I was asked to do this with the utmost trust that I would do something "just right", and I hope these lovely clients will be as pleased as I am. That is always the thing, with commission work. Will the expectations be fulfilled? Will the artist understand the request? Will the client be so nervous that the artist feels constrained and indecisive about the end design? It really all is a delicate balance between them, and often hinges on how much each knows of the other. The artist, being the artist after all, will have a strong vision of the work colored by her style. If the client isn't very familiar with that style, or if the artist isn't solid in a particular style, the visions can be drastically different - sometimes not even in the same park. The client may have a strong vision too - perhaps something he seen in a photograph or a place visited, a memory. But if the client isn't able to tell the artist some particulars about that vision - something beyond a color palette or medium for example - then there's a good chance that a problem may arise.
How do we avoid such a mishap? Artists need to be certain that the client understands her style and has seen several examples, preferably in the flesh as well as in the portfolio. And I believe the artist should ask many questions - questions dealing with the more subtle aspects of the request - questions like, what is the angle from which you will view my work? What other things are in the peripheral view? What other artwork is near? What is the overall "feel" you are wanting to create for that space? Conversation that is more ephemeral perhaps, but the answers may get to a deeper place from which the client may clarify his expectations. If we take a little extra time to distinguish these things, I think commission work can be exciting and very satisfying for both the artist and the client.
Then, every once in while, some wonderful people will say to you, "Do what you think is best - we love your work!"
|In an English Garden|
|I can't decide which I like best!|