I’m an illustrator/cartoonist, and my client owns a small kayaking hire company. He wants a series of cartoons demonstrating how to kayak safely, contrasting with disasters waiting to happen. It has already taken a while to extract from him whether they are to be online, print, or both; whether they’re B/W or full colour – all that. I’ve already invited him to send me samples of the kind of thing he’s after; I can work comfortably in a range of styles.
We’re at the character design stage via a phone call:
Me: If you have any particular ideas about how they should look, e.g. tall/short, fat/skinny, smug/gormless then do let me know.
Client: “Don’t mind, whatever you think best.”
I submit designs. The feedback is from both him and his wife.
Client’s Wife: Could we make them slightly more appealing to look at? I know that they’re supposed to be a bit dopey but they’re also a tiny bit ugly too! I think they might be easier to engage or identify with if they were dopey but charming! Let’s give them a bit more sex appeal!
Client: I had not wanted to return too quickly with “but they aren’t what I had imagined”. I had imagined slightly more caricatured bods!
Me: Many thanks for your feedback; I know that it can be difficult to describe in words the kind of look you were thinking of, and also the sense that ‘you’ll recognise it when you see it!’. It would be helpful for me if you could find online examples of the kind of style you were hoping for, and we can take it from there.”
I’m not holding out much hope.