots for once and let the work stand on its own merits.
It’s an excuse to create good stuff for your portfolio. We all know we’re “supposed to,” but when is the last time you sat down and created a “pretend” design to maybe show to a prospective employer one day? Um, never? Thought so.
And last but not least, it’s a good way to make professional connections and do higher-profile work that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Let’s say that Guy Kawasaki (who submitted a creative brief for the cover of his new book) falls head-over-heels in love with my design. Where else in the world would I get the opportunity to do work for him? He’s certainly not going to find me in Podunk, NJ, even if he tried.
All boats rise and fall with the tide.
The tide is changing, and my boat is ready. Is yours?