Many of you have asked me (and I’m sure all of you have wondered), quite justifiably, what is going on with your commissions. Everyone has been unwaveringly kind and polite, for which I am grateful. I am aware that everyone who has commissioned me has been waiting a long time, many of you a ridiculously long time, and some of you an absurdly and unconscionably long time. So thank you for your patience.
Most of you probably know that in October of 2010 I had a son, my first. I had never had any contact with tiny helpless humans before, and had no idea how great an impact the presence of an infant in my life would have. Whereas before I could work for 8, 12, 14 hours a day if necessary, now I could work for perhaps one. Or two. My artistic output was severely curtailed.
(We all know of artists who have children, and it seems to make no difference to how much they can work. I respectfully suggest that that is because those artists are dudes.)
As my son grew and sleep become something other than a dear memory, I became able to work more hours (than two, remember), and my output increased. However, I have a huge problem saying no to work, and so 2012 became the year from hell, as I had no time to catch a breath or take a break, and the official set work piled up and piled up and squeezed out any time for commissions I might have had.
Then 2012 became the year from hell in another way. On July 28, my dad died.
I’m not going to dwell on that here, but it was an unexpected wound, and I am not recovered. I shoved grief aside in order to keep working, but I have learned that when you ignore something that big, it doesn’t go away, it just gets bigger and bigger.
Oh, I thought I was okay. (But that’s for another day.)
Then, this year, on June 22, my grandmother (Dad’s mom) died.
I am one of only two people remaining from my dad’s immediate family (I have an aunt in California, his sister), and I wound up in charge of both my dad’s and my grandma’s estates. Running about taking care of estate business is almost as good for staving off grief as throwing oneself into art. Better, maybe, because art gives you time to think, and estate business doesn’t.
The estate business is not completed. My official set commitments are not completed (I have two more to go and then I am done with sketch cards for the foreseeable future. But that’s a different announcement). My husband and my son need me. I need to tend to my emotional state before I have a truly spectacular mental breakdown.
What does that mean for your commission?
I will be sending out emails to each individual who has commissioned me, but here’s the gist:
Every commission which has been started, even so much as a preliminary sketch, will get finished. Sometime. By the end of the year, I hope. I know that seems a long time, but it’s the best I can do. It doesn’t seem very long at all from where I’m sitting.
If your commission has not been started, I would like to offer you a refund. Please take it, along with my apologies. Please don’t say, “Oh, I don’t mind waiting, take as long as you need.” I mind waiting. It’s like I’m trying to climb the Cliffs of Insanity, and the idea of all the backlogged commissions that I cannot, cannot get to right now, is like a weight tied around my ankle. I would like to cut the rope. Refunding everyone who has paid me in advance will let me do that.
(When/if I ever take commissions again, I will not accept advance payments. That was just a really bad idea. Sorry, guys.)
In a year, or perhaps two, if you still want to commission me, we can talk about it then. Again, I know it sounds like a long time. It really isn’t. It takes nine months for a child to gestate, and after nine months more he has probably mastered sitting up unaided, and possibly eating. Maybe making a go at standing up. My point is, life is full, and time goes fast.
This also means I will not be accepting any new commissions for the foreseeable future. If and when I do start taking commissions again, I will contact first the unfinished people who accepted refunds, and then the people on the waiting list, and then, only once all of those are done, will I accept commissions from outside those two lists.
I am very sorry to do this, but it is necessary to my emotional health, my family’s well-being, and my general not-going-crazy-ness. Thank you for your understanding.