When it comes to commissions, it’s not about me. It all begins with you. There is a story: an event, a project, a business proposal, a defining moment, a fragment of life. You want to capture it somehow but, beyond just words. Is it possible to translate into another form? Can this story be visual?
Over the past eighteen years I have been creating drawings that, in the simplest terms, tell people’s stories. It has taken me over a decade to understand the power within these visual translations. They cross multiple boundaries, from personal dreams to wedding invitations, business philosophies to analyzing attributes of the land. They stretch beyond a commissioned work of art to reveal people’s hopes, dreams, and passions in and for life.
When I am asked to do a commission, I work very closely with my client through the entire process. First, we begin with a conversation to explore their ideas for the piece. I ask for descriptive words, colors, dates, imagery that might be significant, places / maps, etc… Then I spend time creating a preliminary sketch with colored pencil and pen that my client can comment on. I then create the layout of the piece with actual imagery, text, etc… and send a photo of this to my client. Again, they are welcome to comment on changes they might like to see, or present new ideas that have been sparked by the process. Finally, I go ahead and create the final work. It is always a fulfilling and unique experience. For most artists, this may seem an unorthodox approach, but my work has always been about connections.
Sometimes commissions go beyond a singular work and become collaborations with groups of people - even classrooms of kids. I work as a teaching artist with the TAPAS program of the Asheville City Schools Foundation, creating customized projects with classroom teachers aligning directly with their curriculum. I also create customized residencies on my own with schools or organizations of any size.
If you would like to set up a time to meet about an idea you have for a commission or a collaboration, please send me a note. I look forward to listening to your story and creating something together!