Stephen Silver- Why you deserve to be paid


Stephen Silver returns with another in his series of videos asking artists to know and understand their value.

I really wonder where the disconnect comes from in regards to art. Why is it about what we do that makes it seem to others that we don’t deserve or merit being paid? Any thoughts out there?

To learn more about Stephen and his work check his website and blog.



  1. Arthur Barry

    Hi Stephen,
    We are facebook and linkedin friends.I love you statement you made on the above video concerning payment for services rendered.You are a very talented and respected artist in your field.I am a creater of several tv shows(actually pitche bibles and script).I have no talent in the writing and art field and have hired several writers,artist, and animators to help me with the above projects.You are SPOT ON! People shoud starts appreciating talent and creativity.Businessman have taken away this skill and minimialized it as an unfortunate expense.I have always appreciated artist,musicians,writer and all sorts of creative people.I have been a businesman for 25 years in the suction cup field and thank godness I was a small business and never had to subject myself to thinking like a large busines man.Don’t get discouraged there are many good folk who are most appreciative of you great talents.

    Best regards and most appreciative,

  2. Susan

    Yeah! you said it! Perfect.

  3. Sharron Walsh

    Saw this at the SCBWI LinkedIn group. I agree 1005%. I posted a long discourse on it (with a link to your site) at my blog. Very important words! Thanks.

  4. Mili

    I keep hearing this again and again, and to my shame I have done it too: working and not getting paid. It is illogical, but I have done it as a favour to a friend, out of fear that if I’m not working I will never get my stuff out there and be recognised, listening to a company’s sob story… There has to be a way to stop people expecting artists to work for free, and then maybe there would not be “starving artists” in the world.

    • WilsonWJr

      Sadly, I don’t think there’s a way to stop people from expecting it. But I do think we can do more to educate artists and stop them from accepting it. Then maybe they can educate people that our hard work and talents aren’t for free.

  5. Hope Irvin Marston

    Many years ago I was approached by phone about making an author presentation. When I agreed and stated my fee, the response was a request that I waive the fee because the organization had no funds to pay me. I explained that I had spent years developing may talent to become a published writer. When further pleas were made, I gently reminded the caller that writers need to be paid just as we pay the doctor, or dentist, or another skilled person for services we request.

    I’m a post depression child, number eight in a family of nine. My father taught us that if we couldn’t afford something, we had to do without. We didn’t ask strangers for a handout. Today some organizatons need to be reminded to do the same.

    Of course there are occasions when we make a presentation without compensation in support of a cause important to us, but that is an exception.

    I had been a published writer with a number of books to my credit before I began asking for payment. I had become friends with accomplished writer for children, Bruce Coville. Somehow in our conversation, I mentioned that I was not charging for my presentations. Bruce looked me in the eye and asked, “Aren’t your presentations worth hearing?” Mine were and still are…and so are yours.

  6. Lin Rodgers

    Right on! I have been telling writers this for years, but I must be meeting all the ones with thick heads. I still meet people that want their story illustrated for the CELEBRITY, EXPERIENCE, % OF SALES. These people are so naive and haven’t done the least bit of homework. I say no thank and I would love to meet the illustrator you con into falling for that old trick.

  7. joel

    Well said Steven!
    I have been guilty of “giving it away” when I can neither afford to or think it’s right.
    This is solid reinforcment…a reminder we all need!

  8. Susan

    Yep! well said. Will pass it along to many…


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