Hi friends! If you're a regular reader you'll know that a couple of weeks back I made the decision to start doing commissioned work soon. And thus, 'The Commission Trials: Rise of the Guinea Pigs' was a-go to help me get a sense of what I was letting myself in for, and if it was even possible to think about committing myself to something like at the moment.

The lovely @Estellosaurus volunteered to help out and be my first commission. Here's the reference picture and finished illustration side-by-side:

Here's what I learned:

1 - Not limit myself to a drastic time frame
So for the purpose of the trials I said to people that I will do weekly commission slots, giving myself 7 days to draft, get feedback, ink and finish a design. Thing is, I naively didn't consider a little thing called life. Flu struck, I had a friend over, I stayed late 1 night in work. Estelle said in her feedback that she wouldn't have even minded if the illustration took weeks - so that confirmed to me that the only person adding extra stress to the mix with a tight deadline was me. Moving forward I think I'll be stating that designs will be done asap - giving myself time to breathe.

2 - Discovering my own style
As an artist, I've always loved learning new styles - but I've never really given myself the chance to create my own that I've liked enough to develop on. Or so I thought! During this process I combined pencil sketches with digital inking, which is something I do quite often, however the finished illustration combines all elements visually. For me, I love how it shows each stage of the design and gives it that added depth of story. I'm stupidly excited that I think I've found my own style that I want to develop further!

3 - Don't undersell myself
This is a hard one for me as I guess I don't feel like my work is good enough to put a fair price on it. But at the same time I also think it's more than worth it. Does that makes sense? After a good convo with @dorkface I got to thinking - would I do 6 hours in work and be happy getting £10? Probably not. So this is something I'm really going to have to think hard on. 

4 - I've got amazing friends
I've had a whole ream of awesome advice from friends in the industry that are doing commissions already, and regardless of how busy they always find the time to help me out. It's awesome to know you don't have to go through the whole process completely blind. 

I'm amped to be starting this new adventure and I finally feel like I'm moving in the right direction I want to be with my blog and illustrations. If you have any tips or advice, I'd be really interested in hearing your thoughts! In the mean time I'm gearing myself up to making the commission slots live over on my Etsy store in the next few days - keep your eyes peeled for an announcement soon!