Nicola Porter Blog

Frustrations

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Hi guys,

Just a general update as I’ve not posted for a few weeks. If you’ve been waiting, I am sorry, no excuses, I simply forgot. I’m terrible.

I have been spending a lot of that time stressing myself out and worrying about ways to make a living with my art because at the minute I’m not even making enough to pay for supplies. I have come up with a couple of ideas but they will both need an initial outlay of cash that I don’t have.

It can be very frustrating trying to find the balance between creating art that I love and creating art that will make money. I don’t want to feel like a sell out – that would probably feel just as depressing as not creating art at all.

Times are hard right now, money is tight for most people and art is after all a luxury product. I get that; I understand that most people don’t have the budget for luxury items at the moment; I understand that I’m going to need more strings to my bow in order to pay the bills.

What I don’t really understand are the times when I’m approached by a client who wants to commission me to do certain piece and they tell me that they do not care how much it costs, they will pay whatever price I decide.  Then when they find out how much I’m going to charge they tell me they cant afford it.

Oh it’s so frustrating. It’s happened to me twice now and maybe you’re thinking that I charge too much in general.  But let me explain:

The first time this happened, the piece was large (about 3 by 2 feet) with a lot of detail. I asked for £250 and the client was horrified. Even though they had already told me that money was no object, they didn’t understand that it took me more that 100 hours to complete so I was charging less than £2.50 an hour. Unfortunately for me, I had already finished the work before she told me she couldn’t afford it. I ended taking less for it.

The second time it happened I was a little luckier in that I had only just started on the background when the client changed his mind. That time I took the blame for what happened, I should have learned from previous experience.

It is very upsetting though and both times I almost gave up art altogether.  So now I have to charge a non-refundable deposit of up to 50%.

Oops, sorry I got off track there a bit. Rambling on about my frustrations when this was just going to be a quick update.

On the drawing board at the minute is this little kestrel.

kestrel-WIP

I’ve been wanting to do a bird of prey for a long time and I have loads and loads of photo’s to choose from. The awesome Ian is a big fan of flying displays and hawking experiences so we’ve been to a few really good ones over the years. This picture is from a photo of the kestrel sitting on Ian’s head.   The background took me ages as it kept going wrong – I’m still trying to get used to sanded paper. I am loving it for the details though. having said that, I'm only half way through the first layer of feathers :-)

I’ve not worked on it for a week or so; we had the rest of our summer holidays from work. There was a wedding to go to at the weekend. Then we just generally played a lot then later in the week we took the chance to visit my Mum and her boyfriend for a lovely couple of days and caught up with my brother and his family for a couple of hours too.

I do think though that often, the hardest part of taking time off work is settling back to ‘the real world’ and getting back into a routine. This morning is the first day back and I think I’ve spent more time trying to decide what to do than actually doing anything. Then I remembered that Monday was supposed to be blog day.

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