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Times are tough.. no one knows that better than I. I just received my first unemployment check, which was for only one week, and I got a shock when I did. I had been told I qualified for $239/week, which, with the small check of $430 a month for part time admin work and child support of $500 a month, would barely get me by. Instead, I got a check for $159 for a week, which, I found out, was BECAUSE I had other income. If I let some other bills go till I can get a regular, full-time job again, it’s still not going to be enough to pay just the bare essentials.  

Before Christmas, my daughter asked me if I would do a pencil portrait from an old photo. It was a favor for her best friend, Molly, and was of Molly’s fiance’s mother, holding him when he was a baby. His mother passed away when he was 18. I told her I’d do it, but that since it had been so long since I had done anything like that that I couldn’t guarantee the outcome.  

Well, I did a portrait of my granddaughter Hailey for my daughter’s birthday, (now I have to do one of my g-baby Juliana as well, and also one of the new baby boy due next month...when he’s old enough, of course!!)

I did a portrait, just for fun, of my boss’ kids, and also one of the son of someone I care for very much. This was all practice for me, and I need to still practice more to improve. I’ve never taken an art class outside of public school, and that was over 30 yeara ago...

Molly said that she’d looked for someone to do the portrait, and couldn’t find anyone that could do it in time for Christmas, but that if they could, they’d charge $80-100 per portrait, unframed.  

I was thinking that I could offer this service as well, and charge the same fee for framed portraits, and also perhaps charge an additional fee where there are more people in it, as that takes additional time.  

I’ve also begun practicing with charcoal, and the results look promising.  

I’d love feedback on this idea; please let me know what you think?? I really need some way to make ends meet!  


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda S Fitzgerald wrote Feb 16, 2009
    • Julygem,

      What specifically are you asking from those of us respond?  From the samples you have placed here, you certainly have talent for this.  I would check around in your location & see who else is doing something similar & their fees. Then price yourself slightly under what they charge.  Also, if you do these much quicker than your ‘competitors’ - that’s great marketing.  In fact, it may be what you want to promote.

      I’ll think about this throughout the day & may have some other suggestions for you which I will add later.

      In the meantime. . . *go for it!*

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jazzybabe51 wrote Feb 25, 2009
    • Julygem, I am new to this site but reading and looking at your portraits and seeing your God given talent. I advise you to go for it and seek opinions of Local Artist. But, if you don’t want to depend solely on that, I have a website business that is looking for people like you.  It is in network marketing. I am doing it myself along with 7 others and have found it to be rewarding in many ways. Check out the site and let me know if this is something you may consider while looking into your skilled passion. It is called Soul Purpose and my website is  “We are experiencing our Soul Purpose and loving it!”  You can also go here AnnieMaggie.  God bless you both..

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Julia Newbern wrote Feb 25, 2009
    • anniemaggie... the picture of my granddaughter that you see in my blog post, is of my beautiful girl, Hailey... my oldest natural granddaughter. She also has epilepsy, having been only diagnosed a few months ago after having had her first grand mal seizure almost 2 years ago.  

      My daughter left the active US Army to go to reserves in order to take care of her, not trusting her care to strangers. My daughter was expecting her second at the time, who just turned one in January... well, my daughter didn’t know that taking antibiotics can nullify the efficacy of birth control pills, and as a result, she is due 3/17 to give birth to my grandson, though right now she is supposed to be on complete bedrest, so it’s possible he may come sooner.  

      I’ve found a network of friends now who are part of the ‘E’ much that my daughter is as yet, unwilling to face, trying, instead, to do things on her own.  

      I wish for you the best in turning a skill into an opportunity. I know that is what I am trying to do. Especially overcoming not just epilepsy, but the stigma attached to it.  

      Take care and God bless!  


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Julia Newbern wrote Feb 25, 2009
    • jazzy, I will certainly take a look at your website! A friend of mine wants to connect me with someone she knows who would like a mural painted on a wall, in exchange for which she’ll give free horseback riding lessons... (which my friend’s daughter will get). To facilitate that introduction would be great; when I’m done, I could take pics of it and then promote it to others who may want something customized for a wall in their home or business. Thank you for inviting me to check out what you‘re doing.

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