If you rush, you crush.
Lately, I have been finding that some artists and consulting clients are making plans and strategies that are compromising their end-product. Simply, they are putting down a “street date” without actually being realistic about when their stuff will be ready.
I’ve had it both from a start and final stage point-of-view. From the conception stage, there was a record production project that got off to a speedy start only to have the scope bumped up by the client who has already announced on their social media that they’ll get the production out by a certain date. Then, where I am mastering music material and the client expects it done by the next day when they book it in today only, and I’ve got a ton of work on my plate already. And, I’ve had it where the client has been quoted a certain amount of consulting work in an exact time period, but then gives a press release announcing the job will be out within said time period! All this led to me losing sleep and continuously being drained and heading toward not doing my best. The moment that happens, then my stock and trade is compromised and I would rather pass up the work.
Having a creative project done quickly means that it compromises the reflection and creative manifestation time needed. Patience is often not a virtue of creatives, and I can speak from my own inclinations for what I want. Some creatives think it all happens instantly. A song is three minutes right? That means it takes 6 minutes to record? No. Often it can take weeks to realise three minutes of pure delight. Many creatives try to squeeze professionals because their projects can be costly but a ‘real budget’ is often out-of-the-question. Generally, where you don’t have money you have time, and vice versa, so look at taking it slow and paying a little, or pay a lot and have it quick. Add to this that there is the fine balance between charging enough to survive and thrive, and what clients are willing to pay . Supply and demand, baby!
If you are having any of these feelings, you are not alone. This is the artist’s path and learning to deal with these things is the aim of the game. You deal with them by recognising them and knowing how to intervene when you come across them and giving everyone involved the respect they need. If I’m any good at what I do I have many other clients, other demands on my time, a family plus personal life and, ironically for a creative mind, need a lot of sleep.
Finally (excuse the pun), there is the deadline. Deadlines are unavoidable in any line of work. How do you finish a commercial creative project within a deadline? You allow enough time, budget and resources to know you can deliver on time. Working out all these things mentioned in this article requires a bit of project management. So, consider these challenges when you embark on your next professional creative project and check the timelines and budget and why they are what they are.