Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Commission Time!

Shut Up and Kiss Me Again..and Again...and Again!
There's both an upside and down when it comes to commissions. 

Of course, it's great to have your work desired. And, getting paid to do what you love is also a wonderful boost. The downside? The internal dialog you have with yourself - second guessing each move? Will they love it or hate it? So, while you're working on the commission, you may not be entirely confident*

So far, my experience with commissions has been very positive. Whether creating a commission for a celebrity or of a celebrity... or a civilian just like you and I... I've done custom portraits from photos, or created completely original work for corporate offices...

Well, there was that one...when the collector asked for something "just like" another piece I'd done...except a different shape, a different color scheme and a slightly different composition. Her reaction was…remarkably quiet.

What to do when you're asked to create a portrait of a subject you've done before? A commission for a collector - or through a gallery. This is a bit of a dilemma... you don't want to alienate the collector who has the original. 

But, let’s think about this – I believe some of the greatest artists re-created portraits of the same subjects over and over – whether their wives, lovers, mistresses, especially self-portraits… so maybe it’s not a complete sin?

For some reason, some of my images have been really "popular." Of course, each time it’s a complete original…new composition, new materials, new color scheme.

So here’s my latest, a huge version of an image I originally created a few years ago. 

And, a new version of another image is getting shipped to a gallery [the original sold to a museum]. The collector had wanted to purchase it, but it was sold before he made a decision! This one is “sort of” like the original, but not the same.

As a working artist, I have to juggle all sorts of opportunities – requests for my time while attempting to follow a strategic plan; while fielding inquiries from bloggers, trying to coordinate shows in galleries, exhibitions, working with the media, doing the laundry… and making sure the “working” part of working artist includes making a living.

So, I will accept limited commissions for images I’ve created before – as long as I can make it different and make the collector [and the artist] happy!

*I have to go now - and contact a woman who wants a custom commission and ask her to send some more photos… I painted her portrait last night and I’m not happy with it…!