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Creativity: You Vs The Client

When creating an awesome project for a client no matter what it is, there's one thing you should always remind yourself and even tell yourself..."This is Not My Project!" A lot of times creatives can get the notion because you spent so much time, effort, sweat and tears that you begin to think this is your project. The problem then occurs when the client mentions that's not what they had in mind, then it may seem like they didn't appreciate your craft, skills, and vision. If you're not thick skinned as a creative, then you will get your feelings hurt, and that's not a good place to be. Artists or creative people can at many times be very sensitive, even to themselves when it comes to critiquing. I had a friend at one time quit his job because he felt the client didn't appreciate his craft as a graphic designer. Anytime he would make a graphic for them, it would take some time to create. Then when he presented his finished product, the client would make changes, then more changes, then more changes until the graphic is no longer looking like what was originally made. I can definitely understand his take on it because I used to work for a non-profit organization that would do a little of that with my video creation. However, I would always tell myself, this is not my project and it would help me work easier with my boss. Sometimes it would look good with changes and yet sometimes it would look unprofessional because of the boss's vision. Again, this is their project, their vision, and I get paid for fulfilling that vision. If it looks unprofessional then it can hurt their brand. Sometimes it can even hurt your brand as a creative. One of my mentors would often tell his clients not to give or post any kind of credits since he wasn't too thrilled with projects he created for clients and their vision. However, this is where you can come in to help as a creative.

Just because you fulfill someone's vision doesn't mean you have no say so. In fact, most of the time, the client is looking for a vision from you as the creative. I found that 80-90 percent of the time, the client is looking for vision and direction from you. Clients have too many other things to think about instead of creativity. Clients, wether it be a person, agency, company, organization, etc. need help from the creative and lie heavily on the artist for solutions. This is where you can present your vision of the project before you even begin. This is SO helpful! Good clear communication up front is essential for both parties to come to an agreement of the vision. This helps you as the creative not spend so much time on a project only to have it changed completely. Good synergy between the artist and client must take place. This helps the artist understand and feel what the clients wants. Sure there will always be tweaks here and there, budget constraints, etc., but it's better to have a plan laid out before the creation. This is how movies are made. There's a "pre-production" where the vision is planned, then the "production" the actual creation, then finally the "post-production" the editing and where finally the producers make all the changes. You ever noticed some movies come out later with what's called a "director's" cut? Two different visions.

As you help clients in whatever field you do, be professional, make some suggestions, have thick skin, and even if it's not your vision, be the very best to give your client what they want. Relationships is more important than any project creation.

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