Monday, November 5, 2012

Commission Work

Sometimes I'm so thankful I don't work for anyone else. Despite being enthusiastic and upbeat about most things, I don't take orders well, and I'm sort of moody. So when I first started this company, it surprised everyone I knew that I wanted to take on commission illustration work. I've done a few very fun projects over the years, but really I prefer to do my own thing most of the time.

I'm talking with a class at MICA tonight on balancing fine art/studio work (paintings, that is) with a business life. I've been scouring the computer for a few images that might prove I have talked to other people besides craft fair attendees in the past 6 years, and branched the divide between the two worlds - and I keep laughing at the things I find. Some projects done for others have worked out great, and I'd do them all over again. Others weren't so easy to communicate about. One was never paid. Another, never published. Once there was a request for larger breasts. Once I was told I was "an unfortunate disappointment." Even with all the positive experiences I've had (like printing tshirts for my favorite bands, or doing funny assignments I never would have thought up), the negatives always got me down so much that I stopped pursuing commission illustration - and focused on doing my own thing in BOTH the studio and the printshop. Being a freelancer is really a difficult challenge, and I have so much respect for designers and illustrators who do this sort of thing full time and are able to capture the magical balance I'm supposed to be talking about tonight. Maybe the balance has more to do with emotion, in a way. Finding a time to make things personal, and a time to leave your feelings out of it completely. Which no one ever told ME in college!

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