A month ago, in the culmination of an epic year of decluttering and cleaning, I hired a maid to come to our house for one day. A bunch of folks were coming for a pot luck before the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, Rades was going to be staying with us, and the peace of mind that someone else would come and do all the hard work was worth it for me. So I planned to be out of the house for the day (with the dog in tow) and went over to my parents’. Before we left, I said to Voss, “What should I do about my wedding rings? They are the only thing I own that’s really irreplaceable. I think I’ll take them with me just in case.”
The next part is a bit fuzzy. I think he said, “There’s no need to do that, just hide them somewhere,” I might have said, “Okay, you’re right,” or I might have said, “Nah, I will just bring them with me.” You see, the thing is, I can’t actually wear my rings right now. In the eight years since my engagement ring was made, I have gained a bit of weight (which I think is pretty common). So I kept the rings in a jewelery box, occasionally taking them out to see if they fit any better (recently I could get them past my knuckle, so they really did almost fit again). Little did I know, that by trying to keep them safe I’d somehow manage to lose them. The problem is that I can’t remember exactly the events of that day. Did I take them in my purse? (They aren’t there, or in any other purses I own). Did I hide them cleverly someplace? I’ve torn the house apart looking. I emptied my sock drawer. I unfolded each and every sock just in case I’d tucked them into a sock. I’ve looked in teapots, bowls, taken all my clothes out of all my drawers, dumped the contents of my night table drawer onto the bed and sorted through it. I looked in Voss’ backpack and cleaned out the hall closet in case it was with my mittens, hats, shoes or jackets. You can see where this is going.
Voss was never for a moment upset at me, because as soon as I realized I couldn’t find the rings I started panicking, and looking, and panicking, and looking some more. It’s been three days now and I am not any closer to finding them than I was. These rings were indescribably precious to me. When Voss proposed he didn’t buy a ring because he knew that my tastes were unpredictable and probably not like his own. We went jewelry shopping together. I tried on so many rings my finger was sore afterwards, and not a one of them felt right to me. So we went to a goldsmith and she and I designed this ring. It is white gold with a vibrant blue star sapphire and a fluid design. Initially I hadn’t intended to get a wedding band, but I later changed my mind and the goldsmith designed one of those for me, too. I chose the stone for all of the things it symbolizes – truth, fidelity and clarity of mind. My ring was like a little piece of something intangible that was just mine with Voss and I. I can’t believe that I lost something so important to me. I’ve been pretty much inconsolable since, passing from the loudly upset/angry phase into a dull funk that made me withdraw from everyone. I just want it back, but I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that this might not happen.
Unfortunately, it’s a pretty large unplanned expense. But I figured I have two options: keep whining and feeling sorry for myself about it, or shut up and start working harder to save up and replace it. The goldsmith who made the original is still in business, and I have pretty detailed photographs of it. I think she should be able to reproduce it. If there’s a lesson for me to take away from this, it’s pretty simple: I held onto my ring without wearing it for YEARS without having it sized to fit. People had told me I shouldn’t have it sized because I’d lose weight and it would be too big, or it would fundamentally change the ring itself and it wouldn’t look the same. That scared me, so I just kept it in a box. If I had my rings in my hand, I wouldn’t wait. I would go to the jeweler TODAY and have it sized to fit me the way I am now. I wouldn’t wait for that magical day when they would fit again. As a friend pointed out, the difference between a ring fitting and not fitting is miniscule. It’s millimeters. I let myself feel miserable because the rings didn’t fit (which made me feel awful about myself), but more than that, I didn’t get to enjoy something I truly love, something that is meaningful to me. So I’m not going to wait around and hope I can get my rings back (although I’m going to keep looking). I am going to do what I can to have a replacement made, one that fits me. I truly believe if I’d been wearing my rings, I wouldn’t have lost them. They were made vulnerable because of their tentative status as ‘non-rings,’ waiting for the day when I would put them on again, and because of that they slipped through my fingers.
