17 julho 2008

Cathy Fishel Interviews on me

IV. Legal considerations
–What are your responsibilities as a sole proprietor?
In First issue, time. Clients in general, VW of Germany at Wolffsfsburg or Joe's Used Cars on Corner's Street are NOT very kindfull in questions over time scheduled matters. If Day 21 of June is the day to show the Brand New Logotype means "
Day 21 of June is the day to show the Brand New Logotype", not day 22. OF JULY!

That's becouse you are taking part of a VERY complex chain of business, wich your contribuitions will (
or must will ) helps companies ( mean: peoples ) to make money.

Thousand of hundreds of designers throughouth the world have STRONG difficults in understand this, thanks to a matter of scale (
size ). Designer have strong power in hands, but all of them it is to be used to find solutions, not to ensure your own existence on Earth.

You are a WORKER. A very prepared and rare one. But a WORKER. It is simple like that.

In Second issue, originality. (
In Third issue, too! ) It is unnaceptable a lack of originality in creativity business. If you are NOT a VERY creative person/soul/guy/buddie/writer, this is NOT your business, pay VERY MUCH ATTENTION in this.

In 4th issue, at least on latin markets, to name Brazil for example (
in this country, more Portuguese- Iberic, then "Latin" itself to be precise ), it is NOT rare to make friendiships among clients. So, do you will NOT think this is a calm and sweet ocean to sail. Pay atention EVERY DAY AND EVERY TALKS among clients, in some cases, you are PART of that business you are helping to grow wit your ideas. You are not a relative.

Ethics. If you LOVE a can of cold beer, it is not a good idea to helps a church comunity in a anti-beverage program. And if you HATE a can of cold beer, how can you go to work, if you are hired to make an Ad Poster to that little factory of handmade beverages ? Sense and Sensibility it is the driving force among Ethics, even if you are an Extra-Terrestrial being.

–Should you have a contract and what should it contain?
ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. NEVER ( N - E - V - E - R ) work without a printed and both signed sheet of a paper titled "Contract". Starts with your name, profile, adress and ID numbers, than, all of this of ypur Client and then, the objext of contract ( a new logotype, for example ). Time to make this, when, what is in and what is out (ex. phisical mails ), the price of this job, WHEN to pay, HOW MUCH to pay ion case of desistence and, if will not payed, what happens. An attorney at your city can helps to write this as a geenric use and in most cases, you can write an issue about Credits, Citations, Authoring, Copyright,etc.

–What should you look for in a client contract?
See above.

–How can you limit your liability?
In a issue writings in a so clear style, that doubts in it was impossible to happens but in some cases, a limitation of your liabities can be meanning as a lack of profissionalism.

–What sorts of legal protection should you have (such as insurance)?
The "insurance issue", in most cases, it is used for desistences by the Clients in a job. Clients MUST understand that creative jobs are a VERY long-therm process starteds in childhood. Creative people it is precisely like an instument, like, let's say a Violin. In apropriate conditions and environments, can produce a very gracefull music. A Violin is not very usefull to make a camp fire or hit things like a nail or somebody's face. In this two absurd cases, works, but not very fine. A chop of wood and a hammer works better.
V. How to promote yourself and get more referrals
–What are some options for self-promotion, both conventional and surprise?
–What are some promotional opportunities that freelancers often miss?
Public Concurses and Open Premiations of representative and important companies ( for example, Karcher water pumps ) to promote brands or products, can make your name shine among market, with a very little budget, but do not participate in this issues, if time it is a problem. A premiation can be seeing - as a direct analogy- a "Client" itself. The contract in this case, is the issues of the promotion itself, so, read with care atention every single coma.

–What are examples of passive and active self-promotion?
Supose that a School of Childrens of the Comunity are cleaning the park on the beyonds area. If you know in antecipation that this will happens, ypu can helps with design to promote this subject. Your name will NOT in what ypu create for, but your ideias are IN in. This is Passive Promotion and works so fine as Active ones.

