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Thats so reassuring to know that I’m being helpful

Someone contacted me recently asking about me doing a portrait for him. I always know that there are hundreds of questions that can be asked in that situation, from the person who is asking the artist to do the artwork, and the artist who is doing the artwork. Neither want to feel that the other person isn’t wasting the others time and just asking questions with no intention of carrying out the commission that is being requested. So, I have learnt just to answer the basic questions by email until I feel that the situation is a serious commission. I felt from the beginning with this latest request that it was a serious request for a commission, and liked the questions that were being asked, and felt that the answers I was giving were valued and of help to the client. After a few emails, we had a conversation on the phone, and again it was helpful for us both to have that verbal communication, which sometimes flows more naturally than words in emails do. He could tell me his thoughts, and I could reassure him that I had the experience of doing the sort of artwork he was considering. I also liked it when he told me he found my blog interesting to read, I like writing it but unless someone tells me I have no idea who reads it, or what their thoughts are about it. So that was nice too.

And then this week there have been more email conversations regarding how he would pose for the portrait, standing, or not, and his comment of

"My biggest problem is that I don’t really know what to do with my arms / hands and where to look. I want to look confident but not arrogant and show that I am enjoying the experience if that makes sense? Hopefully you can give me some suggestions."

So I gave him some feedback of what I thought of some of the poses he was considering, and that some looked more negative, or defensive than others, depending on how he held his arms, more than for any other reason! I knew he wanted to look like he was enjoying the situation and experience. He’s never had his portrait painted in this way before, by an artist. And he specifically wanted a woman artist to do this portrait.

The next email from him said

"Thank you so much for your detailed feedback and advice regarding my attempts at posing using my GoPro. It’s so refreshing to be dealing with someone who clearly knows their profession and what they are talking about. I like many other people did not realise just how much more there is to creating a portrait, thinking I would just turn up and pose!."

Thats so reassuring that he finds my suggestions and feedback of such use to him. I have so much experience of doing this, that its normal for me…but I am aware that its a new experience for a lot of people…

So I’m looking forward to meeting him, and drawing him…

Oh, and did I mention….he’ll be naked…