I rarely paint for people who are not family or paying customers. I think it is awkward. Art is so personal and everyone has their own preferred style. My family has no problem telling me exactly what they like and it’s usually not in line with my own preferred style of art work so I appreciate the honesty. Paying customers will also tell you exactly what they want. Gifting artwork to someone who is not expecting it is a risk. If they don’t like it, they likely feel forced to hang it up anyways and that’s got to suck. I also doubt anyone would openly admit to me if they didn’t like it (other than my family or paying customers). So friends, if you’ve never received a painting from me, this is why!
Not too long ago, I broke my own rule and actually painted a gift painting for someone who I didn’t know all too well for his birthday. It was one of those awkward situations were I’d be on a few dates with this guy, and then it happens to be his birthday. So naturally, I can’t do nothing for it, but then I also don’t want to go overboard since it had only been a few weeks. He’d seen a few of my paintings and particularly liked these two, City Love and After Midnight.
At one point we had a conversion over text messaging that went something like this:
Him: So what painting are you working on ? Tell me what that couple is up to!
Me: They’re in different provinces texting one another
Him: No !! You always paint them together !!
Me: Fine, they’re cuddling
Him: No! No and no !! They are always outside
Me: Fine! They’re outside in a snow storm, holding each other tightly to keep warm.
Him: Why are they outside in the cold ? Their car broke down ? They are lost ?
Me: No baby, they are just caught up in the moment. They were on their way inside but just wanted to hold each other and enjoy the moment
… and this went on for a little bit longer.
So naturally, after this conversation I was inspired to paint exactly that, and figured it would make the perfect birthday gift.
Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that it did.… He did guess what the painting was of based on that conversation we had had earlier, but I’m pretty sure I show more enthusiasm for my morning cup of coffee on a daily basis…
Needless to say, things didn’t work out! Although it had nothing to do with the painting. If I sound bitter, I promise I’m actually not. I knew from the beginning that giving a painting as a gift is a risk and I don’t take it personally, and we parted ways because we just weren’t a good match
If you’re an artist, do you give paintings as gifts?
For everyone else, do you like receiving artwork as a gift? I actually love anything and everything handmade, but I’m super sappy. My favorite part of any gift is the card since it’s usually the only part that is personalized.