I seem to get a lot of custom orders. While I like to try my best to make people happy, I am always nervous about it. Every time I do it, I always swear I am going to stop doing customs. But I like to give people what they want...or try, so I do it every time.
I only make one of a kind pieces and when someone orders a custom one of two things has happened. Either they have a brand new vision of something they would like me to create, or they want me to re-create a piece that has already sold. Sometimes with changes and sometimes as closely as I can.
When someone asks me to make something new that they have envisioned that's hard because I can't see inside their head and truly know what they are picturing. I do my best and usually people say they are happy with it, but I never know for sure. If I were to custom order something I would take it since I ordered it and not hurt the artist's feelings unless there was something truly, desperately wrong with it.
In the second instance I think it's even harder. When you create things with a face, no two are alike. They tend to turn out how they want despite the fact that I do the faces the same way every time. I also know what it's like to be on the other side of the fence and love an artist's work but have that one face speak to you more than all the rest. On this side of the fence, recreating a face is nearly impossible. There are so many tiny details that can change the look of the piece.
I just finished my second custom piece in a row this morning. My customer ordered a rabbit. They had seen one that I had done and sold a while back and wanted one like it. The first problem was that I had no idea what mohair I used for it. I don't know which company it came from, or which color it was. I think it was a piece I picked up at a show long ago. I am not even sure they still make it.
So I offered them a choice, close to the color or close to the finish. We went with close to the color. Now the piece I had that was close was off, and I had to over dye it a bit to match it up. That isn't a problem because I have a weird uncanny knack for mixing colors.
However my bunny looks NOTHING like the other one. In my opinion this one is much better and has a great deal more character. I really love it, I love it more than the first one. It's not my opinion that matters though. It's whether my customer likes it that concerns me. They had expectations and what I have produced isn't going to meet them. Maybe I will get lucky and they will like it better? Or maybe this bunny is meant to live elsewhere. We will soon find out. I will take pictures of it later and you will be able to see him then.
In the mean time I am going to bed!