Popular websites that connect graphic designers directly to businesses are devaluing Australia’s creative community, according to business owner, Kate Lewin.
Ms Lewin, who is a freelance designer herself, is concerned about the effects of websites that encourage creative suppliers to enter ‘competitions’ or submit large amounts of work with no guarantee of any money at the end of it.
She believes these sites are exploitive to individuals, damaging to the credibility of the industry and aren’t as prevalent outside the creative field.
“It’s not the same as in other industries where suppliers might showcase their work on a directory”, Ms Lewin said. “You wouldn’t expect an architect to design your house in competition with other suppliers then pick the best without paying others for their work”.
Ms Lewin believes that this devaluing of Australia’s creative community makes it hard for graphic designers to earn what they are worth, and gives businesses the idea that graphic design skills are not valuable.
Ms Lewin’s response to the issue has been to create a website that gives creative suppliers (such as graphic designers, web designers and photographers) a fairer option. Her new web directory called Hire Me Creative allows creative types to join, showcase their work and be found by prospective clients. There is also a social aspect to the site.
“It’s really about bringing the creative community together as well, giving them a voice and helping them connect with other like-minded designers, photographers and web designers”, she said. “Hopefully it could lead to work collaboration within the community”, she said.
The directory is open to any creative suppliers that want to belong and as it has been designed with emerging creative-types in mind, the costs are low.
“All transactions occur outside of Hire Me Creative – we don’t charge commissions, only membership fees. It’s less about margin and more about putting things right for the creative community”, Ms Lewin said.
The site will be attractive to Australian businesses or individuals looking for creative suppliers because the competition will keep prices reasonable, according to Ms Lewin. It will also be a one-stop-shop for finding suppliers in Australia’s creative community, removing the hunt she said.
For a limited time, creative suppliers and businesses alike can sign up for a free trial of the service at www.hiremecreative.com.au