Listen. I get it. In todays competitive employment market, with many of the jobs of our parents disappearing, it’s not enough to be just one thing. Diversification is the name of the game if you didn’t do a degree with the name of a job in it (heyyyyooooo – right here). Multiple skills, multiple ways to market yourself. Very few creative people I know are ONLY Graphic Designers or ONLY Musicians. They are also Servers, or photographers. People have side businesses and projects, multiple streams of income to survive in an increasingly expensive world.
However, with the rise of entrepreneurs and people working for themselves, freelancing and working outside of the “norm”, I have noticed an increasingly hilarious trend in the language people use to describe themselves and what they do. And the most overused word is “Client”.
Me: So, how are you?
Guy I made up: Great great. Just had a really productive meeting with a client.
Me: Do you mean Brian? Your friend Brian? That guy with the man-bun and the vegan hair shampoo blog? I saw you guys through the window before I came in. Remember I met him three weeks ago at that weird art show where a girl peed in a bucket and called it the oppression of meninism? (just kidding you guys – I don’t look at art… or buckets…or weird chicks with weird explanations for stupid shit they do – they are around, I just close my eyes and don’t look like LALALALALA)
Guy I made up: Oh yeah Brian…well we’re collaborating on a project so…
Thats another word. Collaborate.
Don’t get me wrong. I use the word “Client” and I use the word “Collaborate” – they are great words and sometimes they are appropriate. Tomorrow I’m off to collaborate on a shoot for a pilot (read: work for free on a project I hope to one day use as a vehicle to convince people that I’m great and to pay me a fuck tonne of money). And I have had clients recently, or as I like to call them, random-non-full-time-companies-or-people-who-help-me-pay-my-rent-sometimes.
Let’s get serious… I’m not a small business… not a real one. I’m a loud-mouthed creative-type with the self confidence to sell myself as a product. That’s it. People say “oh hey can you do this one thing for money?” and I go, “yeah”.
You can dress it any way you want. You can throw words around that sound interesting, all the other twenty-something’s will be reaaaaal impressed and mentally catalogue that expression themselves for next time.
Buuuuuuhuuut, it seems to me that while having multiple “clients”, “collaborations” and “projects” on the go and talking about them on the reg may make you seem like you’re moving up in the world and creating your own success story to those around you, the downside of these buzzwords is that your parents think you’re actually doing alright, and finally cut you off financially for good (god forbid).
Toe the line my fellow creatives, remember we’re mostly all a month or two of unemployment away (heyooooo right here) from eating two meals a day and doing our laundry in the sink.