How many commissions -- that's a question I asked myself this morning. The answer is somewhere from 2 to 10, take your pick. I know it sounds a bit strange that I don't know how many I have, but I really don't.
Here's the situation. Last week I sent out a newsletter that generated a lot of interest, including some people who were interested in commissions. But -- and there always seems to be one -- only one person actually paid for a commission. 2 people have said they will pay me once they get paid. Since these two people are prior clients, I'm fairly sure they will pay. So in terms of concrete paid for portrait commissions, that's 1-4 commissions, since the one lady wants 2.
Then there's the non-newsletter commissions. For some reason -- maybe it's the alignment of the stars! -- I've received several phones calls about commissions. Two were from an alpaca ranches who won portraits at alpaca shows, but now they want larger sizes or different medium. (They will pay the difference in price.) For one, I have the photo and am only waiting for a decision on size. Then yesterday, I get another call from someone who wants a portrait of her grandparents. And finally, there's another person who wants me to do a portrait of each of her sons, but after I sent her the prices, I haven't heard anything from her. So that's 0-5 commissions.
And right now, I'm working on one portrait commission from last year. (Thank you P.R. for being so patient!) So that's 1 commission.
Add these all up and I get 2-10 commissions. (Why these all have come in a bunch is a mystery to me.) This doesn't include all those commissions which people say they will want sometime. (These are the "gee I love your work and want to have you do my 3 dogs sometime" type of commissions.) If I included those, I would have another 20-30 potential commissions.
But -- another use of that evil word -- I only have 1 commission paid with the photo and 1 commission which has been paid for. These others may just evaporate, just like others in the past. Poof! For example, last month I emailed back and forth with a lady about a portrait commission. I must have sent her 5 or 6 emails, answering all her questions. Then she said, "Okay, put a listing for it up on eBay," which I did. Never heard from her again. Poof!
One might think this is a fairly rare occurance, but it's not. I don't know whether it has something to do with people not wanting to hurt an artist's feelings or their getting caught up in the moment only to reconsider it later, but it's really annoying. As an artist, it gets my hopes up and yes, I even occassionally turn down work so that I could do these commissions, so when they go Poof! I'm left with dashed hopes and nothing to do. If you like an artist's work, just say that -- don't string them along with promises of commissions which never materialize.
So, back to my original question of how many commissions I have. I'm trying to tell myself that I only have 2 commissions to do, with maybe 3 more on the way. As for these others, I do hope they come thru, but I try notto count my commissions until they hatch (or are paid for)!
And now, I had better get back to working on the one commission, so that when all these others materialize, I will have plenty of time! (Fingers crossed for me!)