The freelance movement has officially emerged from the underground.

To reflect this galvanizing shift from marginalized to mainstream, we blanketed New York City subway cars with #FreelanceIsntFree campaign ads influenced by the Pop Art movement of the mid-20th century.

Pop Art’s use of high-impact industrial color and tongue-in-cheek humor is the perfect vehicle to deliver a walloping wake-up call to anyone who underestimates the power of the freelance movement and the gravity of client nonpayment.

Join the #FreelanceIsntFree Campaign

When you get on the subway and remember why you got up this Monday morning #freelanceisntfree @freelancersu #mondaymotivation

A photo posted by Pennyscientist (@pennyscience) on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:11am PDT

New York City’s 1.3 million freelancers are not only the backbone of this city’s creative culture, but many of its other essential services as well. When freelancers suffer financially, the entire city takes an economic hit.

Next time you’re on the subway, take a look around: there’s a freelance photographer heading up to Central Park, a freelance writer taking down last-minute notes, and a lawyer-for-hire going over his brief for an upcoming case.

Freelance designers catch inspiration riding the rails out to Astoria and executive consultants sling their suit jackets over their shoulders before stepping off and into great, air-conditioned offices in Manhattan’s midtown.

Hospitality workers fan out across the alphabet avenues to man the eateries in the Lower East Side, the hotels in Battery Park, and the delis dotting the corners of every Manhattan intersection.

Actors and production workers emerge from the 42nd street stop and disappear behind stage doors. Healthcare practitioners make house calls on the Upper West Side and yoga teachers warm up on their way to help a classroom of stressed out New Yorkers unwind.

The new #popart inspired #freelancersunion subway train campaign #advertisements are pretty awesome

A photo posted by Chris Simko (@chrissimko) on Sep 28, 2015 at 12:42pm PDT

Freelancers come in all shapes and sizes and occupy innumerable roles within our society. It’s time to take a stand and be recognized not just as a part of the workforce, but an essential part of the workforce - and one that deserves to be paid on time and in full.

See a #FreelanceIsntFree campaign ad?

Snap a photo and share it to social media with the hashtag #FreelanceIsntFree

So true! #freelancersunion #freelance #work #union

A photo posted by Tinkerbell (@misstinkerbellfit) on Sep 22, 2015 at 7:44pm PDT

A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about sustainability, community, poetry and pop culture. Find her @Pennyscientist or on Freelancers Union.