The second most common question I get about my art is “Where do you get your influences from when creating your art?” Well, as you might guess from the title of this post, that won’t be a question answered  today (although I do believe I’ve touched upon it in my artist statement).

The question everyone asks me more than anything else is some variation of “Do you do commissions?” To answer succinctly; kinda?

Looking through my art, you’re going to see some portraits. Most of them, I’ve done of my own volition, but a few of ’em, I’ve done because people have asked me to. So why do I, when someone asks me if I do portraits, always (well, at least 90% of the time) say no? Honestly, because I really don’t like doing them, except for the times when I do like doing them.

I guess it’s the artistic side of me that really doesn’t like being told exactly what to do when it comes to my art (being told what to do in fine when it comes to my graphic design business). I don’t like the constraint of “well, this portrait should actually LOOK like the person I’m painting.” In my eye, it rarely comes out quite as well as I’d like. Something always seems off in some way (interestingly enough, my portraits tend to look better printed out on canvas and framed than they do on screen. Don’t know why that is). They look kinda like who they’re supposed to, but not properly like who they’re supposed to. And to most people (including the portrait subject), the pieces do look like the subject , but to me, I always see the flaws.

When I do do portraits, there’s usually something about the subject, something aesthetically interesting that I see and say to myself “oh, that’s cool.” It could be anything, like how the light plays against a cheekbone, or the texture of stretch marks on the swell of a breast, or just a particular pose the person has at that moment. When there’s something that I want to experiment with, and (this is important), there’s no pressure. I know people might say “Oh, I trust you; I know you can do a good job,” but the internal pressure can be too uncomfortable.

The other times I do portraits, it’s because that person is really close to me, and I do it as a gift. So, if I’ve ever done one of you, make sure you cherish that mofo.

So, does that mean I will never do portraits or commissions again? Nah. There are going to be times when I do feel like tackling them, and I ever so briefly open myself to doing them. That usually lasts for approximately one commission, or possibly two before I get bored or irritated, or flustered under the pressure. So there’s a chance. A Trump hands sized chance, but a chance nonetheless.

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