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Thread: Top 10 Lies told to Naive Artists and Designers

  1. #1

    Top 10 Lies told to Naive Artists and Designers

    Since I've seen a lot of posts lately involving money and client troubles, I thought this might be useful.

    Reposted from:

    http://www.paintercreativity.com/art...p-10-lies.html

    1 "Do this one cheap (or free) and we'll make it up on the next
    one."


    No reputable business person would first give away their work and time
    or merchandise on the hope of making it up later. Can you imagine what
    a plumber would say if you said "come in, provide and install the
    sink for free and next time we'll make it up when we need a sink." You
    would be laughed at! Also the likelyhood is that if something important
    came along, they wouldn't use you.

    2 "We never pay a cent until we see the final product."

    This is a croc, unless the person is leaving the door open to cheat
    you out of your pay. Virtually every profession requres a deposit or
    incremental payment during anything but the smallest project. Once you
    have a working relationship, you may work out another arrangement with
    a client. But a new client should not ask you to go beyond an initial
    meeting and, perhaps some preliminary sketches without pay on the job!

    3 "Do this for us and you'll get great exposure! The jobs will
    just pour in!"


    Baloney [sic]. Tell a plumber "Install this sink and my friend will see
    and you'll get lots of business!" Our plumber friend would say "You
    mean even if I do a good job I have to give my work away to get noticed?
    Then it isn't worth the notice." Also the guy would likely brag
    to everyone he knows about how this would normally cost (X) dollars,
    but brilliant businessman that he is he got if for free! If anyone calls,
    they'll expect the same or better deal.

    4 On looking at sketches or concepts: "Well, we aren't sure if
    we want to use you yet, but leave your material here so I can talk to
    my partner/investor/wife/clergy."


    You can be sure that 15 minutes after you leave he will be on the phone
    to other designers, now with concepts in hand, asking for price quotes.
    When you call back you will be informed that your prices were too high
    and Joe Blow Design/Illustration will be doing the job. Why shouldn't
    they be cheaper? You just gave them hours of free consulting work! Until
    you have a deal, LEAVE NOTHING CREATIVE at the clients office.

    5 "Well, the job isn't CANCELLED, just delayed. Keep the account
    open and we'll continue in a month or two."


    Ummm, probably not. If something is hot, then not, it could be dead.
    It would be a mistake to *not* bill for work performed at this point
    and then let the chips fall where they may! Call in two months and someone
    else may be in that job. And guess what? They don't know you at all.....

    6 "Contract? We don't need no stinking contact! Aren't we friends?"


    Yes, we are, until something goes wrong or is misunderstood, then you
    are the jerk in the suit and I am that idiot designer, then the contract
    is essential. That is, unless one doesn't care about being paid. Any
    reputable business uses paperwork to define relationships and you should
    too.

    7 "Send me a bill after the work goes to press."


    Why wait for an irrelevant deadline to send an invoice? You stand behind
    your work, right? You are honest, right? Why would you feel bound to
    this deadline? Once you deliver the work and it is accepted, BILL IT.
    This point may just be a delaying tactic so the job goes through the
    printer prior to any question of your being paid. If the guy waits for
    the job to be printed, and you do changes as necessary, then he can stiff
    you and not take a chance that he'll have to pay someone else for changes.

    8 "The last guy did it for XXX dollars."

    That is irrelevant. If the last guy was so good they wouldn't be talking
    to you, now would they? And what that guy charged means nothing to you,
    really. People who charge too little for their time go out of business
    (or self-destruct financially, or change occupations) and then someone
    else has to step in. Set a fair price and stick to it.

    9 "Our budget is XXX dollars, firm."


    Amazing, isn't it? This guy goes out to buy a car, and what, knows exactly
    what he is going to spend before even looking or researching? Not likely.
    A certain amount of work costs a certain amount of money. If they have
    less money (and you *can*) do less work and still take the job. But make
    sure they understand that you are doing less work if you take less money
    that you originally estimated. Give fewer comps, simplify, let them go
    elsewhere for services (like films) etc.

    10 "We are having financial problems. Give us the work, we'll
    make some money and we'll pay you. Simple."


