DeeKay Kwon’s GIF work on designers versus clients took Instagram by storm recently – but how much hassle has the motion designer had from clientele over the years?
Batman v Superman. Ali vs. Frazier. Mac versus PC. There’s been many a legendary struggle in our times, but one of the longest is that between designer and client, something which motion designer DeeKay Kwon knows all too well.
His recent series of painfully true animations on Instagram got some big reactions recently from fellow creatives who know all too well the pain of dealing with clientele that have no eye for good design – nor any idea on what the hell they want.
“I’ve experienced many awkward and negative situations when dealing with clients but I always think of it as something you have to cope through,” DeeKay tells us, a designer and animator originally from South Korea who now lives in New York City.
“You can’t just be good at designing or animating. You also gotta learn how to stay positive and deal with the client. That was something that I lacked and slowly, I am learning and improving.”
The series came from DeeKay simply wanting to make “a cool design and animation. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.”
“It just struck me randomly that it’ll be even better if I can make a small story that can every artist out there can relate with,” he continues. “Good design + good animation = great. Good design + good animation + good story = perfect.”
Nice equation there, and it’s gotten the artist some great feedback.
“It’s still overwhelming how much attention I’m getting with this series,” he says, amazed. “My work never went this viral before.
“It was just a casual upload on Instagram and I didn’t expect much – but somehow I was getting much more likes and followers through that first post.
“It’s amazing but I am also slightly worried too because I’m still making clients look bad. Which isn’t always the case, as I’ve had some great experiences with some of my past clients too.
“It can also be the other way around, like a good client with a bad designer. After all, us designers do need clients as much as they need us.”
A good point, Dee, but come on – tell us your worst client horror story to date.
“There was one client who would always stay behind me, literally watching every move I made,” he reveals. “It takes so much time to make an animation and he would just give feedback right away while I was working.
“If the feedback was somewhat manageable, I would give my best patience to do it, but it was something totally out of the ordinary. He would just keep changing the story nonstop. It was a disaster.
“The animation where the designer’s ear starts to bleed (below) while the client continuously talks behind them is literally my story.”
On a related note, Dee’s animations remind us of this similar series from Seoul-based studio Superfiction, which shows the merciless treatment doled out to cute personifications of creative ideas by clients.
Catch DeeKay’s entire series (with added sound) in this compilation on his Instagram.
Read next: How do deal with Nightmare Clients