Okay, old problem that many of you know already…
Problem: I am trying to work as an artist in the least expensive way I know how, to live and paint in an apartment in Tijuana, Mexico. Selling anywhere, but primarily the United States.
My primary issue: An increasing number of people who ask me to paint for them simply want me to copy images they send me, a task which I find dull and disheartening (especially the crap photos).
I have little issue with subject matter, but I can’t seem to convince clients to just give me a little of their time to gather them together to take a photo of them in a natural grouping so I can have some room to be creative and original in composition and setting. I feel that this is a crucial component for building a repuation, so that people can have a good sense of my (now) developing style and artistic sensibility.
I want to know how some of you feel I could express this and remain steadfast without offending potential clients and losing business?
To be fair, a couple of my last dozen clients understand my struggle to try and elevate my art, but I really wish to figure out how to explain to the average person that copy work is not really helping me advance without offending them.
I’ve considered giving a steep discount as an incentive to let me have my way, but I still need to make enough to survive (which really ain’t much by USA standards).
I give you an example (I have no idea who this family is, but it’s definitely the most whitebread photo I think I’ve ever seen)…
And a pose I caught on my own of the neighbor’s daughter and her friend, from a high vantage point, relaxed and informal…
To be fair, I can’t do anything about the whitebread-edness of the family, but I most likely would have asked them to sit around that patio table in the background as if they were interacting with each other instead of the camera, so I could get an interesting grouping and some play with the shadows.