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Commission work is some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done, and I am always amazed at what unfolds.
I often think of my commission relationships as a kind of divine romance in many ways. We get to engage in a beautiful dance, one in which there are plenty of sparks of inspiration, trust, risk, and flow; and the art, in turn, becomes a magical reflection of that dance.
I’ve gotten to a point where my commission work and the development of my personal body of work feel like one and the same-- I don't enjoy one more than the other because I hold the same intention for all of it: to create lasting beauty in this world. The people who hire me really appreciate my style of painting, they recognize what I stand for, and wish for me to channel their ideas in the same way I channel my own, which is to create physical representations of very curious, magical, and mystical realms of experience. I'm often given a concept to just run with, which is how I typically work best. After our initial consultations, many of my clients enjoy letting the magic unfold into one big beautiful surprise, with maybe some small reveals along the way to build anticipation and excitement.
The commission process can be a fairly revealing and intimate one because I’m not just doing a pretty still life or abstract piece to match your living room color palette—I’m giving your personal prayers and otherworldly experiences life on canvas, which is best carried out in our design conversations through some deep self inquiry, good intuition, and surrender to the whims and mystery of the imaginal realms.
The whole process is really quite a magical experience, and I invariably develop some delightful friendships with the people I work with. In the end, a beautiful piece emerges with which you feel a deeply significant emotional connection, and will cherish your whole life through.
It is my honor and extreme pleasure to channel the intangible, the seemingly ineffable, into visual form for you and all the world.
Creating meaningful art takes a lot of courage, kindness, and patience. The ultimate creative act is born through a willingness to grow, make mistakes, learn—let go. In my own practice, painting is a lifelong lesson in getting out of my own way—to let the art create itself through my hands, and simply allow what wants to come through. I am always asking questions, always listening. To that end, I point my brush toward the inexplicable knowing, and give life's mystery some form in a way that hopefully "remains translucent, so that it may not block out the very light it is trying to convey." (Joseph Campbell)
How Much is a Commission?
These days, I am doing commissions sized at 30"x40" for about $15k (depending on the level of detail). I spend about 200-250 hours deliberating and painting each one with the utmost care and attention, and it is best to allow at least six months for completion because I am typically balancing my work time between several paintings and my music practice. I can do smaller or larger pieces, too—it really depends on the size of the project, your budget, and if we would be a good match for working together. If a commission feels cost prohibitive for you, then perhaps we would need to set up a payment schedule that works with your budget. I am always open to such arrangements. You can always send me a message to share your ideas and budget, and then we can see what's possible.
For those of you who are interested in commissioning a painting, but feel hesitant about the financial investment, I invite you to really feel into what this painting would mean for you. This kind of commission, in many ways, is like deciding to have kids, or fall in love-- it can't be rationalized. It feels more like destiny. This art can have an incredibly enriching impact on your life, one that is beyond measure, beyond the concept of dollar bills. If you can realistically set money aside each month to invest in yourself and the world in this way, then you are ready to take the leap. I've noticed that once someone has decided that they need this painting in their life, there is seemingly little to stand in the way of the vision coming through. It's something that feels incredibly poignant, it calls to you, it feels like something big.
When presented with something in life that we know is meant to be, we will find a way to manifest it.
It is also worth noting that at the current moment, I am selling my commissions for a good bit less than many of the originals I have listed for sale online because some of those pieces are literally my very first paintings from my personal body of work, which I won't part with at a lower price. The price of both my commissions and other originals will balance out eventually, as my collection expands, and as my commission rates increase over the years. Now is an excellent time to hire me for commission work, as offers have increased by about $1-2k for every new project I take on. In terms of investment, the value of my art has more than doubled since 2010. Most of my collectors wouldn't even dream of re-selling their painting because they have such a deep emotional connection to the work, but if the need would ever arise to re-sell, the art is an excellent collector's item that will only increase in value over time.
"I contacted my favorite artist, Ishka Lha, to see if she might be willing to bring a series of interrelated visions I had to life by painting some of the elements for me. I knew it was important to make the life changing visions and the medicine they contained more potent and real by painting them somehow, but I am no artist. I shared the visions with Ishka. She immediately saw what they were about and the importance in painting it. I’m truly honored that she accepted the commission. The collaboration was perfect. It involved much more than I had ever imagined. She spent months researching and talking with me about specific details of the visions and the feelings and context behind them before even starting to paint. The actual painting on canvas took exactly one year to complete. Once the work started, I didn’t have a whole lot of input. I knew I could trust this talented and pure hearted artist. The resulting painting is a masterpiece! It is quite literally a dream come true. I’m forever grateful, and happy to know that I and many others will continue to receive darshan from the beautiful and trans-portative work of art in the years ahead. The time and money spent on this was truly one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I recommend Ishka Lha highly and without reservation." - Jeff Miller, Sebastopol
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Ishka Lha wants you to be happy with your art, and we understand how sometimes things can turn out a little differently than you expected. If for some reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, please contact us within 3 days of receiving your order. All returns and exchanges are handled on a case by case basis. Once approved, you must ship the undamaged item back within 5 days to exchange it for another item or to receive a full refund. Did your art arrive damaged? Please keep and document all packaging, and contact us for further instructions to replace your order items. Any Ishka Lha original will be shipped via UPS and insured for full cost. If item is damaged in shipping, please contact Ishka immediately with photos of the damaged art and packaging. A partial or full refund is contingent upon the insurance claim decision made by the mail carrier.
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All giclée prints are made with archival inks on fine art papers using a high-resolution large format inkjet printer at a certified green business facility. All original paintings are created using only professional grade Golden Acrylics. All other art products are created with the highest quality in mind, as well as keeping production as local and green friendly as possible.
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