Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Be Kind









Dress: c/o Chadwick's; Heels: Michael Kors

*This dress is my new favorite - ultra comfy and fit perfectly true to size (if you're between sizes, size down, it's stretchy!). I've worn it to work, to a birthday and I'm keeping it on the spring garden wedding docket. Only $59.99.

The other day, I got a short email from a client about some paper goods she'd received in the mail from me. She'd needed a few corrections. In the same day, I got an email from a bride who'd just received her materials and needed a minor correction on a couple of her 150 place cards. The latter bride's email was warm and kind, despite her destination wedding rapidly approaching and her flight to Europe taking off in the next two days. She thanked me for everything, complimented the work, and let me know what needed fixing. The former client was cold, to the point, and did not mention anything about the full set of materials she'd received.

Working in a space where you're providing a commissioned piece of art (as I'd like to think calligraphy is), can be strange. You're working for a client, developing materials to fit their standards, and yet the work is still something close to the heart. Calligraphy takes extensive time and precision and is made up of a style a calligrapher has learned and honed over years. Clients, in a similar vein, are working on something close to their heart - a big event or wedding - and they want the work to be evocative of their style as well. It creates an odd relationship - of both artist and client attempting to meld a vision together. And it always works best when both client and calligrapher trust each other.

Whenever I work with someone that's providing me with a good or service - from a retail associate, to a barista, to a professional contact at my day job - I treat them with kindness. They're providing me with something I need, they're attempting to do their job the best they possibly can, and in a long day full of people interactions, most people are not very kind. When working with a creative professional, I take even more care. From a photographer to a tattoo artist, creatives throw their lives into their work. It is, after all, a reflection of the deepest parts of themselves. To be unkind, cold, or unforgiving when you are dealing with someone's art can be painful to the person providing you with that service or good.

There will, unfortunately, always be unsatisfied clients, but I think that there is always space, through dissatisfaction or upset or turmoil, to be kind. It helps to think, before firing off a disgruntled message, that there's always someone behind a screen (with real feelings!) reading what you wrote.

11 comments

  1. Geoffrey F. NormanJuly 22, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    The venerable Wil Wheaton provided similar advice to everyone that applies to EVERY situation. To the point: "Don't be an asshole". That's it. That's all.

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  2. I agree...you will always go farther when you treat others with respect!

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  3. That dress is gorgeous, and it fits you like a glove! You are beautiful, girl.

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  4. Beautiful! And agreed. Taking the high road never lets you down.

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  5. Yep, totally agree. I wish more people trolling the internet shared this approach, too! It's way too easy to hide behind a computer screen.

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  6. completely agree! Although I do admit: I get anywhere from 300 to 1K emails every single day that I have to respond to, and many of my responses are not long paragraphs but short and to the point because I would never get through them all otherwise, but I do hope they still come across as kind, as they are meant to be! :)

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  7. Me too! Sometimes I find that I come off cold, when I didn't mean it that way at all. I also way over use exclamation points in emails when I'm trying to not sound cold, but realize it could be read differently with the emphasis in just a slightly different place.

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  8. There is always room for more kindness. I've had one too many encounters with people who are abrupt and rude. However, I know I've snapped at a few times and can come off as cold in emails where I am trying to just be direct and to the point.

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  9. This dress is gorgeous on you, I love the print! And people really should try and be a bit nicer!

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  10. First that dress is beautiful, the colors are print are classic enough to be used for more than this year. And, I total agree that even when you want mistakes to be corrected, it's important to be gracious and acknowledge all the stuff that someone does right too, and bring positivity to both sides!

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  11. I love those photos! Fresh, summery and beautiful! People often forget how far can kind words take them. I enjoy working, and going extra mile, knowing that it will be appreciated.

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