Over the years I have had a steady stream of commissions - sometimes by word of mouth, sometimes people who have seen my work at art fairs or in galleries, and sometimes people who have found my work online - and, with few exceptions, clients have commissioned a painting or paintings to commemorate a special life event, the beginning or ending of an era, the arrival of a new family member, even occasionally the death of a family member. Commissions often involve children, or are for children or grandchildren; or they are gifts to loved ones, partners, grown up children. Marriages, births, anniversaries, changes, like I said, even death - I am honoured to be asked to create a piece of art that acts as a dedication to these events, an expression of the love and tenderness families feel towards one another. The journey from initial contact to realising my clients' vision or ideas can sometimes be difficult, sometimes almost effortless to traverse; whether it is challenging or straightforward, it is always fascinating and rewarding and I have yet to experience a negative process. I always aim to establish a genuine rapport with my clients, so that I can get a real feel for what they want me to create for them. Often I get to know family members through the sharing of photos - on occasions I have used photographs of children to achieve a 'likeness' so that children can recognise themselves in their painting. Often small details are included, favourite soft toys (rabbits, monkeys...), references to past experiences that have meaning for the client and/or recipient of the painting.
A recent commission was a Christening present for twin girls; my remit was to create something that would be loved both by the little girls as well as the women they will grow into. The paintings will accompany their childhood and go with them into their adult homes, acting both as a link to their childhood home and family, and their twin. The beauty of this idea still gives me shivers; I was so thrilled to be asked to do this. See below in the "testimonials" section for comments from the client of this particular commission.
Typical process for commissioning artwork: I am often asked, "what is involved in commissioning a painting?" It's very straightforward: I do my best to find out what the client has in mind - this can be anything from totally unstructured (where the client has a budget and an idea of the size and perhaps the colours of a painting, but leaves almost complete artistic freedom to me) to highly developed ideas of what they want - and through the exchange of ideas and sketches back and forth, a composition will be agreed upon (or not, in the case of the totally unstructured commission), as will a colour scheme, size and orientation (as clients often have an idea of where they want to hang a painting), and I will give a basic time frame for completion of the work. I ask for 25% non-refundable deposit before beginning on the art work itself, and the remaining 75% is paid on completion of the work, once the client is happy with the finished piece. I include the cost of shipping and insurance in my initial quote.
Testimonials: "Thank you so, so much for creating this for me. Words cannot really express what it means. I'm just so so thankful you've helped us share Pete's story a little bit more." Kirsty Strang, December 2016 (recipient of the commission as a gift from her mother, Carol)
"It is very beautiful, Lucy and your empathy and creative connection to my family's story shines through for me. Kirsty loves it and "Old Souls on Their Journeys" feels right to me, if it does to you. Thank you for giving us such a beautiful, sensitive and magical painting." Carol Strang, December 2016
"Lucy these are absolutely perfect!!! We are more than happy with them - thank you so much! You have been a joy to work with Lucy - thank you for your consultative approach and for bearing with us to help us achieve the outcome that we are so happy with." Cindy Diaper, Ava and Erin's grandmother who commissioned the Christening gift for her granddaughters. June 2015
"Absolutely GORGEOUS! Amazing! Thank you, wow, look forward to seeing more being revealed as it comes ready. Now I'm off to look at it again! Thanks so much, C" Caroline Gray January 2015
"The painting is absolutely perfect. We are all really happy with it (big thumbs up from Sarah). It was really nice seeing it in the flesh to-day. We look forward to taking delivery of it. Thanks Lucy." Alice MacCallum February 2015