"Can they do it for free? It'll make a great sample piece for them..."sorry - hadda do it.
Besides what they see in terms of style, they want to know something about a track record...can they do 'x'job on time, and deliver what is needed, or, in the cases where they have no idea what they want, can the illustrator pull something out of their professional bag of tricks to complete the assignment. Or is this strictly a rhetorical question?
Good one John!
I have been asked my shoe size and which member of the Partridge Family I most identify with.
John's answer is good (actually both of them are good), if he's reading the question right.A better question (from my experience) would be: "What does THIS buyer want from THIS illustrator" The artist/designer that asks this at the outset of each job, will get further and be happier. No two clients have the same expectations and priorities.Or are you asking very specifically "what things about the illustrator's personal profile are of interest to the buyer before he even considers the illustrator worthy for work (or even a bookmark)?"
I usually do well with communication, but it's so much easier face to face than in a written statement about me. It's Chuck's point - every buyer is different and I can tailor my presentation if I'm talking to an individual.Clear communication is not always possible, of course. I'm still slightly shocked when a client who has seen my portfolio asks me for a style that is completely out of my range. One client asked "Can you do just what you've shown me, but like Norman Rockwell?"