Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Learning New Tricks: Part I (the offer)

Does anyone else feel like the days are going faster and faster as the year winds down?  I'm pretty busy right now and part of the reason is something new to me. I am going to write about it here, in case anybody else might be in the same situation.

I was contacted about a month ago about the possibility of doing a commissioned artwork.  The person had seen my work in Meridian.  You would think I would be elated about this offer as I have not done one before.  But my first reaction was panic.  Not so much because of the idea of a commission, but more so because the person wanted me to do a piece based on a painting that he saw in San Francisco.  A picture of the painting was included and to me it was totally opposite of my own work.  My other thought was that perhaps he really wanted that painting and nothing I could create would be good enough.  I've also heard stories of other artists getting burned with commission work.

After the initial panic had faded and I started to mull over things, I decided this is a great opportunity even if it doesn't work out.  So I asked to meet with the person to find out more about what he was really looking for before I started working on any sketches.

Before the meeting I prepared some questions to ask him to get a better idea of the specifics of what he wanted.  I typed these out because I know I can't always rely on my memory.  I also brought the picture of the painting and some pictures of my work thinking that I should discuss what I perceived to be very real differences between the two.  I also had a business card and my calendar.  In addition, I had brought some small works to show the difference between fused applique and piecing as well as different quilting lines.  Was that overkill?  Maybe, but even though I have never done a commission piece before, I certainly want to appear professional, even if I have no idea what I'm doing.

The meeting went well.  The person is very nice and he did say he wanted me to do my own work.  He also told me what he liked about the painting and which aspects he hoped that I could incorporate into my work. We scheduled another meeting time for looking at the sketches I would create.

Next installment: Sketches

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