Frequently Asked Questions

THIS SECTION IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION: If you have any questions that you do not see addressed here, please do not hesitate to drop me a line! Face Painting FAQs will be added later.

FAQ #1

“How much do you charge for a painting?”

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This answer varies. Phrasing the question this way is like walking into a grocery store, going up to the manager, and asking them, “how much is it for meat?”

 

Of course they can’t answer your question without more specifics. Same with me -- the better way for you to phrase your question about a rate would be: “How much would you charge for an 8”x10” digitally painted portrait of my dog? I live in [insert city here], so I would need shipping. Here is a reference photo for you to consider.”

 

Variables that go into pricing:

  • Size? (Keep in mind, smaller DOES NOT necessarily mean cheaper)

  • Media type? (digital, watercolor, acrylic on canvas)

  • Number of subjects?

  • Quality of reference photo(s).

  • Do I have to stitch multiple photos together?

  • Is there a rush?

  • What will the shipping cost?

  • Are you paying with a credit card? Additional fees will be applied due to fees associated with transactions through Square.

 

If you’d like to know how much a project would be, please drop me a line with more specifics of what you’re looking for as well as reference photos (if applicable).

 
 

FAQ #2

“Will you draw my tattoo?”

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That kind of artwork is not the same kind of artwork that I do, so honestly, I would rather not. Have I done some simple tattoo design in the past? Yes. But a tattoo artist is who you would want designing your tattoo because they know what will translate onto your skin best and how the ink behaves, etc. Skin is not paper and I don’t know enough about that kind of thing -- it’s not my profession. I would be happy to paint something for you, and if you really want it turned into a tattoo, you would have to take it to your tattoo artist and have them translate my art into something that would work on skin, but you will pay end up paying more money since you’ll have two artists working on it, AND it might not work at all. It’s best that I just stick to paper, canvas, and digital. 

FAQ #3

“How long does it typically take for you to finish a painting?”

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This is another loaded question. I usually get asked this question when someone is trying to figure out how long they push off having to actually pay their deposit and book their painting. 

 

It really depends on my current schedule AND what you actually want done, not just one single variable or the other.

FAQ #4

“My wife’s birthday is this weekend. Can you paint me something for her?”

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The answer will always be no. Even if I had nothing else booked on my schedule (which is unlikely), I would need more notice than just a few days, even more than a week. I am not Amazon Prime nor a pizza delivery service. Custom artwork takes time, so please plan ahead.
 

FAQ #5

“What’s the best way to contact you about a commission?”

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First and foremost, please note that messages on my PERSONAL social media accounts are strongly discouraged.

 

But -- you still have a few options! 

 

I prefer not to speak over the phone about a commission because I do not have written records that way and something might get lost or missed. If we MUST speak over the phone, there will always be a follow up email to confirm everything. 
 

FAQ #6

“Does the quoted price include framing?”

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Short answer: no. 

 

I only offer framing by very special requests and as little as possible. Here are the reasons I do not offer framing:

 

  • Everyone has personal tastes for their decor.

  • Price ranges vary. 

  • It adds on a lot for shipping and shipping insurance. 

  • I would be going to Michael’s or some other framing place anyway, so the fee I would charge for the legwork might not be worth it to you since you could easily do it yourself.

  • And last but not least: I’m an artist, not a framing service. It’s just not what I do.

FAQ #7

“What forms of payment do you accept?”

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So many options!

  • Cash

  • Paypal (Paypal.me/EmilyNGoff)

  • Venmo (@EmilyNGoff)

  • Credit Cards (through Square -- an additional fee will apply)

  • Personal Checks are ONLY accepted on a case by case basis

FAQ #8

“What is your payment policy?”

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In order to secure a spot in the schedule, a 50% deposit is due up front; the deposit is due within three (3) days of booking, otherwise the spot in the schedule is forfeited, and your painting may be delayed if someone else books in the meantime. If you are mailing a check, I must RECEIVE it within one week of booking.

 

**NOTE: Your painting will NOT be started if I have not received a deposit, nor will your spot on the schedule be reserved if I have not received a deposit**

 

The remaining 50% balance, shipping, and any applicable fees are due UPON COMPLETION, within (7) days of completion, and prior to shipment or pick up. You may incur a late fee of $10 per week after that window, beginning on the 8th day after completion. 
 

FAQ #9

“Can I split up payments into a payment plan?”

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I tried to offer this in the past, but it did not work out. I am not a big business. Many artists choose to have you pay 100% up front, but I split it into a 50% deposit and a 50% balance payment. The balance payment is due within one week of completion of the project -- period.

 

I am willing to discuss splitting the second 50% payment into two payments (so the payment model would be 50/25/25), but only on a case by case basis, and it would all have to be paid by an agreed upon date. The painting cannot be picked up or shipped until all payments have been made.

