Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Above: an illo for the latest childrens book that I am working on. As you can see the final sketch did not deviate from the final illo. This page was a joy to create. Why? Well it was fun to paint... I mean seriously, how can you be grumpy painting a cow? But the best part was that the client was completely on board with my vision for this page right out of the gate. Truly, I knocked it out of the park at conception. If memory serves the client's exact words were "I just LOVE the cow. It's perfect!"
Children's books are what I consider a "happy challenge". The author is dedicated to bringing about the best possible visuals for the story and sometimes the ideas that he/she has are not ones you share. This is a challenge in any client/creative relationship and one that I have worked hard to master. A great (and simple) tip for those who struggle with this issue: remember, the project is theirs. A client approached you to create something for them. They love your style, oh and ah over your talent but really just want you to execute a timely project for them that tackles a creative issue. They are paying you for this project and when completed, it's theirs. Consider it your creative mantra... I am doing this for my client, not myself. Whether it is a commission, a children's book, or a company brochure - you are being paid to produce something for them. It's not personal, it's business and if they walk away happy then they will return with future work. Want to create something just for you? Set up an easel and indulge yourself with an afternoon of painting. In the meantime, work alongside your client to produce a piece that will be highly satisfying. Keep an open mind to their suggestions/ideas and they will give you the same respect. Listen carefully to client comments, add your creative input and move forward in a positive direction on the project. Best case scenario - a great new piece for your portfolio and the worse case.... a great new painting to display in your home. Sounds like a win/win to me.
Happy Wednesday! Check back Friday for an article on Creative Routines with a link to a free online course.