A well-known, international illustrator once told me that the best illustrator he knows does not illustrate for a living – he lays carpet. The carpet-layer tried commercial illustration, but simply could not meet deadlines.
Photo Credit Dennis and Aimee Jonez
Deadlines can make or break our reputation. If you miss too many of them, the deadline truly becomes as its name implies – deadly – killing your relationship between you and your clients and sending you off to lay carpet for the rest of your life.
This is ironic because most artists are not truly driven to excellence by a deadline, it simply motivates them to finish a project. Everyone would rather spend the time they need to get a project done and not feel rushed, but realistically, in order to succeed, deadlines must be taken in serious consideration.
That is where the creative process comes in. You must understand the time you need in order to work and produce something of worth for your client.
Follow these simple guidelines to get the most out of your creative approach and meet deadlines:
1. Get a full understanding of the client’s needs.
Ask the right questions in the initial meeting and delve into the audience’s culture to learn what makes them respond.
2. Understand how long it will take you to get there.
Map out your plan and allot time for research, conceptualization, client revisions, and other possible things that may come up.
When you have a firm understanding of how much time you need and create a schedule to succeed in your project, the deadline will not loom over your head and put pressure on your creativity. Instead, your reputation could soar and referrals will come in.
The Next Best Thing
One of the biggest problems between the client and the designer is communication. If you see that you are going to miss a deadline, contact the client as soon as possible and try to resolve the issue. Maybe they can compromise and release a part of the project to get them started. Never be afraid to talk to the client – they will be more appreciative of being in the loop.
What About You?
How are you with deadlines? How do you make sure you communicate with your clients so everything stays on track? Do you give clients updates at milestones or after a certain amount of time? Do you only talk to them regarding questions or proofs? Give me some insights on how you solve the deadline problem and client communication in the comments.
You can get further insight and better results by understanding how you think. Learn the creative process and its details. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for an in depth discussion about the Creative Process and learn how to maximize your time, energy, and effectiveness in creativity. It’s free, just click here. If not, I know of a carpet-laying company looking for help…