Sunday, June 6, 2010

Custom Requests

For the longest time I took on very few
special orders or commission paintings.

I learned...the hard way...that,
in the time it takes
to create a custom digital
or commission painting...
which, for me,  is 2 to 3 weeks...
a lot of folks often have a 'change of heart'.
What they were very excited to order in the beginning...
has cooled to the point of..
'Oh, yeah, I forgot I asked you to do that and...
I've actually changed my mind.'...

So...there you are...sitting there with a painting,
with a green background 
(when I usually do golden backgrounds),
a creeper with his bloody heart in his hands and a 
huge bloody hole in his chest.

This was actually a special request I agreed to do
a couple of years ago.
Now...mind you....that is something I never would
have painted under usual circumstances.

Long story short,
they 'changed their mind' and didn't want it after all...
WTH am I supposed to do with it???
And...I hadn't even asked for a deposit...

So...I declined ALL requests for the next two years.

Then, last fall...someone purchased a painting
I had listed in my Etsy Shop.
He and his wife loved their new painting so much,
that they just HAD to have me do a special painting
for a friend who was coming home from Iraq 
something with Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd.

I said 'no'....over and over again...I said 'no'.
They finally 'convinced' me...
(I think it was the Iraq thing, )
I collected the full purchase price up front
and let them know it would take me 3 to 4 weeks.

They must have like it...they have purchased two
other custom paintings since.

The point of my post today....
I've worked on several digital 'samples'
over the past month,
that took about 18+ hours of my time.
So what happened with them...?
nothing at all.
I spent 18+ hours that I could have spent working
on something else,
for 'zilch'.

 I've always had a problem asking folks for money
for something that doesn't 'exist' just yet...
I'm going to have to 'get over that'.

For custom paintings...I have to get the money up front...
to order canvas and paints...
(and 'incentive' to get the painting done as quickly as possible,)
so I'm not as fussed about that as I used to be.

I'm either going to have to say 'no' to all
digital requests
request payment before starting on anything...
I'm just not as fast as I like to
think that I am.

So I created a little free website
 especially to
address custom requests.


The Words Crafter said...

Wow, I don't blame you. I checked out the site and I like it. It's simple, clear, and to the point...

Ira said...

When I did custom pencil portraits I always requested a 50% non-refundable deposit and made it clear that once I started on the portrait, no other changes can be made to it. That's the deal.

It was a little awkward for me to ask for money like that too, but it's obvious that it's one way to make sure people are serious about their orders.

In any case, we all learn from mistakes, so what you're doing now is a great idea. :)

CMZ Art/ Rustic Goth said...

Yeah...these little free sites are pretty easy and take no time to put together.
It seemed like a 'workable' solution for the custom least, for now.