How do you handle people asking you to work outside of your style?

  • I’ve recently been contacted by someone who would like me to do illustrations for their app but what they’ve asked me to do is illustrate in the corporate art style that we see all over the place these days. I’ve got nothing against that style but the issue is that I don’t work in that style, not even close. I know this is not the last time I will encounter someone asking me to draw in a style that is not my own so how do I have this conversation with people and how do I stop people from asking me to do this in the future?

  • SVS OG

    @Griffin I haven’t been asked to do this recently but if I was, I’d suggest them to look for another artist. If you work on something outside of your style especially if you’re not well versed in it, the art will suffer, you will suffer, everyone will suffer.

    The second project I got from my agent needed me to draw in a more realistic style. I am very bad drawing realistically but I accepted it because I needed the money. It was a very big mistake. The illustrations were sloppy, the clients were not satisfied, and I fell into a slump for almost a year. One of the worst experiences in my young career as of yet.

    Don’t be stupid like me. If you’re not good in that style or if you just don’t want to, don’t force it. You’ll be doing everyone a favor

  • @Griffin I completely agree with what @Nyrryl-Cadiz said. I've taken up projects before which were not my my style (again, for the money) and it was the most stressful time for me. The struggle was no where worth what I earned because I didn't even like what I had created. And it showed.

  • I’d say to them. ‘I’m grateful/honored that you came to me with this project. Unfortunately, this isn’t the type of art I create, and I think you will find it better to work with someone who specializes in that style. (Enter any helpful suggestion for finding that artist here). However, if you find yourself needing work that is (describe yours here) please feel free to reach out to me again.
    All my best

    Save and reuse because you will likely be asked again.
    Be nice, be giving of information, and keep yourself associated with a good feeling so they might hire you for an appropriate project in the future.

  • Pro

    @Griffin It depends how comfortable you are with the style and if you'd enjoy the project. I personally have worked in game studios for a few years and they put you on different projects and you have to adapt to the style of whatever project you're placed on. So I feel really comfortable in changing styles and know my limits. Depending of what's requested, I know if I'd be able to do it or not. But then, if it's in a different style I won't be able to put it in my portfolio, share it on social media, or get much out of it other than the contract money itself. So that's also something to consider. If you feel like you want to do it, are confident you're able and the pay is good enough, then you have your answer. If you're not really excited at all or unsure if you can pull off the style, or if you don't think you'd be getting enough out of the project because you can't use the images in your portfolio to get more work in the future, then you also have your answer 🙂

  • Hey Griffin, in my experience with corporate type jobs and companies it is not unheard of for them ask for you to work in a different style. That being said it doesn't mean you have to say no. I often find that someone developing an app or website gives examples on what they've seen that they either like or they know works bc its the new trend.

    What I have done in the past is mention "I don't work in this specified style but I think we can work together to make something cool/something that will fit/etc." That way they know ahead of time that what you produce will be somewhere in the middle but will be more than likely leaning towards your style of work. A bonus when this has happened to me is the client has liked what I made plus its a unique take on something they like. You working in your style or somewhere in-between may shed a new look or perspective that they aren't aware of.

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