The Artist's Way

You may recall that I was having issues with my current client. Though I thought I came up with a good solution to the issue, it turns out, they still weren't happy. This is a new thing for me. I'm not patting myself on the back or claiming that my work is above reproach, but part of my commercial success is based on the fact that every one of my clients has been via referral. Each commissioned project I have had has led to the next, which has the added bonus that the new client has always seen my work. Therefore, they have a realistic expectation of what to expect when it's finished, and usually, everyone is happy.

This current client was referred by one of my earliest, who was one of the coolest chicks on the planet. She was totally respectful of the creative process, patient when things took longer than I had projected, and even more patient when the installation of her foyer piece took until 2am. There was scaffolding involved and lots of wire and acrobatics and it was just crazy. At the end of the day, she was really pleased and I could not have asked for a better way of breaking into a more commercial end of the art thing. If I could have clients like her, I'd sell out 7 days a week. How she could be in any way associated with the nightmare that is my current client is unbelievable.

The final compromise of the current situation is that I'm taking back all of the work that was made for them, and they are forfeiting the deposit they made (50%), except for one piece which was designed but never actually fabricated because their designer, Captain Fabulous Mark, couldn't make up his mind about the dining room table. They still have no table. They are getting half the deposit back for the fixture that was meant to hang over the non-existent table. I'm not thrilled with the outcome, as there were many,many hours of work put into that job. There is definitely bad blood with the client, which means this will be the first job I've had that does not lead to another. And like all of my work, I have a personal attachment to it, so there is a bit of a personal affront when someone rejects it. It feels like a rejection of me, of my talent, and my creativity. I know it's not a very professional way of looking at it, but my feelings are a bit hurt.

The moral of the story is this: if you ever decide to hire an artist..to paint, to photograph, to sculpt, to fabricate something in your home..realize this. We take personal pride in what we do. We have passion for it, and we want you to have passion for it as well. If you would be just as happy with something that can be ordered from a catalog or bought from fucking Ikea, get it there.

2 comments:

sitboaf said...

That's very sad.
An artist's work is indeed an expresion of him/her. It is not molded, assembled, or fabricated. Often, it isn't exact or accurate or even technically precise. But it can provide so much more than something limited by "perfection".
Your customer was hoping for a thing, and not for a creation.
It's quite impossible to mass-produce "art". Now, will someone enlighten Thomas Kincaid, preferably with a sledge hammer?

elizabeth said...

Yeah if i ever start mass producing my stuff, you have my full permission to kick my ass. It's been offered to me..design some stuff to be fabricated in China and sell it to Target. i almost vomited on the person who made the offer. To me, this is like walking into a beautiful gourmet restaurant and exclaiming "Ya know what would be great here? a TGIFridays!!" Disgusting