I consider that designers and artists have a lack of self-appreciation because they think that good clients do not exist or that this “good clients” are just for the really experimented at the area and they consider that that’s what it takes to any designer or artist to place a good price to their job, but nothing further from reality.
In many cases when the artist gets a client they show their portfolios, make budgets and contracts, but at the end in the most cases the client says they love the portfolio but they need you to do a test for this illustration or art to see if you fit in the project, tells you the conditions of the art and what it should go in it, leading in many occasions to the resounding acceptation of the artist who thinks that what is in front of him/her is a good client or a good businessman, just because is a super knowed brand or a good editorial and they end up telling that they want to work with this people because the false thinking that is going to look good in their CV, something totally out of logic because who’s going to care that they pay you 300$ for an art that it will take a month to develop and with daily work, but nobody lives with 300$ the month and that’s something the company or the client won’t see, just the artist must be conscious obviously of his/hers numbers at the end of the month because if this job is going to take you a month and you are going to be paid 300$ when you need to get monthly around 800$ you don’t accept it and that’s it, because we are talking about clients that don’t make the cut as good as the company might be or the money that this client might seem to have.
Most artists think that a good client does not exist or that they are big brands and those are going to bring us to the top, but if Coca-Cola calls you and rejects your budget, the ideal thing is either to insist or work for less, if the company doesn’t accept your conditions as an artists is obvious they don’t value your work as they should and it’s not a good client.
You have to learn to value yourself and your work as an artist, get off that client-centrist idea where you think that if a client is happy then you’re happy, because that sound more like an abusive relationship.
A good client is the one that in the whole month just ask you to fix 3 things and they’re absurd things like changing a bit some tone because it probably won’t go well in the print and somebody that pays you 1500$ monthly, that’s a good client and it’s not a good client because is a person with international fame, it’s a good client because knows what is the position of the artist, knows who you are and above all knows the value you bring to his/hers company, a person with value and moral, things you should pursue and if you get a client like that try to keep it.
Many consider that monthly you should get 4 clients when you’re a freelancer and most don’t want to be freelancer because they think is too much work, but thing is that in the first 3 months you’re going to suffer obviously and this because you will have to make calls, create your accounting, your marketing strategies because all the marketing you are going to handle it, beginning to accept the “noes” and the “might be” that you’re going to receive, but above all endure the bad clients that you’re going to get on this period, but this stage of bad clients only lasts 3 months if you do not accept them, to deny yourself to create spec work because for a reason you send a portfolio, if the client does not likes what he or she sees then it does not have any sense of him/her to hire you, the time that would take you to create that art to know if it works is time that you can use to call 25 potential clients that might give you a good job and I think this detail is something artists and designers don’t see.
This is the thing that must be attacked, to stop accepting jobs of anybody just because you think you won’t get a good client, good clients are there and you do not need many to be happy and live an easy life, you need at least 3 good clients in your life to be in peace, a good client appears every month or every two months, a good client is not the one that promises you more work in the future, is the one that after the jobs is finished and a month later calls you again because they loved the work, but in that month you didn’t work with him you lived easy because the job you did the first month was well paid so you didn’t had to worry economically speaking and what happens if the client disappears for a long time? you still have two more to survive on this period.
– Nathasha Padrón from Medellin, Colombia.