This is a funny video that brings up a serious point. Writer Harlan Ellison goes on an epic rant about the value of creativity. Regardless of your professional accomplishments or status, there will always be people who devalue your creative services. Our reaction as a creative community is what sets the pace. The original youtube thread has a whopping 1046 comments. Surprisingly, not all creatives are not in favor of Harlan. Below is the video of the hilarious rant along with some of the original comments. I’d love to know where you stand on the issue.

The problem is this new fad of “just good enough”… it’s the fad which the Flip cameras are riding. Graphic design’s heyday was 1980-1992. Video was 1988-2004. Tools became affordable, now everyone’s a ‘designer’/'artist’/'videographer’. And the public can’t seem to tell the difference, plus there are many who work for ‘free’. It’s hard to compete with ‘free’.

Replace “writer” with photographer, designer, illustrator, or most other artistic professions, and you have here something that speaks truth on more than just a level for those taking the literary career path.

While this guy does tend to go overboard with a couple of his points, he does make some good ones– especially about amateurs (which I am) taking work and pay away from the professionals (which I aim to be), and it’s disheartening how companies simply let that slide.

lol, stop bitching about not being able to make a living. When an amateur beats your ability to perform a service, find a new job. It’s exactly the same as when a machine replaces a tradesman. It might suck, yeah, but get used to it. That’s progress for ya.

Really want to agree with Ellison and the comments here. Loved his rant & am freelance myself. But the fact is, if the job you do can be so easily done by an amateur – (for free if they like!) companies should be able to use them. I know it sucks, but if no one can tell the difference between pro and amateur why pay for a pro? If they refuse to pay and end up with a pile of shit then it’s their own problem. If what you do can be differentiated from an amateur then you’ve nothing to worry about

It’s not true that there’s no publicity value. Almost every time I’ve ever bought a Harlan Ellison book or item it was because I was inspired by some free interview he gave. Not making this up.

Twitter credit to @DavidAirey

What’s Your Take?

As a creative, what side of the fence are you on?  Is Harlan Ellison being a whiner or is it fair business practice? Chime in.