Are crowdsourcing sites killing the design industry?

Picture the following scene. A potential client contacts you for a design project. You send your quote and wait. A day or two pass, and your client gets back to you. Instead of you, he is going to work with a designer he found on fiver.com. The designer on fiverr undercuts you by about 500%.

This can be frustrating. Having said that, the better clients know that paying higher rates will give them better service. It will also give them a higher quality design. This means that there are clients out there who have higher budgets and are willing to pay decent rates. They do exist even with the existence of crowdsourcing.

On the other hand, crowdsourcing sites are great if you want to test your skills out or even learn while getting paid! When I got married I was barely making a living. I needed another income. Without thinking I put up some drawings on a crowdsourcing site. One fine day I got a response from an eager client. She had written 32 short stories and wanted them all illustrated. I didn’t really know how to illustrate well. I began illustrating at night. The work sucked, but the client was happy. 120 drawings later and I had become a mediocre illustrator. What is amazing about this is that I was being paid to learn a trade. One more project and my work had improved to the point where I was able to contact publishers. Crowdsourcing gave me the skills to be a children’s book illustrator.

This is how I got my start as a designer and illustrator. Once I started working for publishers, I had moved on from needing the crowdsourcing sites. My work had reached a much higher level and I was able to be more selective with my projects.

 

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