Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Twas Beauty that painted the Beast

The dress painting business has slowed down a bit lately (it's probably for the best as I have to make a huge 16X20 of an angel in a forest for a friend that I'm freaking out about a bit. I have got to stop telling people I paint). But for the past week I've been working on my largest dress so far, an 11X14.

I had a sinking feeling going into it when the customer, the mother of the bride, asked for a painting for her daughters "mattiage" and the grammar and spelling got progressively worse after that.

But after a few e-mails that required linguistics to go through I got enough information so I sat down with the pictures and went to work creating a champagne colored (as I was explicitly told three times with two different spellings) dress with an outdoors background.Before I added the beading I sat back and realized that this thing, with a bit more yellow, would be a dead ringer for Belle's ballroom gown.

Rather proud of myself I sent the pictures off to the MOB and received back an e-mail telling me once again that the dress is Champagne but the paintings picture I sent, the very one up there, looks white. Now I have a hell of a time with telling the difference between some ivory's and white (unless you hold swatches up to your dress it's about impossible to really tell especially in pictures) but I made damn sure in processing the picture that the painting maintained its natural colors as closely as possible.

I will admit I got a bit defensive about the fact that someone who can't be bothered to use periods, commas or a spell check when communicating through e-mail with a business (we'll a sort of business) questions my own comprehension and reading abilities. I'm still waiting on her to actually purchase the dress through etsy, so this has been an interesting experience all around (and if I do get screwed over, maybe it will turn into Belle's dress).

Sadly I haven't had too many horror stories about customers yet (well sadly for all of you reading about my antics, I'm very very thankful for it myself). There was just the one demanding I mimic another artist that I shot down and this whole little debacle.

It's also making me quite glad that I don't work in retail as I'd probably get in trouble at least once a week for mouthing off to customers. I don't prescribe to the idea that the customer is always right (because if they were always right they wouldn't really need you as they could do it themselves) but I do everything I can to make the customer happy.

Now, how the hell do I paint an angel?


Shell @ Disappearing Mist said...

I work retail, and definitely, the customer is not always right. I would say about 25% of the time they are right!

Don't let this get you down, whatever the outcome is. There are a lot of wacko people out there (again, working retail)

Making it a Belle dress might be fun!

Linda said...

Sometimes it's hard to tell in a photo what color something is.
I like it. It's very pretty.
No clues on an angel. I'd probably wind up with a fairy.

Becky (rksquared) said...

I was a retail manager for six years, and I agree with Shell that the customer is definitely not always right. In fact, I'm pretty sure whoever came up with that saying was a customer, and not the business owner/employee.

If I were you (and maybe you're already doing this), I wouldn't touch that painting again until payment is received. Also, if you start getting more and more "bad" customers, raise your prices. IMO, it's the cheap people that have the entitled attitudes and are the most demanding. People who are willing to pay more have more appreciation for the work that goes into things.

Chesney said...

So far it is beautiful - can hardly wait to see that angel! :)

valerie said...

it looks pretty champagne to me, honestly. you should send her two pictures, one of the champagne dress and one of a white or ivoryish one you've painted in the past. maybe that would clear up the confusion!

no clue on how to paint an angel. like linda, i would also probably wind up with a fairy! ha!

Ruby Slippers said...

Well, it does look kind of white-ish. But then, SO DO CHAMPAGNE DRESSES. My sister's dress is champagne. Yes, this one: http://katforsythphotography.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/claire-dewan/

Seriously, the difference between white, ivory and champagne is negligible. Never mind "diamond white" and so on. I think the detail you've done on the dress is gorgeous! It looks beautiful.

Oh, and speaking as someone who has worked in retail for nearly ten years, to the point where I would cry every night because I couldn't take it anymore: The customer is Very Seldom Right. The customer is either: (a) a moron, or (b)trying to get something for free, or (c) an evil bitch/man-bitch. Mostly it's (a). Oh, the stories I could tell.