Once upon a time, BI (Before Internet), freelance cover artists were respected and admired members of society: We worked very hard, invested in high-end software and hardware, and cultivated the scopes of our talent every day with new technologies and trends. Our field was very specialized and prestigious; our clients knew with confidence that when they hired us, they would get their money's worth — and so we charged accordingly. Everyone was happy and care-free. Beautiful designs adorned books and hard-earned cash adorned wallets. Those were good times.
Then came the World Wide Web. In the beginning, it was blue skies: Those of us with pioneering hearts were able to stake our claim on certain niches and establish our name with relative ease. Still new and comparatively unchartered, the Web provided a rich paradise of ripe clientele looking for what we had to offer. It was almost as easy as throwing apples.
But it wasn't long before our rich niche was invaded by crawlspacers (my endearing term for inexperience). And suddenly, *POOF*! — anyone with a bootleg copy of Photoshop and the ability to spell is an instant graphic designer. Substandard designs saturated the market and threatened to destroy the very fabric of expectation, skill, and integrity.
Now, I'm not saying everyone fits this description, I give due credit to the multitude of talented cover artists all over the world who have every right to claim their hard-earned space. But those of us who have worked very hard to hone our profession can discern those who haven't.... and they're easy to spot: Look for basic, shoddy, cookie-cutter work at a huge discount. You'll see a lot of them on platforms like Upwork, or Fiver — which in my opinion, is a horrible option for anyone with self-respect. 5 bucks for design? I say you get what you pay for. My main problem with these freelance dime stores is how the decent artists have to compete with lesser talent for work. It makes me want to scream. Here's my advice: Don't succumb to bottom-barrel bargaining. Don't sell yourself short!
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To beautiful design,
BookCoverPro / BookCreative