Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Important Commission Guidelines - Please Read

Commissions. They are an exciting way for you to have a unique creation made specifically for you in the style that you have come to know me for. They are a chance for you and I to bond over an idea. It is understandable then, that I receive many requests for commissions. In fact, I receive more than I could ever accept. In order to give you my best and keep the waiting list a little shorter for you, I am making this major change to how I accept commissions.

I think it is only fair that I prioritize those of you who have been integral in this art journey and have so graciously been supporting me as collectors. This means that the first filtration for potential commissions is that I will only review proposals from existing collectors of my original works. If you own one of my original pieces (not a print of an original idea but an actual drawing, painting, or sculpture) then this is you. I'm doing this for the reason mentioned above in regards to fairness and shortening the list, and also to make sure that when I am being approached about a commission, I know that the client is truly familiar with the style they can expect when I create for them.

Just a quick story: I once accepted a commission from someone who had seen my work online but did not own any of my pieces. I completed their request and mailed it out, only to get a barrage of emails about how the work wasn't what they had envisioned. It turned out that this person had also been looking at many other artists' work online and thought that since my art showed up in search results with these other artists, that my commissioned work would look like the other artists they had researched (but never heard back from).

I want to make sure that you, as my beloved collector, are happy. The first step is making sure you know what you will be getting. Finding me on a search engine isn't enough. Ordering prints is not enough. No matter how hard I work to make prints that represent the original, there is no substitute for that actual thing. Now you may say, "I saw your originals at a show, so I am ready to get a commission." I get it, but think of it like restaurant reservations. If you own an original you have a reservation. Any empty table will still be held for the reservation, even if you are present and ready to order. Once you become a collector, I am sure you will appreciate this policy.

Deadlines. More than once I have accepted commissions where I was told the client had no deadline, only to be emailed later saying "can this be done by such-and-such date for birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.?" If you have a deadline I MUST know before accepting the job. Please do not spring a timeline on me after we have an agreement. This creates stress for both of us and I can't promise you my best work when hit with surprises. Commissions always end up taking longer than expected so let's figure out dates up front.

Your idea is what commissions are all about. I understand this completely. Sometimes this can be a snake in the grass. If you have a very clear idea of what you want the artwork to be in the end, that may not be such a good thing since no artist is a mind reader. Despite your best explanations, I will still see a different image in my mind. In fact, what I see in my mind usually isn't what comes out anyway. I need you to be flexible, share your idea, and allow me to create. You will get a much better piece of art with creation as opposed to dictation. I also ask that you understand the evolution of art. My website showcases art that I've created spanning back to 2006. That's more than a decade of theme changes, style tweaking, media experimentation, and so on. I am sometimes asked to create in a style or medium that I no longer work in, so please don't take offense if I turn down an idea. If what I feel you are seeking is something that I cannot confidently produce, I will have to say no. It's not you, honey, it's me.

I'm just going to be as straight forward has I can with this one; originals aren't cheap. As a former tattoo artist I know the going rate to be tattooed is about $100-$200 per hour and you can never sell your tattoo. It doesn't go up in value. It is worth nothing after you pay for it, other than the emotional or conversational value you get from it. Art on the other hand (pun intended) can rise in value, be sold to other collectors, be passed down to future generations, be loaned or rented out to various institutions, and therefore has immediate value. I won't go into my philosophy of why artists should be well compensated for their craft (I will save that for another post) or how sometimes people commission work knowing that they plan to sell it, but I will say that I am restructuring my commission prices based on my experiences with them. To begin, I am now establishing a commission minimum of $100. Most will be well above this range, but I just can't sustain the pricing model I have used in the past. So much goes into a commission before a pencil even glides on paper so the new structure includes consultation, material acquisition, invoicing, and general loss of sleep. Once all consultation is complete and an invoice is sent, it has always been my policy to require complete payment before beginning the work. Installments can be made, but I do not begin making your art until the total project is paid in full. Due to the personal nature and prerequisites mentioned above, commissions are non refundable. Once you have made any payment toward the invoice, you have entered into a contract. If you are making payments and need to back out before the final payment is made, I will refund you minus any fees or material acquisitions. Once you have paid in full the ship will not change course.

Finally, please understand the creative process. Like most other creatives, I go through spells of massive motivation as well as droughts. Sometimes it takes a while to get started, sometimes I need to step away for a few days, and sometimes deadline projects come up that I have to accept, which bumps you back further. On top of that, I have an extremely busy show schedule and travel a lot to bring my art and prints out to the people. I can almost guarantee that I will not get your piece finished by the time I estimate, so I really appreciate your patience.

So in summary, to secure a commission...

1) Be a current collector
2) Divulge your deadline
3) Share your idea
4) If step 3 is accepted, receive a price and invoice
5) Enjoy the virtue of patience

If you are not a current collector or would like to add to your collection, see available originals HERE.

If you are a current collector and would like to propose an idea, please email me at

Thank you for everything. I have so much more art that I am excited to share with you and I truly appreciate your continued support.


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