The “E” word


By Brianna Corley.

Exposure has become a soured term to those in the art community as it has begun to replace something far more valuable: actually getting paid.

In this current age of the social media phenomena, it is far from an uncommon occurrence for companies to reach out to freelancers in order to uphold a continuous stream of content. And in direct correlation, these businesses, from well-known to upstarting, seemingly always expect artists to do any amount of work in exchange of experience and perhaps their most favorite term, exposure.

One may argue that young artists often work for free as this said exposure is the sole way to gain betterment within their own respective fields. There is a key difference between when one offers services without expense to companies and being sought after with the outright expectation of doing considerable work for free.

Alongside this, the idea of unpaid work being a form of gateway to something greater is often skewed as there often stands to be no direct connection between unpaid work and more opportunities. By asking so much from freelancers without any monetary compensation, businesses prove exactly how much they believe the sought-after artist is worth.

This growing phenomenon of the “e” word is but another obstacle freelancers have found themselves actively facing, a notion to the constant growth and expectations set within the world they interact with. Through these constant changes the one fact that remains is that those in artistic freelance fields must both decipher and continue to stand firm against the shifting tides, for better or for worse.