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artist commissions stay in you rlane

How an Artist Manages Commissions: Stay in Your Lane

artist commissions manage commissions stay in your lane Aug 12, 2022


Everyone's got an embarrassing story right? 

Well this one isn't about the time I hung from the side of a boat by my bikini bottoms weighed down by water skis on my feet. The details for that one aren't appropriate for Bold School newsletters. 

This one is a flashback to circa 2012: the beginning of my professional artist career and I had just posted a series of really great pieces I'd created. This high point resulted in me getting a little too confident in my abilities and taking a commission for a piece I should never have promised I could do. 

It was, of course, a very important occasion, an anniversary that was coming after a particularly rough patch in a marriage. One spouse wanted to celebrate the other in a beautiful way, my art. 

I had neglected to consider what such a piece meant and even though I had painted all of about one likeness in my career I thought for sure this would be a breeze. After all I was getting all kinds of praise on social media and that must mean I could do it! Right!!? 

This was my version of pride before a fall. 

I bombed. I couldn't, no matter what I tried, get this painting to look correct. When most people hit this many fails they give up and believe me I wanted to give up. But I persevered. My mind was clouded in failure and my only way out was to find a projector so that I could trace the image onto the canvas in the last ditch effort to get it right. 

I completed it. They loved it but the job paid me about $6/hr because it took me 6 weeks instead of 3 days...and that might be a little optimistic. 

I learned a lot, the hard way, with that job. 

Instead of encouraging you to persevere through hard times I want you to skip the hard parts and take what I learned so that you don't have to hang from the side of a boat with your bikini bottoms stretched into...well...use your imagination! 

During our summer podcasts we've been talking about how to be successful when taking art commission work. If you've ever been hesitant to take a commission or if you're ready to take on that commission request list but don't know how to start, you'll want to listen to this episode. 

>> Click here to watch the Podcast.

This is a getting real episode where we're digging into: 
   → how to have fun and succeed with commissions
   → how to not stress and burnout
   → when to say no

Keep creating,

Creativity awaits!


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