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Working Successfully with Clients: A Class for Illustrators and Designers

Lesson 1 of 19

Class Introduction

Lisa Congdon

Working Successfully with Clients: A Class for Illustrators and Designers

Lisa Congdon

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

(audience applauds) Hello, and welcome. My name is Lisa Congdon, and I'm thrilled to be teaching this class on working with clients. The world of commercial illustration and design can feel mysterious and daunting in the beginning, which is why I wanted to develop this class. It was a world that when I started out 11 years ago felt so mysterious to me. So those of you in the studio audience, how many of you have worked with clients before? All right, all of you. For how many of you is this relatively new, however, and you still have questions? Okay, and I imagine those of you listening out in Internet Land also have questions. So some of the questions that I used to think about a lot and wondered about and pondered over was what if a client reaches out to me and I'm not sure I want to take the job? How do I negotiate the terms of a contract with potential clients? I have no idea what should go in a contract in the first place. We know we have to have a legal agreement, but we don't r...

eally know what should go in it. What are the most important parts of a contract? What about fees? How do I get paid what I deserve? That's a big one, and we're gonna talk about that. I have no idea what to charge. What if I think I'm being screwed by the client? What if they're trying to pull one over on me? What if I have a bad feeling about the job? What if I'm not sure I can execute what they expect of me? What should I expect in a typical assignment? I don't even know what I'm supposed to do. How do I know if I'm going about it correctly? What if they asked me to do more than I signed up for? What do I say, how do I handle that? There are answers to all of these questions, and my hope here is that I can demystify the world of client work for you. So what if you knew just the right questions to ask to determine if an opportunity was right for you? What if every time you were offered a design or illustration gig, you knew just what to ask the client to ensure you'd be doing your best work and getting them exactly what they needed? What if every time you worked with a client you felt confident and ready to engage in the project and do your best work? What if you could confidently research and then ask for the money you deserved for a project? All right? That's a big one. There is a world of opportunity there for you. As I like to say, there's never been a better time to be an artist. There are so many opportunities because of the internet, but navigating those opportunities successfully so that you get paid the money you deserve, that you're legally protected, and that you're working in a way with a client that's gonna ensure that you keep getting more work is really important. Knowing exactly how the process should work with clients is important. Having high expectations for client interactions, not just for yourself, and today we're gonna be talking a lot about having high expectations for yourself in your communication with clients, but you should also have high expectations for your clients. Knowing appropriate communication strategies for dealing with different scenarios. Those are all really important. All of those will help you have a successful relationship with your clients so that you can keep doing more and more work.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers. 

Establishing yourself as a professional illustrator or designer requires a lot of dedication to building skill, brand and visibility. Equally important, yet often underestimated, is the development of client interaction skills. Working with clients takes practice! It’s not easy and it’s not always intuitive. Knowing how to communicate with clients clearly and effectively is a skill that will ultimately set you apart as a professional illustrator.

Fine artist, illustrator and author Lisa Congdon has worked with over 75 clients around the world, including MoMA, REI Co-op, Harvard University, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, and Random House Publishing, among many others. In this class she will share the knowledge she has acquired during her successful career, highlighting time-proven strategies for working effectively with clients. She will also discuss common mistakes to avoid when dealing with clients.

Lisa will teach you the skills you need to enter into client relationships with clarity and confidence.

In this class you will learn:

  • How to communicate effectively and professionally with potential clients.
  • What questions to ask when being approached by a potential client
  • What to look for in a creative brief
  • How to consider phases and deliverables of a project
  • How to consider fee negotiation.
  • How to read through a contract.
  • How to address change of project scope with a client.
  • And so much more...

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Questions to Ask

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Caroline Fidelaire

Great class packed very useful tips for entrepreneurs in illustration and design and great email examples on how to: - respectfully and gratefully communicate with clients in the diverse phases of the production line - negotiate a contract and your fees - how to proceed to bidding for a work contract Lisa is a wonderful speaker. A wonderful class well worth its 3 hours length.

Scavenger Annie

Right from the start of class Lisa offers up her pearls of wisdom. Absolutely jam-packed with information on working with clients, illustration agents & art directors in the commercial world. All very relevant to other careers in the creative realm too, especially when Lisa talks about the language & negotiation of contracts. Clear, concise teaching & my fingers are burning from typing so fast as I made notes! A wonderful class that has motivated me to pursue commercial illustration with my brand Northern Bird Designs. Thank you for the top guidance & inspiration Lisa! Looking forward to the next class on managing workflows.

Neelam Kaur

Lisa has immense knowledge about the industry and she shares the same with Artist Community in the form of Books, E-courses, Workshops. This class is jam-packed with great information which as an Freelance or as an New Illustrator we struggle and feel we had someone to help us understand. And I must say, the Skillshare & CreativeBug Classes other than Creative Live Classes, she focuses it all from an artist standpoint. As a Freelance Illustrator Artist I struggled managing the other aspects of my Art Business which I feel so confident after this class. And most of all I know my worth! Thank you Lisa!