An Active Self-Promotion, in most cases, are implicit that you have to spend some money, like a "DESIGNS OF JHON DOE'S" exibit on Prefecture Mall or even on inside corridors of a Shopping/Outlet Center. Or even in an art Gallery, to fit empty spaces on the scheduled exibits of this same Gallery. An workshop among students of an School or even an Exibit in this same building, will make a phocused attention on it, but you have to enlight much more your own name or the name of your, let's say, Design Company. Yes, you ARE a company. A Lone Rider Ones, but a company.

–Where do you find people to promote to?
Connoisseurs, people wich work with art issues, promoters, marketing people in shopping centers and similiars. Magazines with pages that "culture" or "art" is an issue inside it ( even the everyday newspaper!), Colleges, Foundations, Industrials mens, the list is endless...

–Should you work with a promotional agency or representative?
if the risks are low, under a written contract,yes. This is a "dangerous area" of the design business, becouse in SOME cases, the designer works are, implicit, under risks, becouse you need some budget in it. a Promotional Agency or a Legal Representative, only if you are an awarded or coast-to-coast ( at least, regional ) easy recognized ones. With at least 10 years of market.

–How can you get more referrals?
Keep your on-line production updated. Send things to people wich you KNOW they like what ypu make, even friends, long-therm or e-friends. Writes a blog. Search for some specific magazines of your business, to send material to be publicated in it, without charges. Write to newspapaer talking about design and working with design.

Even a Rotary Showcase, among rotarians (
or lionins...) , works. Believe: Even very smart and educate people of XXIst. Century DO NOT KNOW precisely what designs works or serves for. Tell your Clients about your DESIRE to achieve much more clients. His indications, the most precisely ones of the entire market, will falls like rain above your head.

But be prepared: You are wised since now.
VI. Finding the right sorts of clients
–What is the right kind of client?
The one wich pays. I mean in a valorization of your work as strategic, not issues for his caffeteria like sugar cubes or roasted brazillian premium brew. Do not consider it is size. NEVER. Size DOES NOT MATTER in design business. The works, matter. 95% of global design are made by solely designers, the I, ME & MYSELF DESIGN Co.

–How do you establish the right mix of clients/jobs?
Not more than 30% in same area. For example, in one of my cases, Once I had 35 clients of top cattle breeders in an national association of herdbookers. This 35 brands was 100% of my clients. When some few sons and daughters of this rural farm owners formed as a designer, this people understand that was time to promote his own careers. In 365 days, I had losted ALL of the 35 clients. I spent one more year promoting myself in new niches, enhancing my mix. It is very cheap to know right things, with the mistakes of another ones. Like this.

–What do various sorts of clients want from you?
70% wants low prices. It is like gambling. Design IS NOT gambling. If you are a phocused profissional person, you will TEACHES the market on how to work. Clients wants proffits.

You also.

Unnafortunelly, people thinks that you are a "blessed" or "gifted" person. But think in a design manner is cansative, hard, precise, mistakeless and so on. Like the business things inside the one wich is hiring you. Most of them wants the cheappest way to promote something.

It is like Architecture: Some sink tap are Gold-Leafed. Some are in Bronze. Some are Brass. All of them serves to put water over your hands. If you knw how mach budget your Clients have BEFORE any movement, this will helps you in spent the right amount of money, mixed with cultural behaviours. Designers must read everything about everything.



–How can you negotiate client politics and protect relationships?
This is a matter of size. The size of your Clients DO NOT MATTER. The works matter. But you are "little" and your client is "big". A fine way to negotiate politics and protect relationships was study HARD the business of your Clients, BEFORE sign any kind of Contract. In some cases, contacting people wich works as a supplier on it on the recent past. Do not forget that you MUST HAVE a printed and very "clear" contract of work. But flexibility is a plus in some cases.
VII. Effective partnering
–How can you be a good partner to your clients?
Exclusivity. it is like a Wife in your life. of course you can play whit other non-wife "womans" but this festive and teenager behaviours will not last at all. This analogy is not Puritanism things:

This is BUSINESS things.

