I find myself often wondering about practically implementing my art skills into a more regular steady income. In recent years I often find myself teaching, or do odd jobs to pay the bills.
I am always keeping an eye out for other opportunities to illustrate, design, or create art for more commercial use. While I would much rather be able to support myself off of my own creations, it tends to be slightly unrealistic. Recently I stumbled upon this Obama portrait, done by artists at Portrait Painting. The company, portrait painting, takes photographs and turns them into oil paintings for a price that is far less than what you would pay to have a hand painted portrait done.
You can search youtube and find videos of some of these creations by the company, and they are quite good. Portrait painting is a skill which is not easily acquired; it requires patients, knowledge, and vigorous attention to details. While I dislike the factory flavor to the company, who pumps out paintings from young artists, who do not seem to get enough praise for their work; I do admire the product especially given the price. I personally could not offer to hand paint large portraits for under 200 dollars, since the time it takes for me to complete a large painting would negate most of the profit.
If you are an artist, I do think it is worth watching a few of these videos and understanding what is out there in the market. A family, individual, or fan can get a quality original portrait for under 200 dollars. I take commissions a few times a year, and typically shy away from most portraits; but do feel competition from businesses like Portrait Painting. Plus, they even offer a 100% money back guarantee, which makes the customer feel warm and gushy inside. I am going to keep my eye on this company, and see if the Barrack Obama paintings are a big hit or not. Either way, I have a vested interest in the success of this type of company and other artists should too.