Feelings, perspective, and many other things are best kept in the right proportion, and illustration can be much the same.
Take the classic example of what constitutes “cute” or “adorable.” There are quite a few conventions, and if you push proportions to a certain extreme—often with stubby, big eyed and childlike proportions in mind—you can hit “cute” almost every time.
Where it gets tricky is anywhere in between cute and realistic proportions. Then you enter a highly subjective gray zone fraught with project creep danger, especially when it comes to clients. The key is to get as much information and reference from your client as possible, take a deep breath, and realize when taking on such a project that the chances of getting it right on the first try (where you and the client agree you’ve struck the right balance) is going to be slim.
The silver lining is that you get to explore more options, and file them away for the next time you’re tasked with the difficult subject of “cute.”