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Old 08-31-2008, 03:09 AM
Aaron Schroeder's Avatar
Aaron Schroeder Aaron Schroeder is offline
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Proposals loose vs. tight

I tend to create tight proposals, exact drawings and maquettes that leave little to the imagination. My thinking has been that clients and committees want to see what they are buying with as much detail as possible. I'm rethinking this approach and considering the notion of submitting loose proposals, rough sketches, vague text, ideas using broad strokes. Advisable ?

Roughly four years ago I visited an exhibition of commissioned work by Dale Chihuly and they had the proposal drawing hanging on the wall. They were as loose and open ended as could be. Those drawings got me thinking that perhaps I've been going about communicating with committees in the wrong way.

Loose vs. tight..........which works better ?
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:39 AM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: Proposals loose vs. tight

If you're dealing with a committee (or any group of people), I would say that it's best to have not a tight vs loose proposal, but one with a clear vision and room for "creative changes".

You don't want to have a proposal which is too wishy-washy, but you do want to show them that you're open to adjustments (if you are actually open to them ). But without a strong statement and visuals, you probably won't make it into the final cut.
Julianna Yau Yorgan
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:35 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Proposals loose vs. tight

Hi, I think everything should be subject to change, within reason, of course. I have a friend who recently completed a $300,000 commission and kept the proposal loose. Good thing, as he couldn't get a certain thing he needed (no one makes it) and had to substitute something else.
By the way, this is someone who thinks things through and is quite thorough in his proposals. With commissions of this size, that's a must, with 32 page contracts and lawyers involved. Not to mention deadlines and having structural engineers sign off on the plans.
By the way, if they like your proposal you've got more power than you think!
Have a great day,
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:08 AM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Proposals loose vs. tight

I don't think tight or loose is the right place to focus. Clear communication of an idea is what is asked for. This may include sketchy diagrams where the variables are presented verbally. Or drawings that are quite technical as inarchitectural or engineering drawings. The mindset of the client, size and budget of project, and issues that are of concern to them are what your proposal needs to communicate.

My presentation drawings or models have ranged from extremely " tight" to entirely absent, all verbal. My clients know that I am comitting to create the best work that I am able to within the project parameters, and if I am making any changes it is not to cut corners but to resolve artistic issues for the betterment of the piece. The presentation is my outline of the project. The creation of the work is its own experience, and I have yet to feel a loss of freedom when translating my sketch into a realized idea.

On my website, , there is my first sculpture, a lifesize statue of Justice. My proposal was a sketch that looked like someone could have done it on a restaurant napkin after drinking a bottle of Chablis. For "Sweet Surrender", I did a maquette that was somewhat impressionistic, a little looser than Bessie Potter Vonnoh's work, with no facial detail. (The client later had me bronze cast a dozen of these models as gifts). For the Tower of Many Waters, I turned a pen sketch on an envelope into a large architectural rendering , and then a 5 foot tall scale model, and then architectural working drawings. For my Saint Paul statue, the pose is about the only thing that stayed the same from my small maquette. A half-size study was done after the commission was awarded to work out the details and the suggested changes discussed in comittee. For my Casa Blanca mural, I made it up as I went. The commission was won on the basis of my verbal description.

Each circumstance summons its own unique solution, and one needs to be flexible and open in approaching it with a fresh perspective.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:46 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Proposals loose vs. tight

"Loose" has served me well. I give mostly pencil sketches on graph paper. They are to scale. I keep the feel of the renderings pretty organic and I cant be necessarily held to any particular line. It leaves me room for interpretaion. Most of the time any surprises expressed by the purchaser are pleasant ones.
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