Business as usual!

Working freelance is a very difficult and tiring profession at the best of times. Trying to juggles several projects at the same time, or having work intensive projects cutting into quality time is a very hard part to balance in the creative world. Personally I find myself wanting to be creative all the time. Sometimes I have to pry myself away from the computer to rest, eat or even sleep. But at the end of the day, there is one thing that makes this whole role a lot harder; the client.

In any service industry you have your clients. People who come to you and ask you to perform the task that they feel they can’t achieve and you are trained or experienced in, that they are willing to part money for the experience. Now being a patron to some service industries I know for a fact that I never assume that I know anything about what these professionals know, enough to tell them what to do. After all, this is the reason I approach them in the first place. Now, for some reason the whole aspect of design is one of the few service industries where the client seems to feel they know more about design than you do.

Not only do they try to make you look stupid in your knowledge of how to do something, but they also spend time telling you what they require will be good design, is the best path or makes more sense that the thoughts of a veteran designer. Being a creative for over 35 years now, and being interested in art and design since the age of six, I have a keen eye to seeing the values I have learnt over the years and see the rationale behind what makes something good and what makes something bad. This is not what clients have. They tend to have selfish insight or personal opinion, and this is what can move toward making a a design look bad. Some examples:

  • Asking for several typefaces to be used in a single design!
  • Not understanding the values in complimentary colours!
  • Asking for a typeface that is on the NO list of good design (Comic Sans, etc)!
  • Asking for postures in illustrations that are not visually pleasing!
  • Putting illustrations into bad compositional settings to get too many elements in!
  • Not understanding simplicity of design!
  • Having no understanding of design practice and application!

The last one throws up a great example I recently had on Fiverr Pro. A potential client contacted me, and said could you do a similar illustration like the one in the attached image, and make it really pops the person who hired me (them) is really impressed.

In cases like this I have to chuckle. As you can see in the image, the artwork on the wall is intact a chromes 3d sculpture. This is a common reoccurrence where the people asking the artist to do work have little knowledge of how it would be made so assume that asking a creative person means that that creative could do it regardless of what they are using. This was 3d I do flat bitmap based illustration. There are no comparisons. In rare occasions the clients will try to demote your knowledge and ask if you can try anyway. And they feel insulted when you say it is just not possible.

This is quite an expansive area of discussion and I will make several segmented posts about different aspects of this issue facing creative; such as money relationship, clients misunderstanding, etc. This was just one example that popped into my head, but I can assure you I have many more. Stay tuned for my own version of Clients From Hell!

Don’t forget in 2020 I will be starting a Patreon Page: As part of the incentive of the work to be achieved on the page, a series of caricatures will be done, like the Abraham Lincoln one, called “Celebrity Sunday: Posers“. By patronising the channel you can receive a series of rewards and extras. Be sure to look out for the page in the New Year.

If you are interested in getting commissions of my work, check out my website here: or my Fiverr Pro account here:

all work copyright © Rob Snow | creative 2019