When a client hires an artist many just feel that’s all they are getting. Some dude or dudette that can paint a picture for them. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
This morning I’m writing to you from a very dark and stormy Scotland. This subject has been on my heart for some time now, so from here we shall proceed.
When you hire me, you are going to get so much more:
My heart, imagination, 14-year experience, time and energies all go into each project and that’s before any painting begins. I also have times where I genuinely worry for clients or situations. This morning I have such concern regarding a client that my body feels like it’s boxed 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.
Some projects are wonderful and are a credit to the client. Others come from a mind that should be sealed in concrete and dumped in the North Sea. Still others come from people that are so aggressive its hard to comprehend. It’s a mixed bag that isn’t always evident when taking a commission on. This may surprise you but, in the last 14 years our business has seen most things from death threats, non-payers, verbal abusers, perfectionists, delusionists (people who are deluded as to what a subject really looks like as opposed to what they think it looks like – perception vs reality) nutters, weirdos and those who just change their mind for no reason.
I could go on but won’t. Over all the years that I have been running Art from the Heart one thing is apparent; the issue is very rarely with the art work or with me, it’s more about what’s going on in the client’s mind and life. That being said, it is never ok or acceptable to verbally or socially abuse someone. The laws are tightening up on this matter due to so much social media bullying that has led to fatalities over the last decade since social media became more popular.
The world needs creative minds. End of. Without them there would be no paintings, magazines, photoshoots, films, tv, signs, logos, colour or fun in the world. Many of us were made to be creative whether as an artist, musician, author, designer, speaker or actor. We have it in us to be creative. That is often how our character is shaped.
When you hire an artist such as me, I do my best to personally take care of each client. It’s my job to make sure that the painting or product that you order is something that you will love. Which is where reading the clients language comes into place. Part of my job is to assess, through the conversations that I have with each client, exactly what it is that they are searching for. For some this is easy, as they tell me straight out exactly what it is that they are searching for. For others it is a little more difficult and I have to assume the role as a mind reader (not literally, of course)!
In the past weeks, we (the team) have had to deal with very difficult situations. Each time that you see me on camera, I always have the smiley, encouraging and light-hearted presence about me. However, to say that these experiences have not taken a toll on me would be a lie. One in particular has by their own choice chosen to make things difficult and then try to convince themselves that we are the issue.
Running an online business is hard, it takes so much of your time and life to be successful, to learn to grow and to develop something which hopefully the audience will love. For us this business is a lifestyle. It is part of us, with many very late-night finishes and early morning starts.
Most of what we do I love, from film editing, music and painting to teaching. I’m sharing this with you today to give you an experience of just some of the things that we have encountered. Out of nearly 1000 paintings over 14 years, the majority has been wonderful and fun. However as usual in life it is easier to remember the hard times as those leave the deepest marks on me and stick out the most in my memory.
All this being said, we will continue, bad times don’t last, storms blow over and life moves on.
So, I hope that you have enjoyed this ‘behind the artist’ blog that gives some insight into just some of what our little business endures. It’s been a pleasure to use some of my time and energy to share with you my imagination.