Applying wisdom - In my life I have made many mistakes that have the potential to damage relationships but way back I learnt that these situations often hold much potential for strengthening a relationship.It all depends on how you respond. I am delighted to say that this is exactly what happened on this occasion. Here is the email which shows how I tried to deal with the situation I had created.
MY EMAIL TO TRY AND DEAL WITH THE SITUATION
I apologise for any confusion. I indicated in my email that I was sending your illustrations to the author of the booklet to get her responses. I hadn't in any way signed off the work. I am at fault for suggesting the author contacted you directly rather than directing her responses through me believing that you should talk to her directly. In future I will make sure that all conversations are directed through me to avoid any confusion.
1) I shall be more specific in my brief
2) I will be the single point of contact for discussion and approval
3) I will try to give you at least two weeks
In return I will expect you to provide preliminary sketches for discussion/approval
I accept responsibility for the situation and if you are happy to continue we will
1) Cover the cost of the original brief the agreed £xxx fee once the revised cover image is supplied
2) Treat the additions as a new commission ie five new illustrations £xxx with sketches for approval followed by completion in two weeks.
Is this acceptable?
I do appreciate that you have chosen to work with us because you enjoy the work and you also believe in what we are doing. It is very important to me to know this because I want to work with people who also see the value in what we are trying to do. I also wanted to say that we do appreciate your work very much. After me, J.. (the author) is one of your biggest fans and when I invityed her to pick an illustrator she chose you rather than several others we have worked with.
Once again sincere apologies for the confusion. I hope that you will want to continue working with us.
Sent: Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 14:27
Subject: RE: chalk mountain commission
I think we have managed to strike and understanding, and the fault rests equally on both our shoulders, we can agree on that and start afresh. I am happy with your porposal and I will try my best to stick to my side of the agreement. I would also like to keep our flexibility arrangements in place, I am happy to edit works unitl both parties are satisfied.
To confirm what you have written, the deadline for the works is no longer this Friday, I get two weeks to work on the illustrations.
If possible, can I start on the works from this coming Monday, including the front cover. I ask because, the way I work, the first illustration sets the tone and informs the rest and I usually work on multiple illustrations at the same time. This way, I can revise images as they are done, and also know from the onset what will work stylistically and what will not.
I work well with your art direction as you digest the material and point out what you thinks will stand out, or will work as an illustration, and I would like us to continue working this way. If you still need the cover illustration before Monday, please let me know and I will start emailing you the roughs as soon as I have something concrete on paper. Also to confirm, the final fee at the end of the project will be £xxx
I apologise for any inconvenience caused on my behalf, and if I have delayed the publication of THE article. I will endeavour to make sure this does not happen again. I am more than happy to continue working with you and your team. The few benefits of working freelance is being able to choose who you want to work with and on what projects. Last few lesson's I was taught at University was to have integrity in one's work, to choose who to work with and work for, and to choose the reasons that will make me be satisfied with the outcomes of the project and work, irrespective of the monetary rewards. I believe your company is one such experience. You aim to improve the state of others, and I am to use my work to aid in that vision.
KMY RETURN EMAILThank you for your understanding. I am very impressed with the professional way you raised the issue and how you have dealt with it. It speaks volumes for your integrity and like you I only want to work with people who act in this way. Yes we will start a fresh from Monday. I had hoped to get the guide out sooner so we will, in the first instance publish, it without illustrations.