Flakey Clients

This post is more of an emotional response to flakey clients and things to think about in the future, but for more in depth information on what exactly to do (contracts, payment due dates, fees, etc) there's some good articles here and here

How do we as artists deal with flakey clients? This is something I've been thinking about lately as I received an email this morning from a client who no longer wanted the custom listing they requested in my shop. Even though this was a relatively small case that did not inflict too much energy on my part, it still hurts to have to deal with clients that say one thing and do something completely different. 

Another case was a client who wanted a complete redesign of one of my paintings to be used as a logo. What they were requesting took hours of work, and through our communication I felt things were going fine. Upon completion and an agreed upon price, the client sort of backed out with which logo they wanted out of the multiple designs I made for them. I ended up with an email saying they would think about it, and never heard from them again.

Why is this so common in the art world? I completely understand having a vision and wanting the artist to create exactly that, but designing custom pieces takes time. Now, I've had far more wonderful clients than flakey, but the negativity and energy wasted with a project that doesn't work out is this: energy, time, and often money wasted. Artists already have to work overtime to make a decent wage and when you add wasted time and energy spent on a client who has no intentions of paying...that makes you feel defeated and have to work twice as hard to play catch-up.

Things I've learned. I've been far too trusting in the past, and part of that is that it's still hard for me to look at art from the business side. I often treat clients like they are my friends, and while there's nothing wrong with that necessarily, I was letting it blind me to the potential of this person not following through with their word. I can't make a living off other people's words so in the future I know now to ask for a portion upfront (I should of been doing this anyway). Often these are small projects and I guess I felt if I could get it done in a day and have their listing ready that the 50% upfront cost wasn't necessary, but the truth is a day wasted on a design I can't use for my own use is a day I could've spent painting something for an upcoming show, packing prints, working with another client, designing new works, etc. 

I guess I'm left with this, how do we even handle clients like this? Do we just ignore them and move on or do we say something? When I realize a project isn't going to work out I typically don't get angry, but rather feel sad as if it's my fault, and maybe sometimes it is my fault...I try to be as upfront as possible to clients on what I can do with their vision and how much that will cost, but sometimes I wonder if there's something more I could've done or if this is common for them. I wonder though if it is common for them, do they not realize their actions? Do they message 10 artists and have them all working on the same project and only pay the one they like the most or the one that's the cheapest? This is all so foreign to me that I don't know what to think because my inclination has always been to trust people when they reach out for a project. 

I think for future clients my intentions will remain the same to treat each project with the time and energy it needs, but set up a system that protects myself incase things don't work out. It's completely fair to ask a client to pay 50% upfront and explain to them that this is for the time it will take to make their vision come to life. Price things accordingly, and add different pricing structures if they choose to change the design along the way. If things don't work out, you at least get paid for your work. That's how it should be right?! It's crazy to think otherwise. 

Uterus

One of my favorite paintings I've made recently is this floral uterus piece from early March. I wanted to use flowers that enhanced the natural look of a real uterus with an iris as the womb and vagina, and Queen Anne's lace as the ovaries. I love this piece so much and during my research for floral inspiration I ended up with so many amazing reference photos that I hope to paint a few more variations of this. Hope you all love! I have the original painting on display at Current Studio for their Nasty Women exhibit and you can find prints in my etsy shop here

Life Lately - New Home

Since it's been so long since a life lately post, I wanted to make a general update from the past year or so. I may make future posts that go back with more details, but for now, something simple.

In 2015 Micah and I decided to move back to Oklahoma. OKC was calling and we definitely felt it was where we were supposed to be. Luckily we still feel that way ;)

For a year we lived in a really awesome condo that I could never ever afford without having a roommate, which happened to be my sweet brother-in-law. If you follow me on Instagram you might remember all the insane sunrises from that place. I really miss that.

This past autumn we took the plunge and bought our first home. It's in a woodsy neighborhood in OKC thats close to some of our favorite places. We love it here so much, and I know Rina does too. We have an enclosed patio that I call the "catio" that she essentially lives in now (she wishes). 

Right now I'm still in the process of converting the formal dining room to my studio space. This is the most space I've had dedicated to art stuff only, and I feel overwhelmed sometimes that I even get to do this for a living. I'll post more once I get more paintings hung and organized. 

I've also recently given my website a little facelift and added a list of all the retailers who carry my artwork in their shops. That's all for now, much love! 

CELESTIAL Show - DNA Galleries

Posting this almost two years after the fact, but I wanted to make a post about a show I did back in December of 2015 at one of my favorite galleries in Oklahoma City. I've been selling prints at DNA Galleries for years now and when they asked me to show work in their gallery space I was super excited to participate. 

Some Q's and A's from DNA:

What is your medium/process? 

I paint multiple thin layers of oil paint on wood. There’s a mix of reference photos and freestyle painting. I never really know how something is going to turn out, and I think that’s essential for me when I paint.

Rosette Nebula, oil on board, 2015

Rosette Nebula, oil on board, 2015

Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and graduated from Oklahoma State University. After college, I moved to Texas and lived in Galveston and Austin. I recently moved back to OKC this past summer.

Anaitisa, oil on board, 2015

Anaitisa, oil on board, 2015

How would you describe your latest body of work? 

“Celestial” is a series that focuses on fictional deities that rule other worlds and galaxies. Their names are reminiscent of Greek, Celtic, Persian, and Egyptian goddesses. I wanted to create divine beings that could either be ancient or futuristic.

Nephthysus, oil on board, 2015

Nephthysus, oil on board, 2015

What inspires you?

I’m very much inspired by nature, anatomy, and astronomy. I feel they are very much full of life and full of death. It’s intriguing and beautiful.

Lumina, oil on board, 2015

Lumina, oil on board, 2015

How did you get started?

Like most people, I started painting as a kid. In pre-school, my teacher called my mom to tell her she was worried because I refused to draw stick figures. My mom later told me that I came home that day complaining because “people don’t look like sticks!” I hadn’t yet figured out how to draw a human body. I’ve been infatuated with painting and drawing ever since.

Orion Nebula, oil on board, 2015

Orion Nebula, oil on board, 2015

What are your goals for the future?

I’d love to create life-size round panels of galaxies that invoke an immersive view of space. I’d also love to create a conceptual interpretation of my “Floral Anatomy” series by creating a garden inside of a gallery made completely of flowers and bones.

What advice do you have to artists?

If you put in the time, love, and energy, you will see results. That doesn’t mean every piece will be amazing, but you always have to keep at it to grow as an artist. Try not to put so much stress on yourself and just play around and have fun with your work. Experiment!

Gem Show

So excited to post some images from a recent show I had at The Social Club in Norman, Oklahoma. I was their featured artist for November and I decided to display all the little gem paintings I've been working on from the past year. I've always loved working on a small scale and this was a perfect way to show off my "rock collection". 

I loved the idea of displaying them in an almost scientific format with the thick cradled wood acting as a boxed illusion of the specimen. Added with the fact that they are tiny, it just seemed to go hand in hand. I'm also incredibly fond of rainbows and it just seemed the most natural way to display these little paintings I love so much.

You can shop originals and prints here

Here are some photos of the show as well as a few favorites of mine!

Pink Diamond, oil on board, Trisha Thompson Adams 2016

Pink Diamond, oil on board, Trisha Thompson Adams 2016

One of my favorites, and also took soooo long to paint. I think I'll keep him. 

One of my favorites, and also took soooo long to paint. I think I'll keep him. 

Rhodochrosite, oil on board, Trisha Thompson Adams 2016

Rhodochrosite, oil on board, Trisha Thompson Adams 2016

A few in progress shots...

amethyst studio.jpg