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Speaking a different language

A woman rang me last week, wanting a painting doing of her house as a present for her husbands forthcoming birthday. I asked her the usual questions – what medium? watercolours? Oils? pen and ink? She didn’t know. What size? She wasn’t sure. Was I framing it or her? She thought she would get it framed. She asked how much it would be. I said I couldn’t answer that without more idea of what she wanted exactly. She asked if it would be over £100 and I said “Yes”. I asked her if she had a price range she was considering and she said “No”. She said she wasn’t sure what she wanted and asked me to go and visit her to see the property and give her some more idea of what was the best way of creating the picture as she knew nothing about art. I arranged to go and see her the next day. I arrived, she gave me coffee, we chatted about a lot of subjects and got on well enough, she showed me where the painting would hang and I worked out the size the painting would be to fit the area and told her its dimensions, then we went outside to look at the property and I gave my opinion on the layout and how best to capture it in a painting, as a watercolour, and described it to her, telling her what I would do to paint the picture, and suggesting ways of enhancing the image from what I could see infront of me. She listened and understood. I showed her a painting I had taken with me, of an old building in watercolour so that she could see my style and what I do (since she hadn’t come to me through my website, and I knew she didn’t know I was an erotic artist, I felt it better to show her a traditional painting rather than direct her to my website and probably shock her with my, er, less traditional work!!). She liked the painting I showed her. She asked how much for the painting of her house and I gave her a price. Her face immediately dropped, and she said very curtly that she’d be in touch. Ok, I said and came away. She hadn’t rung me after a few days so I rang her, pleasantly, and asked if she had had further thoughts on the painting “Yes” she said “I don’t want it”. I asked pleasantly if it was the price that was the problem. “Yes, it is”, she said. I said that I could perhaps drop the price a little for her, (since I wanted the job) but that I had asked her last week if she had a price range and she had said no she hadn’t. I asked politely if she had a price range now? And she said no she hadn’t and very curtly dismissed me…….

….. Ok, then what did I miss in that? Um…… nothing. I had checked with her first if she had a price range and she had said no she hadn’t. She said she knew nothing of art, and would be guided by me. I gave her my considered opinion and she didn’t like the end price. Why didn’t she? She obviously had got a price in her head but wasn’t going to tell me what it was. Was she expecting the whole job to be done for 50 quid? No….. cos she asked if it would be more than a £100 before I went to see her. She said she knew nothing about art. So that’s where the problem lies – she knows nothing about the creation of art either. And there do seem to be two sorts of people in life – those who think artwork is a wonder to behold, that anyone who can paint a decent picture is wonderfully clever and anything they produce is awesome and to be “Wowwed” over. And there are the people at the opposite extreme who seem to think that art is just churned out easily and has no great worth, and can’t understand that it involves a whole lot of talent, learning, practice, mental capacity, ability, time, and materials.

So, am I sorry I lost the commission? Yes, I am, I quite fancied doing the painting and would have made an excellent job of it. Ah, but would I have done the job for fifty quid? ER, no! I value myself higher than that. So I know my value………….. even if the woman doesn’t value it!

12 thoughts on “Speaking a different language”

  1. Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!!

    That must have been so annoying, going to all that trouble with her not taking you up. Tell her to take a photo of it and use the computer to make it look like a painting if that’s what she wants!

  2. Jackie Adshead

    Vi – I don’t actually know what she wants and I don’t think she does either!

  3. After she ‘dismissed’ you, perhaps you should have directed her to your site where she could see your work in all its glory – and read this post.
    She might have had a huge wake up call……… or she might have decided she wanted her pussy painting. Much better pressie for hubby than a picture of the house!
    Tee hee… x

  4. Jackie Adshead

    Racy – Yeh, perhaps I should! But she certainly didn’t seem the sort to have her pussy painted!! Nice idea though, perhaps I missed my chance! lol

  5. Jackie, there are a lot of people who are just cheap.

    They think they can get Michelangelo for the price of fish and chips – and have the sistine chapel painted in less time than it takes to spray air freshener in a bathroom…

    She obviously was clueless – and in all probability had no funds, just a fantasy.

    The commission MIGHT have been fun to do, but not when your work isn’t being valued appropriately.

    You gave her a lot of time and energy, and she wasn’t even nice at the end.

    PHOOEY !

  6. Jackie Adshead

    Loving annie – you’ve summed it up beautifully and put it all in context, thankyou!

  7. I’m thinking she’d of liked a painting of her house on black velvet. LOL

    I believe she wanted a picture and not art.

  8. Jackie Adshead

    Nitebyrd – I really don’t know what she wanted – I thought I’d asked enough questions to find out but she wasn’t giving me proper answers. I think you’re right though, she wanted a picture and not art. Big difference.

  9. It’s a tough one. In a way it’s a shame you can’t tell instantly who is going to be difficult, so you can just say right from the off “I don’t create anything that costs less than £X” and prevent either of you wasting any more of your time.

  10. Jackie Adshead

    Luka – I thought I HAD cut out the time wasting part of it by asking her if she had a price range (which she said she hadn’t) and telling her it would be more than £100. I’m not sure what else I could have asked her to find out…??!

  11. I think the important thing is that you dealt professionally with the opportunity. The lady may not want to do business with you, but she may talk about you to other people.

  12. Jackie Adshead

    Hornymaleuk – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if she mentioned me to other people, and someone said “What? you turned down an opportunity to have a painting done by the great artist Jackie Adshead, why?!” (and yeh, I know that’s wishful thinking on my part!!)

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