Custom made decor is becoming more and more popular with households desiring pieces unique to their family qualities and values.
Working with an artist can be presumed as a nerve wrecking task. Especially because you as the client are paying for your ideal piece while the artist is putting their heart into what they presume is your ideal piece. Add miscommunication to this process and this can turn into a messy scenario.
I recently worked with Asha from InstaEtch Studio on two pieces of home decor. One in particular was near and dear to my heart as it was based on a wedding photo. I wanted this piece to be perfect. I was initially nervous about the process of getting what I wanted out of these decor pieces. Yet Asha made the process easier than I anticipated.
I have worked with artists in the past for custom made jewelry pieces. I found within these moments that artists can be sensitive to creating your piece their way despite the money you’ve put in their hands.
Here I give you some tips on the communication styles to look out for from the ideal artist to create your custom piece.
#1. Right from the start, they give you clear points on what they need in order to give you the perfect piece.
Here is Asha’s initial response after I’ve requested her services for a wooden engraved photo:
“A couple of notes to consider when choosing the picture:
1) The better the quality of the picture, the clearer the engraving. An original JPEG will engrave a lot better than a screenshot of the same picture just due to the overall resolution of the image.
2) Choose a picture you think would look good as a black & white or sepia photo. The actual picture you send can be in color but just know that the color won’t be present on the final ornament.
3) An edited picture is totally fine! You only see a significant quality decrease if the photo is low resolution or grainy – like if someone screen grabs a picture that was originally a mobile bad phone pic – those are a struggle.”– Asha, Owner of InstaEtch Studio
Asha has already given me pointers that decrease the possibility of wasted time. There’s nothing worse than going back and forth wasting time and energy on a piece that hasn’t even been started yet.
#2. The artist offers a visual example and has explained what to expect if you aren’t happy with her idea.
As the client, you won’t know for sure what an idea has the potential to look like. Having an artist that can give an example of the idea in easy to understand words is ideal.
Add to that being prepared for the possibility of a Plan B and knowing what the artist’s response will be to your dislike. As a paying client I want to feel safe to give my honest opinion on the artist’s work.
Here is Asha’s ideas of what I could expect from her:
“I ALWAYS send a digital mock-up of your picture first so you can get an idea of how it’ll look as an engraving.
If you like it, great! If you aren’t happy with it, you can either let me know what edits you’d like me to make OR swap out for a different picture.
This mock-up process is included in the price of your ornament and there is no added charge for picture exchanges or additional mock-ups. I will not engrave your product until you are 100% happy with how it’ll turn out. After all it is YOUR precious memory!
The simulations in the mock-ups are pretty realistic. The only difference is your actual ornament will be slightly lighter in color rather than the dark browns/blacks of the simulation.”– Asha, Owner of InstaEtch Studio
#3. The artist is focused on what you want and not what’s easiest for her.
It’s unfortunate to say that I’ve ordered custom made products that I can tell was at the back of the store room for months. It’s dusty and looks like it’s seen better days. The artist most likely just slapped on a minor detail that made it “custom made”.
The right artist is willing to put the extra effort in to make your custom piece just that, custom! This is what you’re paying for.
Asha highlights how far she’s willing to go to make sure the product I receive is everything I desire and not simply what works best for her.
“Just to let you know, everything I make is 100% personalized to my customer. I only start painting my wood once an order comes in and include my customers in the process as much as possible by sending them process pictures (if they want them). I’ve got 4 popular backgrounds: fiery sunset, blue/green midday, cherry blossom twilight and deep blue midnight (attachment 1).
I have also made many a skyline in specific color(s) to suit a customer’s existing decor palette. If you’ve got an idea for your skyline that is different than the 4 above mentioned backgrounds, I’m totally open to it! I’ve attached some of my recent backgrounds to this email to give you some added inspiration.”– Asha
The process of purchasing a custom made decor item should be smooth sailing and a lot of fun. You should be left with a custom made item that you can look at and feel proud of. Knowing that the bond between artist and customer is what made this magical display of art happen.
The skylight and ornament I received from InstaEtch Studio are stunning! My husband and I spent a good five minutes just staring at the ornament as we wondered how the heck a photo can be carved with such detail into wood. It’s mind blowing the amount of detail put into making this engravment hold up to the original photo.
My husband requested the Galaxy styled painting as the back ground of the Vancouver skyline. I’m so glad he did. Some how the small bursts of colors within the dark night sky makes the photo light up. It’s a piece I can stare at for hours and get lost within the memories of the life we’ve had in Vancouver city.
Isn’t that what decor is all about after all. It should make you think and relax into the feel of it. Asha truly displayed focused customer service and attention to detail. My expectations were exceeded by the effort she put into making sure I got what I wanted.
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