Do electronics make you a liar? (We had a client who used to say that.) Or, do you paint yourself into corners?
Here’s what happens. A client say’s, “Can you do, ‘blah, blah, blah’?” If the request is something you have done a zillion times before, say, “Sure.” However, if it places you in unfamiliar territory, “Can I investigate that and get back to you?” is the honest response.
If the request is a painterly Photoshop illustration, and your Photoshop retouching skills are great but your painting skills are a bit outside your comfort zone, you need to do at least 2 things. 1.) Rather than assuming you know everything about Photoshop painting, do some research and get your technical knowledge up to speed. 2.) Once you know how to use the tools in your toolbox, begin to explore techniques in established methodologies.
Some of the latter probably includes exploring what methods other are employing. Is that a touchy point? Well, you’re not trying to study the techniques of a master impressionist, so you can make an illegal living forging works of art. You’re learning how professionals use the same tools you use.
By way of example, we do many very precise technical drawings in Illustrator. We are often given PDFs to open in Illustrator which others have created in AutoCAD. Sometimes the techniques which others have used are a mess. So, we inherit someone’s terrible techniques. That means that we have to spend a few hours of cleanup before we can do our work.
So, if a client were to hold up a drawing and say, “Can you drop your tree illustrations on top of this for tomorrow’s meeting?” you might want to say, “Sure.” because it looks easy. But, if it’s a file you have never opened yourself, the better response might be, “Could you please send me the file and I’ll look at it?“
Of course, if you know people who know more than you that you ask for help... Had a graphic designer friend take on a website project when she knew nothing about web design... cue the panic phone call to me to give her a crash course. It was a win-win - I taught her what she needed to know and she helped me seal all the tile in my house (I had a lot of tile to seal).
Had a graphic designer friend take on a website project when she knew nothing about web design... cue the panic phone call to me to give her a crash course.
So, how did the website project turn out?
Was the crash course a success?
It went great. In the end, I finished up some bits for her because the deadline was near and it was faster for me to just do it. But, today she does websites all the time, without any help from me. It helps that I am an actual Adobe trainer and teach Dreamweaver and web design .