Attack it head on

Back in December, I ran a Deep Thought Thursday about how to satisfy an unreasonable client who has hired you for a commissioned piece of art. I presented a particular situation (which you need to read about to understand this post) and many alert readers helped an artist address this problem.

Later, I received this email from the artist with the unreasonable (?) client. She wrote.

I just wanted to update you and everyone that offered ideas and support with my 2-year-old commission. I met with [the client] several days ago and he asked me how I liked the finished piece. I told him it was perfect and that there was nothing more I could do with it. He said “ok” and thanked me. And that was it.

I think reading some of the comments really helped give me the confidence I needed to talk with him.

Melanie Millar

Melanie Millar, Line of Beauty No. 9. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. ©The Artist

The Lessons?

1. Worrying about something too much or for too long tends to make it a bigger problem than it is. Attack it head on!

2. There’s a lot of powerful energy in a group–even a bunch of artists that you run into on a blog. When you encounter a bump in the road, hearing about others’ experiences makes you feel connected and not quite so alone. You know that you’re not the only one who has ever been in this situation.

If you need some group dynamics in a more structured format, think about joining my Cultivate Collectors for Your Art class. We’ll be focusing on starting and expanding mailing lists while paying close attention to the special people who purchase the most from you. It all starts tomorrow (February 3)!

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5 comments to Attack it head on

  • Such a great point – worrying and worrying and worrying some more – always seems to make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. I think we all want to do the best work we can. We want to like it, we want the client to like it – and maybe that’s a little intimidating? We have to remember they are (just) people, too. We both want the best from the work. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Then do what needs to be done – have the talk. Go for it! Maybe you trip a little, maybe fall down. Whatever! Stumbling happens to everyone at some time. Just keep at it. Laughing helps. (maybe not hysterically)

  • Oh, yes, can’t we over-think things. The power of the group, the support for the artist, these are all great things to boost confidence. The good news about this difficult client situation is that it can be a push to reach even higher than we normally would do.

  • Jennifer: You make me laugh–in a good way. Of course, meeting you in person helps me understand the tone of this.

    Lori: Good point. We grow as artists and people when we run into adversity.

  • The good news about this difficult client situation is that it can be a push to reach even higher than we normally would do.

  • This is such a great post, Alyson… so many times these dangling commissions, projects and promises (to yourself and others) sap essential energies. Just getting it done is very healing!