After a lot of trial and error the last month or so, this weekend I finally figured out the formula, so to speak, to create a drop/half-drop pattern in Illustrator. After the “Holy shit! I finally figured it out!!!” Happy Dance, my next immediate thought was, “I have to do a tutorial and share this with others!” It’s not hard once you know the trick and it will save you a ton of time!**
That happy, “I can’t wait to share” moment was dampened a bit later in the weekend when, on another website, I saw a tutorial for how to do something similar in another software program. It was fancied up and packaged as an e-book and being sold for what I feel is a ridiculously high price. It’s not the first time I’ve seen someone selling way too little for way too much.
Call me naive, but I believe helping one another, rather than snubbing or taking advantage of one another, can only improve the quality of work created and level of success ALL of us experience. Now that I’ve saved some folks time figuring out the secret to drop patterns, perhaps they’ll have time to figure out some other technique or discover some great supplier to share with the rest of us.
And no, I’m not worried that I’m giving away the keys to the kingdom by offering up my tutorial. It’s just a tool for anyone with a vision to put forth. If sharing the tutorial is the difference between someone outselling me or not, then perhaps I need to reevaluate my work, not my level of sharing. The same goes for the supplies, the equipment, the manufacturer, and all of that.
Some will argue it’s a matter of getting paid/recognized for your time and efforts. I get that. I understand finding a great supplier, the perfect equipment, a reliable manufacturer takes time. I understand that figuring out a particular technique took a lot of trial and error on your part.
But let’s be honest- how many other people are responsible for helping you get to the point you are now? I’m guessing 99% of us didn’t do it ALL by ourselves. Someone mentored you, shared where they sourced their materials, a contact for getting started in a particular area, a website with lots of great information, etc. Sharing this tutorial is my way of paying it forward for all the help given to me by others on my journey.
Taking advantage of or snubbing those who are where you once were isn’t what’s going to make you better or more successful at what you do. Focusing on creating good work and shaping your own unique message will. Charging a fair and honest price for your goods and services will. Contributing to a community pool of information that all of us can benefit from all will.
What are your thoughts on the subject?
**The tutorial will be posted next week when I return from vacation…it’s my first time attempting something like this, so bear with me!