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Thread: What do you wish you knew when you started?

  1. #11
    Senior Member digitalputty's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    Be stern and avoid project creep as much as possible.

    If you want to be competitive, make sure you learn new things BEFORE everyone else does. See what the market is going to require before they know they need it ... and, if possible, provide that 'new thing' before everyone else. 10 years ago I had a conversation with my dad about how VR tech would change the world of Arch Viz. No one was providing that service, no one was even really thinking about how hitting a button on the wall of a virtual world could change the paint color on said wall. Now look ... it has gone even further than just a paint color. Point is ... like I said already ... be ahead of the game and don't be afraid to try new techniques and technology.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member terribrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    Yip, afraid Scott is right. Always smile and love your client, no matter how much you want to hit the wall at their suggestion, and think their choice of time of day for a shot is the worst option available. BUT, that said, never be afraid to offer advice, just with your pride at the door. I've found with some of my tougher clients that even when I think they are stuck in their opinion, they have swayed in my direction when I gently offered my thoughts on what will look best. Clients are so different - some will want your input more than others. So feel the water with each one and never paint them all with the same brush.

    One thing I've also learnt lately that it's ok to put boundaries and occasionally live a vaguely normal life. Like having weekends and evenings off. For sure there are those crazy deadlines, but I think we often don't put our foot down enough about feasible deadlines to produce something at a standard we are proud of. Maybe I've just been lucky to have clients that respect that.

    And I wish I'd listened to that guy that told me I'd work way more as a freelancer. Cos he was right. Still wouldn't change a thing though.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member RyderSK's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    Quote Originally Posted by terribrown View Post
    they have swayed in my direction when I gently offered my thoughts on what will look best
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_theory

    Helps in every facet of life :- )


    Quote Originally Posted by terribrown View Post
    it's ok to put boundaries and occasionally live a vaguely normal life. Like having weekends and evenings off.
    Super true advice.


    For years I was obsessed with the product to point I didn't notice I put my clients so ahead of my own personal quality of life, sacrificing not just weekends but months including Christmas holidays. Half the issue was my own obsession, half the issue was letting be easily manipulated by clients considering everything "important" ( by constantly stressing the point, making up fake deadlines, etc.. )

    The fact is, almost never was it that important. It's just the language of today. It pushes you to sacrifice yourself on behalf of others when it absolutely isn't necessary.
    I wish I had forced down the need for absolute honesty, reclaim my agency, respect for boundaries and setting realistic expectations and acceptance of reasonable compromise earlier than I did.

    But this career is never-ending work-in-progress, learning of past mistakes.

    TLDR advice to former self: There is no respect or love to be earned by sacrificing all the personal time to please every request client throws at you. The work will not benefit and result won't be better. With creeping depression it's not like you would be able to do any work at all. Work/Life balance might be cliche and doesn't denote single solution or approach but it's important matter to cater to.


    Quote Originally Posted by digitalputty View Post
    provide that 'new thing' before everyone else. 10 years ago
    What you say is very much true and always had been. Yet I would like to provide slight counter-argument, or rather, possible alternative :- )

    With the rapidness of changes in current times, chasing the 'new thing' can be a vicious circle. There are only so many 'new things' and only so many windows of opportunity to be the first.

    Sometimes it's worth to step away and just provide good old-fashioned quality. People who come up with something first will always gain most attention. But those most sought after will be those who will make it best.

    With the possibility I will eat my words I would rather illustrate that. Tesla has brought the attention, infrastructure and public availability to electric cars, but it's already becoming clear the company is racing against a wall. The reality just might be, the biggest success will yield someone else (and that your future electric car might rather be Porsche).
    Tablet and smartphones predates Apple, but it was Apple who improved upon the concept and made it popular. (Second time this year I use them as example, I swear, I don't own single product and I use Lumia and SurfacePro )

    Two years ago, the VR and real-time revolution started haunting me. It had click-bait articles around every corner waiting to give you anxiety, it had cult followers at conferences telling you how you'll be forgotten in ashes if you don't start offering VR today. Yesterday was late, it was VR or die.

    At first I laughed at it, then it crawled back in my mind and gave it some consideration, but in end ultimately resorted to focusing on what I was already good at and do that better. Just single simple images.

