I have decided it's finally time to change the way I work - over the last 30 years or so I have done animal portraits as commissions and it's always been pretty successful so I tried to apply the same rules to illustration - I would do illustrated commissions on the same basis i.e. you tell me what you want - I paint it - if you don't like it you don't buy it - this worked well with the pet portraits - the clients knew pretty much what they would be getting (an accurate painting of their dog's head) and were happy. However more and more I've found that this isn't possible with illustrations - to reproduce exactly what is in someone elses head with what is often a quite abstract or quirky concept just leaves the client disappointed and me frustrated. And because it's often a whimsical picture rather than a 'real painting' it's difficult to justify my prices despite it often taking as much work and a lot more thought.
So I am no longer taking commissions for individual illustrations - all my illustrations will be available to buy either through me or my Society6 page HERE - I will happily take suggestions for illustrations that, if done, I will put on my FACEBOOK PAGE and offer for sale - this way no one feels an obligation to buy them and I can do them in such a way that suits my style.
Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face? Possibly - I may lose a bit of work this way but out of the last 10 commissions - 4 or 5 have wanted major changes and 2 totally rejected them - whereas 30 years of painting pet portraits I have never had a rejection.
Customer satisfaction is of extreme importance to me and if I think someone isn't happy with what I've done for them then I feel bad as well as demoralised.
Well that was a rather serious blog post and to cheer us all up I will end with a jolly picture and a reminder to enter my competition HERE