The first question from clients is always about the process. No, that's a lie. The first question is about pricing. But that is another topic for another day.
The second question is about the process. How does it work? What are the steps? But I always appreciate that because it means they understand that I'm not a vending machine. My time is valuable and they want to know what my process is. You take that for granted until the day comes when that one person says, "So, I need this by tomorrow. Can you do it?" At that point, I'm thinking, well that's demanding, but what am I going to do? Say no to work?
I've had to remind myself time and time again that I don't work for a boss anymore. I work for me. So that means I am allowed to let myself say no under certain circumstances, but it's never easy (at least for me) to say no to work, so it's a constant battle.
My favorite part of the process.
That's the best part! When I'm trying to find the solution to a design problem and ideas are bouncing around in my head faster than I can translate them onto paper so I don't forget. I get so excited at this stage; sometimes I think I'm getting ahead of myself and I have to calm myself down.
The worst part? Pitching the ideas to the client. It's not necessarily the worst, but it's definitely where I am most weak. I feel so vulnerable, thinking, what if they don't like this idea? I begin to question and doubt myself about the very ideas that I was so excited about during the brainstorming. I do enjoy the sweet relief, though, when the client loves the pitch and gets excited. It's a roller coaster of emotions, man.
Sometimes, it's an easy home-run. That's when I grind it out and do exactly what I had pictured in my mind, show the client and they love it. Done!
Other times, it's like a chess game. I go through several proofs because the client isn't sure of what they want and they start asking, well, what about this? What if we did this? I have to use my sixth sense; I feel out what they're looking for and guide them until I hit the right string and bam! Checkmate.
It's the best feeling when I finish up a job and the client is in love with the final product just as much as I am. It's so rewarding, and I guess that's what keeps me going back to it - I'm addicted. It's such an unstable and emotional way of life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else.
No wonder I have trouble falling asleep at night.
I'll end on a quote - it's one of my all-time favorites by my favorite illustrator.
"If there was sadness in this creative world of mine, it was a pleasant sadness. If there were problems, they were humorous problems." - Norman Rockwell