As an artist and interior designer, I am often asked about creating a custom art piece for a client. These commissions can range from a pet or house portrait to a painting that captures a special memory~ and everything in between. I accept almost any request as long as I have a clear photo or description that I can paint from.
Typically the process works this way:
- Initial consultation: we discuss the type of artwork you’re looking for, including size, subject, and medium. I love hearing the background story, it really helps me to connect to the artwork and the client.
- Supporting materials: I typically work from a photograph given to me by the client. However sometimes a vivid, detailed description will do the trick. Other times someone requests a new painting that is similar to one of my previous paintings.
- Progress report: we check in and I share my progress including preliminary sketches and/or watercolors if applicable
- Completion: Hurray, your custom artwork is delivered!
Regarding pricing, there are several variables that affect the price of a custom painting or art piece including size and complexity of the subject matter. I am happy to give pricing information once we discuss your custom art piece during the initial consultation.
My very first commission came about 5 years ago when a dear friend and client asked me to do two paintings, one for each of her sisters-in-law. One painting was of a home the family had lived in in Spain and the other painting was of an Italian street scene ~ complete with an awning that had the name of a restaurant they had all shared a meal at.
I can remember feeling a little nervous because these were to be given as Christmas gifts and I certainly didn’t want to disappoint my client and be the cause of a possible family rift. Oh the pressure! Luckily everyone was thrilled and family peace was maintained ~ phew!
All kidding aside, a custom painting can commemorate an occasion (I am working on a college campus scene for a new graduate as I write this) or be given as a special gift, birthday or otherwise. I love collaborating with the client so they have a real connection to the painting as well.
One example of this connection is a commission I did last year for a dear friend and very talented interior designer, Michelle Cortizo. She was working on a project in New York City for a childhood friend, the theme was Paris and Michelle created a very sophisticated space for this special client. She wanted to include original art and she thought of me (lucky me). Michelle told me she remembered playing dress-up as a young child with this friend and her Mom’s clothes and shoes. Unfortunately, there was no photo to work with however her memory was vivid. Michelle was able to describe to me the “bell bottomed jumpsuit” complete with gold coins at the bottom perfectly, as well as all of the other details.
My process for this project was to research young girls posing in their Mom’s shoes and then doing a watercolor sketch for Michelle’s review. The first watercolor was not playful enough for Michelle so I started again. The next painting was perfect. Yipee!
Before I delivered the finished painting to Michelle to present to her friend, I had a giclée (a high quality photo print) made for her as a gift. She was thrilled and I was ecstatic that she was so happy!
I paint a lot of shoes, gowns, and fashionistas. I adore painting fashion, because I just love clothes. I would not only be too modest for a nudist colony but I would be soooo sad I couldn’t wear my beloved ensembles 😉 . My gown paintings in particular have proven to be quite popular.
Recently I had two interior designers whom both loved one of my gown paintings. One designer requested a custom gown in shades of gray, which was a fun challenge for me ~ a bit more sophisticated palette than I typically paint my gowns with. I mailed the completed painting off to Canada and the designer loved it so much she kept it for herself. My dear friends in Atlanta, Kelly and Joann of Kandrac-Kole Interiors loved it, so I painted a gown for them to use in a fabulous project they were working on in Chicago. I added just a hint more peach and pink to complement their design. Special note: this project was recently published in Atlanta Homes magazine(!) ~ take a peek at a few of the spaces on their website. Congrats Kelly & Joann!
I just adore painting and to create something for a special person gives me so much pleasure.
The next time you’re searching for an extra special gift or the perfect painting to include in an interior design, I would love for you to consider having me create an original, custom piece of art just for you or your project. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to the ball, or in this case the paintbrushes, rolling!