As the world moves deeper into the Internet era, perhaps forever changing how businesses market to potential customers, blogs and streaming sites are some of the most viewed platforms. With 77% of Internet users reading blog posts and streaming sites rising in popularity due to their affordability, scalability, and convenience, it is safe to assume that a lot of effort on the part of the company’s employees goes into optimizing them. Who, exactly, should get credit for that work? The public is looking at the final product, yet behind it are the efforts of engineers, creative writers, designers, and other professionals, all of whom contributed to the product’s success. We asked Garrett Arreguin, who is also known as GRAFIK and is a Creative Director and Designer in California, for his perspective on the industry and its credit of creators who work for hire.
“As a contractor, I have been very fortunate to work with companies, labels, and artists that have done a wonderful job of crediting me for the work I have done for them,” Garrett says. “It is something I appreciate very much. I have looked at my peers and seen some create exceptional work for blogs and streaming platforms, yet they have not been credited for it in part because they are contractors. This is something I think the industry in general could do better and work to address.”
The issue of crediting a contractor’s work is important for two reasons, Garrett says. “First, with the digital revolution, the need for creatives will most likely only increase. Innovative artists will be in demand, so the question of whether they should receive credit or not is unlikely to go away. Second, it is also a matter of the person’s career: the job results in payment for the creative’s services, of course. However, if you take one step beyond that and look past the paycheck towards the next project, how can the creative present their true skills and work history to their new employer without evidence that they did, indeed, create something? Having all labels and businesses give credit to a contractor’s work is so important.”
Garrett turns thoughtful when asked why his own experiences as a contractor have been positive. “I think it’s because I have been blessed to work with individuals who value both contractors as well as the creative process,” he answers. “The industry has a number of people who appreciate the work my peers and I do. We just need more of them across the space.”
Garrett has created cover art for Machine Gun Kelly and LILHUDDY, and he has developed brands and marketing campaign strategies as well as done illustrations, logo design, and photo manipulation for Interscope and Volcom. “All of them have been great to work for,” he states. “What I think, however, would be awesome is if they and other industry leaders would use their influence to encourage more streaming sites and blogs to properly credit all people involved with the creative process. They could use that as leverage to tap into the art industry and help build an incentive for up-and-coming creatives to work for these companies and take their blogs and streaming platforms to the next level.”
He is optimistic about where the industry is headed. “As a designer, I’ve noticed a surge in companies that are relying more on creatives to create content since everything is turning to digital. I would say the creative industry is at an all-time high and will continue to expand. This, I believe, will converge with the growing awareness of the importance of what art contractors do. That will ultimately lead us to more credit being given to contractors for the incredible work that they create for us to enjoy on blogs and streaming platforms.”
Garrett Arreguin, aka GRAFIK, is an Art Director and Designer who has worked with leading artists in the pop punk genre. He is also the CEO and Founder of ANTICULT, a brand based out of Southern California. For more information on Garrett, please visit www.garrettarreguin.com.