Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Is Self-promotion Wrong? --- or --- I'm Fishing for Commissions.

Here's a short "promotional" video I put together recently. It includes images from many of my pieces, all together. It's fun to see my pieces - especially my heads - one after another. It really gives a person a broad view of my overall style.

You'll want to watch this full screen. And it's also posted on my YouTube Channel - here.

At the end of the video, I point out that I do commissions. Over the past 10 or so years, approximately 60% of my time has been devoted to creating commissioned work. I still - and always will - make pieces for "me"; pieces that I will then put up for sale on my website. But going forward, most of my time will be spent making that special piece for someone else. I'm fortunate to have several regular customers that request pieces once a year, or maybe every couple of years. I'm thankful to them for keeping me afloat. So as an independent artist, (see my last paragraph below), I'm really making the effort to get the word out that I graciously accept commissions of many kinds - personal, corporate, or even from interior designers or architects. I'm open to the possibilities.

In case this gets you thinking....... even if you're not exactly sure what you might want, please feel free to reach out to me. It's always nice to get the conversation started early, even if you're not ready to "pull the trigger". And sometimes my schedule gets backed up - so again, earlier is better.

Also, I recently added a Commission Page to my website. It basically spells out - step by step - what to expect when one commissions me to make a piece of artwork. The process is really quite simple and straightforward, but when I wrote it out, it seemed extensive. It's really not.

I've copied and pasted it here.........

The Commission Process

Recently, someone mentioned to me that they were intimidated with the commission process of artists. I thought, “Surely, I’m not intimidating”. To alleviate any apprehension you might have about commissioning me to make that special piece for you, I’ve outlined my Commission Process here…..

First, if you’re unsure about what you want me to create - we can both think about it, and then toss some ideas around. This can be a fun activity, for both of us. I’m always up for a challenge, and love to try things I haven’t done before. By the way, some people know what they want – and some don’t. Some people want a portrait of themselves, or a loved one; and some want a piece similar to one that’s been sold. Over the years I’ve enjoyed making all the above.

1. Once we have an idea, we can get started. You’ll let me know the basic idea of the piece - and if you have a price range in mind, you’ll let me know that too. We can discuss all the details about your piece – size, movement, features, and any personal details. Usually this discussion happens via email, where the details are “recorded”, but we can also chat over the phone if you’d like. A quick phone conversation can sometimes be worth 10 emails back and forth – and can clear up a lot of things promptly.

2. Next, I will do a quick sketch, and a bit of figuring, to arrive at a price. (I sometimes send my client a copy of the sketch, but not always – it’s up to you.) Once we agree on a price…..

3. I will then email you my super-simple Commission Form. It just the basics – what I’m creating for you, when it’s expected to be delivered, the price, your information, my information, and a place for each of us to sign. It states that a 50% Deposit is required in order for me to start - and the balance, plus shipping, is due when your piece is completed.

4. You will then send me a check, along with the signed Commission Form. I can sign it and send you a copy, if you’d like.

5. I will make your piece as we have discussed. At some point, I may ask your opinion about color scheme, or any other details. Specifically, eye color has to be known if I’m doing a portrait of you or a loved one.

6. Once your piece is ready to be shipped to you, I’ll let you know, and you’ll send me the final check. Once I receive the check, I will carefully and professionally pack your piece. When I say professionally, I mean I will personally pack your piece to the best of my abilities. I’ve gotten pretty good at packing my pieces – and who better than me to do it, as I know all the vulnerabilities of my pieces. I usually ship FedEx, and have had excellent success using their services.

7. When your piece arrives, you will find Unpacking Instructions inside, as well as any Notes as to how your piece operates.
By the way, after the piece arrives, I’m always around to answer questions, or hear any concerns you might have.

I appreciate the opportunity to create a special piece for you – a piece that is sure to become a family heirloom. I make every effort to keep my clients happy, and usually go above and beyond expectations when it comes to my commissions.


I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect when you come to me with that thought about getting a special piece for yourself - or someone you love. 

Lastly, I case you didn't know, (and I haven't really talked about it), as of July 2017, I am no longer affiliated with any gallery - this is when I pulled my work out of the New Orleans gallery I was in. They've changed their focus, and my pieces didn't really fit in with their new concept. So I've become a fully independent artist, again. When I started off as a full-time artist in 2000, I was 100% independent. I did art fairs for 7 years, and purposely did not show in galleries until 2008. From then until the Summer of '17, I've pretty much only been in one gallery at a time - except for maybe the occasional group show. I like being independent again - it suits me.

So is it wrong to promote one's self? Not in my case - someone's got to do it!!!

Thanks for looking! And feel free to share this post, or any of my work, website, or videos, with friends and family. I appreciate you!


PS Let me know what you think about all of this - I'd love to hear your opinion.