First and foremost if you are a designer accepting jobs at this rate...
"YOUR KILLING ME SMALLS!"
But seriously, you are devaluing yourself and the rest of the design world. We are PROFESSIONALS college degree or not, we need to keep our standards.
Making a true living off of design and art is not for everyone. It's not easy to pass up money that seems so easy to get. "Do a quick logo for for $50?"... All I can say is DO-THE-MATH, divide that fifty-bucks by the hours YOU ARE going to put into it. In my experience's clients that did not want to pay wanted the most out of me, I ended up putting more into the project then I got out of it. I ended up following a path of uncertain direction and in the end accomplishing nothing more then practice time.
Let's go back to that fifty-bucks for a second. Say you put an (1 hour) into researching the brand and getting to know their market and competition. Then you spend (1 hour) conceptualizing and sketching thoughts, another (2 hours) adjusting your concepts based on clients comments. You spend the next (1 hour) finishing the artwork and getting sign off from the client. Now you get to start finalizing the design, spending another (1 hour) finishing and prepping the final artwork. You have now spent 6 hours working on this logo, making $8.33/hr... you have just made less then minimum wage in most states...let alone what it's going to be.
With the recent news of minimum wage raising to $15+ in the coming years, it is now crucial to understand this simple concept. What we do is a skilled trade, it takes years of mistakes followed by practice to perfect what we do. Yes, everyone has an opinion and the ability to be creative... but we are practiced. Our tools are costly and need constant updates... this includes our minds! "We need space" (post coming soon!) the more we are able to bring into our minds the more we as creative professionals will push out. I choose to not accept being classified by pay as a minimal pay type of worker. I have a college degree, thousands invested into tools as well as a space to create and bring my ideas to life, years of blood, sweat and tears poured into what I call my passion.
So... NO... fifteen-bucks an hour is really not ok...
Not for recent graduates, portfolio work, shares of a company... that does not exist yet, Not for any excuse! In the end you need to invest into your brand and products, we can't create something out of nothing for free, and just cause I enjoy what I do doesn't mean I should not make a living off of it.