/Creating work to someone else's spec


I don't do commissions, well, ever. But recently a friend asked me to make her something specific.

The final piece is above, and I'm pleased with how it came out (and more importantly, so is she), but since I completed the work, I've been thinking about the process of making a collage — which usually involves at least some elements of randomness — to spec. 

It went something like this: 

After I agreed to make her a piece, she sent a ton of "inspiration" images. Photos of things she liked and said, "Like this." Most of the images were of Western landscapes at sunset with lots of dusty pinks and yellows, or vintage black and whites photos of cowboys and cowgirls. And then she said, "Horses. Make sure there are horses." And then she sent Hollywood production stills from 1960s Westerns. 

Her ask seemed easy enough. It was like she'd sent me a list of ingredients and then said, I don't care what the meal is but make sure you use these. Except that, well, I couldn't actually use the inspiration images she sent because I didn't actually have them (they were digital). 

And so it took me 3 months to make the piece. 

Most of that time was spent sorting through every scrap of paper and every book and magazine that I own. And when I found the pieces, the collage came together quickly. 

Which is always how it happens. All of the time is spent on the searching. 

All of this is to say, I guess I do commissions now. If you're interested in your own unique something, here's more info on pricing and process