“Your Patterns Aren’t Free”
Oh hi, if you’re here, it means you have probably thought this while browsing my blog. I’ve been getting comments like these more often now that my site traffic has surged during the holidays, and I respond to these messages every single time because I find that it is a good learning moment for those of you who feel the need to leave comments like these. I’d like to think that most of the people who leave these comments aren’t entitled, but just don’t understand how this works.
However, it is getting a bit tedious having to respond to these comments, so I figured I should just write a post about it so that any of you who have an issue with this can just read it here.
Addressing your complaint
Most often, this is the type of complaint I receive: “You advertise your pattern as “free”, but you have to stay on the site to make it. It’s not free.”
To that, I say… If you are able to create an item from any of my blog posts without paying a single cent to me, then you are benefitting from a free pattern.
A lot goes into creating a pattern. Here’s a general breakdown of what I do when I create a pattern, as well as how long it roughly takes for me to do each step:
- Coming up with a concept/idea – a few days/weeks
- Crocheting the piece and frogging (way too many times) to test out the concept/idea – weeks/months (depending on the complexity of the design)
- Taking photos of the steps – 1-2 days
- Editing the photos – 1-3 days
- Putting the pattern together – 4-5 days
- Editing the pattern – 1-2 days
- Remaking the item to test out my own pattern – 2-3 days
- Getting my testers to test the pattern – 7-10 days
- Editing the pattern AGAIN – 1-2 days
- Typing up the free blog post – 1-2 days
For you to access a pattern that is a result of these days/weeks/months of my hard work by just hopping onto my site… yes, my patterns are definitely free. Most patterns take me around 2-4 weeks to create on average, so that’s 2-4 weeks of work that you get access to without having to pay me anything.
Why I disabled Printing and Copying on my site
With the amount of work that goes into each pattern, I think it’s a no-brainer for me to try to protect my work. Disabling printing and copying on my site discourages theft of my work. It unfortunately still happens, but I try to do what I can to prevent it.
Also, when people screenshot my patterns to share externally, it takes traffic away from my site. And to be completely transparent, by having users stay on my site, I earn a little bit of ad money. The ad money helps to keep the site running and covers basic business costs.
I don’t earn a lot by having people stay on my site either. Have you ever been on one of those sites where the moment you enter the site, a random video will start to play. And while you’re scrolling down to find the video to stop the video, countless ads start popping up? Those sites earn a lot. I chose to not do that with my site because I know I’m keeping people on my site and that’s a shitty browsing experience.
“Then don’t share your patterns”
I have actually received this as a response from entitled people. And it’s funny, because they always use the word “share”. They recognize that I am sharing my patterns, but they think that they are allowed to dictate how I share.
So why do I do it when it doesn’t seem like great business? Honestly? It’s because I personally learned through patterns that designers before me have graciously shared for free, and I really want to do the same for other people. I post free patterns onto my blog because plenty of beginners don’t have the budget to purchase a new pattern every single time they want to try something new; and we all know that practice is key to getting better at something.
It brings a HUGE smile to my face when I see that someone’s first amigurumi project is one of my designs. It also just brings me joy to see people enjoying my designs, and sharing it for free on my blog allows for more people to have access to my designs.
Now, let’s be clear. Just because I share my patterns for free does not mean another designer needs to do the same. Everyone’s rules about their creations/art is different, so please be mindful and respect the rules of each designer.
Consequences of these types of comments
Artists of all types STRUGGLE to get paid fairly, myself included. So for me to keep receiving flack like this… it’s discouraging. Pattern theft and whiny entitled people are some of the reasons why a lot of my friends no longer design patterns to share with people. It’s why a lot of artists stop creating art. I’d like to hold out for a bit longer, because I love what I do.
There are definitely times when I’ve thought about just closing down my site, but the number of people who appreciate my free patterns and respect my site rules greatly outnumber the entitled people.
With all that said, please be respectful of my rules and my work. This is my site, I can share my patterns how I see fit. If you like my designs and want to create something from my patterns, please understand that this is how I chose to share my work. If you don’t like it, you are free to click on that little “x” in the top corner of your browser to exit my site. There are plenty of other designers who share patterns on their sites and allow you to print, that’s a choice they’ve made for their work.