Why I like working on custom orders
Every artist loves their expressive freedom and don't want to be told how to make their art.
If you noticed in my blog early this year (or it was last year? what can I say, time flies), I put in my blog a Joni Mitchell's song Circle game. When I was listening to this song in my high school years, I had a live recording from one of her concerts and during the song she said: "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh: "Paint that starry night again, man." He painted it, and that was it." I don't recall why was she talking about that, but it somehow stick in my mind. ... and that was it... :D
But like it or not, custom orders are a thing that is giving most artist a chance to survive financially. And of course, we all hate it. Or do we?
I remember how in the beginning of my married life, I hated doing house chores. My lunch was always too salty, or burned or half raw, my dishes sitting in a sink and waiting for ferries to put them into a dishwasher. And not to mention dusting, cleaning, ironing... But suddenly all changed. I realised those chores will always (and every day) be a part of my life and I can accept them as they are or hate them. I decided to accept them and do them with joy. And my cooking improved not only to being eatable, but really delicious, and since then my household is in order, at least most of the time ;)
Same thing is with custom orders. Why hate them? We need them.
Personally, I like them.
First of all, for me a custom order means that somebody liked my art enough to pay for it. And this is a great thing, it gives me a feeling of appreciation. Secondly, customers tell me which of my pieces were their favourite, so I can work on something similar, which is ok. There can never be too much practice and why not try to recreate something I already worked on in a similar, but still different way. I enjoy creating and what difference does it make if I make it for a specific buyer? None. Thirdly, I like creating with a certain person in mind and it doesn't matter if I make a gift for somebody I know and like, or if I make a custom order for somebody I don't even know, but in a way, I somehow feel them.
Lately I had a custom order when a mother commissioned a work for her daughter's birthday. She saw my exhibition and contacted me, because she wanted me to do a portrait of her daughter the way I made The four seasons collection. She sent me photos and working with such a cute face was easy. The girl possesses natural beauty and I got captured with her lovely green eyes. I wanted to give her a spring look, but at first I've chosen too dark leaves. I made a piece you can see above, but wasn't satisfied with it. She really looks serious in the photo, but I felt her as a sunny person with lots of energy, so the first piece was to dark and gloomy for what I felt about her.
I was watching the first artwork for a couple of days and even if my family sad it was good, for me it didn't feel right. Then I made another one, with lighter green leaves, I also put some flowers in and this one made me feel ok.
I'm really happy to say that my customer was satisfied and so was her daughter when she got her spring portrait as a gift. She also approved that I put artwork with her portrait online, so I can share it with you.
Soon I'll be able to share with you another custom work, an old lady in autumn look that I'll make to complete a short story.