A gentleman contacted me last week because he was interested in portraits of his three kids. This was unusual because normally it’s the moms who reach out to me. But every once in a while I’ll get a commission from the dad.
Thayne and his wife Anne live in a beautiful home in the Shady Grove area with their three children: Lillian and twins Matthew and Mitchell. The family recently moved into a new home and were in the middle of renovations when I met them.
Thayne and Anne seemed very much in love, and they shared with me the story of their relationship. Thayne said that whenever he gets asked what he wants for Christmas, he always responds that he wants good memories and a means to keep them. His recent birthday gave him time to reflect on his "three bundles of chaos" and how they've all changed.
Thayne has an avid interest in art and is a Caroll Cloar collector. During our time together, I met the twins and took a tour of the house. The room I loved the most was Lillian's It was the perfect little girls room: pink with butterflies, flowers, tea sets, and ballerinas. I could tell how much Anne and Thayne love their children by the care they took to create a beautiful environment for them.
Throughout the consultation, Thayne kept telling me what a relief it is to meet an artist who is a business person.
From my experience as an artist and entrepreneur, I know that most people don’t expect artists to be professionals. For instance, I have a friend who waited eight years for a portrait because of the artists lack of professionalism. Most artists have no idea how to run a business. They just don’t teach you this stuff in art school.
So I get why he was surprised by my professionalism. I have immense respect for my collectors and I work to make the commission process as clear and easy as possible. I meet my deadlines and I’m clear about my terms and boundaries. I don’t discount my portraits out of respect for my collectors who pay full price. And as Thayne said, it’s not like I’m just sitting around with a paint brush in my hand waiting for a commission. That's why I encourage serious collectors to book their portraits in advance.
And I won’t paint dogs, so don’t ask:)