    And I can tell just looking at many of those early adopters what result it brought: attention fracture leading to broader range of mediocre work. It might have worked for select big-sized studios as supplementary service, but for freelancers and small studios, the results look unimpressive.

    I am by no means advocating to ignore the changes. But chasing it first is not ultimately what everyone needs to do to be successful and competitive.

    TL : DR advice: Have a clear focus early and stick to it. Whether that's being revolutionary pioneer or simply mastering your niche
    Last edited by RyderSK; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:18 AM.
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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    What Juraj says is both most valuable advices.
    One can stick to them and life will be good!

    Find what you like the most in this job and what you want to be - be it the technically obsessed geek-pioneer, the skilled artist or the nice dude people like to work with. everything is valuable, it is just up to you how you like and how you function best (also emotionally)

    But making mistakes is part of your own evolution, experience and pain is a better teacher than hear-say
    Just don't let the hindsight-failures let depress you - buckle up and try again!

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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyderSK View Post

    The fact is, almost never was it that important. It's just the language of today. It pushes you to sacrifice yourself on behalf of others when it absolutely isn't necessary.
    It seems like you switched to a niche where deadline stress is not as prevalent (product/environment rendering) but in architecture that paradigm is (will always be?) a given.

    The problem is that architects are ALWAYS designing down to the last possible moment (starting in Architecture school). I just fired a client who called me at 2 am to make changes on a rendering that was due at noon that day.

    Of course you can cultivate relationships over the course of time that will mitigate that situation but if you are going into Arch Viz be aware that this is the nature of the beast.

    I finally (negative inertia) got reliable affordable sub-out help and now life is good (most of the time).
    Last edited by heni30; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:25 AM.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member terribrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    Quote Originally Posted by heni30 View Post
    It seems like you switched to a niche where deadline stress is not as prevalent (product/environment rendering) but in architecture that paradigm is (will always be?) a given.
    Nope, my field is architecture solely. I have certain regular clients whom I've forged a relationship with, and through that comes respect for each other and our private lives. Not to say that I don't get demands that are unreasonable. But now I feel free to state what is and isn't possible in the timeframe they give me, and I ask for extensions if they are needed...within reason of course.

    That doesn't mean that I don't have my big projects where I work evenings and weekends...I just want that to be the exception, not the lifestyle.

    But it's true that in this field, it's not often you find yourself with a 9-5 scenario. So it's good to enter it with eyes wide open.

  7. #17
    Senior Member CliveG's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    Quote Originally Posted by heni30 View Post
    It seems like you switched to a niche where deadline stress is not as prevalent.....but if you are going into Arch Viz be aware that this is the nature of the beast.
    Quote Originally Posted by terribrown View Post
    Nope, my field is architecture solely
    You're both right or both wrong.... there's no "one size fit's all" to describe Architecture, but there is is (pretty much) to describe human nature, it's people that drive these things and people will try to take advantage of you to further their own ends (getting their work done in record time, perhaps), not whether it's architecture or town planning or landscape design or product visualisation or....

    So my advise is more to set out as you mean to continue, if you're prepared to work long hours and weekends at the outset, then don't think that's going to miraculously change later on unless you can somehow re-invent your business and your clients, those clients are going to expect you to continue to work long hours and weekends as your business develops. Why wouldn't they? This is the business model they've bought into and you can understand why they'd expect this to continue.

    If you feel you must put in the extra time because your fresh in the field and trying to develop customers then perhaps try to divide your work time into 9-5 weekdays strictly for the client and the extra time in developing you and your skills and your libraries etc, so the client sees the benefit indirectly and doesn't develop unreasonable expectations that will continue through your working relationship.

    Obviously there are different strands of Architecture, the area I'm in is much more time pressured side of the business than perhaps some of the top end clients of Juraj & Veronika who - from what I can see - are also in a much more powerful position in the client / Visualiser relationship. So most of us are going to encounter different problems with our client relationships than they are. For example I'd guess they are less concerned that their clients might walk away if J & V want to have the weekend off than many of us here would be

  8. #18
    Senior Member terribrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you wish you knew when you started?

    I completely agree with you Clive. There's no one brush paints all scenario. I think that anyone starting out in the field will have to put in those extra hours and effort... I definitely did as a newbie.

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