Image sourced from adobe.com
So if you are a visual artist who does it commercially you probably use the Adobe Suite of products. Illustrator (I’m a vectors girl), Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere, the works
A few of us have bought a copy of CS6 (or are using a corporate licence courtesy of their employer). Based on a statistic that Photoshop CS5.1 is the no. 2 most pirated software I am willing to bet that quite a few people out there are using a cracked copy. That’s right, I used the C word.
In our defence, some of us might have USD 3000. But it’s not for buying software! The rest of us do not have USD 3000. Yet.
So armed with those solid justifications, we comfortably use our alternatively sourced CS6.
Enter Adobe Creative cloud.
So it’s 50 dollars monthly.
First time I heard that I went, 50 dollars EVERY month? Why??
Granted I as an individual have been having challenges considering software as a tool of my trade. Many artists I know are perfectly happy to spend at least USD 1100 or much more on a MacBook Air, software is a whole other story.
Someone I look up to pointed it out to me that it was not USD 50 compared to nothing, it was compared to USD 3000! (He said a few other things about loving freebies but let’s not go into details) Now that got me thinking.
He then further challenged me by asking me how much I am worth hourly as a designer. I did the math and came to USD 40 hourly. “So what you are saying is that you need to work for 1 hour, 15 minutes, to pay your monthly fee for the cloud?” Aha!
When you put it like that, it doesn’t sound too bad.
So I decided to have a chat with someone who is already using creative cloud – our video and photography guru and find out why anyone would want to pay 50 good ones every month to use software on a cloud.
- First of all, updates are instant. You don’t have to wait for cs7 to be released for the new features and bug fixes to be done. It’s instant. (Well you know how annoying bugs are). And you don’t have to buy that. It’s a free update.
- Secondly it’s light on your hardware resources. The whole suite is available to you but you only download what you use. So this guy downloaded Photoshop, InDesign and Premier. While I the vectors girl; can download Illustrator, and Fireworks :-)
- Thirdly, You have access to the cloud. Your work will not only be safe and portable, but if you get the team or enterprise package, you can easily collaborate due to the central access
- To crown it all you will have the peace of mind to know that you are using a legally acquired suite of excellent software (his words, not mine)
So I throw it to you
- Should you as a visual artist (not) pay for the tools of your trade?
- Is USD 50 monthly a reasonable amount to expect from a freelancer?
- Has the time come for us as a community to abandon the culture of “alternative sourcing of software”?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.