Katie Johnston 
Member since Apr 2, 2010



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Recent Comments

Re: “Charleston can't thrive if we expect everything for free

This is a great topic; good to see so many contributors. I agree that the expectation of an open bar at every opening is an unfair one, but let's not forget the other angle to this: creatives, if we're willing to work for free, then the patronage at large will continue to demand free work from all of us. It is partly our responsibility as producers to educate prospective clients as to why getting compensated, even nominally, is better for all parties involved in a business relationship.

In graphic design, working for free is sometimes referred to as spec work. Spec work is work prototyped up front in the hopes of getting paid--this is actually a risky proposition and could be harmful to the designer and the client. (For a deep-dive on this topic, see the AIGA site: http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/position-s…) Even if you're not a graphic designer or doing spec work, some of these points are still valid. What if you're DJ'ing for free and your mix is added to a video that is replayed for promotional purposes? Are you benefitting from that? Should you be? Just stuff to think about...

Don't get me wrong, I understand that you have to start somewhere, but I would suggest doing low-fee work for a nonprofit perhaps. I recommend *always* charging even a small fee. The worst a prospective client could say is no. At that point, the ball is still in your court. You could walk away from the job or decide that educational experience is more important. (If a prospect can't meet you half-way on a small fee, it may not want to be a relationship you want to enter in to anyway.)

And, as an aside, I am shocked at the number of businesses and students that enter into unpaid internship agreements. I've only been out of college for 10 years, but, from my experience, that was definitely not the norm. I probably didn't make more than minimum wage, but I did get paid for going to get a designer's coffee. ;-)

Posted by Katie Johnston on April 21, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Re: “Are Tea Partiers Racist?

"Do some Tea Partiers hold up crazy or inflammatory signs? Sure. Are protesters sometimes visibly angry? Of course. Have some emotion-driven conservatives uttered racist language? Perhaps, but for argument’s sake, let’s just say some definitely have. When real people form genuine grassroots movements sometimes they can, and do, get a little out of hand."

Mr. Hunter, words mean things whether we care to believe it or not. I don't need to assume for argument's sake, as you suggest, that Rep. John Lewis was spit upon and called a nigger. He definitely was. Barney Frank was called a faggot. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez of Texas was called a wetback. This is hate speech fueled by bigotry and racism. No matter the circumstance or issue and no matter if things merely got "out of hand", the impact of such speech should not be so easily dismissed. Tolerating these acts sends a clear message: Racism and bigotry is okay especially if you're really passionate about your cause.

I wish I could believe that the Tea Party movement was being unfairly represented by a small, radical vein. However, the movement itself is not standing up to this vein and denouncing it. I would respect the politics of the movement much more if I saw it taking highly visible measures to educate its base to eradicate hate speech and the politics of hate.

Hate speech does nothing to further the good of our civil society. It breaks us down, it divides us. It causes fear. There is nothing patriotic about calling a fellow American a nigger, a faggot, or a wetback. Further, there is nothing patriotic about associated with a group that stands by and watches it happen.

Posted by Katie Johnston on April 2, 2010 at 10:32 AM
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