( This was a comment posted on the WTFNaina piece called The Print Magazine Joke. The comment was shared on Facebook when I posted an update about the piece. There’s another comment that I approved for publishing on the story on the blog, but I don’t find it important enough to respond to with a full-blown feature. I’m a ranter. You got me. )

Sorry Naina Redhu i suggest you don’t take it personally its just healthy business .. Magazines globally work this way, for some artists it works well for some it doesn’t but in any way its not disrespectful to anyone .. people who charge politely say we charge and if business practicality applies they are paid if not they are not .. its just business .. best of luck to you god bless !!

“I suggest you don’t take it personally”

The suggestion is thoroughly appreciated. I will always be grateful to individuals who take the time to visit my blog ( thanks for the click! ) and even more grateful to those who take the time to write a comment. This suggestion of not taking it personally has been given to me many times previously as well. Of course, I fail to take the suggestion because I take my work and ethics VERY personally. The industry I work and earn a living in, is also something I take personally – because I’m invested in it. I am not a print publication myself, but I run a form of “publication”, i.e., this blog. There is no other way to take this except personally. Business is personal. It is about you and me. It affects us all.

“It’s just healthy business”

Not paying people for the work and effort they put in is NOT healthy business. It reeks of decaying, rotting, dying practices that need to be done away with. There’s nothing healthy about it, unless you mean that it is healthy for the print publication to not pay contributing artists. Sure, the magazine’s healthy – business and profits – and the artists are slaves. Not very healthy for the artists is it?

“Magazines globally work this way”

Anything that works a certain way globally doesn’t make it right or something to aspire to. Adapting to a new global work environment is paramount if business is to survive. Magazines need to think of new ways of making money. Indulging in unfair work practices is not going to cut it any more. One would assume that magazines got away with road-rolling artists for so long because the majority of the magazine’s readers did not know how a magazine was run. With the advent of the internet and people sharing their experiences, more of us know. There’s nowhere to hide, regardless of how long such practices have been carried out. Just because the whole world is doing it doesn’t make it acceptable. I will take a stand against such practices regardless of how unpopular my stand is. Because it is the right thing to do.

“For some artists it works well, for some it doesn’t”

Giving away work for free doesn’t work well for anyone, regardless of their being an artist or not. Some might appear to be ok with it because they believe that a magazine feature might make their career. If it doesn’t, there’s little value in talking about how this system doesn’t work for the artists. Why pick a fight? Most of us don’t like conflict. I’m not a typical activist myself – you’ll probably never see me at a people’s march or vigil or protest. Writing on my blog and talking about stuff on my podcast is where I do my bit.

The only thing this works well for is the publication that is receiving this work for free.

“But in any way it is not disrespectful to anyone”

Yes it is. It is disrespectful of my time, my skills, my talent and my work. If the publication is not willing to admit that they’re trying to screw over the artist, you might say that they did not set out “intending” to disrespect the artist. Doesn’t negate the fact that the disrespect did in fact take place.

“People who charge politely”

Fuck you pay me. I do not charge politely. Whatever the fuck that means. I charge. Fin.

“If business practicality applies, they are paid, if not, they are not”

You’re assuming that the print publication decides my revenues. It does not. I decide my revenues. You’re also assuming that only the print publication is a “business”. I am a “business” too. Business practicality applies on both sides. The print publication can decide that business practicality dictates that artists must not be paid for their work. Sure, that’s their business prerogative. My reasons for writing the first piece and this one, is to let the artists know that they have agency. That they can, in turn, decide that they will not give away their work for free. If “they” are not paid, “they” will not do the work. It’s a new world mister, you might want to get your head out of the sand.

“It’s just business”

That’s the worst excuse to justify not compensating for the value you’re receiving. I don’t care if it’s personal or business or war. There are two sides that derive value. The print magazine derives value from the artist’s work to make their pages look more beautiful and attract more advertising money. The artist derives value from being hired by the print magazine.

Do keep the dumbass comments coming. WTFNaina needs you!

For the record, there are some types of features in a print magazine that can be beneficial when it comes to PR for the artists. I am NOT talking about those features here. For example, when the magazine wants to interview you and their photographer takes your picture and they actually “feature” you. That’s excellent. The original “The Print Magazine Joke” was addressing a very different type of feature request. Please spot the difference.

 

More anecdotes and stories in the #WTFNaina series. ( These are all inspired by true stories. Some written emails, some from face-to-face meetings. They have all been piling up for years now and I’ve decided to put them to use! )