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Suffering From Bad Graphics

| Right | November 12, 2015

(I am a graphic designer.)

Client: “I need a logo designed for a girl’s camp and would like it to be on fire with a dragon blowing the logo out of his mouth.”

Me: “Okay, well, let’s start with the logo and get it designed, then work on the dragon after a logo has been picked. What colors would you like?”

Client: “I don’t know. I will get back to you on that.”

Me: “Okay. I will start some samples and wait on you to tell me what colors you want before I send you any samples.”

Client: “Okay, thanks.”

(Three hours later:)

Client: “Where are my logos? If you don’t have anything ready I will go in another direction.”

Me: “Did you decide on your colors?”

Client: “No.”

Me: “Well, I can not send you a logo to select from if you have not decided on colors, unless you want them in black and white?”

Client: “No, I want them in purple and orange!”

Me: “Ok, I will add those colors and send you five selections of what you described you wanted.”

Client: “Okay.”

(Ten minutes after sending samples:)

Client: “What is this? I want a true designer not clip art pictures! I’m using someone else!”

Me: “Sorry if I misinterpreted what we discussed. What were you expecting?”

Client: “Not fake font and fake flames! I want the real thing, like a photograph, DUH!”

Me: “Sorry… I am not a photographer. Everything I do is drawn on the computer.”

Client: “YES, I KNOW! So draw a photograph of what I want!”

Me: “Sir, I am not drawing you a photograph I agreed to do a logo for $120, not a photograph. If you want a photograph drawn that will be charged by the hour and will take a few days.”

Client: “You are dismissed! I would like to formally fire you. Let me talk to your boss so they will fire you!”

Me: “I own this company so I am the boss.”

Client: “Then you BETTER give me what you promised for what I paid!”

Me: “Sir, you never paid anything. We don’t accept payment until the job is complete.”

Client: “This is ridiculous! I’m going another direction!”

This story is part of the Artists-Versus-Clients roundup!

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Blue In The Face Over The Dino

, , , , , | Learning | September 25, 2015

(My fourth-grade teacher is a huge sourpuss and hands out lots of busywork so she can take breaks from hands-on teaching. This time, she hands out simple prints of dinosaurs and announces that we will be coloring them in, working in pairs. I grab a blue crayon and start adding stripes on the back.)

Girl: *who I’m working with* “What are you doing?!”

Me: “I’m making stripes.”

Girl: “But that’s wrong! The teacher said that dinosaurs are brown or green. You’re not supposed to use blue!”

Me: *shrugging* “So what? It’s just coloring.”

Girl: “But dinosaurs aren’t blue! They’re green or brown! The teacher said!

Me: “How do you know what colors dinosaurs were? People have only ever seen their bones anyway, so we have no idea what color their hides were.”

Girl: “I’m telling! You’re going to be in trouble!” *raising her hand* “Mrs. [Teacher]! She’s coloring her dinosaur blue!”

Teacher: *rolling her eyes and heaving a sigh* “[My Name], you can’t color your dinosaur blue. They are either green or brown. Look, everyone else is coloring their dinosaurs the right way.”

Me: “What was the point of giving us a whole box of crayons, then?”

Teacher: “[My Name]! There is no talking back! If you can’t color your dinosaur the right way, then you can sit out the activity. It’s all right, [Girl]; you don’t have to work with her.”

Me: “Fine. There’s no point in doing it anyway.”

Teacher: “Excuse me?”

Me: “I’m not going to sit here and color in a dinosaur solid green or brown because I’m told to. It’s boring and a pointless waste of time.”

Teacher: “[My Name], go to the principal’s office now and wait there! I will come to deal with you later!”

(The other students giggle and mock me as I leave the room. I wait on the bench outside the office for a long time before my teacher comes down and goes into the principal’s office. They talk for several minutes before I am called in.)

Principal: “[My Name], your teacher here tells me that you were being very disruptive during a class activity, that you upset your classmate, and then when you were told to behave you talked back to her and called the assignment stupid. Is that true?”

Me: “Yes, but—”

Principal: “No buts! There is no possible excuse you can make for this behavior. These kinds of transgressions can be punished with suspension, and your teacher does not want you to return to the classroom and ruin her lessons. You will wait until your mother comes to get you and we will all have a talk.”

(The teacher gives me a smug look as I go back outside to wait on the bench in the hall. My mother works outside the base, so it is over an hour before she shows up, looking angry. She checks in with the secretary.)

Mom: “[My Name], what did you do this time?!”

Principal: “Oh, good, you’re here. [Secretary], please call her teacher and let her know this student’s mother has arrived so that we can discuss her behavior. [My Name], why don’t you tell your mother why you’re in trouble?”

Me: “I’m getting suspended for coloring my dinosaur blue when apparently, they’re only supposed to be green or brown.”

Mom: “Seriously?”

Principal: “And what else?”

Me: “And then, the teacher told me I wasn’t allowed to color if I wasn’t going to do it right, so I said it was stupid to even give us crayons if we were only allowed to use two colors and that it was a waste of time anyway. Then she sent me out to the office.”

