When you’re in a creative profession such as being a videographer, filmmaker, photographer, designer, artist, etc, and you’re working with clients, chances are you’ll run into someone that hires you because they like your creative style.
That’s great! But in rare occasions, there are some who slowly want to take over the creative process of the project while changing your style, which is the same reason why they hired you in the first place.
And in some cases, if your clients don’t like your creative style (again, the same reason why they hired you), then they may withhold payment.
Well, make sure you’re including an “Artistic Release” clause in your contracts to help avoid that.
Now, before I continue, I’d like to say that if you’re being hired to produce paid client work, you should produce what they actually want, no matter how bad you think their idea is. All you can do is give your professional feedback and suggestions and hope they will take your expert input.
But these are things you’ll want to find out before signing a contract to see if they’re the right fit for you as a client. If you don’t think it’ll work or you’re getting a lot of red flags, you don’t have to take them on as a client.
With that said…
Why You Should Include An “Artistic Release” Clause In Your Contract
Keep Your Style The Way It Is – If you have a specific style, and most artists (photographers, designers, etc) do, you may not want to change your style as it takes away from your brand and what you’re known for.
When people reach out to you, they should be able to see your portfolio and get a sense of what they would receive if they hire you. They shouldn’t expect you to change your entire style. Having this in your contract to help reiterate that.
Art Is Subjective – Many things in life are subjective but it doesn’t mean one thing is right and one thing is wrong. But when working with clients, there may be a time where both feel that is the case.
Having this information on your contract will inform your client that you’ll do the best to incorporate their feedback but at the end of the day, it shouldn’t take away all of your creative style that they originally hired you for.
Not Valid Reason For Termination Or Refunds – If a client disagrees with your style, your aesthetic judgement, or artistic ability, they shouldn’t have hired you to begin with. And if they use that as an excuse to try to receive a refund or terminate the contract, having this in your contract states they cannot do that and they agree to that when they signed.
If they hired you, they should’ve done enough research to see your portfolio and know what to expect.
In any creative profession, you’re bound to run into this type of situation at least once. Having an “Artistic Release” in your contract will help save you in this type of situation.
Obviously, I’m not a lawyer so you should consult with one on the specific text to include within your contract, but I’ll be providing the specific verbiage I use on my contracts to my email subscribers to use at their own risk (feel free to subscribe below).
At the end of the day, make sure you’re also looking out for you and your company or you may find yourself in a situation where you would may not be in.