With creative backgrounds of their own (Gubbins studied music; Wooden studied design and practices photography on the side), the founders tapped into their existing network of creatives to determine the specs of the site. They found that in addition to the difficulty of finding regular, reliable jobs, major pain points included negotiating contracts, invoicing, and receiving timely compensation. Without any outside funding, they began building Easle this past summer.
Creatives wishing to join Easle can apply on the site by submitting their portfolio. A committee, made up of Easle users already on the platform (part of the site’s focus on fostering a self-sustaining community), reviews applications and accepts those that meet the site’s quality requirements. Once approved, individuals can set up a profile that includes a brief bio as well as their social media accounts, past clients, and examples of past work.
Clients are vetted, too. Once approved they can set up portfolios and list projects they’re looking to farm out, complete with briefs, budgets, and other requirements.
Clients and creatives connect through a unique system to facilitate easy communication and payments. Through a custom messaging service (they liken it to the team collaboration app Slack
), parties can determine and agree on the specifics of a given job; their conversation then generates a modifiable contract in a Google Doc. Once the contract is signed, the client pays Easle the full payment for the job, and 50% of that amount is sent to the creative as a deposit; they receive the rest upon completing the job. If something goes awry, either side can file a dispute. Easle takes a 10% cut of the total payment.