Fine art is great and all, but I don’t want more “stuff” cluttering up my house.

In a world where virtually everything is disposable (dishes, clothes, even some electronics), fine art has become an affordable way to add a sense of permanence, and maybe even stability, to your life. Fine art pieces, especially the ones you order yourself, can hold more value and peace of mind as a room full of “stuff” that will likely end up in a garage sale or donate pile anyway.

Okay, so a painting or two might be nice. But I can’t afford it.

Fine art needn’t be expensive to hold value. I believe the value in a piece of art is in the story behind its subject matter and its creation; the number on the price tag is moot. Not to dismiss the cost, of course. That’s a perfectly legitimate concern when considering buying art. Make sure to discuss this when we talk business. Be candid and honest. A good artist will not judge you or try to up-sell you on something you aren’t ready to buy. I’m not in the art biz for the money. My goal is to get quality art that you value in your home without breaking your wallet. If $75 is the absolute top-dollar you can afford, then tell me and we can talk about how realistic that number is. Naturally, if you want a 4′ by 7′ landscape painting, then $75 is impossible as I can’t even get the canvas for that price and I’ll respectfully tell you this is unrealistic. But if you are open to suggestions, you might be surprised at what $75 or even $50 could get you!

Are framing, delivery, and installation included in the price?

Every commission you order will come with a Commission Contract which outlines what your order includes. If we discussed including framing, then the contract will state as much. Generally, I include delivery to local destinations as a service, but I don’t include installation for insurance reasons.

Do you do on-site consultations? 

Depending on the location, yes. I’m based out of Spokane Valley, Washington, so I can do within about a 30-mile radius of that area without a fee. Anything farther than that will be for a fee which varies depending on the distance.

Are taxes included? What if my order qualifies for tax exemptions?

Since my business is based in Spokane Valley, Washington, all orders include an 8.8% sales tax, and will be reflected in your invoice when your order is complete. Contact me directly regarding tax exemption questions.

Okay, so I’d like to order a piece. How do we start?

We could do this a few different ways. You could choose a picture you already love and send it to me digitally. I avoid hard copies because I don’t want to be responsible for losing an irreplaceable photograph that obviously holds sentimental value. Or you could choose a subject matter such as poinsettias, a melting ice cream cone, or specific animal, and I choose the image for reference. Once I’ve chosen the image, I’ll go over my vision for the finished piece with you and give you an idea of when delivery might be expected.

I’d like a piece, but I need ideas for what to order. Suggestions?

This is the hardest part of this whole process. Some of the most popular orders in the past have been portraits of beloved family pets. Some have ordered images of vacation destinations or even whimsical illustrations.

One of my favorite pieces I did was for a family-friend, Jim, several years ago for his 70th birthday. He is a major Beatles fan and an old-school classic rocker, so I did a 3′ scene in acrylic and watercolor from Yellow Submarine. It had a dozen or so characters from the film, including the Glove, a few Blue Meanies, the Nowhere Man (Jeremy Hilary Boob, PhD), among others. The Fab Four were central in the picture being lead by a fifth member of the band in Jim’s likeness. Naturally, he loved it, and I was pretty proud of it.

Can you make something by seeing it in person, or do you need a photo?

I prefer a photo. Digital is ideal, mainly because I don’t want to be responsible for losing/damaging the only hard copy of a sentimental photograph that might be impossible to replace.

How do I choose a picture I want made into art? 

So you’d like some art! Yay! This next step is often the most stressful for buyers. Choosing a reference image (meaning a picture of the thing you want me to paint) can be deceptively daunting. Below are some examples of images with descriptions as to why they would be either good or not-so-good choices for reference images:

The image has beautiful light and dark spaces and a nice mix of colors. This is a great candidate for a piece of fine art!

 

While the wine is undoubtedly delicious, the image is devoid of anything really interesting to look at or talk about. No table, scenery, not even a light source. This image would not be a great candidate for a reference image; unless, of course, you are totally committed to an image like this.

 

Ah, now this one is a bit better. There’s clearly light shining from the left side of the image and even casting a lovely shadow on the wine cask behind the bottle. The richness of the grapes and the texture of the wood wall behind it give a nice, clear sense that this wine is tempting! This is a good candidate for a reference image!

What are the types of art can you make?

In the art world, we’d call this “style.” Some styles I can do include realism, surrealism, collage, mixed media, color blocking, and line art. Others I do not prefer for commissions are graphic novel-type or similar illustrations, abstract, watercolor, hyperrealism, or any of the “old masters” style of art. Think Van Gough, Matisse, Picaso, etc. I loves these styles, but I’m more confident exploring these styles in my spare time for myself rather than for clients.

If you’re not sure if the style you need is within my repertoire, send me reference images and we can talk about it.

Do you only paint on canvas? Or can you paint on other things like wood, fabric, or doors?

It largely depends on the size of the project and the timeline. We can discuss it in a consultation.

How long until I get my order?

That depends on the size, what is in the image, and the medium. For example, a 11″ by 14″ acrylic pet portrait might take only one or two weeks while a 40″ by 50″ oil landscape of a city scape may take several months. If you need something sooner, let me know and we can work around a deadline; just be aware that rush orders will cost extra.

It says in my Commission Contract that I have to make a 50% down payment. Why do I have to pay up front for something I don’t even know if I like yet?

The down payment serves a few different purposes:

1. The amount goes towards buying the canvas and other supplies so I can get your order started without going in the red.

2. It keeps you just as invested in the piece as I am. Too often have artists begin orders without a down payment and the customer has disappeared, leaving the artist in the hole for supplies and time for a project that might be impossible to sell to anyone but the client who ordered it.

3. It keeps me accountable to you. I work best with deadlines. The Commission Contract and the 50% down payment keeps me balanced between the artist mindset and business mindset.

I have my finished piece and I don’t like it. Now what?!

This is something every artist dreads both on a professional and personal level, but it happens. You’ll see in your Commission Contract that if you are unsatisfied with your order you are not obligated to pay the remaining balance, but you also forfeit the order back to me. That way my time and skillset as a professional are respected and you are not forced to pay full price for something you do not value. Is it a gamble? Yes; but know that I’m gambling with my time and skills just as you are gambling with your down payment. I try to hedge this risk by being as open and clear with what I am able to create for you so there are no surprises or disappointments come delivery.

Telling an artist you’re not satisfied with your order can be very difficult, especially if you’re fearful of hurting feelings. So if this is the case with an order you’ve placed with me, you can say something like, “It’s not quite what I had pictured,” “I’m not sure this will match the space I had in mind,” or “It just doesn’t strike me like other pieces I’ve seen” or something of that nature. Or if it’s in your nature to say, “I don’t like it,” that’s fine as well. I’m a professional after all. I can take it gracefully. 😉

I’m still not sure…

If you’re still wondering if ordering fine art is meant for you, you are always welcome to call, text, or email me with questions, or even just to think out loud.

If you have any other questions, please contact me. My whole jam with this business is meeting people like you and talking about what art resonates with you!