Tuesday, March 31, 2009

artful communication

I was just looking at my son's recent essay and saw he had gotten red marks for several small grammatical errors. My husband and I explained to him that it may not seem like much, but he needs to slow down and reread his essays better to avoid typos. I also explained that I reread every email twice prior to sending. This led me to thinking about my post a few weeks ago on neatness and presenting your art. 

Personally I think it is very important to send typo free emails. But what is more important is how to communicate well about art. Here are a few tips that will help you create a blissful, telecommuting relationship with clients.

#1) When sending my first rough sketch I always include a detailed email describing the item I am delivering, my objective, how it achieves the goals of the project and any questions that have come up. 
#2) When writing about a visual element, it's crucial to be simple and clear. For example, it is not clear to say 'the shape on the left'. It would be clear to say, 'the large blue square shape in the upper left corner'. It may not seem like much of a difference but, if you aren't in the room looking at the art with the viewer, trust me they can get confused and may not be looking at what you think they will be looking at. 
#3) Before I do revisions to a file I send an email and clarify what I understand the changes to be, and exactly what I am going to do, and when. This simple email, written with precision can save me time later. 

My point is, when you communicate to your client over email, take a moment to digest the goal of the conversation, then carefully detail 'What', 'How', and 'When'. Really easy stuff. Not only will it save you time, it will make you money because your client has clear expectations, and you can churn through the work and get onto the next project.


BJ Lantz said...

Gosh, can I send this to one of my clients? I believe her to be either illiterate or just plain careless. Her emails are so riddled with errors they are painful to decipher. Plus, if I send several design proofs at once, she'll write back something like: "Make the blue orange (not telling me which design, second of all, there are two shades of blue in three of the designs), and make the medallion pink (there being at least 3 different motifs within the design that could be referred to as a medallion)." I have to email her back questions on every single email she sends me. So this works both ways!

Karyn Servin said...

I am so sorry, I do feel your pain. There is a skill required to write about art. Send me her email and I will anonymously send a link to this blog post ; )

Della Rae said...

Good for you Karyn in writing this post to help others and to remind clients (like me) to watch my P's and Q's.