Beauty is in the Eye of the… Artist?

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In today’s technically advanced and online prevalent society, graphic and web designers are in high demand. Individuals and organizations are looking for more innovative ways to attract consumers to support their cause, business, and mission. In many ways, this is where graphics comes in — companies must be visually appealing in order to draw an audience to their message or product.


If you have ever worked with a graphic artist, or artist of any kind, you know that your ideas and thoughts do not always visually translate the same way to an artist. Have you ever given what you thought to be a very clear description of what you wanted, being sure to use lots of adjectives and descriptive phrases, only to receive something that looks nothing like what you wanted or expected?

For example, your idea of “full of life” may be a crowded party while their idea might be a crowded city street bustling with activity during a busy rush hour. Your idea of “warm and comforting” may be an image of a person wrapped in a blanket sitting in front of a fire drinking a warm beverage and reading a book, while their idea is just the steaming mug of hot beverage where the steam rises from the mug in dancing curly q’s with rich red, yellows, and browns throughout the image.

When working with someone who is handling graphics for a project it is important to keep in mind you are dealing with an artistic person. Artists are creative, tend to think outside the box with lots of symbolism, and have 4-dimensional, colorful thoughts. Many artists also tend to put a great deal of themselves into everything they do. Therefore rejecting their work, even parts of it, might be interpreted as you rejecting them personally.

So here are some tips to help get the best possible end result for your project.

Be specific with your descriptions. Rather than saying you want green, find the exact (or closest match) green you want. If you want it colorful, tell them the specific colors you prefer or at least if you want pastels or deep hues. Instead of saying you want it to look “fun”, describe what that means to you. If it’s a party, say that. If it’s people at a sporting event, say that.

Find someone whose work you like. If you have a choice of people to work with, choose the one whose portfolio has the most aspects that match your project goals. You should also take into consideration their abilities, how much they charge, and how well they adhere to their clients’ requirements and requests.

Explain your project in detail. When discussing a project with an artist, you should give them as much detail as possible about the organization as well as the project. You should also give a specific project timeline and budget. Both of these factors will help the artist determine what can be done within these specifications. Giving as much background information as possible can definitely help ideas to focus, thereby increasing the probability of a right-on end result.

Determine amount of creative freedom. You will need to explain up front exactly how much creative freedom the artist will have. If you have very specific ideas in mind, that should be explained. However, if you aren’t quite sure what you want, ask the artist to come up with at least three different ideas. This will help you to better visualize what you feel will work best for the project.

Talented artists, graphic or otherwise, are essential assets to visually bring your message to life. Whether you give specific parameters or allow total creative freedom, they can do amazing things, some of which you might never thought of. Just remember that whether you like their work or not, beauty is truly in the eye of the artist.

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