Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Art As A Service
What's the point of artwork, anyway? Artists seem to paint because they "have" to -- it's hard to explain that right-brain shift that happens when you just sit and work. I know there are times when I'll have to all but drag myself to work, but once I get going you might have to drag me away! There must be some kind of endorphin rush involved, because it seems to leave that same sense of contentment I get after I ride or work out. You never could have told me as a horse-crazy kid that there would be days I would have to talk myself into riding, but they happen. Only on rare occassions do I not get off a horse in a better mood than when I started (though I believe I did relate one such day in an earlier post!).
So on the one hand, creating artwork can seem almost like a selfish thing. When doing work "on spec" (as opposed to commission work) we have to paint what makes us happy, because trying to figure out what appeals to the art-buying public is futile! Commission work, on the other hand, does seem to allow us to provide a very specific service, and is where many domestic animal artists make their living. Commissions put money in your hand, no speculation. And it's one job where making the client cry means you did a good job!
I currently have a few commissions on the go. Often I keep these quiet until they have been delivered, as they may be surprise gifts for special events. I was finishing one of those up tonight! I will post one, however, that isn't a surprise, though it was done as a Christmas gift. This is Winter, owned by one of my old dog training friends. Kate and I got into competitive obedience at about the same time...fifteen years ago now! I'm feeling kind of old all of a sudden...must be time for bed!