A bad experience with a commission

I got caught in a tangle of intrigues, of hinted devastating illness and poverty, and when I realized the pull on the heartstrings was likely a ploy to get a reduced price, I refused to sell it. I was so incensed with the fabrications and the name calling mud-slinging when I called this person out, I said I would shred the painting. I was given what amounted to an honorarium, which was ostensibly the payment and honestly, so way-below-minimum-wage it was almost a 'bleep' and then told to keep the money since they didn't care about it. A bad experience.

In the invoice I sent to the client detailing the actual amount given, along with a high resolution .tif file, I made it clear that I had rights to use the lower resolution .jpeg image to promote my work on my website and in social media.

What I learned was to never drop your asking price on compassionate grounds. You don't know a person's true life situation.

And, sometimes, for wealthy people, money is a game. How big a deal can you get - it's fun for them.

My friends, some of whom sell their art, or offer other services like Reiki, or tarot readings, have all said you set a price and it is the same for everyone, no exceptions. They charge their friends the same price they charge their clients.

A lesson learnt. I am very grateful I did not sell the painting for the amount of money I was sent, and was able to say no to a larger commission that I had already begun to get caught on again.

The enquiry for the larger commissioned portrait and its cost was agreed on, and then they slipped in the spouse, the extra person. It was done so skillfully that I barely noticed.

Two people are two entirely different skin tones, two whole sets of preparatory drawings, two different palettes! It is twice the work! The curator at a gallery where I had a solo show some years ago told me I had to double, or nearly double my price for painting a couple.

I know that. How'd I get glamoured (hypnotized)?

This experience, of course, changes me.

Now, there is sympathy, certainly, deep empathy if the situation is difficult, but no 'deals,' no price drops. It's sad to come to this - but one bad experience does it.

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