I am Swamped again with Pet Portrait orders! I just proofed this adorable Puggie.
Today I will try very hard to proof 3 clients. I usually spend a couple of hours of painting on each portrait before I provide my first proofing round. Before I even sit down to add in color and brush strokes I usually have spent at least 30 minutes optimizing the photograph and erasing the background. For a traditional oil painter 2 and half hours may seem super fast however you have to also factor in the possible additional time I could spend reproofing and tweaking one of the provided proofs and then the production time of printing and stretching the canvases. I would guess that an average project can take me anywhere between 5 and 8 hours total. I do like to work in a bit of a production style meaning that yes today I will get to do the fun creative work of playing with color on 3 pet projects. Monday I spent the entire morning optimizing several photos and organizing new orders. If I can proof 3 clients today and 3 clients tomorrow I will start to feel caught up on my painting work.
If you are a new pet portrait artist just starting out you may think that 6 projects in one week sounds pretty overwhelming. The reality is that if you plan to make a full time income on pet portraiture you will have to become very efficient with your time. Or, you can also go the high end route of charging thousands for your work and then you can indeed have the luxury of lingering for weeks on one project. Too often however people are impatient and even if you have the time to spend weeks and months on one single portrait, it is the rare client that really wants to wait that long.
So now, I take a 15 minute break in between projects to rest my eyes, recharge and maybe even do a load of laundry.