If you are a true Star Wars fan, you know who Colin Cantwell is. For the rest of us, let me introduce you to a concept designer whose ability to be entirely client-focused landed him a really awesome gig.
George Lucas discovered Colin Cantwell after seeing his special-effects work on “2001: A Space Odyssey”. They met and, according to a recent interview with Cantwell, he and Lucas discussed a project that turned out to be the first “Star Wars” movie. Yes, this is the man responsible for designing the Death Star, the X-wing starfighter and lots of other amazing vehicles and ships.
How did Cantwell land this plum assignment? As he was sketching out ideas, he kept asking Lucas what needed to happen, what needed to be the audience experience. He didn’t talk about how great his work was on “2001”; he didn’t try to talk Lucas into anything. He just showed that his priority was to make sure his client achieved his goal.
You may not be designing the next Death Star and your next client may not be George Lucas, but you can maintain that same lightsaber-like focus on your clients’ key goals. May the Force be with you.