A few years ago, my bff Shannon and I used to hang out in my studio and just play with paint, creating whatever we wanted – all day.
I didn’t restrict myself, or try to make it perfect. I didn’t worry about what anyone else thought about anything I created, I just played. The paint and brushes were the Rollercoasters, and the canvas was an amazing amusement park. Words cannot express how much I loved this.
Actually, words cannot express how much I love this (present tense), on the rare occasion that I allow myself to do it. Playing with paint is my favorite thing to do, hands down.
But, I’ve been under the gun lately, doing Christmas commissions. Don’t get me wrong, commissions are great. I love painting anything, and when I’m hired to do a commission, it’s guaranteed money (so I can buy more paint).
Therein lies the problem. The money tempts me into taking a lot of commissions. While they’re wonderful, commissions are definitely not w what I would choose to do. If I knew I could make the same money just playing a and creating for me, that’s what I would do.
I’m not guaranteed money when I play and create just for me, but I am guaranteed an absolute bliss that I don’t get from anything else. I believe that compensation for investing my time and my heart and soul, it’s about more than just money. I’d rather make less money and have more joy, than more money and feel unfulfilled.
It’s taking some real guts for me to say this, and there is no reason to be gentle about it: after Christmas I will be very choosy about the commissions I take on. I truly appreciate all business that comes my way, but my heart is pulling me so strongly to play.
The commissions I choose to take on will have to meet the following criteria:
- I have 100% creative control. This is most important to me. I will maintain the integrity of the photo and the main idea/concept behind what I’m being hired to paint, however, the design, colors etc. are my choice.
- I will no longer work under a time constraint. I give 100% my best to every commission, and that cannot be rushed. It’s not only very stressful for me, but it’s also impossible to produce my best work under a time limit.
- I prefer to be able to sell reproductions. I will accept some commissions that I will not be able to sell reproductions of, but the price will be different.
I have to follow my heart, and this is what it’s telling me. I wish you all the very best holidays!