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Red Flags

Lesson 5 from: FAST CLASS: Working Successfully with Clients: A Class for Illustrators and Designers

Lisa Congdon

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Lesson Info

5. Red Flags

Lesson Info

Red Flags

Okay, now we're gonna talk about red flags. Are there any concerning red flags about the assignment? So I'm going to list a few of my favorites. But if you guys or anybody out there has any that they want to share. Um I would love to hear what other people's red flags are. So here's a good one. Low pay with promises of exposure, right? We only have $300 to pay you to do this, but we have like five million instagram followers and we'll post your work and maybe that is appealing to you. But my rule of thumb is if you are uh illustrator, photographer, designer artist, you deserve to be paid for your time. And if they can't afford to pay you, then they need to figure their figure out their budget or not. Go about asking artists to do work for them. So that's one not communicative out the gates, right? So They've reached out to you, you've written back, then you have to wait four days for an answer. Then you write them back within 24 hours and then you wait another four days. That doesn't, ...

it's not that's not a good predictor of how your working relationship is gonna be right? Like if out the Gates, they're poor communicators or it feels like you're not even sure if this thing is still happening or if they're still interested in you um probably going to be like that throughout the working relationship. So pay attention to the initial communication because if it's not very good, it might be a red flag that this is a flaky client admittance that the project is experimental. So sometimes they'll say we're gonna hire you to do this thing though, you've been willing to pay you and you get into contract. But they admit that the thing, the product may never get produced, that it has to go through a big approval process, that it may never end up in the world, because a lot of times we want to work on a project, right? Because it ends up in a magazine or on a product or, you know, whatever, like out in the world, it's not just we don't aren't doing it just for the money. We want to do it because we want our stuff out in the world. And so sometimes if they admit to you that if the thing may never see the light of day, you might still want to have the experience of doing the project, but that might be a deal breaker for you. So, it doesn't happen very often, but it does happen, client is not the decision maker. So this happens a lot when you work with an advertising agency or an agency who then works with the with an actual client. So a lot of times as a photographer or an illustrator or designer, you'll be contacted by the agency who wants to hire you to do the work for the campaign. And um, but ultimately, and, and maybe joe or, you know Marie who hired you loves your work, they think you're amazing. They love your eye, They love everything about you and they convinced the client that you are the right person for this job, but ultimately, they don't get to decide that whatever you're doing is um, you know, pass muster right or that it's going to like make it, um, or gets approved. Ultimately, the client gets set aside. So there's sometimes these layers of decision making that happen where the client loves you and if everything you do that, they approved, but ultimately, they have to take it to a jury of their peers, right, or to a client that can get really messy and hard. That's why it's really important in your contract and we'll talk about this soon to have like rounds of revisions or changes stipulated in your contract that you're not going to do more than three or four rounds of changes because oftentimes if the client is not the decision maker, well, in this case, the client is the decision maker, but the, the person who hired you is not actually the one to decide whether your work gets approved or not. Um, can make things really, really complicated. Um, client is being really vague and can't give clear art direction. So get clear on art direction and get clear on what it is you're supposed to do before you sign the contract so that you're walking into a situation where you're clear and you have some agreed on on things. Does that make sense? Okay, pro tip. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you aren't sure about something. So it might be a red flag, but it might also just be that you haven't asked the right questions. So ask more questions, you know, especially if you have a funny feeling or something isn't clear. Um I know it feels like often we're being a nag or asking too many questions or being that annoying person, but better to ask more questions up front than to be in a sign a contract and be in a situation leader where you're working in a situation where you're like, I should have worked this out before, I should have asked about this.

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