Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Show Your Work!

One of my favorite new/young writers is Victor LaValle (and I love the cover design—designer credit?—of his latest book Big Machine). But this great passage comes from his earlier book, The Ecstatic. The protagonist is talking about his philosophy of cleaning houses for money, but it totally applies to the design process as well. Actually, it probably applies to any client relations!

"In the living room I ran the vacuum. I lifted the couch on its side and left it there.

People don't want to return to a neat house. They want to enter fifteen minutes before the finish, when the rooms are still a little disarrayed. If they see no proof that works been done they quibble about hours, swear that the appliances were that shiny before I got there. They cut even cheaper with the tip and I'm not talking about generous clientele to begin with. It's necessary to let people think they're backstage at the theater minutes before the show. They want to be the producers, not the audience."

1 comment:

Beth Tondreau said...

Wonderful piecea writink. I fear you're right; the description applies to many/most client relationships.

The paperback cover is pretty cool as well; there's no credit on that either.

What a hoot that among Victor Lavalle's awards is a key to Southeast Queens.