Ever since I began my career as an installation artist, I have been creating giftware on the side. Oftentimes these custom works provide challenges comparable to my large murals in their scope of design. Never one to quash a client’s vision, I have taken on everything from painting tiny hot air balloons to a wild boar engaged in mortal combat with an alligator.
Oftentimes the greatest challenge for me in creating custom giftware is taking the client’s idea and embellishing it. I may have someone ask for a cat on a vase with a special message for a grandmother and it is up to me to flush that idea out a bit more and create a vase where it is more than just a cat and a phrase. I am always flattered when clients choose me to create a special gift and I believe that as the artist, it is up to me to make their idea a complete vision.
As opposed to my large murals, giftware can often be completed within a few days which, as an artist, is a great feeling of fulfillment. Sometimes it can be hard to see the light at the end of a 200 square foot tunnel and painting somebody’s cat on a vase can offer a great feeling of accomplishment.
Subject wise, I love getting crazy requests. What better way to challenge myself than to be asked to create scenarios I have never envisioned, let alone painted with underglazes. From the research to the painting, I enjoy tackling the challenge of animals I never think about and places that I have never been.