I delayed answering for a couple of reasons.
- First of all, I had a ton of deadlines last week. (That’s a really good thing.)
- Secondly, I have never really considered myself creative or artistic. (Skilled — maybe, clever — maybe, but, in my mind, “creative” has always been reserved for those with exceptional ability.)
With those points in mind, I’ll do my best to answer Vivienne’s question.
The sentence that really caught my eye in her original post was this one:
“Most creative folks get quite upset with clients who provide a long list of doâ€™s and don’ts and yet expect them to break out of the norm to create something original and really creative.”
My gut reaction was that my customers pay me and I’m going to do my best to meet their requirements.
As I thought about it a little more I realized that there are definitely some times when project requirements should be ignored:
- When the requirement results in something immoral
- When the requirement results in something illegal
- When the requirement is so stupid that it will cast a bad light on both the client and you
A skill that all creative folk should cultivate is the ability to help a client discover the needs that they don’t know that they have. By this I mean that most clients do think they know what they need. However, their perception of what they need may not always be accurate.
As a skilled professional it is your responsibility to politely, but persuasively, address the client’s true needs, not just the need that he or she thinks that they have. Most businesses will be grateful that you made the extra effort.
Of course, there are always those businesses that will persist in asking you to do one or more of the three things I listed above. In those cases, that is probably not a business that you want to have as a client. (One of the great things about being an independent contractor is that you can turn projects down.)
I’m not going to tag anyone in particular to answer this question. Instead, I’m going to throw it out to all my readers: What do you think? Should there be rules for creative folk?
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