FAQ #10

“What are the different types of artwork that you do?”

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- Watercolor paintings on paper

- Acrylic paintings on canvas

- Digital paintings printed on high quality art paper

- Pastels on paper

- Illustrations

FAQ #11

“What IS a digital painting??”

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This method allows me to paint on a computer or on my iPad with my Apple Pencil. I can make changes more easily. I also use less physical art supplies so it is more cost effective. Once I have the final painting on the computer, I send the file to a printer, and a high quality art print (or multiple) is created for you to frame and hang. Since it’s digital, if it ever gets damaged, you can have it reprinted and replaced at any time.

Every now and then I will offer a flash service where I will draw someone digitally and they can purchase the digital file at a lower cost. They are then free to print it for themselves or use it as their profile picture. They may NOT redistribute it or sell copies of it, in that case.
 

FAQ #12

“I’m confused. I see artwork at Walmart or Aldi for so much cheaper than what you are charging! I saw a

3-piece canvas painting for only $8. What gives??”

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Those aren’t paintings -- those are PRINTS. 

 

This is one of my biggest obstacles as an artist and one of my greatest pet peeves. People are so used to seeing inexpensive prints at big stores, that they do not have a proper scale with which to measure prices of original artwork. 

 

What you are seeing at those stores are prints that are mass-produced by a big company. They either bought the original artwork from an artist or hired them, then made prints at a low price to sell by the thousands. That is why they are so cheap. 

 

What you get from me requires hours of my life, brain power, supplies, talent, and training. It all comes together into a unique piece just for you.

 

Even my art prints might not be as cheap as some at those big box stores because I can’t mass produce them at the same level.

FAQ #13

“Why is your 11x14 print so much cheaper than the original 11x14 watercolor painting?”

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Prints are printed reproductions of an original painting. 

 

The original painting is one of a kind, even if there are prints made of it. I can order prints of an original painting, sometimes at the same size, but most often I order them smaller. I order them in a bulk amount which makes the prints cheaper and more affordable.

 

While not an original painting, an art print of an existing painting is a cheaper alternative if you like my artwork but cannot afford a commission at this time.
 

FAQ #14

“What happens if my painting or print gets damaged or lost in shipping?”

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When I ship a piece, I protect and package it appropriately, and I make sure to mark it as “fragile.” However, sometimes things still happen. That’s why I always get insurance when I ship if it’s applicable to the shipment. 

 

A print is easily replaced and simply reshipped -- it would take a little extra time, but it’s not a hard fix. 

 

For an original…well, it would depend on if you simply wanted the refund after the insurance claim came back or if you wanted me to try to repaint it. Thankfully, I have not had to worry about this yet. Fingers crossed.
 

FAQ #15

“What are my size options for paintings?”

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There are actually a lot of size options out there, but here are the ones I typically offer:

  • Watercolor: 8x10, 9x12, 11x14, 12x16, 16x20

  • Digital: 8x10, 8x12, 9x12, 11x14, 11x17. 16x20

  • Acrylic: We would need to discuss! It’s too complicated for a full FAQ since there are a variety of options. A couple standard sizes have been 11x14, 16x20, 20x24, and 24x36.

FAQ #16

“How come smaller isn’t always a cheaper option? Or at least not as much cheaper as I expected?”

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I get what you’re thinking. But actually many artists will tell you it is hard to paint small and still fit the detail in. In some instances, especially portraits, it’s EXTRA hard. So yes, the smaller the painting, the less the supplies may cost, but it would require more skill, and possibly more hours. You can try it yourself as an exercise! Draw a picture on a regular letter-sized paper, then try to do that exact drawing with enough detail on a small post-it note.

FAQ #17

“How much is shipping?”

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Again, this is another answer with multiple variables (and this is why I always require an address to do a quote):

  • I need to know where you are located so I can run an online estimate.

  • I need to have a price in mind already so I can estimate the insurance.

  • How much does it weigh? It costs more to ship a canvas than a print.

  • How do I have to package it? (This changes depending on the piece too)

  • Is there a rush?

FAQ #18

“What is available for immediate purchase?”

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Most of what I have available for immediate purchase is on my Etsy shop. You can order through there, or you can contact me directly to see what else I might have available. My shop link is www.etsy.com/shop/emilygoffdesigns. If there’s something of mine that you KNOW you’ve seen before but you don’t see it in my shop, I probably ran out. Message me so I can reorder if you want it asap.
 

FAQ #19

“There’s this artist that I really like… Have you heard of them? Can you paint me something in their style?”

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If you like that artist, and they’re still alive, you really should be asking them for a piece of artwork, not me. You should be coming to ME, if you like MY style. I won’t try to imitate another artist’s style for a commission.

