Thursday, August 30, 2007

I don't like your art

It would be excellent to have such pure confidence in your work that when someone criticizes, you take it or leave it and move on. A million people can enjoy and appreciate and get my art, but it is the one that doesn't that sticks in your craw and annoys and plants the seeds of doubt. I hang on to it. I know I'll drop the feeling eventually but I wish I could do it faster.

The client I did the art for below HATED it. It probably was a communication breakdown due the language barrier, but it is still bugging me that they didn't love it. 90% of the time I get a good response, nothing like this.

Something good will come of this experience though. It has taught me that I need to trust my instincts more; I know what jobs I will do well at and what jobs are not going to work. I need to turn down those that don't feel right. Turning down jobs is hard though. I have been lucky. Most of the jobs I get the art director leaves me alone and trusts my ideas. They hire me for my smart aleckyness and unpolished style. This job gave such detailed specific art-directed instructions, I should have said no to the job. They had a very specific vision and I guess my vision didn't match.

Every artist has these moments. You can't get it right 100% of the time. It would be nice to be loved and praised all the time but it ain't gonna happen. I won't let this get me down for too long. I am almost over it already.


arthur said...

Don't let this bother you. Some art directors occasionally have this "vision" of what the piece should be but fail to communicate that. Sometimes things go smooth especially when they have a rough sketch but more often than not the job is doomed from the start because of those preconceived ideas. When in doubt I pick up the phone and call. In your case I'm sure things were different. I missed your party last month. Are you guys having a holiday party?

Liz said...

You are so right about trusting your instincts. Sometimes I think people may not know what they want so it is really difficult to please them.

I think it is a lovely piece.


leslie said...

Take the high road and move on girl! You can, and like you said, you will learn from this project. I like to keep in mind that things happen for a reason, you may not know why now, but you will later! That's the fun of it!!! Hang in there and keep on keepin on! Your the best!!!!!


alex noriega said...

Hi Martha! first time in your blog... We actually met in your studio a couple weeks ago... Im the big werid guy wearing a cap that gave you a wallet :) I just wanted to drop a line and thank you for the book. It really is amazing. I love it!... and dont worry too much about unpleasant clients... especially being french, you know!... anyways, good luck with everything and keep in touch!


ps: Did I give you a print?

Joe Rocco said...

I agree with Liz and Arthur quite a bit in that some clients do not know what they want. If you've been in the business for a while it's bound to happen once or twice where a client is not happy. And many times they hire an illustrator thinking that person can conform to any style or situation which always irks me. I want an art director or designer to use me for my special talents and touches and if I were hiring you I would have been very happy with the piece you turned in. It looks to me like a good fit for the job and I'd be happy if I was the client with your final piece, but who knows what they were thinking. Don't get down on yourself Martha. The fact that you care so much about the work you do is a wonderful thing. You'll go on to make many many clients happy. You can only learn from these types of experiences about the questions to ask and sometimes I even ask a client what pieces of mine they like in particular that they feel make me perfect for the job. That usually steers me in the right direction, but sometimes you can never please a client either.

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Jen said...

HI Martha!

Just found your blog and read this post and had to write to tell you: I LOVE your work! I'm an illustrator too and know how much something like that can suck, but don't let it get you down! Your work is great!