Sunday, January 27, 2008

Quality, Delivery times, and Client Input

Quality versus Price or Price versus Quality

After getting a wonderful commission for some artwork, there are some considerations to consider. There is quality to price issues, delivery times, and client input. First, there is a price to quality ratio. Quite a few artists I have met are of the opinion that you give sufficient quality for the price quoted. Actually the reverse is the proper way to think of the ratio. As an artist you should have a certain non-negotiable level of quality that you out into each and every piece of art that you create. That quality equates to a certain price. Then do not budge more that 5% from that price. Reason is that in many cases, the client will forget that they agreed to a lower level of quality for a lower price. When you deliver the completed artwork, then you have to resell the concept of lessened quality for a lesser price. Besides, as a pride issue, would you really want to put out substandard or subpar work for a subpar price? The client who foisted this on you is proud of their “negotiating” skill and brags to all his friends. All the braggarts’ friends see is a sad and low quality artwork that he bought because of a low price. Is that the reputation you want to be tarred with – a low budget, low quality artist? Don’t think so. Artwork should make the soul soar to a higher level, not fall to earth like a lead balloon.

Delivery Times

Make delivery promises set in concrete. Your client expects you to deliver the right item in the right time frame. Anything else is playing into the old lame game of artist as tortured soul, poor business person, etc. Also gives the customer if they are shrewd an opening to renegotiate the price downwards. Or you can invoke penalty clauses if those are in your contract for the artwork. Penalty clauses are a quick way to lose any and all profit in a project. On-time delivery is a sign of a professional artist.

Client Input

All people feel that they are creative. Be aware of this when accepting custom work. You need to listen carefully to the client, take notes, and if possible try to work in some of the clients’ notions. Ultimately though, the client asked for you based on your previous work. The client may have some great insights that will help your work tremendously. Sometimes, you have to diplomatically ignore the client suggestions – preferably not in their presence though. If your design is strong and thoughtful enough, the client will forget all about their hot trendy ideas and embrace your ideas. In fact the client may just congratulate you on how well you translated their ideas to the “perfect” artwork for them. That would be wonderful.

Copyright 2008 Carl Wright

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