After reading through the advice of Nate Williams which Max suggested to look at there were a few tips which are pretty helpful,
After working as an art director for Microsoft’s Xbox .. I can’t say how important it is to have a positive attitude. Of course talent is crucial .. but talent isn’t the only thing that gets you work. People are people and it’s always nicer to work with someone that is positive and solution oriented. I used to hire tons of external agencies to create web sites and other online promotional material. All the agencies were extremely talented but those that could talk about their work in an exciting way, were easy to work with and accepted feedback well were the ones I hired over and over again.
I’m not saying do anything the client wants with a smile on your face. You were hired because you are an expert in your field .. articulate the decisions you made and get them excited about your ideas .. but it’s also important to stay positive and flexible.
You can save yourself a lot of extra work by asking a few questions up front.
First, get the basic information:
- Technical Specs – size, bleed, resolution, etc
- Important Dates – (Rough Date, Final Date)
If this is the first time working with this person ask them:
- Why did you choose me for this project? (I like your concepts, I like your painterly style, your work is cute and works well for teenage girl magazines, your style is rough and dark and works well for this editorial piece on drug abuse, etc)
- Which pieces of work do you particularly like and why?(I like the man on the boat cause it’s funny, I like all the texture in the piece you did for Converse, etc)
- How did you discover my work?
This will give you a better idea of what the client likes about your work, why they chose you for this particular project and what they expect.
Next, get more information about the job, if it’s a long editorial .. ask them:
- What part of the story do they really want emphasize?
- Is there anything they want to stay away from?
- Do they have any ideas?(This doesn’t necessarily mean to use the idea .. but it will give you a general idea of the path they want to take or what part they think is important/interesting)
Some great and helpful tips from Nate Williams about the illustration business and how to go about it!