Why I Won’t Ever Call My Creative Friends Expensive (or expect a discount)

We are living in such fun times. We’ve got side hustles and dreams a plenty. I love the little community of creative hustlers I get to both shyly be a part of and get to admire and brag about proudly and loudly afar.

There is a wave of freedom and creativity passing through. When people ask me if I know a graphic designer, photographer, videographer, artist, baker, chief, stylist etc etc.. the answer just isn’t yes- it’s YES, I know many- who are all quality, all so loved by me and come from all styles, all places, all ranges.

I love passing on the things and people I love. I’ll never understand people who hoard and keep their favorites to themselves. Good music, art, food and friends are just meant for sharing. The bigger the table, the better the party.

What I do not love, is the question that usually follows,

“How expensive are they?”

My answer back is- “It depends. What is your project worth?”

Are you looking for cheap engagement photos? Are you looking for a cheap logo? Are you looking for a cheap website? Or are you looking for quality, passion, risk, and something beautiful?

When an artist is working, they aren’t clocking into a big corporation with a time card. They are tapping solely into you. They work for you with dips and pulls of their every emotion. Thrilling heart throbs and frustrations when reaching for perfection. Sweating under the towers of the risk of failing you, all while striving to bring you something of worth.

They cheer on your big day, big ideas and big dreams. They become your biggest fan. It takes hours, heart, and so much vulnerability. I’ll never ask my creative friends for discounts because I know their worth. I know, I can’t do what they are doing for me, and I know that I couldn’t ever pay them enough for their raw hearts.

Most often artists have the biggest and most generous hearts. So yes, they do trades, they do discounts, they do donations and they do gifts. But let that be out of their own generosity and not your own minimization of their value. And if not money (because it’ s not always about the moola) - always give them back something of your great value. 

Never stop paying them in support and encouragement. Even if that means telling someone about them or just letting them know that their work matters. 

If you’re starting something that needs creativity- budget for it. It will always be worth it to invest heavily in the creativity.


Mia Lycett is the creator of a tiny movement called Messy Heart. You can follow her words at @themessyheartblog or MessyHeart.Com. She loves café con leches, side hustling and believes beautiful things can come after brokenness. She fights to give voices to the voiceless and brings up the conversation you were told to “get over.” She probably also wants to get coffee with you.