As we (freelancers and clients) each gain more and more experience dealing with good work partners and bad ones, we need to learn to identify and EMBODY the characteristics which we value in potential work partners. There is more to consider than just the artist's talent and the client's money. For example:
1) Great clients and freelancers tend to be professional, polite, organized, objective, and hard working. They set clear goals, agree on reasonable payment and meet deadlines in an efficient manner. The best clients and freelancers tend to seek each other out and develop ongoing relationships and successful business ventures. They sometimes contribute more than expected. You may find a few of these on DA, but they tend to prefer other sites and resources.
2) Many clients and freelancers fall into this middle area with some characteristics from groups 1 and 3. New clients and artists should strive to start in this category and work their way toward category 1. (Note: If you connect with work partners on DA, learn tell the difference between people with good qualities and people with who brag but have no actual value to contribute to the partnership.)
3) Clients and freelancers who are rude, condescending, irrational, unprofessional, selfish, disorganized or lazy will probably provide a very difficult, unpleasant or otherwise unsuccessful work experience. Some are intentionally dishonest, but many just lack the proper skills to conduct business in a productive, pleasant, mutually beneficial manner. Freelancers in this category will struggle or fail or eventually evolve toward category 2 to survive. Clients in this category may hire an endless series of inexperienced freelancers who quit to pursue more rewarding (or more tolerable) work experiences. Don't settle for a category 3 partner. If that is all you can attract then spend some time improving yourself so that you can move up to category 2.
For a more detailed list of ways to recognize good or bad clients and artists, please take a look at this longer article: friendlyhand.deviantart.com/jo…
Hope that helps,