*The image featured is the front of the dental practice at Bayside Dental in Rowlett, Tx. The art on the wall is one of 25 custom pieces done for Dr. and Mrs. Brad Boeke in their high end, 10 operatory dental space.
The Commission Experience
A few months ago, a client and I had arranged for an in-home reveal of her commission piece I had created. Having previously determined where the painting would hang, she allowed me to install it while she waited out of sight in another room. When the time came, I called her in. In a moving moment the two of us will never forget, she saw her painting for the first time and wept with joy.
Nothing is more pleasing as an artist than to know that I was able to capture just what the client desired, or even more. This client later shared with me that she had had a transformative experience, both overwhelming and magical, and she coined the phrase “The Commission Experience.”
The Commission Experience is the joy of my life! Each commission piece or collection is the culmination of an intimate collaboration with one of my clients. With each one my ultimate goal is to create a beautiful piece of art that reflects the client’s sensibilities, personal taste and desires for their space.
Enjoy as I share some more specifics below about how that process takes place.
The first step in The Commission Experience is consultation. I have initial conversations with the client around their desires for the piece, or the collection – abstract or realistic, oil or acrylic, subject matter, location, etc.
If I believe that I can deliver on basic preferences then we discuss a timeline, the potential materials, the possible size of the canvas, and potential costs. Following a basic desire of both parties to move forward, we begin the collaboration.
The next step in The Commission Experience is collaboration. This begins the detailed process of understanding just what the commission needs to be. These multiple preparatory conversations, and the understanding developed upfront, are paramount to creating just the right piece. This takes time and patience.
I seek to create open and clear communication around all the specific details and desires. I interview the client about likes and dislikes around colors, textures, materials and the space where the piece(s) will be hung or displayed. Because words have constraints in the visual realm, in order to remove miscommunication around preferences, I have the client ‘save pins’ on Pinterest of images they like. This allows me to see their visual preferences and pick up on patterns of color or style, or even deep aesthetic needs of which they were initially unaware. Pictures really do say (and convey!) a thousand words.
This collaboration process typically takes a couple of weeks to allow for a relaxed back and forth. Once clarity is achieved about the end goals of the art, I provide a final quote and timeline for the commission to my client.
Upon agreement, creation begins.
The next step in The Commission Experience is creation. My commission creation begins with thumbnail sketches, both in black and white and color, which I share with the client to give them a sense of my ideas. This is followed by putting paint to canvas.
This is where my life’s passion meets my classical training and extensive experience of over 40 years. I often work with oils, and sometimes layer and mix in other materials like acrylics, fabric applications, or handmade paper. I sometimes etch on metal, create flow paintings, or building texture from specially made acrylic paste. I might use pastels, charcoal or a myriad of other materials to create the most unique and individualized piece for the client.
I truly want the best for my clients. From the paints to the tools, I use only the best, high-quality materials. My canvases come from a high-end dealer in Los Angeles. Likewise, because I want each client’s piece to receive the proper time and attention, I only take a small number of commissions per year as my process is focused, detailed and personalized.
The creation of a piece, or a series of pieces, can take a several weeks or more, depending on the timeline we’ve agreed upon, and on the detail and materials used. Ultimately the finest for the client is the outcome.
Unique Lifetime Event
The Commission Experience with me becomes a meaningful lifetime event for my clients. Likewise, using my artistic gifts to put the client’s ideas out into the world gives me deep satisfaction and enjoyment.
The Commission Experience with me is not your typical “paint a pretty picture for the client” occurrence. Nor is it a “make their style fit my style” kind of thing, nor do you have to pick something that’s nice but not personalized from a gallery.
Because of the level of collaboration and personalization of the process, the result is a truly custom original work of art. In return, we both receive the profound intrinsic rewards that come with having created something together.
I love getting to really know my clients, and getting to create something personal and meaningful for another person. I look forward to getting to know and work with you some day to create a wondrous piece of art!