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Commissioned Art Process

dragonfly paper cut collage process

If you’ve asked me to commission a piece of art, you can bet I am super excited!  (If you are interested in commissioning art for your nursery or any other room, please contact me at lauralynneart@gmail.com to see if I can meet your deadline this year.)  Here is some information about the process of a commissioned collage.

black and white dragonfly illustration with lily pads and lotus
Black and White Dragonfly Over Pond

Step One: Research (1 week)

-We’ll converse about your likes and dislikes, ideas for the piece.

-Please send any photos of the room, favorite items in it, favorite places, artists, animals, quotes, hobbies, favorite books, etc… The more I know about your life inspirations, the more I can draw from when it comes to creating the art.

-Please answer the following questions:

-Have you commissioned art before? If so, please let me know how many pieces and what you liked or didn’t like about the process.

-What size do you want the piece? Please allow for a mat and frame.

-What do you want to see in your art?

-What is the main emotion or attitude you would like to feel from the art?

-Is there anything you don’t like about my art or don’t want to see in your piece?

-Will you be the only one approving the art? If not, please let me know the email address or phone number of the others involved.

-Do you have any other questions or requests?

-If you have a preference on any of the following, please let me know:

-Color

-Animals

-Actions of the animals

-Scenery

-Favorite quotes

-Specific papers. These would need to be mailed prior to step 3.

-Other

Contract and Payment:

-Once I know the scope of the project, we can arrange a contract (written for public commissions or email conversation for friends and family)

-We’ll agree on a timeline, deadline and budget.

-A portion (usually one third) of the total cost of the piece is due at the start for supplies, research and sketching. The vast majority of the creative work happens in the first few weeks of planning even though the paper collage hasn’t even started yet. This is non-refundable.

Dragonfly Process - Rough Sketch
For example, the design chosen for the dragonfly collage was the one on the bottom right.

Step Two: Rough Sketches and Palette (3 days – 2 weeks)

-I’ll create 6-8 very rough sketches to figure out the placement of the design and objects (composition). This is very basic and doesn’t show color or detail.

-We’ll talk about any changes, if necessary.

-Please feel free to send me back to the drawing board if it’s not quite right yet, but remember this is just a very, very rough drawing.

-The paper color palette will be chosen

Dragonfly Process - Colors
The palette for this project was jewel tones and metallic gold.

Step Three: Final Sketch (2 days – 3 weeks)

-We’ll pick the final sketch design

-For an extra fee, I can create a small rough paper collage to show color relationships

-After we agree on the basic colors and design, any changes to colors and design may require an additional fee. The reason is because it may take many extra hours to redo work in the following steps. Please don’t let this deter you from telling me your opinions, however, as I may be able to make easy changes.

Step Four: Collage (1 – 5 weeks)

-After I start on the collage, I will send you updates via text, or email frequently.

-Please give me input along the way.

My client, Alison, gave me a lot of autonomy for this piece.  I originally was going to make the background green, but then decided that the dark blue made the lily pads pop better.  Alison agreed.
Step Four Example: My client, Alison, gave me a lot of autonomy for this piece. I originally was going to make the background green, but then decided that the dark blue made the lily pads pop better. Alison agreed! A major change like this at the start of the process is better than at the end.

-This is the time where I work out color and design challenges on the paper.

Dragonfly Process - Research and Collage
You can see (very faintly on the sketchbook) that I did a more detailed study of the dragonfly when it was time to start paper cutting.
Wing details are added.
Wing details are added.
A lot of extra detail was added here - darker paper under the lily pads, for example.  At this point I was undecided about whether I should do the solid gold, the lilac, the sparkly gold, or a combination, under the wings.
A lot of extra detail was added here – darker paper under the lily pads, for example. At this point I was undecided about whether I should do the solid gold, the lilac, the sparkly gold, or a combination, under the wings.
Many more hours of work and it is almost done.  I decided to do a combination of lilac and sparkly gold under the wings, blue paper in parts of the body.  Details have been added to all the lily pads.  Note when using tissue paper (the blue/green in the water) it looks much different before it's glued.
Many more hours of work and it is almost done. I decided to do a combination of lilac and sparkly gold under the wings, blue paper in parts of the body. Details have been added to all the lily pads. Note: when using tissue paper (the blue/green in the water) it looks much different before it’s glued.

Step Five: Final Collage

-Before gluing, I’ll send a picture of the final collage.

-This is the last call for any changes.

Step Six: Gluing and Sealing (3 days – 2 weeks)

-Your collage will be glued down and sealed for its protection

I dropped water on the tissue paper to create an effect.
I dropped water on the tissue paper to create an effect. The background is glued and finished here.
Finished!
Done!

-Please note the final collage will have some bumps and/or bubbles in the paper due to overlapping thicker paper with thin, or gluing a large piece. I will do my best to avoid any bumps and bubbles.

Step Seven: Caring for Your Collage

-Please store the collage flat until framed and matted.

-Please display your collage away from direct light and humidity

-Matting the collage keeps the paper off the glass and helps with moisture control

-It is best to purchase UV glass for your frame

*Copyright of the finished piece belongs to Laura Lynne of Laura Lynne Art.

Thank you so much for working with me.

Enjoy your art!

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