If you are an artist who is experiencing low self-esteem either about yourself or your work while attempting to bid jobs, you may be short-changing yourself! Low self-esteem can be a huge and gigantic problem, because objectivity about the artwork may be too critical. Just as in the wild animal kingdom, animals prey on the weak; I believe the same holds true for us as humans. If someone discerns that low self-esteem is a factor, they could easily be taken advantage of. What is to stop someone from taking advantage of this type of situation?
When artists are humble about their work or struggling with depression and can hardly get out of their beds and leave their homes each morning, they should not be bidding out their services to the public. Dealing with the public can be like dealing with wild alligators at times! They can bite, snap, and leave emotional battle scars. A few years ago, one of my art professors once told the class how he gave up art for a decade and returned to construction work due to the thoughtless words of an interviewer (who was looking at his portfolio). One time as I was bidding work as a wedding photographer, a groom (who was a prison guard) physically cornered me in my studio and pushed my back up against the wall as he talked to my forehead! He did this, because he was upset that I would not let him set the rates for my wedding photography services.
Due to this problem, I believe if artists are struggling emotionally, they should consider working for other professionals who have understanding and know their professional boundaries.
Nobody should be subject to abusive people who devalue another's efforts, expenses, and talents. All of us deserve to be treated with dignity, and if others are not willing to do so, all bids are off! As professional artists, we need to know the difference between what is fair, what the real costs are, and what selfish whims are. In knowing the fine differences, artists are more likely to be fully compensated for their hard earned work. (revised 2/14/2006)
Debbie Jensen, Graphic Designer and Photographer http://www.debjensendesigns.com