It’s not you, it’s me.

Jay Mavani
3 min readMar 28, 2024

Embracing responsibility for creative success.

In the high-pressure world of creativity, it’s not uncommon to hear creatives lamenting about difficult clients, vague briefs, or endless revisions.

The blame game often shifts towards the client, with creative folks pointing fingers at their lack of clarity or their demanding nature. But what if, instead of pointing fingers outward, we turned the spotlight inward?

What if the real issue lies not with the clients, but with us — the creative professionals? Let’s face it, in any client-service industry, the onus is on the service provider to deliver results that meet or exceed the client’s expectations.

However, too often, we find ourselves quick to attribute shortcomings to external factors rather than critically examining our own processes and approaches. In case you’re victim to this pattern then it’s time for a paradigm shift — a shift towards accountability and introspection.

One of the most common grievances voiced by creatives is receiving vague or incomplete briefs from clients.

While this can indeed pose challenges, it’s essential to recognize our role in bridging the gap between what the client wants and what they articulate.

Instead of bemoaning the lack of clarity, we should actively engage with the client to extract as much information as possible, asking probing questions to uncover their underlying objectives and preferences.

Clients come to us with a vision, but it’s our responsibility to manage those expectations effectively.

Unrealistic timelines, scope creep, or overly ambitious goals can often lead to frustration on both ends.

As creative professionals, it’s incumbent upon us to communicate openly and transparently with clients, setting realistic milestones and delivering clear timelines for each stage of the project.

By establishing a foundation of trust and transparency, we can mitigate misunderstandings and prevent disappointments down the line.

Revisions are an inevitable part of the creative process, but they can quickly spiral out of control if not managed efficiently.

Rather than resenting clients for their feedback, we should view it as an opportunity to refine and improve our work.

By establishing clear revision protocols and maintaining open lines of communication, we can streamline the revision process and ensure that each iteration brings us closer to the client’s vision.

Ultimately, success in the creative industry hinges on collaboration — both within our teams and with our clients.

Rather than adopting a combative stance towards clients, we should strive to foster an environment of collaboration and mutual respect. By actively listening to their input, incorporating their feedback, and involving them in the creative process, we can create solutions that truly resonate with their needs and objectives.

In conclusion, it’s time for the creative folks to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Instead of scapegoating clients for our own shortcomings, let’s take ownership of our role in delivering exceptional results.

By prioritizing effective communication, proactive problem-solving, and a collaborative mindset, we can elevate the standard of our work and foster stronger, more fruitful partnerships with our clients.

After all, it’s not you, it’s me — and it’s time to step up and be the change we wish to see in the world of creativity.

Legend has it that once upon a time, Jay was a creative + marketing director with an inquisitive mind, positioned somewhere between a strategist, designer and a writer. Today, he’s the same, albeit now also a farmer and an artificial-intelligence enthusiast.

From always trying something new to occasionally making photos “speak”, he’s known to express his passion for problem-solving, creativity, philosophy and humour by playing with various canvases.

To know more about Jay, you can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

--

--

Jay Mavani

Jay Mavani (aka jaymavs) loves to express his passion for problem-solving, creativity, philosophy and humour by playing with various canvases.