What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
When it comes to painting, I assume people have seen my style before entering into an agreement to produce work. That said, art is subjective, and I forgo any upfront payments, create a painting I am happy with, and present an image to my client. If the client approves of the work, we move forward with the transaction. If not, I either repaint the commission, or parts ways with the client, no hard feelings.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
For the past 15 years, I have worked as a graphic designer for a multibillion dollar advertising giant, with a three-year hiatus to do the same at the National Hockey League. The challenges I've encountered over that span have informed my work across the board, from composition and aesthetic down to the logistics of cost and production.
Prior to "real world" experience, I studied art and art history, graduating Magna Cum Laude form Providence College.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I grew bored with a reliance on technology to design and create, so I went back to my roots, and picked up a pencil, then a pen, then a brush. Sketching and painting was cathartic at first, and a nice financial endeavor second.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I mostly work one-on-one for artistic projects; someone looking for a unique birthday, wedding or holiday gift, but I also have executed a handful of larger commissions, such as ten Muppet portraits for a pediatrics office in Miami.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Painting ten iconic Muppets acrylicly (not a word, I know) for a pediatrics office was a fun challenge. I pressured myself into a tight turnaround time, which forced me to get moving. In under eight weeks, I had captured the essence of these beloved characters, leaving my clients elated at the result, all while juggling a full time job and the parenting duties that come with having a 3-year-old daddy's girl.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
When it comes to fine art, study the work of people you're looking to work with. Get a feel for their styles. It's never foolproof that you will love a custom piece of art, but your chances go up considerably if you make yourself familiar with your artist's work.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Think about the cost of incidentals: materials, shipping, and most importantly, time. A professional values his/her time, so be decisive in what you expect.