This “mischievous” little guy is part of a much larger illustration (see below) for a magazine spread I worked on this week. The larger picture depicts a scene from an accompanying story where the boy’s placed an egg in a pile of mashed potatoes, part of a meal that his older sister has placed in a microwave to heat up for her boyfriend. The egg is blowing up and splattering food all over the inside–and outside–of the microwave.
Sounds fun to draw, eh? It’s been quite the challenge, I must say. In this case I made some last minute changes to how I chose to handle the background (deviating from the rough I’d sent). And as the deadline was looming closer and closer, I found the piece not coming together as I had hoped. At points I had to stop and make decisions such as whether I should start over, change the layout, alter the characters, etc. The further along I would get, the more I was limit on what I was able to change or fix. To add to things, my computer started to act up towards the end with the program crashing, over-loaded with a huge file containing multiple layers. At that point, I became more anxious as the computer problems were hindering my abilities to solve my creative problems. In the end, I felt that I had done my best, given all my obstacles and challenges, but it still felt less than MY best.
(Since I’ve yacked about the piece, I guess I should post visuals so you can see what I’m talking about. Below is the rough and final for the spread. There is also a third page, but I’ve not included it.)
I’m not looking for anyone to say, “Oh, that looks fine (or awful, etc.)”, I just want to use this venue to share the creative process I went through with this particular project and allow others to see/hear my experience in hopes to hear YOUR thoughts and experiences. So how do you handle (and feel about) handing over a product to a client when you are less than happy with the results? As for me, I’ve had to learn to deal with the, “If only I had more time (etc.) I could have done better,” feeling often over the years, as we all do from time to time in whatever problems we’re solving. And most of the time, the little extra time wouldn’t done the trick to fix whatever my problem was with a piece in the first place, as the problem started back in the beginning stage, where more than likely I would have needed to start from scratch to see if I could get a better result (which I STILL may not have!). That’s the way I see it anyway. I may be able to smooth out a few extra things to make me feel better, but there’s an emotional battle that I’ve already waged with the piece and now I’m just trying to make some sort of peace with what I’ve ended up with.
Oh…And I don’t tell my client how I feel! That’s all between me and my illustration (and my husband, my cat…and now my blog!) They aren’t interested in the angst of the process, just what I delivered in the end. And I present myself as satisfied with the end result as it’s not professional to appear less than enthusistic about what you’re giving them. I assume this is part of the creative/business problem solving process that we all go through, yes? So I’d like to hear how you others out there feel about my intial question:
How do you handle (and feel about) handing over a product to a client when you are less than happy with the results?
Please don’t be shy. Think about it and let me/us know what you do in this situation. Or am I the only one?