Finding a piece of art you like is still a long way from hiring an artist. I did my homework, I read her FAQs (phew, she does commissions—oh-oh, only if her schedule allows). I reviewed her gallery. Absolutely wonderful imaginative stuff, but…Sunlight was the only picture of its type. And only one portrait was of a man. It is gorgeous and creative (click the title link to see how she addressed depicting this character), but in a different style than I was looking for.
So you remember that doubt I expressed in Diary of a Shroedinger’s Manuscript? Well it wandered over into this project. What if she couldn’t really do the kind of male portrait I wanted? What if I couldn’t get across what I liked? I learned from the FAQs, she’s in Latvia, what if language were an issue? Did I dare even bother her with asking how much?
Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Liiga was professional and friendly. She asked what I was looking for, and I told her I wanted a bust-style portrait to hang next to her Sunlight portrait that I’d bought. I gave her this brief character sketch:
Falion is a half elf, half human. He has grey eyes and dark hair (brown black or black). He has a roman, or aquiline, nose. He is tall but slight. Should look about 35 years old and serious. He’s a broody kinda guy who is trying to keep his life under control. He’s been pseudo-banished to be a commander at an outpost village, so no shiny glorious plate or chain armor. He can wear clothes or leather jacket or cuirass or armor. I’m not sure, just want it to look cool for my inspiration when I hang it.
For those of you interested in the process, here is how she outlined hers:
That sounds like an interesting character to follow the adventures of and depict…The sort of portrait you’re looking for would be USD 250. If that sounds acceptable, here is how I normally handle the commission process. My preferred payment method is PayPal, with 50% payment made up front…I will send the client back several concept sketches to select from. If none of those are deemed suitable, I will draw new ones until the client picks a concept to go with. From that point on, no substantial changes are to be made to the overall composition. I will send wip images to the client either when their input is welcome or upon request. When everything is done, I will send the client a watermarked version of the final image, and if things look good, then the remaining 50% of the payment are to be sent in exchange for the finished, unwatermarked image.
Sounded acceptable to me! Truth was she had me at complimenting my character—what author wouldn’t like that? Plus, Melissa Snark was right about the prices. This I could do.
So I did.
See more art by Liiga Smilshkalne on her Deviant Art Gallery.
Meeting Your Own Characters Series
Part I, Falion
Part II, Let’s Make a Movie
Part IV, Falion’s Ghost
Part V, Face to Face