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The Theme Song for Creatives Who Are Asked to Work for Free (NSFW)


An unofficial anthem for creative professionals has resurfaced as a playful and passive-aggressive way to explain why projects cost what they do and can’t be paid for in exposure.

The upbeat yet profanity-filled song is by Woah Dude and is titled “It Costs That Much.” It playfully explains to frustrating clients why a particular product or service costs as much as it does by detailing the process and effort that goes into making a creative product.

Warning: Before hitting play on the video above or continuing below, please note that the song and following images contain profanity.

The song, originally written and performed by Laura Jane Barnes (Woah Dude) who runs a Crocheting business called Simply Crochet, has taken a life of its own recently on TikTok and other platforms. The trendy song has been used in a variety of different creators’ videos supported by the visuals that showcase the process involved in making various pieces of art, photography, baked goods, clothing, and more. The song serves to effectively give these creatives a polite yet firm voice to finally say to their clients that they work hard on their projects, and the soundtrack serves as the perfect backdrop to the demonstrations.

Creative professionals, which includes photographers, are often asked to work for less or worse, for “exposure,” and the situation is not a new one. For many photographers and videographers, it is difficult to stand firm and demand payment for services, as the business world can be particularly challenging to navigate, especially for newcomers to the practice.

Oftentimes, large companies and brands will try to get access to work for free by offering “exposure” through their networks promotions, and many times new and emerging artists who don’t know any better think it is actually a great idea to say yes. Unfortunately, this rather common practice devalues the work of their own and fellow creatives, and costs the industry as a whole much more than one would think.

Thankfully this all-too-relatable song has been able to provide many of these artists a “passive-aggressive” voice to show why they should be paid.

Just like the song says, “It costs that much ’cause it takes me f***king hours. It costs that much ’cause I don’t have superpowers. You need to pay for my skills, ’cause exposure doesn’t pay the bills.”

You can see more of Laura’s actual work (and pay full price for it) on her YouTube channel and Twitter.





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