Sunday, January 4, 2009

On the Idea of Commissions: 66 Diner

66 Diner acrylic 30" x 30"

So another kind of commission... this one also goes back quite a ways but I still remember how enjoyable it was to work on. At the time I was making my living as a self employed sign painter. This canvas was for the corporate office of a restaurant group; I also painted a number of simple signs (many on hub caps) for the interior of the diner. The set up was from their signature magazine ad; the model was a manager there at the time but I am quite sure she became an artist at a later date. The last time I saw her, years ago, she was working at an art supply store (the same art supply store I had worked at right out of high school).

Which leads me to another digression... having experienced a number of art related jobs over my lifetime (with many more to come, perhaps), and not a one matching what I thought I might do when I was in art school: I wonder how it is for you other artists out there... what were the unusual or common occupations that being a working artist led you to? I'll list mine if you list yours.


  1. Thank you for commenting about my butterfly! I accidentally deleted your comment and couldn't get it back from Blogger, but thank you for taking the time to write. I love your still lifes and will be spending some time on your web site ;-)

  2. Regarding other occupations, florist and cop were ones that I actually thought I was using any of my artistic training. Maybe I'll post some of my old traffic collision diagrams.

  3. Your restaurant is still there! I passed it last week when I dropped my sisters family off at the Amtrak station. I LOVE the vintage feel- I could totally see a series of these on hubcaps or those big retro tin discs you see for coca-cola. Awesome! Your project reminds me of a restaurant in Columbus called "Bettys"- the entire decor is nothing but the vintage Betty Page style paintings. But I digress...

    Regarding occupations/commissions: My first commissioned piece out of college came to me while I was working a second-shift design job for a suburban newspaper back in Ohio- I put up a photo of an eagle I had drawn in colored pencil on the corkboard in my cubicle and someone from the newspaper with connections to Jack Hannah's- Columbus Zoo saw it. I lucked-into doing a large aquarium painting that became a billboard as you entered the zoo. It stayed up for about 13 years and I had only charged them $600! Doh! So there you go- do a little guerilla marketing wherever you go and good things will fall into your lap :>)

  4. Tom, Too funny!! If I'd've lived in Ohio at that time, I might have have been the walldogging slug that turned your work of art into a billboard ('cause that's what I was doing in NM at the time)-- but for 6 bucks an hour! ...they might've given us 3 days to do it... so, $144 less 30% taxes... round it off to $100...
    I think you did damn fine to get $600 at the time. With any luck you'll feel that way after reading this!


Thank you for your kind comments! They always make my day.