I imagine all designers, at one time or another, have had those kind of clients. You know the ones. Some are GOOD. Others are BAD. And then there are those who are flat out UGLY, and I don’t mean Mick Jagger’s doppelgänger, who wore bike shorts that looked like they were rolled on like a condom.
Whether it’s a phase in our careers, where we’re in desperate need of money or the project ticks all of our boxes for award-winning potential, we all have our reasons for taking on projects that we later deem undesirable.
I once stared across the conference table at a potential client who reminded me of Miranda Priestly. While contemplating the merits of taking on her project, I found myself thinking – I know she has the reputation of being a total bitch boss, but does that mean she’ll be a horrific client? She wouldn’t have busted through the glass ceiling if she wasn’t decisive. Right?
Oh, she was decisive alright. When she would make a decision that was firmly against my better design judgement, it was NEVER her fault.
It didn’t matter how many times I dropped hints that the process would be less stressful and more joyful if she considered how fortunate she was to have a furniture budget fit for a queen when there were millions of people who couldn’t afford to buy beds. Ultimately though, when I was choosing whether to take her on as a client, I should’ve been focusing on her BAD attitude instead of the dollar signs glittering in my head.
It’s taken me years to realize that the choices I made, and the attitudes I developed, were equal to where I was in life. Now, I look back at my relationship with my version of Miranda Priestly with gratitude. I not only learned valuable lessons, I had plenty of material to write a book. For that, I say thank you for being such a BITCH!
And to the biker-short dude whose chest hair curled through the holes in his mesh tank top, thank you for your infectious, positive attitude. You were the shining example of GOOD!
I’d love to hear from designers who have stories to share…