June 14, 2009

In-progress previews of drawings?

A "Legend of Zelda" fanart I did for my boyfriend a few years ago. I drew the art in the style of the video game. When I first gave it to him, he didn't realize it was original! :) I very rarely make digital art...but this art was the only one I had in-progress sketches saved for.

So far it has been my policy to send customers images of their drawings in-progress, step by step. I thought that it would increase customer confidence, because they don't have to wait a week or two until they see the final product. Furthermore, if they see something that doesn't look right to them, they can ask for it to be modified, which is easier to do before the whole drawing is finished.

However, today I was reading an article called "Starting a Pencil Portrait Business," and the author had this to say about it:

"The problem with the in-progress, unfinished preview from the artist's point of view is that the artwork does not yet look great. Because of this, an unfinished picture often causes too many problems in that it causes the client to doubt their decision to hire you and they may nitpick the artwork."

I can see their point. Often even a beautiful drawing goes through an "ugly" stage because all the pieces aren't working together at that point.

But the article also says,

"Every customer has different needs. Some want to follow the portrait through every step of the drawing process. This type of client wants previews and updates all the way through the job and often."

So maybe I should leave it up to the customer whether or not they would like in-progress previews.

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