Do not work without payment, in any case. You MUST survive in design business and this happens when you are payed for what you makes.

Alerts your clients, if you watch some "strange" movement among his main or obscure competitors.

Knows much more about the area you are working for. You can NEVER trips in a railroad manner, but if your client works above the twin rails, it is a nice good idea make a trip inside a cabin to achieve real knowledgemente about it. Nones borns knowing all stuffs of this complex life.

Why you?

–How can you get good feedback from your clients?
ASKING, ASKING, ASKING. Restless askings manner. And not just before your work had be done, but on the entire process. Your Client is pure gold.

Beter: is Pure Oxigen.

–What is the formula that turns a one-time client into a repeat customer?
Low prices are not. Depends most of the cultural issues of the Client itself. Study his actual suppliers. How much time they are working together? The client is Active? Passive? They tell you how much they can spent in design issues?

–How can you learn more about your clients and their needs?
See above.

–What to do when things go wrong?
Assumes it. But not immediatly, you MUST HAVE TO KNOW ALL ABOUT IT, BEFORE ASSUMES IT. You are not a hero. You are a human being. I had a BIG client named as Coca-Cola, a bottled division here in my Country. A regional chain of hotels hires me to create a Room Menu, to tell guest people about food, wines, city atractions, and so on. By a lack of attention, the bordeaux color of a brand of beer here was printed smooth dark. A difference that only trainned/talented/photographer/designer people can perceive.

Coca-Colas staff people perceiveds it.

They works with that color everyday time.

Coca-Cola calls me and on the brief meeting, explains me the "problem'. All works printed! I assume the mistakes and reprinted all material, by my own responsability, no new charges. Was hard to me to pay for. Coca-Cola hires me again, in other works, like this things never happens.


Later, the mistake was not mine, but a Coca-Cola staff woman gives me a wrong Pantone Code. If I spent time and arguments in this case, maybe I can be considered a difficult person/supplier. The mistake becomes cheap. This is not a formula, but REALLY can helps in similar cases.

VIII. Managing workflow
–How can you protect your sanity from the clock?
Internet is a Timer-Thieffer. Creative people are naturally oriented to curiosity and achieve brand new knowledgement or points of view. Assumes it a limit of hour into researching times, playing times, let's say, 2h by day. And OBBEY IT. Works with a buddie in the same environment (
the same place, not the same job ) works fine. Under pressure, is a nice way to concentrate/produce.

–What are the best time-management tools for freelance designers?
The Contract helps, becouse you have a pre-schedulled data in it. At least, this is not new, it is a recognized day time to work. Never stops the work. If you are tired, fine, rests, but DO NOT LEAVE THE WORK in the same stage. This not means 14h by day on it. Means hours on it, EVERY DAY.


You are a FREE-LANCER.


–Can you also manage subcontractors?
YES. Designers as usual, can stay one entire month in a year, without work. A good network will helps, among recognized people of you. Ex-Classmates for example. Who knows this fellow can not be your business partner on tomorrows ?

–How do you handle large or long-term projects?
Stop everything you are making for a moment, let's say, 30 or 60 days, at least, on the main areas of the project. This not bleeds or kills you. None desinger dies becouse this. This is an opportunity -not a problem- to phocuses HARD among your knowledgementes. Cry for help, among others proffisonal designers, even a Foreign-Your-Country ones, for whats serves the internet ?

