Just a quick follow up to my last post. I've been thinking more about this (as I do when I share my thoughts with the Internet) and it turns out there is a justification for doing work for a client who wishes to restrict your ability to show it after its creation. That justification is less about business smarts and more personal. It is an attitude shift, a different way of seeing the work. Although I feel very strongly about retaining the right to show the work I make for clients, there is some room for seeing things a bit differently.
It should go without saying that, if I need the cash and have the time, I would be stupid not to momentarily suspend my hard stance on issues that are not ethically vital. But on a more honest level, there is a lot of work I never show — sketches in my journal, process work for clients I deem unfit for public consumption, and that kind of thing. In essence, I am always making work I can't (or at least won't) show. So if I viewed the odd client job as a paid sketchbook exercise, perhaps I can live with it the possibility of it never being seen. There may be some jobs that we must take on, or want to take on, for practical reasons, even if they fall under unfavourable terms and conditions. Co-opting client work for my own purposes, viewing it as being paid to do something I would be doing anyway (sketching, thinking), can be all it takes for me to reconsider my position.
Am I undoing my arguments from my last article? I don't think so. Rather, I need to post this to reflect another some of my other values: having a good attitude, being adaptable and flexible, and choosing my battles wisely.