Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kelly Angard's Art

It's a hard post to write when you want to have a positive blog about creative self-employment. But I'd rather it be a truthful blog. So with that, I'll just say it: Sometimes clients suck.

I'm talking about those customers that drain you. That don't know how to choose their words and be polite. Even the ones that don't ask if you can take on a project, but rather tell you what has to be done and put unrealistic time frames on you. And yes, I'm talking about the ones who do all that, don't pay on time but still expect you to keep a happy face and deliver everything perfectly. It's a topic that begs discussion: How can you stay sane in the face of clients you'd rather not work with when you need their business?

So...any bites?

link | posted by Kristen at 9:36 AM |

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Blogger The Crafty-Girlâ„¢ commented at 10:27 AM~  

kristen...first, I want to thank you for posting my art today as well as a link to my etsy site (and thank you for asking, too!) :)

Second...your questions are important, one which so very difficult to answer as you know.

We working artists are driven to create according to our vision, to stay true to ourselves...yet this is not always possible when it comes to business. It is necessary to keep our clients happy if we want to keep them!!!

I had a graphic design business in Los Angeles for 11 years...and struggled with these same questions for years. I experienced the same struggles working as a freelancer artist and writer for magazines.

The only thing I realized I could do was give myself enough time to create a balance of work: create some for myself and some for business. I noticed that when I short-changed myself when it came time to creating for myself, I would become more irritated and resentful of the changes a client wanted to make to my work.

I am now a stickler about unreasonable demands and timeframes because clients will push and push until we push back and say "no!" AND MEAN IT!!! We are not saving lives with our creative work...we only need to save OUR life.

I believe that when we close the door to those who do not respect our creative minds and efforts, we open ourselves up to clients who will. Clients who are reasonable and rational...and more important, respectful of what we do. :)

Anonymous Jeffjones commented at 6:57 PM~  

The money quote from CraftyGirl is "... if we want to keep them"!

They push.
The pester.
They rant.
They demand
and they don't pay on time.

What do you need that for?

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. yourself.

Hand'em their hat. Clients who suck aren't worth the air we breathe.

Left two this year, and it's not even June.
Do I miss the money?
Did I say I had to pester for payment?

Life's too short. And it's Spring!

Blogger kristen commented at 10:16 PM~  

i'm glad you like this topic, crafty. you bring up a great point.

course then i wonder, is any job perfect? no. so long as they pay, i may as well deal. course the one-jobbers can scatter away but the long-term ones i am trying to work with. trying.:)

Blogger Lisa R. commented at 2:29 PM~  

You have two options.
1. Suck it up.
2. Only accept work from clients you either like enough to put up with; or who you know, via mutual business contacts, or through, reputation, who will pay on time and without grousing.

The first seems easier but is actually harder than the second. The second requires risk, clipping coupons, some thin financial stretches, and possibly peace of mind, creative integrity and long term mutual support.

Any questions?

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