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Big Ideas

Jared Nickerson: Everyday Life

As the most appreciated member on the Behance Network, Jared Nickerson is no stranger to feedback. Here, he discusses why clients aren't always right.


As one of the most consistently appreciated Behance Network members, Jared Nickerson may already be known to some of you.  To the rest of you, it won’t be long before you hear about this successful designer and all-around rockstar.  Jared’s inspiration for his uber-cool designs comes mostly from music as well as what he finds in everyday life.  We connected with Jared to discuss freelancing, feedback, and ‘good’ money.

Some of Jared’s designs are pretty out there, but his sources of inspiration are closer to home. He shares, “I think in my interview for Vice Magazine I said ‘I wish I could be the drugged-out, socially retarded, outcast artist who only gets his inspiration while high on gasoline fumes and hooker farts, but I’m not that guy…inspiration comes from everyday life…I sit down in front of a computer, turn on some music, and start drawing.’  I think that’s an easy answer to a complicated question.”

The customer is always right. Wrong. They are rarely right when it comes to design, that’s why they come to you: ‘the professional.’

As creatives, we tend to think that everyone else is wrong and we are right, and therefore do not always realize the value of feedback.  Jared discusses his views on the topic. “Artists hate to hear how much their art sucks or how much it needs to completely change to be any good. Take it in stride, and keep in mind that if so many people dislike what you do or have the same sort of critique, they are probably right. Adjusting to that comes in time, and it does help you grow.  I think that’s a major issue for a lot of artists out there, no matter how established.”

Throughout his time working as a freelancer, Jared has experienced many different situations and shares his insights on how do deal with clients.  “The customer is always right. Wrong. They are rarely right when it comes to design, that’s why they come to you: “the professional.” Don’t be afraid to tell them so.”  He also adds:

  • Always quote higher than what you want.
  • Never drop your prices lower than what you are comfortable with because of a client’s ‘budget’.
  • Keep in mind the saying ‘buyers are liars’.If the client quotes you a budget or price, they can always afford more, they are just ‘trying to negotiate.’ Don’t be afraid to tell a client ‘No,’ or ‘How about this…’.
  • When doing a design for a client that is meant to be resold (eg: t-shirt, skateboard, print, etc.) remind them that it’s an investment.
  • They shouldn’t expect to make their money back after they sell the first few. Just like they spent money on their website or on their printing, they should expect to spend a chunk on the actual designs.

When discussing his motivations and how he always keeps moving forward, Jared focuses on first on doing good work. knowing the money will follow.  “At first it was money, it still is, but it’s the ‘good’ kind of money. It’s the kind of money that 95% of the time I enjoyed making. I think doing what you enjoy, no matter how much money it makes you, is really the best thing you can be doing. I’m in no way close to my ideal, but I think I’m headed in the right direction.  Madonna told Dick Clark, on American Bandstand, she wanted to take over the world.  My ambitions aren’t quite that lofty.  I usually don’t quote Madonna, either.”

Comments (8)
  • davidarias

    lol aaaaah…”hooker farts” too good!

  • gimme5ive

    cool one.<br />
    and as davidarias : “…hooker farts…” so lol`:)

  • ph7labs

    nice<br />
    1

  • veronica0126

    love it :-p

  • Kliment

    Yeah!!!

  • NicolaSantellani

    u r really right drawers need respect!!! i like when u said that it isn t an investiment cos after few tee coustomers gets money, i m happy u get good money fo rillustrator work this means it is possibe!!!! i ll ask your opinion for my new works bye and well done

  • Owen

    “The customer is always right. Wrong. They are rarely right when it comes to design, that’s why they come to you: “the professional.” – HOW TRUE! Well said.

  • graphic design quotes

    here are some guidelines to help you successfully plan and buy services from a professional;
        Begin with the End in Mind – share your goals. The professional needs to know what the end user is going to receive for their money. What are they going to learn or feel after reading, watching or listening to your media.
        Create a Swipe File – DO NOT STEAL – however do feel free to collect and share with your designer examples of media that you like. Start right now even if you’re noting creating anything now, because sometimes this takes time

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