What if you don’t like working with a client? Have you ever had to “fire” a client or walk away from a job?
If I wanted to work with the people, I worked with them, and if I didn’t, I probably didn’t.
Some clients I had to walk away from. We couldn’t work it out. I was willing to walk, but that became really hard in action sports because the athlete is dependent upon you for some reason. And if you’re killing a deal, you may be killing their deal too.
Yeah, I’ve walked away from a couple of projects — before even starting or in the middle of a project. Sometimes the client and I are just not working well together.
I was working on a book project and I made the mistake of assuming he had given it to his editor. I laid out an entire book with illustrations and everything and then he said, Oh, let me send it to the editor. And I was like, What do you mean, was that the first time the editor looked at it? And he said, Yeah. And the editor has all these changes that changed the entire flow of the book. At one point he came back to me with some more edits and then I said, I’ll get these back to you in a week and a half. And he started complaining that I obviously didn’t think he was important enough to turn it around in a couple of days. I said, Well no, I have all these other jobs I’m doing at the same time and I just spent pretty much three weeks on yours. He was like, Maybe we should just end this. So I said, Sorry you feel that way, but, agreed, and here is my invoice for the work.
Yeah. Actually there was one that had a really nice wall, a lot of good money. It was me and another artist and they gave us a deposit of a third upfront, which was quite a bit of money. We went through all these ideas but I wanted to do what I do — I wanted to paint my bulldog up there.
So we had all these mockups and then they didn’t want the bulldog. So we just kept the money and they said, All right, see you later. They had wanted me to paint a rhino and I’m not painting no fucking rhino in RiNo [an arts district in Denver]. I did that once and that’s it. I have my limit. The line I’ll draw. I can do that a lot more now too because I have a style and try to keep it. I want to at least do something that portrays my skill rather than some stupid rhino for RiNo.
Dealing with clients and weeding out clients is constant. I’ve had to fire clients. You get into a project and you just decide, You know what? This is not for me, and back out, return their deposit and just wash your hands of it. I didn’t do that until this year. So that’s new. But you have that option. You don’t have to work with everybody.