How does the commission process for a Soul Ancestor begin?

The first step in the commission process is a conversation to discuss what type of work you’re looking for. You’re under no obligation to buy anything or sign anything during our initial conversation. The purpose of this conversation is to discuss your expectations and how your expectations fit with the type of artwork I create. Once we’ve agreed to move forward with a commissioned Soul Ancestor and have agreed on an estimated size and theme, we’ll begin to determine the price and the timeframe for work to be completed.

Do you require a deposit?

A 25% up-front design fee is charged for all commission projects. Once you've decided to move forward with the design, the full amount of the design fee is applied toward the cost of the project. Should you choose not to move forward with the design after receiving the initial concept, the design fee is retained as compensation for my development time.

Once a design has been agreed on, I require an additional 25% deposit and a $50 materials fee before I begin work. Should you refuse the finished Soul Ancestor, the full 50% deposit and materials fee is retained to cover the cost of materials and time spent creating the Soul Ancestor.

How do you determine the price?

I price my work using a formula that factors in the dimensions of the work, the costliness of the materials to be used, and the labor-intensity of the techniques and processes that will be employed in creating the work.

The materials utilized in the creation of the Soul Ancestors include vintage wooden cases, found objects, woods, metals, shells, fibers, ivory, clay, horn, stone, feathers, furs, bones, handmade paper, glass, beads, and hand-dyed fabric. Surface treatments range from rugged simplicity to intricate carving and from over-the-top embellishments to more conservative painting, polished woods and mosaics. Based on the scarcity of some of these materials and objects, these pieces are truly one-of-a-kind. Prices range from $500 to $2,500.

How long does it take to finish a commission piece?

The time it takes to complete a commission varies depending on the size and complexity of the design. The delivery date will be determined once we agree on the overall design and size of the artwork. 

Can I choose the materials you will use?

My goal for every design is to use high-quality materials to create a balanced and beautiful composition. I’ll create an initial drawing and will provide samples of materials to be used as a guide so we can agree on a general color scheme and tone. Please be aware, however, that the creative process often has a life of its own. In order to do my best work, I must have flexibility in my use of materials. I purchase my materials from trusted sources that I’ve worked with for years. Having this consistency and predictability in my materials allows me to focus on artistic decisions. If you want to commission something using special materials like silk, rare textiles, or family heirlooms, we can discuss the options during our initial conversation. This may increase the final price.

Can I see the design before you begin?

Yes, I'll provide an initial drawing before I begin work. At that point we'll have another conversation to make sure our expectations are aligned. This is the time to address any concerns or proposed changes in the theme, design, or color scheme.

Can I see the Soul Ancestor while you're creating it?

I don’t provide “in progress” photos or allow studio visits while working on commissions. The piece may go through several drafts and variations before I’m satisfied with the design, and sometimes the final artwork is very different than earlier stages. I’ve found that sharing photos during different stages slows down the creative process.

With every commission, my goal is to exceed your expectations. During the creative process, if for some reason I find that a major part of the design or construction needs to be changed from the original drawing, I will communicate with you to explain my reasoning and we can discuss options. As the artist, I retain the final word on creative decisions.