I have a former acquaintance who wanted very desperately to become a designer, despite not having any experience, because he thought it was easy money. He decided to become a full-time freelancer and quit his job at a local retailer.
As a full-time freelance designer myself, I figured I could hire him for a small project. Solidarity with other artists and all that.
I contacted him saying that I wanted a logo for a personal project, and he offered a $50 flat fee logo illustration he estimated would take about four hours. Always the advocate for better service pricing, I said I was willing to offer a much higher hourly wage instead of a flat fee and requested he send over examples of past work so I could adjust my project brief accordingly.
He had only one piece to show me: a 300x200, 72 dpi “logo” he said he did for a shipping company. I had no idea it was about shipping. The image itself didn’t tie into the company’s purpose and there was no text. I still wanted to give him some work, though, so I sent him the following message:
Me: Hey, thanks for sending over that logo example. It’s not quite what I’m looking for, could you make a logo that’s at least [dimensions] at 300 dpi? I’d like to be able to do some printing with the logo.
Him: …What’s dpi?
Me: Er, well, what resolution do you normally work at?
Him: I don’t know what that is.
Me: Oh, I see. Well, um, maybe you could do some research and get back to me with the answers to these questions? I’d be more than happy to hire you then.
Him: (suddenly very angry) You know, this isn’t
how commissioning people works. You commission me, and I do what I think is
best. You don’t get to make changes and ask me ridiculous questions that have
nothing to do with my work. Maybe you like to waste people’s time when they
commission you, but I’ve made $60.00 with the last three
commissions I have done so I know what I’m doing.
Me: I’m sorry?
Him: You’re just a big fraud, aren’t you? You act like you know everything when this isn’t even relevant to making a logo.
Needless to say, the project did not move forward. To my knowledge he hasn’t taken on a new client in the last three years.