    Yeah, except when the money comes, you can expect that you will be pretty
    low on the list to be paid. If someone reaches the point where they admit
    that the company is in trouble, then they are probably much worse off
    than they are admitting to. Even then, are you a bank? Are you qualified
    to check out their financials? If the company is strapped to the point
    where credit is a problem through credit agencies, banks etc. what business
    would you have extending credit to them. You have exactly ZERO pull once
    they have the work. Noble intentions or not, this is probably a losing
    bet. But if you are going to roll the dice, AT LEAST you should be getting
    additional money for waiting. The bank gets interest and so should you.
    That is probably why the person is approaching you; to get six months
    worth of free interest instead of paying bank rates for credit and then
    paying you with that money. Don't give away money.

    Now, this list wasn't meant to make anyone crazy or paranoid, but is
    designed to inject some reality into the fantasy.

    You are GOING to be dealing with people who are unlike yourself. Their
    motivations are their own and their attitudes are probably different
    than yours. There are going to be demands, problems, issues and all the
    hassles that go with practically ANY work/job/money situation. Too many
    times I see the sad example of someone walking in to a situation with
    noble intentions and then getting royally screwed, because what they
    see as an opportunity and a labor of love, the other party sees as something
    else entirely, not at all romantic or idealized, but raw and simple.

    How can you deal with this stuff and still do good creative work? Good
    question. THIS is why an education is important. You learn, out of the
    line of fire, how to deal with the art at it's own level and also how
    to deal with the crap that surrounds it. You may have tough teachers
    and think that it can't be worse, but wait until a business person has
    a hundred grand riding on your art! Then you will know what "demanding" means.
    You will then thank all those tough teachers for building up the calluses
    that enable you to enjoy the job rather than just feeling like it is
    all a big waste of time!

    In the end, working commercially, being a terrific artist is about 25%
    of the task. If that is the only part of the task that you are interested
    in, do yourself a favor. Don't turn "pro."
    Last edited by Anogar; June 10th, 2009 at 01:16 PM.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    At first when starting out you have to go out on a limb with some of those and possbly get burned. But once you get rolling you will realize that most people that would use those excuses, you would not want as clients anyway.

    BTW
    The web and multimedia is one of the fastest growing industries so say, the salary/career reports.

    shane-c....Your site is a lot like a transvestite in that respect.
    fester8542.I'd hit it like the fist of an angry God .
    JoshuaJonah.I design for DDD. Then clients usually like it, and the ladies find me more attractive.
    Cybercode Albert Einstein Said that my math teacher has that on his wall

    K-Emmys-06: Best "Best Mod" K-Emmys-06: Best "Most Creative Critic"

    Member #1 of the "I wont critique Timmytot's designs anymore" club

  4. #4
    I like this list, maybe we can sticky this somewhere for youngin's to read through, I'm sure this would help alot of people who don't know any better.

  5. #5
    This actually would make a quite useful sticky, come to think of it, it would alleviate all of the questions we get about business practices and what is customary.

  6. #6
    I say sticky it! with superglue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (or duct tape)

  7. #7

  8. #8
    It's a definate sticky.
    You think these cases are REALLY true, once they happened to you (like your parents saying ..'When I was your age ...') and boom, it hits you.
    Colleges/Universities should emphasis taking classes in Law, Business and Marketing along with Art Classes

  9. #9
    I know I personally have had problems with not having a contract in the past. It's a mistake that I'll never make again. (Thus the quote that Digitalosophy is fond of. )

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Anogar
    3 "Do this for us and you'll get great exposure! The jobs will
    just pour in!"
    ah yes, the craigslist motto.

  11. #11
    I believe the title should have naive programmers in it too.
    got pwnt?

  12. #12
    I wouldn't design a christmas card for my grandmother without a contract.
    Lol, I had to think of that one last week cause mine now would read:
    I wouldn't design a flyer for my brother in law without a contract and making sure HE can read that contract

  13. #13
    sticky it!


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bwh2
    ah yes, the craigslist motto.
    Indeed, what's up with all those people there? They're basically demanding free services. Not asking, but demanding in a Paris Hilton-esque tone like they'd be doing you a favor by accepting your work.

  15. #15
    Freaking hilarious.
    If you notice this notice you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

    "Are you doing anything tonight? If not, how about me?"

    Opera Sucks! - FIX IT
    Oliver Zheng

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