This month has been full of incredible projects — many maps, as well as a nice handful of “artistic” commissions.? Maps tend to be more or less straight forward — while there is definitely a lot of problem-solving going on, they eventually have to become something that the buyer recognizes.? But? commissions that are more abstract can really stretch your brain out of its comfy chair shape.
Sometimes all I’m given is a rough size and a color: say, a long, narrow piece around 12″ wide, and I’m thinking… red.? Sometimes the buyer likes a style: what about a landscape, but really wide?? Other times the instructions are very fluid: “He has a nomadic background and mixed heritage and is passionate.”? (Thankfully I figured out that there was an email glitch that cut off the other 95% of the letter before I started that one!)
I don’t get a lot of these inquiries, probably because there is a certain leap of faith that happens when a buyer offers to plunk down good money for a piece they not only can’t see or touch, but can’t imagine, either.? But when I do, I am never the same afterward.? I can only hope the recipient is half as transformed by the finished piece as I am by the process.
To make this less painful, I use Photoshop to create digital sketches of my ideas which the buyer then gets to approve.? There is this waiting period between my design and their official okay that is a little like waiting for your best friend to have a baby.? You can pace all you want, but it’s going to happen when it happens, and you can’t make it go any faster by constantly checking.? I’m learning to breathe through it ; )
So what is waiting in the wings for you?