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  1. #1
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    Clients, God love em

    I seem to be getting a lot of these at the moment; several a week. Which means Im sure you guys are too.
    Heres the most recent one, from today.. i feel pretty sorry for them, if theyre not just lying but srsly.. is this the new scam from Nigeria or just clients doing what they do?
    Anyone else got any gems, new or old, like this?
    ------

    Hello Al,

    Thank you for your response. I am trying to save my company and haven't the finance to do so, but if you would be willing to work with us, I can assure you that you would get compensation for your trouble. We are an electric car company, and have been for only thirteen years now. We have no overhead, so if we close; we close...The last car designed, built, and sold was back in 2005. We are finding that it would be beneficial to have pictures, but we do not have Autodesk software, and with the latest dealership interests, we were looking for some quick mock ups. We would like to offer 1% of each unit sold using your design if that would be agreed upon.

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 18th, 2013 at 04:07 AM.
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  4. #2
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    "…but think of your portfolio, we're actually doing you a favour!"

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  6. #3
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    "Itll lead to loads more awful badly paid work!!"
    Psalm 3 from the Useless Clients Bible

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  7. #4
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    The "1%" is somehow the cherry on the cake...

    I haven't been getting those lately. Instead I've been getting an unusual number of old clients resurfacing from nowhere. "Hi! Remember that project you thought was dead six years ago? IT'S BAAAAAAACK!"

    Which is a GOOD thing, of course, when some of the old ghosts finally turn into a real projects... But it's getting a bit uncanny.

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  8. #5
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    Yeah people with money usually take aaages, skint cunts want stuff done yesterday..

    That 1% made me crack up. I dont get out of bed for less than 15% of nothing!

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 18th, 2013 at 12:42 AM.
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  9. #6
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    Help me Mr Bradley, you're my only hope.

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    Yeah people with money usually take aaages, skint cunts want stuff done yesterday..
    Yeah, they're hoping that if the deadline is short enough your mouth won't consult your brain first.

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  13. #8
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    They say that you need a thief to catch a thief. Im like that with skint losers.

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  14. #9
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    I actually need an opinion on this situation.
    I recently landed a pretty good corporate gig. The pay was great and without condition. Only problem was the creative director's prompt was really vague abstract and confusing. Poor guy had to pay me to call him confusing.

    Heres how it went down.

    Me: What would you like me to draw?

    Client: the background of the layout for a brochure.

    Me: What would you want the background to look like?

    Client: Like that pirate drawing of yours. Just the technique, not the drawing.

    Me: So what should I draw.

    Client: The background for the brochure.

    I had to call him up and say he wasn't making sense. Luckily there were many other art chores. But I feel really bad for not being able to come through on what he needed.

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  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raoul Duke View Post
    I actually need an opinion on this situation.
    I recently landed a pretty good corporate gig. The pay was great and without condition. Only problem was the creative director's prompt was really vague abstract and confusing. Poor guy had to pay me to call him confusing.

    Heres how it went down.

    Me: What would you like me to draw?

    Client: the background of the layout for a brochure.

    Me: What would you want the background to look like?

    Client: Like that pirate drawing of yours. Just the technique, not the drawing.

    Me: So what should I draw.

    Client: The background for the brochure.

    I had to call him up and say he wasn't making sense. Luckily there were many other art chores. But I feel really bad for not being able to come through on what he needed.
    That’s good you asked for some visual reference or a project brief. Maybe the client was given a task they never handled before. All they know is they need a designer asap. Ask what their target audience is and make some suggestions if they are unsure how to approach the project.

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  18. #11
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    Well, let's see, a brochure is printed on paper, right? So, the background of a brochure is... a piece of paper. So give him a blank piece of paper, and then send in another piece of paper with the bill printed on it.

    I've had clients who don't know what they want to make, but they know they want it to be a cool billion-dollar idea that will somehow turn them into the next Google. These projects never go anywhere, but hey, if they want to pay me to get together with a bunch of people and brainstorm about nothing in a vacuum, I'm game...

    It usually starts out something like:

    "So what do you want this thing to do?"

    "Everything!"

    "Great, great... but who's your market?"

    "Everybody!"

    "Uh huh... What's your goal again?"

    "We want to be the next Google!"

    "You and everyone else, pal..."

    (That's the condensed version, of course.)

    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; January 18th, 2013 at 01:59 AM.
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  20. #12
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    This thread is silly.

    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
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  21. #13
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    haha this is the lounge not Primeministers Questions, course it is!.. come on you must have had a comically awful client? care to share?

    this might be ancient wisdom but its still apt



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  22. #14
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    That’s good you asked for some visual reference or a project brief. Maybe the client was given a task they never handled before. All they know is they need a designer asap. Ask what their target audience is and make some suggestions if they are unsure how to approach the project.
    actually the guy was a graphic designer and was recently promoted to creative director because he was a good copy writer. I knew it was being marketed directly to doctors and I have no idea what art would appeal to them.

    Like I said the pay was great, so I can't be bitter. First time I didn't get screwed by a client because they didn't know what they wanted.

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  23. #15
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    Google a load of stuff used to market products to doctors, put it on a big sheet and say which one do you like and why. They will pick the worst one.

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  25. #16
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    That would just make me confuse myself. I remembered thinking Rothko would know what to do. Because they wanted my technique without a drawing. I had to explain it's like asking for a quesadilla without a tortilla.

    Last edited by Raoul Duke; January 18th, 2013 at 04:07 AM.
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  27. #17
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    What's a skint? You Brits have the greatest words.

    I've been pretty lucky with clients. When I can say the worst for me are the ones who disappear then that's not so bad. Still get paid for what I did. Make sure you have a kill fee or a percentage up front. The strange ones are the ones that come back years later like and want to pick up the job from where we left off. I ignore them unless they are really bitchin' clients.

