While I still feel new to painting, I am definately new to commissions. But I've done them! If you look at the two images above, you will see some work I did for a client. We met at an artwalk around Christmastime. When my client saw my work, she immediately thought of a gift she wanted to give a friend of hers that had two paintings that she loved, Blue Boy and Pinky. I pulled out my cellphone and showed her my previous work on Blue Boy (my first sale!). She said she'd get back to me after the new year and she was good to her word.
It turns out that her friend is not only a fan of these two paintings but is also a big trekie. My client found some great paint by numbers versions of both of the paintings for me to start with. Her idea was to take Blue Boy and add piles of tribbles to the painting and then take Pinkie and add in Gorn, a lizard man who famously fought Captain Kirk in the mountains of California.
Below I have some of my process photos from the project. As I moved along, we decided to change some things to make the pieces more Star Trek-y.
For Blue Boy, we wanted to make his costume look a little more like the smock Kirk wears in the tribble episode (it isn't his usual uniform and fans take notice to these things). So I had to give Blue Boy a neck, redesign his shirt, and give him a starfleet badge on his outfit.
As for pinkie, we wanted Gorn and pinkie to look as if the two were posing for a prom picture.
When I was done making Gorn, both the client and I weren't satisfied as the painting felt off balance. I suggested adding the iconic cliff that Gorn and Kirk fought on in California to add as a new backdrop. She loved it showing me a picture of her and her friend reinacting the fight at the spot out in Cali.
Adding the rock in the background really finished the piece. My client was happy with the work. The last part I had to do was fix her frames. The frames they came in were falling apart at the seams (literally). Since part of my process in creating my altered thrift store paintings includes framing them, it was no problem to get out my trusty framing tools to fix the frames (I was a framer in a past life. One of my favorite jobs). When all was said and done, I was happy with the products I created and the process of working with a client.
So remember, feel free to contact me if you have a commission in mind. I'm happy to work with you to create a vision from something you find in a garage sale, thrift store, or your mom's house!
Ben J Hutchison
I am an aspiring children's book writer and illustrator.