It’s not enough to make great work, you also have to show it to the people. And before you get the chance to show it, you have to learn to talk about it. Whether it’s orally at a networking event or in writing in a pitch email, you have to present yourself and your project well, or you’ll never get the connections and backing you need to get it off the ground. Unfortunately, most people don’t feel comfortable talking about their work at all. Here’s some of the most common pitfalls and tips to overcome them.
I’m an Art Director, and it’s part of the job to evaluate artists. I’ve seen a lot of artists succeed…and a lot more drop out of the professional art world. There are patterns that are easy to see from my perspective that are more difficult for freelance artists to recognize, so I’ve listed the top 5 ways that artists sabotage themselves here. Are you sabotaging your career?
Many of us think negotiation is a dirty word. It has a negative connotation, as if we were asking for things you shouldn’t. We feel that if everything was going well, we shouldn’t have to negotiate. But we’re thinking about negotiation all wrong. It’s not what needs to happen when things go badly—it should be a sign that everything is going very well. With a mental shift and a few go-to scripts, anyone can learn to negotiate confidently.
Have you found yourself stuck in infinite revisions? Everything started off so well: you were excited about the client, you agreed on terms and signed a contract, and they loved your thumbnails…but suddenly you’re stuck in the artist version of Groundhog Day. Suddenly every time you send a revision, you get more notes. You keep thinking this will be it, but changes keep appearing out of the woodwork. The job drags on and your fee is looking less and less worthwhile. You are stuck in the hamster wheel of art. How do you get yourself out?
As freelancers, our first instincts are always to take a job that is offered to us. Any job. Especially if it’s a repeat client or a dream client we’re working with for the first time. But sometimes, in the middle of a job, things can take a turn for the worse and suddenly all you want is out. Is it the right time to hit the ejector button? Is there a way to save the job? Can you get out without irrevocably burning that bridge?
Suddenly, with a rush of pit-of-the-stomach dread, you realize that there’s no way in hell you’re going to make the deadline you agreed to. Now what do you do? (Spoiler: the answer is not to go hide your head in the sand and hope for the best.)