I love painting the dogs and cats that I meet (and try to meet). Commissions is another animal. And not what I ever intended to do.
It's a little bit more intense and a touch less fun. Why? Expectation. Making images for the sake of doing it is the most nourishing to me. When other people's expectations come into play, a little of the joy floats away and is replaced by dread. That's when I have to sit myself down and have "the talk."
Here is how the talk goes. "C'mon Karen. Don't worry. Lose the fear. They'll love it." Uh huh. "And if they don't love it, so what? Do another one." Yah, ok. And that is how I end up doing 3,4,5 images of the same dog for every commission. To lose the fear and enjoy the work. But what is the fear really about I wonder. I think it's about looking good and pleasing other people. Sad, huh? But so human. Sometimes (a lot of times) I wish I were a dog. woof.