April 26, 2011

Commisioned work-Good communication equals happy customer

posted by Barbara Harms/Asian Art And Quilts
This is a quick over view of the process of creating a recently commissioned, hand painted silk art quilt.There is a fine balance between you as an artist creating original work and making something dictated by another person’s taste, and I have found some of my best art quilts have come from a commission.
It’s not a hard of conflict to reconcile. Someone who has commissioned a work from you already likes you work and style. They want one of your creations. So if you communicate well, ask a lot of questions, have them send pictures of something similar to their idea, and you, in turn send photos to them as well, to clarify what you are creating, everything should go well.
I always think of the analogy of going in for a haircut. You clearly tell the hairdresser what you want and she seems to understand exactly. When you get home, arggh-this is NOT what you wanted. What went wrong? She thought she understood you and you thought she did, but she understood what she thought you were saying.
So this is crucial step. Send a sketch or 2 of what you think the client wants, get feedback. Here’s an idea my client had and some examples of sketches I worked up and sent to her.

This was my interpretation of what I thought she wanted.
Way off base. I sensed a lack of enthusiasm on her part, so back to the drawing board.
She wanted a ship in peril with a huge octopus threatening it.

This is what she had in mind.
Next step translate her vision into my vision and style.
I painted the background of a big raging storm.
There was more painting to come.

Fusing with Wonder Under,  and more paint.
Postioning and Tweeking, and more paint.
Soon it was time to send progress photos to the client for feedback.
Now, with feedback in hand I set about completing the project.

I find it helpful to get the reactions back on my progress photos. I get encouraged to know if she is liking it so far. But of course the main benefit is for your customer. Who has been involved, there will be no unpleasant surprises for them with the completed work.. You have a happy customer, who had a good experience and will be back again when they need to buy art.

Curious to see how this turns out? Follow the progress on my blog

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