Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's Okay To Design For Free

Yeah, I know what you're thinkin'. "Dennis, have you lost you're $%#&@ mind?". I know that in the past, I've written about the evils of crowdsourcing and their phoney "contests". I stand by everything I've ever said, and you shouldn't participate in crowdsourcing because it's no damn good for anybody.

The real reason for today's title is because I want to talk about using your creative talents to help others. Now, I don't want to get preachy because I created this blog as a place for ideas and fun (and to occasionally complain, so what?). But whether you believe in a divine creator or not, I believe the talent that we as creatives have been given, is a gift; and one that should not be taken lightly. You see, I grew up reading comic books and in those four color pages, I learned that when you have a gift, it's up to you to do the right thing with it. To help other people. I know it probably sounds silly, but I still really believe that. I'm not from Krypton (Lord, I wish I was) or have been bitten by a radioactive spider (that would be so cool too), but I always saw my dad keep his door open to anyone who needed a place to stay or gave of his time and money to help someone in need. That made an impression on me, so every so often I run into a cause that I feel needs my help.

It could be a film, like my buddy Patrick Shen's, about two brothers who are trying to bring water to the village of La Source in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Or a boys soccer team that is working hard to raise money to make it to the AYSO National Games in Tennessee this Summer. But in this case, it's an organization called You and Who. Their goal is very simple. They sell one-of-a-kind designer t-shirts that help worthy causes in cities all over the country. Every time you buy a shirt, they give the same shirt to someone in need. After meeting Dan Gigante (@dangigante) last year and hearing his story, I knew I had to help. And the following is the result.

The design is titled "Things are Looking Up" and you can see a zoomed in version here. So check out You and Who's cause and keep your eyes and heart open to opportunities where you can help someone with your talent. You don't get paid, but I promise it will make you feel great and you won't have to wear tights and a cape to do it (unless you want to, that's cool). And if you don't have the ability to design, buy some shirts! You can start with mine. :D

You and Who reminded me that participating artists makes a $1 for every shirt sold. 

Happy Designing,

Dennis (aka tanoshiboy)

Got a story where you gave of your time and talent to help someone or someones? Tell us about it in the comments section and please share this post with your creative buddies or someone it will resonate with. Use my twitter handle @salvatier when sharing a tweet. And thanks for reading!