Paying for Creative Works

Paying for Creative Works
October 20, 2020 1 Comment Lifestyle Kevin Menya

How many times have you heard of the phrase “Money makes the world go round”? How often, or have you ever paid for creative content? With the ever-increasing penetration of the Internet in Kenya, most creatives have come to appreciate the convenience it delivers. Consumers too are enjoying a wide variety of content with minimal or no cost delivered to them via their devices.

I am personally a music writer and a recording artist, and thanks to the Internet I’ve garnered new fans and made a few dimes here and there through distribution of my music on various online platforms. Professionally I am a web and graphic designer, with a passion in both motion and still photography. Do not forget that what you’re currently consuming is also a dream that I’ve procrastinated about for so long.

Time to get Paid

People will keep telling you that you need to pursue your passion, and money will follow. Question is, does the money really come? How many mature people have you met who gave up on their dreams after realizing that it actually doesn’t pay as much as they’d expected. I will talk from a music artist’s point of view – for those of us who write our own music. There’s a lot of investment that goes into it – factor in the studio time, mastering, cover designing that has to be paid for, the composition of lyrics, etc. In short by the time you see a track on the internet there are people who had to put their money into the project.

I also do web design, and what you’ll notice is that most people tend to use CMS (Content Management Systems) that are largely open-source, or free to download and use for that matter. Examples include WordPress and Joomla. When it comes to graphic design, we “borrow” ideas, pictures and vectors from other creatives, not to mention that a huge chunk of it is free.

70% of my professional skills wasn’t acquired in school. It came in the form of experience, watching YouTube tutorials, reading blogs and user manuals. Simply put, someone had to sacrifice for me to be who I am today. It reminds me of a phrase that someone influential in my life once said “No one is self-made”. The big question is, for the resources we’ve acquired online, can we pay for it?

I know I trigger a huge debate when I say that even pirated content helps push brands. We all know Microsoft, Hollywood movies, that favorite music artist, that author…. Trust you me they wouldn’t have flourished that much were it not for piracy. Not that I support piracy, I believe that a fair day’s job deserves a fair day’s pay. I’m just giving credit where it’s due.

We have countless excuses on why we never donate or buy, and in such instances stick to freely consume legally or pirated content. I strongly suggest that you ought to pay for copyrighted content, and in cases where the content Is available to download / consume for free, consider making a donation (even if it’s a one-off).

But I have no money to pay or Donate

I am deeply convinced that this is just a mindset. If you really wanted to pay creatives for their work then this wouldn’t be a question. Here are some of the tips that I’ve compiled that goes a long way for creatives, besides money, that you should adopt starting today henceforth:

  • Comment on their work. I’m talking about meaningful and honest comments that actually build the content creator. Avoid the emojis and generic comments. Talk about the content and how it can or has impacted you.
  • Like / Love / React. This is the simplest way of responding to someone’s work. Facebook, YouTube and almost every portal you get into has this basic functionality. You don’t know how many people are dying for likes out there.
  • This is simple. You see something worthy (or unworthy) that you’d like your online family to consume as well, share it with them as it helps with hits or views.
  • Big Companies like Google, Facebook and WordPress actually rely on user feedback and experience in order to rank businesses and content. You know that a seller will always praise their products and will rarely tell you of their flaws, that is where you as a consumer comes in. you will get to an App Store, or download Themes and Plugins (for designers) where content is absolutely free. Please always leave a review once you’ve used that resource so as to make it easy for other users who may be interested in consuming the same products make an informed decision.
  • By subscribing you simply enroll to have future content by that creator delivered to you. Subscription in websites like YouTube helps in monetizing the accounts so that the creators can actually get paid by YouTube for running adverts on their videos.
  • Give Credit. Here are I talking to my fellow creatives and the so-called social media influencers and those aspiring to be. This is so common especially on social media, you find someone just lifting someone else’s idea and posting it as their own. Some go to the extent of even watermarking what’s not originally their idea. Please credit your sources.
  • Contribute to the cause.This too applies to creatives. You’ve registered in a website that offers free images or videos, or basically any resource in your line of work. It’s time for you to also contribute by uploading your original works so that other users can enjoy them as well.

Now that you know, don’t forget to share this knowledge and continue motivating creatives.

About The Author
Kevin Menya For the love of life, positive vibes and everything in between, I keep learning and sharing.
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