Sometimes I need to be roped back in. I can convince myself that any idea I have is a good idea. I'm glad I just finished a project where I can show you a perfect example of this. Kimmie from Doublewide bar hired me to create a re-useable venue poster showing her upcoming dates for music. This is what my brain came up with:
Pretty? Yes. Fun? Yes. Colorful? Yes. Right for Double Wide?
The upside to working by myself is working in a bubble. The downside to working by myself is also working in a bubble. When you make something and you get really excited about it, and you are pre-feedback, you definitely feel like you can do no wrong. That's pretty much exactly when you need feedback. Which I got. After realizing that maybe the patrons of a bar that mostly features stuff like rockabilly, punk, metal, and the like are probably not apt to respond to my flashy happy colors, we agreed on something more like this:
More skulls, more icon-like, less color, no cartoon characters. Did that make me sad? Kinda. That's the danger of getting attached to what you are doing and not showing someone what you are working on. I have a habit of not showing drafts until i have a flood worth of visuals to show. I have an addiction to the "blown-away" effect that has on my clients. The double-edge of that is that sometimes it's nothing anywhere near what my client wants. Then, I get to start over.
The first step of that is calming the inner child. At that point it's flying on the back of a flame-breathing ego. "THIS IS MY WORK!" "IT HAS MY NAME ON IT!" WAH WAH WAH. You have to remind that big baby that it's also part of commissioned art to collaborate with the client and that it's your collective piece and not YOUR (singular) piece that's going in a gallery.
The second step is getting back in the head of your client. Especially if they're not right there to collaborate with. What kinda stuff do THEY like? Have you worked with them before? If so, do you have a look for them that is pretty consistent? On this particular project, that was very true. When I get out of my "LOOK AT ME" ego trip, I know that Kim likes the simpler stuff that I do. Which is way easler...when I don't let me carry myself away.
After that, it's pretty easy to fill the order. You don't waste time trying to drag the rejected idea out of left field, and you see a clear path of what your client WANTS from you. Instead of doing unpaid spec work you can just sit down, make it pretty, and be donesies.
Taylor Ellis has always drawn and has always been silly.