This is the part where you come in. I don’t usually solicit or even advertise my art services on the blog, but this is a pretty strong impetus to start. Now, I’m not asking for charity from anyone. I’ve always done custom avatars and other commissioned artwork at this price. I’m just increasing my reach, and if I can make more art than I have been doing, I hope that I can reach my (possibly lofty) goal of 100 custom avatars (or other art) in the next few months. Again, as I said, this isn’t charity. And who knows, maybe my rings are not lost forever, and if I find them you will still have my gratitude, and some art that you like. So it’s really win/win for both of us. Here is what I have to offer you.
-One avatar (600 x 600 pixels) in full-colour of a character of your choice from any franchise; World of Warcraft, SWTOR, LOTRO, Diablo, etc. Original characters are also welcome! Heck, nobody has ever wanted it but there’s no reason you couldn’t have a cartoon version of you, the really original character. (Your true ‘main.’)
$40 CAD + shipping
-One character of your choice rendered on a 4 x 6″ watercolour postcard, as shown in the postcards below (more characters would cost more, please contact me for more detailed quotes). A miniature piece of art to frame and put on your wall!
Note that these don’t have to be character specific. I’m also completely open to an image of an actual person, pet, or child. I might make them draenei blue, though. (I’m kidding).
Black and White Sketches or Avatars
-One avatar (600 x 600) or sketch of a single character (more characters would cost more, please contact me for more detailed quotes). A great option if you want some art or an avatar of your character on a budget. These can be lineart with very minimal (black and white) shading, or simply lineart, or something more stylized.
Full-Body Character Commissions (With or without backgrounds, digital or watercolour)
I prefer to quote these individually as they vary depending on complexity, background and number of characters. I am available for these types of commissions but they take longer and are naturally costlier than any of the options above. If you are interested in a larger commission, do fill out the form below and contact me to discuss details. Examples of these are not shown here, but you can see many of them by viewing the “Art” category of the blog.
How it works: If you’re interested in commissioning me for any of the above, please fill out and e-mail the following to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note, I have a section for more RP type info which may not be relevant to all people, feel free to leave it blank if it doesn’t apply to you, but I often find that even non-RPers have some idea about what their character is like!
Once I’ve received your information, I’ll add your name to a “first come, first served” style of list to be published on another page here on the blog. When I’m ready to start on your commission, I’ll send a Paypal request to your provided e-mail address. When I’ve received your payment in full, I’ll start working on your image! I’ll send you at least one sketch and you’ll have the opportunity to request minor changes. You can expect to have your image in twenty-one business days from the time I begin provided you answer me quickly if I have any questions. For watercolours, please allow additional time for delivery.
Character Commission Form
Commission type: Colour avatar, watercolour image, black and white avatar or sketch (choose one)
Please note: for watercolour images include your mailing address so that I can calculate shipping. I’ll assume you want “normal” shipping and not any rushed type.
Physical Description: Skin, hair, eyes, any other defining features. Particularly helpful if including any details which may differ from “in-game” models or screenshots. Write as much as you like.
Weapons/Armour or Clothing: Please be specific (e.g. item names) especially if you would like the character to be wearing clothing/armour that differs from armory profiles.
Personality Description: Whatever you care to share about the character’s quirks, history, etc.
Suggested Expression: Facial expression or general mood of the image.
Suggested Pose: Less relevant for a bust-style image but you can indicate a preference here for straight on, ¾ profile image, or profile image.
Desired Background: What colour background would you like? If you’d prefer a specific background (Nagrand, any area in Star Wars) please include a reference image for this as well.
Miscellaneous: Anything not covered by the previous topics that you think I should know.
Screenshots and references: Please include a minimum of two screenshots of the character; one close-up of character’s face and a second showing from the torso up or full-body for full-body drawings. Screenshots should be taken with a fairly plain background in good lighting (Sides of buildings work well for this and areas/zones where the lighting is fairly neutral. Think Stormwind/Dalaran, not Icecrown). If your character is using an in-game area as your preferred background, you can include a screenshot taken there.
Thanks for reading and your consideration, and if you so choose, thanks for your interest in my art!