Sunday, January 2, 2011

My First Journal Commission

Last month, my art friend Lyn asked me to make a journal for her son for Christmas. At first, I was terrified. But thanks to encouragement from my husband, sister, and Mom I decided to take on the challenge.

Lyn had loved the journal I made myself for Ireland and wanted a similar one, so I met with her and showed her samples of paper and leather I had on hand. She chose a brown cowhide leather, tan colored Canson BFK Rives 104 lbs. paper, a Kell Dragon concho, brown leather cord to tie around the book and fasten around, brown Irish linen thread, four signatures, six hand-painted pocket pages (in her son's favorite colors), and a light brown envelope.
The journal came together quite well. Lyn really loved it and took some beautiful photos of it using her table light tent, writing a lovely blog post about it. The way she posed the completed book made it look alive!

This was a great experience for me. I learned I did not have to suppress my own artistic style doing a commissioned work, I could work within the deadline, and I could turn out a satisfying product. Having my acrylic abstract paintings turn into pages and pockets is a great way to see and touch the texture in a piece.

A book format can become a place for conversation and interaction—turning pages, touching paint and texture, tucking items into pockets, releasing tickets and notes from an envelope, and using pages however you want (writing, drawing, making lists, using collage, painting, etc.).

Thanks, Lyn, for having faith in me!


  1. It is beautiful..I wonder where that journal will travel to..

  2. Great looking journal and, you're absolutely right, Lyn's post really does show it all off very effectively!

    I also sympathize with your terror of actually doing art for a commission. I've only had one person interested in purchasing my artwork so far but that's been enough to give me a combination of the heebie-jeebies and the intriguing excitement of the prospect of getting paid to do what I love.

  3. Hi Poetic Artist! Well, that journal might take some travels…the recipient is a writer 

    Thank you, Vincent. It is a mixed bag of feelings, isn’t it? But, it is so lovely to get your art out there, isn’t it? And doing a commission is a great learning experience, too. Practice, practice, practice.

  4. It's beautiful Gina. Great job!