Do it YOUR way
Single handedly the best piece of advice I’ve received as a freelance artist and content maker. In 2005, I was a green commercial photographer with a skinny portfolio. But I managed to get consistent work from a local magazine. The art director there once told me to “do it my way” probably in response to my repeated questions about how he wanted an assignment shot. Looking back, he was kicking me out of the nest in a creative sense. He hired me for my aesthetic and look, in essence he was saying stop asking and do your thing.
Later in my career I’ve come to realize that the clients who give me full reign on an assignment and have no agendas are the best indeed. I’ve been so fortunate to have heard this over the years.
The flip side is when clients steer you too much, pushing you further and further away from “your way”. When I’m on initial briefing calls or emails and I get vibes that I was being considered for something other than my way, (maybe I was the only one available, the cheapest, or simply the only artist willing to take the assignment for good reason.) I view this as a red flag and it usually causes me to drill down who I’m about to work with. I really make a point of knowing my clients as well as I can upfront by communicating as much as possible my concerns. Open communication is the path to good work. The end.