Friday, October 13, 2023

Commissions - are they right for you?

Sanctuary by Sara Harley

Years ago, when I was creating and selling glass art, I adopted the policy of "no commission work". I found it very stressful to create someone else's vision. I was much happier creating what felt right to me.

Earlier this year, I was approached by someone putting together an exhibit to create an image with a specific message. The project involved many different aspects of nature, soil, information and artworks. I came up with my creation Sanctuary

This was not at all what the person who approached me had in mind, and I was asked to create something totally different. This turned into quite a dilemma for me. I was asking myself... why did I say yes when I was approached with this request? Should I attempt what this person wanted? (keep in mind, this was an unpaid assignment). 

I spent a couple of days working on various ideas to accommodate this project. In the end, I decided that creating something that didn't resonate with me was not of benefit to anyone. 

However, I do have a happy ending after all. This image was published by Forget-Me-Not Press in their Bloom issue. This is also an unpaid gig, but having something published provided me with some much needed validation.

Forget-Me-Not Press Bloom Issue


  1. My thinking on this that it's a collaboration process, and both parties work together step by step so that it isn't hard to bail out if it isn't working. Neither party has put in a disproportionate contribution. Or I'll ask them to put some skin in the game with an up front payment, remainder on satisfactory completion. Then if they don't like it, they don't get a product, but I'm not totally out of pocket. As for someone buying an existing work, it is what it is, no tweaks like making that corner a bit darker, or bringing up the yellows, or whatever. Like it or don't, that's your perogative, but my work isn't a buffet table.

  2. Well, I absolutely love "Sanctuary."


It's great to hear from you! I appreciate your comments.