I've only done private caricature commissions so far, but the weirdest request I had was for a family portrait of 9 people which included the girlfriends of their sons, he asked me if I could possibly take one of the girlfriends out at a later date as he didn't see the relationship lasting :0 what a dick.
One funny story from years ago, well one of many actually, as it is unwise to underestimate 'humans' and their spectacular ability to speak before thinking. Anyway:
Was at The New Zealand Boatshow. Had about 100 knives and swords all displayed on the boards behind us.
Dozens of people all wanting to talk and this one particular well dressed woman asks me:
"Did you make these Steve?"
"Yes, this is all I have done for a long time."
She pauses for a few seconds then says:
"Really, I did not think that people could make this kind of stuff."
I look at her, raise an eyebrow and say:
"Well, there are not many of us knifesmiths around but yes I made it all."
"Really! You actually made all of this? Really? I'm amazed!"
I replied :
"Wow, so you really make things!"
I pause for a second then said:
"Actually, you have caught me out. I did not make any of this gear."
She smiled triumphantly and exclaimed;
"Oh I just knew that you did not make it! So who did?"
"Gnomes." I say.
"Gnomes? She says with a quizzical look on her face. "Where are these gnomes?"
"They live in the bottom of my garden, I promise to not evict them and they make me knives and swords during the night."
The crowd around us all started to laugh as the woman replied totally seriously:
"No there are no gnomes in New Zealand and they don't work at night, everyone knows that, you are just being silly."
With that she turned and walked off!
If I put that bad boy by my front door, my baby boy wouldn't have any fingers left!
As for small crafters they are still about and it's great to see. My friend is a swordsmith making bespoke weapons & Helmets for the reenactment market. And He seems to get the same sort of bullshit that we get.
"Wow those swords look real!! but two hundred pounds is a lot of money! It can't have taken you long to make, my uncle knows this blacksmith and he makes horse shoes which take like an hour, would 50 quid be enough?"
I bought myself a couple of items that I use as refrence from time to time
"If you look back on last years work and you still like it: you are slipping."
Different clients have asked me on a few occasions if I offered bulk discounts if they ordered a lot of commissions for drawings at once. It always baffles me. Why on earth would they think that its a good offer for me to pay me less for more work?
My sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=128951
One thing that I have learned over the years is that most clients actually know what they want to spend before they make contact.
So here is how I go about a sales conversation/deal for a new client.
Take the initial call and gauge just how serious they are.
Don't discuss the price. If they push say 'sorry I need to see just what you want and I need to see you to discuss the options.'
Invite them to come and see me. If they are happy to come see me I know they are on the level and not tyre kickers.
Make them a coffee or whatever as soon as they arrive and learn about them over that drink.
Show them the latest 'toys' that I am making for other clients before we start to discuss what they want.
Ask them what they are after.
Nod in acknowledgement, don't discuss.
Ask them what their budget is.
If they have one the fascinating thing is that it is often higher then what I would have quoted.
If that is the case, smile and tell them they are going to get a little change or they could have additional detail in the job. (don't be greedy and take the lot initially as people love change or extras and they will tell everyone about it.)
Shake their hand, yeah I know it is old school but it affirms things between you.
Start filling out the order book and write down all their requirements and get them to sign it and take a 50% non refundable deposit.
And I only give existing good clients discounts.
Its all good and its a clean way of doing the business.
As the job progresses I take pics and email them, that way tweaks can be made and the client knows exactly what they are getting.
Wish I could remember the name of the video. But it was parodying how people acted with artists and creative professions but with regular businesses like a restaurant and such.
"Hmmm.... yeah this Hamburgers ok, but down the street I could get a burger for only a few bucks so that's what I'm willing to pay"
YES! That's what I've been looking for, for ages. I couldn't think of the keywords to search for.
Yup.... might happen elsewhere but not in my world!
Be tough, they want it they pay for it. Whenever someone says that they can get a blade cheaper somewhere else I say "Good, go for it, go support some sweatshop in some other part of the corporate world. Pay for some suit wearing shitheads, latte, 'cause you sure as hell won't be paying the guy who is actually making the crap. Now please fuck off as I have work to do." I do not take prisoners on that basis. And I am straight up and in their face.
You fucking rock dude.
You worked on the Hobbit providing props right?
LOL! Thanks man.
Yeah, I am in the credits as : Props Weapon Maker Steve Wheeler.
Funny as hell, great fun and my industry nickname is The Ox. Obviously did not ask to many questions just got on with the job and stomped out vast amounts of gear. Man I have to say though there were/are some awesomely talented people in that industry.
Been thinking about your first post in that the prospective offered you 1% dollars wise of every car eventually sold. If you ever have that sort of thing offered to you again go for the throat and say: "Hmmmmm....... be more interested if you offer me 5% of the company shares." Feed that to 'em and see what they say. You never know you might just have a win on that basis.
ha 10% of assets maybe! Gimme that building over yonder, the big metal one, and whatever's in it, and the land. then live in it in a caravan, jobby!
Shares of a company that the owner openly admits to anyone isnt exactly topping the Dow Jones; meh, I dont need any more of those in exchange for work!
You dont want any land in brazil do ya?
I wish I made knives.
BTW I googled and found a picture, youre basically Thor. I salute you sir.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 21st, 2013 at 11:42 PM.
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
The fact that they claimed to make electric cars is a dead giveaway if you ask me.
How can anyone be against electric cars, right?
On the topic of self-defence: if available, throw a housecat at 'm. Low-level burglars won't stand a chance against a critter with that kind of Dexterity bonus plus a claw/claw/bite attack combined with the Weapon Finesse feat.
If you'd find a way to lure in burglars at a steady trickle, and loot the corpses afterwards, you might even make a handsome profit.
So - weapons props, huh? In what ways do they differ from regular, fully functional knives and swords?
Continue the critique at Deviant Art
Yeah, understand guys.
Said to one of the senior guys that I was afforded a great deal of respect in the industry. He looked at me, blinked a couple of times and said "of course they do, you make fucking weapons and wander around waving sharp pointy things at people!"
Rock over here, stay a week, pay me an exorbitant sum of money (actually its not all that bad and I have not had any apprentices for a couple of years) and I shall teach you how!
In the props workshops everyone referred to a really good cut as a Tajima! I had more occasion to roar at people welding while wearing polyprop clothing.......
Yeah understand what you say Velocity. Sometimes a simple "fuck off!" is just as effective.
Weapons props Ahnem? Blunt, as we can't have the talent damaging themselves and for the fight scenes etc they would take what I had made in steel etc mould them then cast them in plastic.
Made a shit load of usable cutlery and working knives as well. Some of them were sharp for whenever they wanted the actor actually cutting something on camera.
In these austere times, its a real pound-stretcher not paying your contractors I guess. Once is too many times for that shit, especially when its for thousands of dollars. Seeya later apartment.
You know, the one thing that bad clients really hate more then anything else is publicity. Because they want to carry on being shits and not paying for other gear as well. On other forums I am a member of they have bad trader lists. Perhaps we need the same on this forum so we can all see who not to deal with? Yeah I know the idea is full of hooks but I am so pissed off seeing my mates being dicked about. We need to do something, so if not a list, what is it? Maybe a PM to everyone on the forums (and Facebook) who you know about what happened and let them decide.
Red hot swords in dickheads ....... sadly it does not work. The human bod is surprisingly resilient and all that would happen is the red hot blade will bend. Now quenching a blade in nice warm blood? Yup, that would work very well.