To pitch, or not to pitch, that is the question
(1 min story #98)
Yesterday’s story was about the possibilities and benefits of a test phase before the client and we commit to a long-term project.
Today, we’re talking about pitching projects. In a pitch for illustration projects, a client or agency asks several freelancers for the same project, and decides on the most suitable choice after a test illustration.
Usually, pitches will not be paid, which we should keep in mind when considering participation. In the beginning, I sometimes participated to gain experience. And because I had more time than clients anyway. Today my portfolio is expressive enough to give potential clients an insight into my work and professionalism.
I would generally advise against unpaid pitches. But there are exceptions. Whether we want to invest our valuable time depends on the project. My last participation was in 2019 when a Berlin advertising agency was looking for an illustrator for an exciting project: designing the German Basic Law for its 70th anniversary. Several articles, such as Article 1: Human Dignity or Article 38: Elections, would be illustrated in the process. A lovely project that was immediately close to my heart.
The agency liked my Mindshot illustrations, which are usually provocative and, topical, socially critical. They are thought-provoking through visual surprises. But they can sometimes be controversial. The question was whether I could charge this minimalist style with a purely positive and friendly message.
But it wasn’t just the agency that wondered about this. I was asking myself the same question. And so, in this case, the pitch was also helpful and valuable to me. Otherwise, the project could have been a nightmare and agony for both sides.
After the client finally decided to go with my style, I could dive into the project with confidence and a good feeling. You can find the result here.