My latest commission came from the Garrison school here in Brunei. It’s a two-fold job with the primary piece being displayed at the school for the students to interact with and also to aid the schools rebranding. The second two pieces are to be presented to the Head Teacher and Deputy Head as leaving gifts for them to take away with them to their new jobs.
This commission made me realise how much I have grown to enjoy the initial meeting with clients. I often don’t know how specific their ideas are going to be, or what their budget is, which can make me a little apprehensive, but there’s an excitement about discovering a clients ideas. Working together to develop these initial thoughts into a workable design is a real pleasure and certainly stretches my creativity.
On this occasion I met with two members of staff for an informal ideas session, which turned out to be great fun. Within half an hour we had gone from polite conversation, through a flurry of ideas, before ending up with a lovely design to develop further. Brimming with enthusiasm and creativity, I got straight work on researching and developing what we had just spoken about whilst it was fresh in my mind.
Developing a clients idea feels to me like a huge privilege. It can often be a very personal process, depending on the commission. I ask a lot of questions to help me understand their tastes, and what they are hoping to achieve from this piece of work, whilst at the same time gently guiding them to ensure I can deliver a stunning final piece. I am aware that as they have approached me then they are looking for a little of my artistic vision in the work, but applied to their idea. This means we are creating a truly bespoke piece of work between us.
The most wonderful, and nerve wracking part of the whole process is presenting the client with the final piece of work. Depending on their involvement, they may have seen it along the way, but it’s never the same as having the finished thing in front of you. I am always confident that I have tried my hardest to produce something that I am proud of, (and by this point I’ve spent so much time with it I’ve probably fallen in love with it and don’t want to let it go), but its not until I see the clients reaction that I know if the work is truly successful.