Saturday, August 8, 2015

Is there a "blacklist" for illustrators?


On the DearArtDirector Tumblr, there has been some concern about whether art directors "blacklist" illustrators, and, if you have been blacklisted, if there is any way to redeem yourself.

Spoiler: there is no "blacklist," other than art directors talking with other art directors, the way anyone in any business does. And AD's are decent enough people that they can forgive artists who make honest mistakes.

Even if there is a blacklist, it shouldn't matter to you. Your goal shouldn't be to avoid a blacklist, it should be to blow people away with your awesomeness so clients are pounding on your door to work with you again.

I don't worry about a blacklist because I strive to be a pleasure to work with. I communicate clearly, quickly and cheerfully. I do my work. I turn it in on time. My goal is to solve my client's visual problems and make their job as easy as possible. Not every assignment ends up going smoothly, but the thought "what if they blacklist me?" never crossed my mind.

It seems that people want to see how much they can get away with. I saw this attitude in art school sometimes. A visiting professional give us a talk, and afterward the Q&A would go like this:

Student: What if I'm late on an assignment?
Pro: Don't be late.
Student: What if I don't have a scanner and can't take good photos of my paintings?
Pro: Get a scanner.
Student: What if I only have a blog, not a website?
Pro: Get a website.

Your goal is not "how much will my clients put up with?" It's "how can I be the best?"

1 comment:

  1. That's a very good attitude to have! I too try to be a pleasure to work with, communicate clearly and do my work in a timely manner, hopefully succeeding the client's expectations. It doesn't *always* work however - there should probably be a blacklist for clients, because I've had a few doozies (although most of mine are a joy to work with, I hasten to add) =P

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