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Quality Crusades

Bailey Kalesti

Before I begin this post, let me make it clear that I am still not at the artistic level that I want to be one day. When I talk about quality, I talk about how badly I strive for it. I would never assume to say that I've creating anything truly great. This is just about the intense struggle for quality.

I often feel like a lone crusader in the fight against mediocrity. I've worked with a number of great people who are passionate about quality above all else, but most of my days are still spent alone in this seemingly unending struggle.

Everyone says they want high quality work, but when it comes time to spend the required time and monetary resources on it, you'll find a select few are able or willing to do it. Some businesses and people simply aren't in a financial position to commit to extremely high quality projects. That doesn't bother me, and I completely understand that. What bothers me is when people have unreasonable expectations about how much quality costs.

When I became a freelancer, I started frequenting job posting sites. What I found unsettling was how little the clients were offering to pay. I saw dozens of people asking for weeks of work for absurdly low dollar amounts like $400. If you do the math, that’s not even minimum wage. And quite frankly, artists should be insulted that their craft is so undervalued.

These days some (but not all) of the people I attempt to work with still have incorrect expectations. To be fair, most of them aren't looking for something great, they just want something. But why? I guess that regardless of how primitive the art is, it's still valuable for their company.

All I can say is that I will live and die by Quality. My company will either fail or succeed based on how good my art is. If I can only book projects that don't give me enough time or resources to make something worthwhile, my company will suffer. I need quality stuff for the portfolio. More often than not I use my personal works to fill this void, but I'd love to make a living making work that will promote me. So, you see, quality may not be necessary for every video project out there. But polished works are critical to Forma Pictures. Quality is the best business plan, after all.

This is why I will fight for quality. Everyday. Ad infinitum.

Bailey

P.S. If you are a client, I implore you to really consider going for quality not just for my sake, but for yours.  Just ask yourself if your customers and potential business partners will be delighted, motivated, inspired, or intrigued by average art.