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Pass me those nails

After listening carefully to the client the other week regarding the tattoo design he wanted, and making copious notes, and checking he was happy with the design when I did a more in-depth drawing than the thumbnail we started with, there is still, always, that little niggle of a doubt at the back of my mind, that the client won’t like the piece of artwork I’m doing for them. Now, bearing in mind that over the years of doing commissions for people, I can only recall two people who weren’t happy – and one of those was when I was fifteen years old and a woman who my mother knew vaguely wanted me to paint a picture of her (deceased) dog and gave me the tiniest of black and white images to work from, but also a coloured postcard of a painting that someone else had done and said “Sparky looked JUST like that!” (See how much its scarred me, I can still remember the name of that bloody dog all these years later!) but when I presented her with the finished piece, she took one look at it and said “That’s not Sparky! Sparkys tail is slightly fuller, his nose is slightly longer, his ears are slightly rounder, his mouth is slightly more open!” and I slunk away to re-do it, but gave up, because to be honest was she was asking me to do the impossible with the information she’d given me, so I never did finish it for her, although she never asked me about it afterwards. And the other one that I can remember was for a client in California who was pernickerty to the extreme, rang me up specifically to tell me which colours I was to use in her painting, and which I was not allowed to use at all (and that was a first!) and then wanted me to do a duplicate of the painting I’d done on paper, which I dutifully did. And when I emailed her to show her that they were EXACTLY the same, agreed, and paid me, and I sent it off to her, only for her to tell me the day I’d posted it, that she actually wanted the original one, not the one we’d agreed, and argued with me that it was “better” than the one I’d sent. ER, no, it’s not. We agreed, it’e exactly the bloody same, and that’s the one I’ve sent you.

So, other than two demanding women asking the impossible, I’ve only ever had good feedback for the artwork I’ve done for people. But, that doesn’t stop that slight niggling doubt at the back of my mind when I do a commission for someone. And, I think it’s actually the same sort of thing that actors get when they go on stage. I know they feel anxious and sometimes are physically sick, and I certainly don’t have either of those sort of feelings! But, its that little bit of pressure that you put on yourself, that gets it right, and makes sure you work hard to please your audience.

So, when I finished the tattoo design, and emailed it to the client, I was hoping that he was going to be pleased with it. I always hope that of course…..

The reply came back almost at once, and I opened the email to read it, to find:


In one word, WOW nailed it completely.

 Am very happy with it.  

Thanks very much again

Big hugs when I see you


 Ok then, I’ll put that down as success! a “Wow” is always a good response. 🙂