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  29. #18
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    @bcarman, if someone is 'skint' it means they have no money

    if you want some lols (coupled with rage), http://clientsfromhell.net/

    "I’m not giving a raise to someone who sits and plays with lines all day."

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  31. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    Hello Al,

    Thank you for your response. I am trying to save my company and haven't the finance to do so, but if you would be willing to work with us, I can assure you that you would get compensation for your trouble. We are an electric car company, and have been for only thirteen years now. We have no overhead, so if we close; we close...The last car designed, built, and sold was back in 2005. We are finding that it would be beneficial to have pictures, but we do not have Autodesk software, and with the latest dealership interests, we were looking for some quick mock ups. We would like to offer 1% of each unit sold using your design if that would be agreed upon.
    Bullshit.


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  33. #20
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    No wonder the car company is dying if they've been sitting on their hands for the last eight years.

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    I have worked for a company that was a different type of weird. The guy had love money, he used to do marketing stuff for a game company, so he wanted his own game company. He contacted me because I had some experience (2 years at the time) and he wanted me to be his lead artist. He wanted to do a game about a sport that he thought was trendy and it was all fine and I'd be working part time because I already had a part time job (designing giants puppets, but that's another can of worms.)

    Well, he told me he had an animator and 2 programers. When I pressed him, he told me he didn't have a design document and he didn't know how to write one. So we discussed and he offered to pay me as a game designer as well as a lead art. I was fine with that. Well, we had a meeting with the whole team, found out that the other guys were already working. Well I can understand that the programmers have a bit of groundwork to lay even if the design isn't all done, but wtf was the animator doing. So since the guy had no idea how to run a project, I was promoted to project lead. I later discovered that the other "employees" were all fresh out of high school and in their first year of college, the animator only animated on index cards and couldn't be bothered to learn to use a tablet, and the programmers couldn't code. So they were all ditched (not before billing for weeks or even months of useless work.) I got to do all of the art and animation, and design, and balancing, it took ages.

    Needless to say, I'm way more wary of clueless people now. The good thing is at least I got paid

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  36. #22
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    Lovin the name dropping of Autodesk. Heehee!

    - / blog / art / photos / -
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  37. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Bullshit.
    that it most certainly is

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  38. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    Needless to say, I'm way more wary of clueless people now. The good thing is at least I got paid
    Getting paid is good... This is why if I sense a high level of flakiness in a potential client I usually pad my quotes with what I consider "Flake Fees". Because if the client is clueless, I know I'll basically end up managing the whole project for them and doing a lot of coaching and "hand-holding", which takes extra time, which I'd damn well like to be compensated for.

    The higher price tends to scare off the most flaky specimens, of course. And hey, if they bite, at least I'm paid for my time.

    If they're reeeeally flaky, I might even insist on billing by the hour instead of by the project or deliverables... With certain types of clients on certain types of jobs, that's the only way to make a profit.

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  40. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Getting paid is good... This is why if I sense a high level of flakiness in a potential client I usually pad my quotes with what I consider "Flake Fees". Because if the client is clueless, I know I'll basically end up managing the whole project for them and doing a lot of coaching and "hand-holding", which takes extra time, which I'd damn well like to be compensated for.

    The higher price tends to scare off the most flaky specimens, of course. And hey, if they bite, at least I'm paid for my time.

    If they're reeeeally flaky, I might even insist on billing by the hour instead of by the project or deliverables... With certain types of clients on certain types of jobs, that's the only way to make a profit.
    I charge by the day. Never set a flat project rate. The client will never be satisfied, they'll reject ideas just for the sake of being picky and you'll be stuck with endless revisions. If you charge by the day or hour they'll suddenly be satisfied with all the work you've accomplished in such a short amount of time.

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  42. #26
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    I love the punters who ring and ask if I can build them a sword then after we have established a budget and how much they are going to lay out as a deposit then want to come out to my workshop and watch me build it!! As soon as they say that I quietly advise them that the price has just gone up by a third..... that normally sorts it.

    But having said that the ones I really really like are the rare ones who contact me and say : "Hey Steve I want one of your swords, I have 4 grand to spend (or whatever) and I want something that you would enjoy making. What's your bank account number so I can fire the whole amount across today. Just give me a call when its done." Don't laugh, it happens and I smile. Makes up for all the other dickheads I have had to deal with over the last 26 years.

    We are remembered only by what we leave behind.

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  44. #27
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    My favorites are non-profit organizations that have to spend all their grant money by the end of the year... Especially around November...

    "So what can we add to the project to make the price go up? Can we add another whole project? Help us think of something to spend money on! WE'LL PAY IN ADVANCE! TAKE OUR MONEY!! PLEASE!!!"

    Best clients ever.

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  46. #28
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    Wow i thought this would just be people venting about the comically atrocious behaviour of their dickbag clients, but theres some good ideas and advice surfacing too!

    One of the best pieces of freelancing advice I got was put your work on developer forums; that way rather than the only people seeing your work being other designers looking for ideas to steal (as on portfolio sites, lets be honest) but game developers see it. And then email you. ive got months and months of rent from that little tip. (Thanks to Xbert and Randis.. speaking of whom, Randis did a really good post about freelancing. Ill dig it out and repost it, its a goldmine of useful information for those who want to do art every day and never go into an office..)

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  48. #29
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    What's a developer forum Velocity? I don't do that kind of work myself but have students that might be interested in the future.

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    Bill, a forum devoted to producing or coding, or entrepreneurs but not directly to art. For example http://forums.indiegamer.com/ for people doing small independant games or http://www.igda.org/forum or others that VK might have in his list. Some of them have a small subsection for art or for help wanted. The good thing about them is there are not 1000 artists for each potential client. Also known as going where the need is.

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