The concept of providing exposure instead of just recompense for work is a problem that affects many businesses, and "For Exposure" on Twitter exposes this behavior. The page collects direct statements from people and organizations who have made offers to work for exposure rather than payment to professionals in a variety of areas, including artists and photographers. These statements reveal a disregard for the time and effort required to produce high-quality work.

"For Exposure" seeks to raise awareness about the significance of appreciating professionals' efforts and compensating them fairly for their services by sharing these messages. The page has spurred significant discussions about the importance of labor and the necessity of valuing people who devote their time and effort to their art. It serves as a reminder that experts need to be paid adequately for their work and that publicity alone is insufficient.

The article also includes an exclusive interview with Ryan Estrada who is an established comic artist, author, and the creator of the "For Exposure" Twitter page, so make sure to keep on reading.

Bored Panda reached out to Ryan Estrada, the creator of the "For Exposure" Twitter page, to learn more about his inspiration behind the page and his thoughts on compensation and recognition in the creative industry.

Ryan shared that the whole thing started as a joke. "I'd been seeing a lot of 'txt' accounts, so when I got a really dumb message about working for no pay, I thought to myself 'I bet I could fill up a txt account of these for exposure messages for a whole week!' I spent an hour procrastinating by tinkering with it, and before I knew it, I'd scheduled a year's worth of posts."

The "For Exposure" Twitter account gained massive popularity over the years, reaching millions of people and changing the conversation around terrible offers. Estrada shared that "everyone from aspiring teen artists to Eisner, Emmy, and Grammy winners followed the account. I was really happy to see how much it changed the conversation. How people would reply to terrible offers with 'this sounds like something out of @forexposure_txt' and the places where offers like that were made got better." Despite its success, Ryan recently decided to end the account after ten years when Elon Musk, whom he had quoted on the account multiple times, bought Twitter, and it no longer felt as fun to work for free to keep the account running.

We also asked Ryan about his experience with compensation and value recognition in his work and what steps he has taken to address it. The artist replied, "Everyone who makes art has to fight to make a living at it. The place I learned the most was when I ran a custom comic company. People would order comics about their boyfriends as superheroes, or 'how we met' comics for their weddings, comics about their company to hand out at trade shows, that kind of thing. I started off charging next to nothing, and that price ended up shrinking due to repeated demands for redos. Eventually, I upped the price just because I couldn't keep up and I wanted to slow the orders down."

The creator of the page went on to explain how he gradually increased his prices, and as he did, he found that his orders actually increased as well. He said, "I ended up charging 50 times what I charged in the beginning, and making rules that everything they wanted in the comic needed to be said in advance. If they wanted any changes, they would have to pay again. The professional rate made people trust that they were getting a professional product. And the confident, unapologetic demand to be treated like a professional invited customers who were glad to do it."

Estrada said that he has taken the lessons he learned from running his custom comic company into the rest of his career. While he only works on projects he's passionate about now, he's confident in his worth and has no problem asking for fair compensation.

When asked for advice he would give to young artists and professionals who are just starting their careers and may be struggling with the issue of being offered exposure instead of fair payment. Ryan's response was: "You are going to spend your whole life making art for little to no money. But make sure it's YOUR art. When you make someone else's art for no money, you only expose yourself as someone who works for free. I can't tell you how many people told me how much exposure I'd get from designing their logo. I'd love to ask them to name ANY designer of ANY logo. Spend your time making the art that only you can make, that you are passionate about, and you will discover untold ways to monetize it."

Estrada emphasized the need to break down the stigma surrounding compensation and treatment in order to build a culture that values and respects the contributions of professionals across various industries. "We need to get rid of the stigma of talking about compensation and treatment. Not just with our peers, so we know how to compare what we are being offered to common standards... but to the people who want to hire us. Don't be afraid to question, or ask for what you deserve. Even I have to be reminded sometimes. Last year, I started posting AI-generated comics based on @forexposure_txt quotes and hundreds of people rightfully called me out for going against the very mission of the account. They were absolutely right, and I appreciate their kindness in pointing it out to me so I can do better. Extend that same kindness to the rest of the world, so everything can get better," he said to Bored Panda.

Ryan's experiences collaborating with various publishers and companies, such as Scholastic, Star Trek, and Garfield, have helped him understand the importance of fair compensation and recognition in the creative industry.

"Anyone whose 'exposure' has ever been worth it for me was already successful enough that paying me was not even a question," he shared with Bored Panda. "It took many years and a lot of hard lessons to know how to stand up for myself, so I hope others can use the ten years of quotes on @forexposure_txt to learn the red flags, know they're not alone, and have the confidence to stand up for what they deserve."

He also urged others to extend the lesson to help and support authors in their own communities. "Like for example, if you enjoyed the ten years of unpaid work I put into @forexposure_txt, buy one of my books! I have a new one called 'Occulted' coming out in May!" he added.

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forexposure_txt Report

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