I live in a college town and have found a niche for myself churning out album art and flyers for local garage bands in my spare time. Usually, it all goes pretty smoothly; the clients are all hustling to make a name for themselves in the local scene and recognize that I’m offering a pretty good deal.
The other week, a friend brought a client to me, and we were sitting down in a coffee shop and going through my portfolio while talking about his band.
Client: Yeah, we’re pretty classically punk, you know, rough sound, all that ‘fight the system’ stuff, so I want something that really gets that, “angry-dirty-grrrrr” feel.
Me: I totally get it, I can definitely get you set up with something like that pretty easily. Let me show you some work I’ve done in that vein and you can tell me if anything stands out.
I start to flip to the section of my portfolio that’s got the grungier stuff I’ve done when he stops me.
Client: Ooh wait, I like that one. Can you give me that?
He’s picked out an album I designed for fun, a fictional cyberpunk Electronica band. It’s a very clean design, a stylized bust heavy in neons on a black background with the album title in white text next to it.
Me: Well, I can definitely whip up something for you like that, though honestly I don’t think it will fit with your band’s style very well.
Client: No. I like this one, just give it to me. More people always show up to the EDM shows anyway.
Me: That’s kind of like false advertising, you know? People might get pretty upset if they pay to see you play based on your album art and find out it’s not what they expected.
He suddenly stands up and starts pacing.
Client: Whatever, f*ck them, I hate doing this sh*t anyway, they don’t know what they want to hear. And f*ck you too man, [mutual friend] doesn’t know sh*t if she thinks you can help me, you’re a dipsh*t.
He left in a huff, slapping at a potted plant and slamming the door behind him. Our mutual friend tells me that he’s been hijacking every conversation to badmouth me for trying to “corrupt the look of his music.”