As artists and makers we are accustom to being asked to do commissioned work. I have mixed feelings about this specifically with regard to creating commissioned artwork. While I enjoy the income and appreciate a clients interest in my work, I tend to feel more pressured and sometimes the work felt/feels somewhat "forced". I suppose that might be related to the specific requests, if they were more open, meaning I could produce artwork more of my choosing, then it is easier and more enjoyable. In cases where clients want a more specific look or feel, then I find it much harder and more stressful, as a result I don't actively seek this type of commission work.
More recently however my opinion regarding working on commissions has changed, not so much for commissioned artwork, but with regard to making fine art tools. I find working on fine art tool commissions to be enriching and I almost always learn something new. Artist tend to approach their work in such interesting ways, and each time I'm asked to make something specific, it opens my mind to new possibilities and inspires me to think beyond my current point of view. I also really enjoy seeing how artist use the tools I make within their art practice. Typically I am surprised by what I see, and I am inspired by their creativity.
I also really enjoy the challenge of taking an idea and then figuring out how to turn that idea into something tangible. These days I encourage fine art tool commissions, because I really enjoy them, a true reversal in attitude and focus. It is funny how the world works, what I once avoided, I now welcome :)
If you find yourself in search of the perfect tool, don't hesitate to reach out to me to see what we can come up with! It would be my pleasure.
I loved this article and how you explained your feelings regarding commission work. I had a bad experience on my first commission piece and never wanted to do another one after that. I am so stressed out if someone even mentions it to me…I just try to avoid that conversation. Every article I have read has been about how much the artist LOVES and wants commission work. I am happy for you that you have found a venue with your tools to enjoy commission work. It was just refreshing to me to see another artist put the words on paper that I have felt. I look forward to meeting you at Chris’s for the Pinterest class.