As someone who loves supporting local whenever and wherever she can, when this girl took to social media to find someone willing to trade a headshot for some WICKED COOL art, I HAD to reply!
This is Maddy and she's a Windsor artist. Her work is absolutely beautiful and she is so multi-talented doing sketches, digital paintings, graphic design, and dabbles into the hair and makeup world, not to mention her Instagram is something out of a artistic minimalist dream. I love the way she see's the world and adore her love for vintage (because if you don't already know, I'm a lover of vintage myself). Maddy and I sat down at my favourite cafe a few weeks back and discussed the details of our trade and we both left the consultation feeling super excited and inspired! I think trades can sometimes be undervalued and let me tell you why:
When I first started photography I had no idea how to start taking portraits of people and had no idea what to charge. As I got more comfortable with approaching people asking them to model for me, my work slowly got better and better and this allowed me to build my portfolio. I got myself to a point that I was very comfortable turning down trade shoots and only accepted paid work. This was fine for a while until I realized I had lost the passion and artistic drive that got me into this industry in the first place and I found myself creating mood boards for styled shoots and never shooting them. Why? Because I was so concerned about making enough money and no longer "giving away" my work and by doing this I was extremely unhappy and uninspired. Don't get me wrong, I understand that this is how businesses are made and how they become successful but when it comes to the world of art, it's important to have BALANCE.
If you create for the sake of creating and never book paid gigs, you won't be able to support yourself financially. On the other hand, if you only book paid gigs and never create for the sake of creating, you might not feel fulfilled or inspired. Some people can do either or and be completely happy and if you're one of those people, all the power to you! But if you're like me and sometimes need to step back from the business side of things and just create because you want to, I think trades are for you.
Maddy and I decided we would trade art for art! Her and I would create some beautiful images together that she could use however she desired and in return she would re-create my personal work with her own spin. In our case, we were both very much inspired by each other and felt comfortable and confident with the other persons work we knew it was a fair trade on both sides. Trades should be equally beneficial to all parties and there should be a firm understanding as to what each party receives. I'm not saying you should stop making money and only do things for trade and I'm not saying you should accept every trade offer that comes your way. I am saying it is something you should consider if you're finding yourself wanting to create and get inspired, you want to make connections with new people and support one another, or maybe you're in need of something that the other person has to offer. No matter what your situation may be, it doesn't hurt to reach out to people because you never know what kind of friends you'll make or what kind of connection you'll gain.