I write this blog post in a reflective frame of mind after working on a most interesting client commission for the past few weeks.
On the surface, it seemed a simple request. A request to design a single image so came under my current service charge of £90.
But, no matter how thorough my process of collecting client information, Skype chats, and creating drafts is, I can sometimes get it a little wrong.
After all, I am only human. I am sure you can relate.
You see, for £90 I have to become heavily involved with ideas and development and creating what is right for my client as quickly as possible. I rely heavily on the information given and concise and accurate feedback.
£90 is not a huge price to pay for interpreting a lengthy questionnaire, up to an hour of Skype chat, developing workable ideas as rapidly as possible, and then creating the final image. There is really little room to make a mistake or for re-dos.
Whereas being commissioned for a number of images for a project flows more easily, after the style and look of the image are established. We are on a magical roll by then! 😉
On this occasion, I took two ten-hour working days for idea generation, designing and implementing the information and feedback given for an image. From the written email feedback, I really believed I was on the right track.
I have to hit the ground running from the start. If I don’t get it right pretty quickly, then the image rapidly becomes an uneconomical and exhausting frustration for both parties.
So, I sit here in the light of courage and wisdom, of my first-ever experience of a mismatch and misunderstanding. All I can do is request further payment for more ‘development work time’; or, of course, a full refund, and I keep the idea designs protected under copyright. This is all I can do to respect the clients and my own personal boundaries. This feels like the best solution. I also need time to reflect and take the positives out of this situation.
What have I learned?
I want to communicate more clearly the importance of finding out what the client likes, and also what the client does not like about my pre-final creation. After all, feedback is all subjective and open to misinterpretation.
I want to establish how much developmental work a client needs control of before the final image is drafted.
My price per single image does not reflect the amount of energy, love, and time that goes into every unique design. There are clients who are happy to trust that my art creation will be close to their ideal very quickly and not require developmental work, whereas some clients would want more control over the design and its final look. So, to accommodate for this, I will add an optional developmental cost to the price that will give clients the security and satisfaction of rough sketches, mock-ups, and final images with amendments). I see this as a workable solution for all 😉
This is all a learning curve for me. I respect and adore my clients. I am open here, so you understand what goes on behind the scenes and my passion for refining and adjusting my service to get things as near to the perfect experience for you.
Fortunately, the majority of my client experiences have been magical and wonderful!!!
So, thank you for reading this blog post and I would welcome any comments or advice you wish to share or your own experiences of a mismatch.