Principal: *giving my mother a look* “You see? We simply cannot have this behavior. We’re afraid she might be a bad influence on the other children.”

Mom: “Are you KIDDING ME? You kept my daughter out of class for almost two hours, called me out of work, and made me go through all those checkpoint gates because SHE WASN’T COLORING LIKE A GOOD LITTLE ROBOT?! WHAT THE H*** IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”

Principal: *stammering* “Uh, w-w-well, we—”

Mom: “And how did you say you were planning to punish her?”

Principal: “Um, ahem, well, because of the way she spoke to her teacher, we are looking at a minimum of a three-day suspension.”

Teacher: *walks in, looking pleased* “That’s right. And she made the classmate she was assigned to work with cry.”

Me: *sarcastically* “Sheesh, she actually cried?”

Teacher: *smiling at my Mother* “You see what we’ve been dealing with? And then she told me I was wasting her time.”

Mom: “Good for her. She was right.”

Teacher: “I- I beg your pardon?”

Mom: “First of all, she’s ten. I don’t know about your other students who cry like babies over their dinosaur being ‘colored wrong,’ but she is way too old to be coloring with crayons as a class activity, especially if it’s just an exercise in conformity.”

Teacher: “Uh, well, that’s not the point! The lessons are about following steps and instructions—”

Mom: “Pfft, give me a break. It was COLORING, not science. Don’t give my daughter crayons if you don’t want her to be creative, don’t waste her time with crayons and call it teaching, and don’t waste my time and call me out of my job because you can’t do yours. I’m taking my daughter back with me today, and I will be looking into a new school for her.” *to me* “I can’t believe you have to put up with this.”

Me: “Me, neither.”

(We left the teacher and principal red-faced and speechless, and later, my mom bought me a giant box of crayons.)

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Free Failing

, | Working | September 13, 2015

(A friend of mine is unofficially connected to an independent comic and gaming group that produces some stuff online. The owner asks him to go look for more talent for writing the group’s games and such. He knew that I am also an independent author and game developer on the side and occasionally do writing commissions.)

Friend: “So maybe you’d be interested in doing some writing for their [Their Primary IP] roleplaying game?”

Me: “Yeah, I could do that. Would he be offering me royalties or a flat commission rate?”

Friend: “No, no, he can’t afford to give you money in payment.”

Me: “Ohhhkay. Well, I wouldn’t mind some art from [artist of their group] in exchange for my writing then.”

Friend: “No, unfortunately he won’t do an art exchange either. [Artist] needs to focus on other paid commissions so that they can pay for other stuff.”

Me: “So I’d be doing this purely for exposure and my name being on the project?”

Friend: “He doesn’t want your name on the project either.”

Me: *long pause*

Me: “He asked you to go out and “hire” people to do stuff absolutely for free? No compensation whatsoever? And they wouldn’t get to have any credit?”

Friend: “Yeah, I told him it wouldn’t work very well.”

Ugly By Design

, | Working | June 18, 2015

(We do design and printing for various bars and restaurants around town. I’ve only been working here for about a year. I’m assigned a job to create a ‘Now Open’ banner for a tropical-themed bar, but the sales rep has returned the job with vague changes.)

Me: “Hey, [Lead Designer], I don’t understand what these changes mean. Can you take a look?”

Lead: *looks at my design* “Oh, wow! That’s so pretty and presentable! It must not be ugly enough. Sales reps like things big and ugly.”

Me: “So… change it so the text is ugly and impossibly big and crowds out the logos and background?”

Lead: “Yeah, that should do it.”

(I make the text so ridiculously huge and cramped you can’t even tell what it’s for anymore. I submit the job and the sales rep approves it.)

Me: “…”

A Very Badly Written Plan

, | Working | April 3, 2015

(A friend of mine is also close friends with some people that do web-comics and develop their own card and computer games. They’ve asked him to see if he can find them someone to help out with a project.)

Friend: “So [Content Creator] wants to see if he can find writers to help him out with this project for [Their Universe].”

Me: “Really? That would be cool. I always enjoy their stories and the exposure could be good.”

Friend: “Oh, they don’t want anybody else’s name on the project.”

Me: “Okay, I’d have to hear more about the project before I can settle on some ghost-writing fees.”

Friend: “They don’t want to pay up front either.”

Me: “Royalties for such a small group as there’s are a little bit iffy.”

Friend: “He won’t pay any royalties at all either.”

Me: “So, he won’t pay a fee, he won’t give royalties, and he won’t give credit?”

Friend: “Yeeeah.”

Me: “Okay, how about a trade of services? Their art style isn’t really my favorite, but I’m sure I can find something they could do for me in return.”

Friend: “He’s not doing art trades either.”

Me: “How does he plan to pay for the services?”

Friend: “He actually refuses to pay for anything. He just wants me to find him some writers to help out with his project.”

Me: “…for free? He wants me, or someone else, to take time away from our own projects and just help him for no compensation what-so-ever?”

Friend: “Yeah.”

Me: “…”

Friend: “I’ve tried to tell him it’s a stupid policy, but he won’t listen.”

(Needless to say, I did not do the work for the guy.)