As creatives we come across quite a few different personalities through our work. Whether you are a freelance designer or work in a studio, we all meet with people regularly in one way or another. But even though our communications are centered around business we are all still dealing with people. Some projects are individual dreams, others are huge projects that employ hundreds of people, and everything in between. But, every single one of them is vital to someone, in just the same way that our work is vital to us.
But dealing with clients is more then making sure that a project goes well and the finished product is a success. The relationship built must be a success as well. Many of us have had experiences where we felt under appreciated or unheard, whether as the creative or the client. But we have also had experiences where all members involved felt lifted by the relationship, and this is what we strive for. Not only does it allow creative juices to flow freely, but it opens the door to so much more opportunity for the project and the future.
I have recently completed the second project for Nan McAdam who first commissioned me for a revamp of her cover several months ago. She felt the original piece was not gaining the interest she wanted and was feeling quite stressed out because of this. As a writer, she put her heart and soul into this project, just like I put my heart and soul into the work I create. Over the course of the project I made sure to let her know that I understood her struggle and would do my best to alleviate her stress along the way. While this can be somewhat of a delicate dance where you have to be careful not to spend to much time on personal issues, it usually only takes a sentence or two to put someones mind at ease. And the results of that care and compassion can be larger than any single project.
Because of my ability to listen to her needs and have an understanding of her goals and aspirations, we have formed a bond where I am excited for her success and she is excited for mine. On top of that she has taken the time on several occasions to spread good words about me and my work to others gaining me more opportunities than I would have originally gotten with just my own self promotion. And all of this happened because we built a relationship that was more then just a cold sterile business transaction.
So do your best to not only understand the project that you might be hired for or be hiring for, but understand the person behind the project. With so many challenges and obstacles thrown at us as we progress and advance, it makes sense to have those we trust and rely on. Just as we want others to truth and rely on us. Treat your clients and employees well, because in the end, it will come back to you in more ways then you could imagine. Lets make everyone’s experience better so that we can all be lifted in not only our business life, but our personal one as well. And when you spend 12 hours today alone in the studio working on a piece, you might not feel so alone. Because at the end of it all, you can share a beautiful piece with someone who will light up when they see how hard you worked. And you will feel that connection that only comes from truly caring about another success and knowing they care about yours as well.
Here is the link to Saving MIM, Nans first in the series, with the second, The Secret Key of Mim available for preorder.