Drawing by Karen Sperling.
I handed in this sketch to a new client for a new commissioned painting for a TV cover today. Not surprisingly, the client loved it. That may sound like incredible hubris on my part, but it's not, it's a testament to the client's ability to communicate what he would like.
The client had apologized for his specific requirements for the painting. But instead of taking offense at his direction, I welcomed it. I knew it would be a lot easier to submit something he liked than it is for someone who is vague and not sure of what he or she is looking for in a commissioned painting. And sure enough he liked this first draft and now I go to the next step. painting the painting.
So clients and photographers commissioning portraits: be specific about what you have in mind so that the artist might provide you with what you seek, and artists and photographers: be sure to try to encourage your clients to specify what they would like to see. Communicating up front will lead to a smooth-running project throughout.