A Quarantine Diary of a (New) Commission Artist

Ivana Martinez

I’m not sure how plain to make it, but being in quarantine gave me the opportunity to pick up some type of activity to do right in the comfort of my home. Though I may have been drawing for a while, I never took the chance of obtaining more “clout” and spreading my art to the rest of the world. So, while in quarantine, I started taking art commissions!

Typically in the world of art, a commission is paying someone to create a custom art piece. This means that the person who is asking for a commission gets an art piece of their own totally unique to their idea. When taking commissions, the artist needs to consider what the client expects.

Not everyone wants to only use their money on necessities, so they try to find a way to spend money on something for pleasure rather than for daily needs. It is most likely that they want a quality product. By taking up art commissions, it became a way to make money on the side rather than working outside the home.

Long story short, I started taking art commissions around the time that I was sent home back to Hawaii from Riddle. When first arriving, I would have to immediately do a 14-day quarantine, which started the idea of improving my art. My portfolio was small from doing comic editorials for a manga company, tattoo designs, and personal pieces, so taking commissions would let me expand it more. This wasn’t going to happen with my small Huion Inspiroy drawing tablet!.

Around May, my parents didn’t know what to get me for my birthday, so I ended up choosing to get myself a drawing tablet that was generally bigger than the one I had at the time. I obtained a Huion Kamvas Pro 13 with a 13.3 inch screen and a feature where I can actually draw on the screen. At the convenience of drawing on the screen, I started drawing bigger pictures and bringing in extra cash, for my family and myself.

I soon started growing an audience which appealed to different “fandoms,” whether it be in the furry community or in the separate communities of different shows or movies. I am still a small-time artist, taking up commissions even now during the school year.

With the amount of time I can work on my homework digitally as well as my breaks before classes, it gives me enough time to continue and improve my work. It’s also a nice touch of bringing in spending money I can use during the year. Now going by the art name of Ryunishi Okami, I grew a fanbase for myself filled with a bigger audience to appeal to.

I don’t know where my commissions will take me, but it was the best decision I have made so far with the amount of friends I made during this time of social distancing. I look forward to my next project which is working on a video game for a Riddle student capstone.

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