Shows works or pre-works to others. Compare with Competitors from your Client. Do not assumes new hirings during in short time, this works will ends sooner and you know when, in most cases. Pay atention to writes in the contract adittional fees, if times transpassing the "normal" term.
IX. Achieving a life/work balance
–How can you maintain a balance between work and your private life?
Home Office do not works fine like people dream it. In most cases, a laptop in a caffeteria works better, if privacy (to work) in home was a problem. Do not receive people in home, this is a Time-Thieffer. Friends (
at least, the real ones, as soon as relatives...) will understand your "delicated" situation. Some jobs it is like Pregnancy. Fascinating, Desirable, some times complicated, but natural and ends one time, the time that the creation happens. Freelancers are different workers under a different way of work. If yourself not respect yourself, how can people can respect you ? Some freelancers think that, just becouse I am in home, I can work naked or with underwears. Dressed sharp, ready to receive Mr. President was a nice idea to achieve respect to your own work AND environment.

Even if your clothes are a T-shirt and a jeans.

–Is there a way to separate private space from workspace?
Only if you are a methodic person or your wife or husband respect territories. If you not talks about it, it can never happens. A different phone number in case of home-office works very fine. A nice thing
to think: That's right, you are a freelancer. But who tells that you MUST be a houser? Find a little
and charmous place or room on downtown. Freelancer do not means an absent of a place to work.

–Do you get vacation and holidays?
ALLWAYS! Two times a year. You achive less money than ordinary workers, but have a lot of free time to leave well. When ordinary workers be reach, they will do EXACTLY what you do now, but you do this TODAY and with 10% of money.


Nice hints: Designers can experiment more than 30 days without work in a year. In some cases, 2 months in 12. Solution? Vacations! Do not fight with facts. Enjoy it with them.

–Are there other times when you can get recharged?
National dates (one-day hollydays) is a plus, to make short trips or relatives home visits. Do NOT packs your work together: Leave them home or in safe recorded at the Hard Disk...

And PLEASE, invest some time in a hobby. Wich one. This turns you a better person, not a better profissional. But if a thing turns you into a journey better person..., well, chances are good to becomes a much more better professional.

–How can you get your body and your mind away from work?
Music, Music, Music. Atlethics, Atlethics, Atlethics. Take care about your body, it is true that you works fine with some injuries, even a hard one, but you be more productive and very satsified with your body in form, in a natural way. Play sports, even the aloned ones.

–Do you need to perform periodic self-evaluations?
YES, INDEED! office-shops, meetings and even universities classes.

–How to find time for continuing education (conventional or unconventional)?
Participating in national congress and university meetings and even make promotional exibits of your work as alone or with other professional people thinking in promote the Design as a tool of everyday business. Exibits makes you more refined to choose waht shows and it works a calibration of your own visions. Sometimes, we be blind, so many as we seein.
X. Accessing your progress
–When is it appropriate to review your personal and financial touchstones?
Comparasions. Works, but in most times this is not relevant or reliable. Suppose that a classmate designer it is, in present times, "better' than you, with sharper gadgetsm or a brand new car and so on... Review your atributtes BEFORE your personal and financial tohchstones. Thousando of million peoples wants your way of life. None gets it.

Needs courage, phocus and persistence. Woks with design, for me, it is like to have a tungsten heart with liquid steel flowing as a blood. If you want to be reach with design, I mean material reach, you are in the very wrong way. Try e-Auctions or Nasdaq.

Design is an everlast ocupation, like Architecture.

You will be better and faster and smarter with time.

More old you are, more phocused you are. And much more better.

Freelancer business show to us a very reliable proof:

It is the end of The Job, not The Work.

–When do you know if it’s time to pursue another path?
Lack of creativity. Repetition. But be smart to make no confusions with "style". Your DNA it is your best value. And, if you are really unsatsified with your occupation and you can not find the "why" in this case, it is time to persuade others path, but DO NOT BE RADICAL.

Works in parallel, like a probe.






–When do you know if it’s time to expand your business?
Constantly hiring. Hability to manage schedullings, even the short ones. Hability achieved in manage large works. Over-the-market fees or honoraries. A shiny golden statuate over your desk...


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