 

On the other hand… Van Gogh is my favorite, with Klimt a close second, so if someone wants something with their flare, I get it. I would not be offended by that request, in fact, I would be HONORED. Overall, it would still be my own style. It would just have little touches as an homage to such an artist in that case. I did not become an artist so that I could duplicate another artist’s work.
 

FAQ #20

“What are your office hours?”

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While I do work for myself and set my own hours, I do try to balance work and life as much as possible, especially since I am a single mom of a child with special medical needs. One reason I discourage people from messaging me on my personal social media pages for quotes is that they may see me online, but I may not be WORKING at that time. I try to always answer messages within 24 hours as long as it’s not my weekend or some emergency is happening behind the scenes. I typically take Monday and Tuesday as my weekend, and I often spend Wednesday catching up on paperwork. Please be patient, even if you happen to see me online. I will be back to you within 24 hours as best as I can.
 

FAQ #21

“What’s the big deal with reference photos? Why are you so adamant about them?”

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This question will need a separate post all on its own someday, so I can give examples of good reference photos vs poor reference photos and really dive into the subject. Reference photos can MAKE or BREAK a painting. If you’re looking for a portrait of a certain person, a portrait of a certain animal, a childhood home, or an artistic recreation of a scenic photograph, there is one thing you NEED to know: I need your reference photo to be as good as possible.

 

What does “good” mean? The photograph should not be blurry, it should not have glare, there should not be obvious motion distortions, the resolution should be decent and it should never be overly pixelated, and it should not be some wild angle (unless that angle is EXACTLY what you are going for -- expecting me to straighten it is a little irrational). It should be well lit. I need to be able to accurately see what is going on. 

 

Back in the old days, like the Renaissance for example, artists would have models pose for HOURS, and days on end. Because they needed accurate reference. Now, I have photographs so you do not have to do that, but I do still need good reference. I am not psychic, nor do I have a photographic memory. I need to be able to see and refer to what I’m recreating.

 

Obviously, in some special cases (like old/antique photos) these stipulations will not be met. Please understand though that the price may be a little higher in these instances.

 

In brief, providing good reference for a portrait, a pet portrait, a childhood home, or a specific photo/scene is the responsibility of the client.

 

Now let’s talk about stitching photos together… There are two general versions of this scenario, which will be addressed in FAQ #22 and #23.
 

FAQ #22

“I have three children. I want a painting of them all together, but none of our group photos are good -- can you just use these three completely different photos and paint them together?

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I mean…I can. MAYBE. Big maybe. It may not be possible depending on the photos. But I will warn you now: if it IS possible, it’ll be more expensive. It adds a lot of work to stitch photos together. All three of them would have different lighting, different resolutions, different environments, in one of the photos someone is sitting, in the other one the kid is running, and in the third one, the photo is taken from above him as he stands by the door for the first day of school. That’s a lot of variation to account for. I can do it, but you have to understand, it will take longer and will be pricier. I also have to invent how their bodies might look in certain poses if I don’t have good reference photos of them. Providing good reference is the responsibility of the client.

FAQ #23

“I want a portrait painted of this person. But I like the FACE in this photograph, and the BODY in the other photograph. Can you stitch them together?”

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It will depend (see FAQ #22 for related information). Lighting, pose, angle all will need to be similar or else it will end up looking a little off. Again, I need to be able to accurately see what I’m painting, and if what I’m seeing is a proverbial Picasso of mis-matched body parts, it’ll be much harder to make it look like the real person. As often as possible, please try to get an accurate photo of the person in the pose you want. More often than not, it COULD still be done, but the price may go up. In some cases, though, I will have to drop the project if good reference is not provided. I prefer not to offer a pricing estimate until I see the reference photos for this reason. Again, the reference for a portrait is the responsibility of the client. 

FAQ #24

“Can you paint me as a [insert some kind of character or profession here]?”

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In the past, I’ve painted people as characters from Star Wars, as a cowboy, as a dancer, etc etc… You know what I’ve learned from that? It’s similar to FAQ #23 -- putting a face onto a body it doesn’t belong to, or trying to stitch different body part reference photos together is incredibly difficult and problematic. And it CAN be a recipe for disaster. It just might not work out. So I have decided that the ONLY time I will accept a commission like this is if I am given a reference with that person in similar clothes or costume as what they want to appear in and pose how they want to be painted. That is the only way I will do something like this going forward. 

 

The cowboy I painted was from a photo of the gentleman dressed as a cowboy, and while I did have to change one small thing (arm position), it wasn’t enough of a problem to make it impossible. Sometimes, I am asked the impossible.

FAQ #25

“I am writing a children's book; I would like to hire you to do the illustrations. How much?"

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For now, until my own children's book is complete, I am not accepting anymore children's book illustration jobs. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

© 2020 by Emily N. Goff. Proudly created with Wix.com

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