Posts Tagged ‘commission’

New Painting And Video: A Fine Frenzy

(* Disclaimer: Although the title of this post is “New Painting And Video” the truth is that the painting was made last summer, but it is new to you and to this blog. With that said, let’s continue.)

I don’t talk much in my videos. Or at least I try not to because it makes me cringe when I have to watch/listen to myself when I’m editing video. Anyway, how this painting came to be is very interesting to me and I wanted to share the story. If you’re only here for the video then feel free to scroll down and skip all this gibberish. If you’re a loyal reader/voyeur of this blog you might remember my “Secret To Selling Art” post from last August (I can’t even remember what I ate for dinner last night, so if you remember my blog posts from 11 months ago you should seek professional help.) Well, the story of this painting is even crazier than the story about the painting from that post. In the chance that you don’t know, I am a bit obsessed with stories about synchronicity or, for the layman that’s not referencing Wikipedia while typing their blog trying to appear smarter than they actually are, “meaningful coincidences”. That’s right, coincidences do not exist. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we don’t understand the reason, but let’s not get into that here because it’s a rabbit hole best saved for another day. I’m also quite fascinated with the butterfly effect. I think the two theories work hand in hand to some extent. Anyway, enough psychobabble, let’s get on with it already.

Back in 2008-2009 my sister and her husband opened a pizza restaurant. One of their employees, Amy, liked my artwork. Well, let’s be honest, ALL of their employees probably adored my artwork 😜. Fast forward 10 years or so and Amy walks into my shop in Paso Robles. We chit chat about Pizza Fusion and whatnot. I have this canvas print on the wall called “Gone But Not Forgotten” and she tells me it would look great in this black and white themed room in her house.

She wants to buy it, but it’s not quite what she’s looking for. She wants something bigger and vertical and, if possible, with a little gold added for fun because the room she wants to hang it in has some gold accents. Naturally, I said I could paint her one.

And that’s how a commission painting comes about. Some of them take 10 years to happen and others happen in 10 seconds. Here’s a time lapse of making Amy’s painting.

Bored yet? No? Well, shit…let’s just keep this thing going, shall we? So, what does this have to do with synchronicity? Remember, “synchronicity” means “meaningful coincidence”. You would never think that my sister and her husband opening a pizza restaurant would result in me getting a commission job 10 years later. Amy walking into my shop was not just a meaningless coincidence. Synchronicity was at work here. It had been years in the making and I find that incredibly fascinating.

Is there a lesson to be learned here? Probably. As cliché as it sounds, good things can come from anywhere and they can be totally unexpected. I think the lesson here is to continue to put yourself out there. Being an artist can be frustrating and it’s easy to get jaded when things feel like they are not working in your favor. I can’t tell you how often I think of deleting my Instgram account and my YouTube channel while spiraling in a fit of frustration. But, I don’t because I remember stories like this one and remind myself that we just never know when something we do (like meeting somebody 10 years ago) will have a positive impact (getting commissioned to make a painting) on us later.

What are your thoughts or crazy stories about synchronicity? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

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Painting An iPhone Case

It’s been a long time since I’ve painted a phone case and, in fact, thought my days of painting them were over. But no. Here is the latest hand painted phone case. You could say it’s part vlog, part how to. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. And if you’re interested in getting my artwork on your phone case please check out all the options at


The “Sing To Me” Girl Needs Glasses

My friends over at Uber Optics asked if I could add “big nerdy black frames” to the girl on my “Sing To Me” greeting cards. Of course I can!

I hand painted nerdy black frames on 25 of these cards. Fun stuff.

Check out Uber Optics on the FB.

And if you have any ideas or custom requests for my art please let me know. I’ve hand painted everything from skateboards to lamps to truck tailgates and once a vintage antique clawfoot bathtub. I’ve even painted a few pet portraits.

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

Commission Portrait For Shawn And Shadi

I just finished this portrait a few days ago. Painting portraits isn’t something I usually advertise, but every so often I get asked to do one. When I finished this one I was like, “Hey, these are fun to do!” And now I want to do more of them, so if you’re interested please let me know.

Here’s the source photo that Shawn sent me.

From that photo I made this sketch before I started the painting.

When I first started getting asked to paint specific things like a portrait or paint a pet I always felt the need to explain that it might not look exactly like the photo because I’ll turn it into my style, but now I realize how silly that is because turning it into my style is exactly why people are asking.

Right now I’m working on a more detailed post about commission portraits with a size/price list as well as numerous examples of past commissions. Be on the lookout for that in a day or two. If you can’t wait, no problem…just send me a message.

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

Christmas Commission: Five Bunnies For Cadee

Cadee is a true patron of the arts. She might have enough of my work to open her own “Claassen Gallery”. Ten days before Christmas I get an email from Cadee asking about getting some bunny paintings for her nieces. After a couple of ideas were tossed around we agreed that watercolor on paper would be the best.

The nice thing about painting on paper is that it eliminates the 4 days of drying time I need to allow for the resin coating to fully harden on the paintings and prints I make on wood. With Christmas ten days away we really didn’t have much time, especially when you calculate the shipping time for that time of year.

We also went with 5″ x 7″, which is a standard frame size.

I should tell you a little story why I was asked to paint these in the first place. It’s a flattering story, but also funny. Cadee’s nieces asked their mom if they could get bunnies for Christmas and were told no. Smart girls that they are asked Auntie Cadee, who doesn’t say no to anything, for bunnies. At this point Cadee was threatened, “If you get my kids bunnies I am getting your kids goats!” And this is the flattering part. Cadee thought, “What’s the next best thing…Claassen bunnies!”

So, there you have it. It’s just that easy to get artwork made specifically for you. I am usually pretty open to taking on projects like this. If you ever see something of mine that you’d like, but has already sold or maybe it’s not the colors you like, let me know. I’m sure we could figure something out.

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

PS. Follow my shenanigans on The IG: @jeffclaassen

My Ongoing Owl Obsession

I just keep painting owls. They’re fun to paint and as it turns out I’m not the only one obsessed with them. Here’s the latest of the owl paintings I’ve made over the last couple of months.

“Read Me Poetry”
6″ x 6″ – mixed media on wood.
$100, plus shipping. To add this to your collection, purchase online.
I’m pretty sure owls like to have poetry read to them and I think it’s safe to say that Shel Silverstein is probably their favorite poet.

“I Play Piano”
8″ x 8″ – mixed media on wood
$145, plus shipping. To add this to your collection, purchase online.
In addition to loving poetry owls are also very musically inclined. They are known to play violin, harp, and piano. On rare occasion you can find an old school owl busting out eerie love ballads on a harmonium. Owls are huge fans of Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

“Don’t Mess”
6″ x 6″ – mixed media on wood
$100, plus shipping. To add this to your collection, purchase online.
This owl is not one to mess around with. If you cross him he’s sure to strike back.

These next two owls have found loving homes. They have essentially flown the coop and are living very happy lives in their new homes.

Those last two were 4″ squares, which has been a super popular size. I’ve had quite a few commissions for that size and am always accepting more. If there is a particular color scheme you’d like that I don’t have available let me know. The 4″ square owls are $50. If you’d like to commission one send me a message.

Hoot! Hoot!
– Jeff

Batch: The Ready To Order Sign

how to order, after

The awesome and amazing ice cream sandwich shop in town, Batch, has been good to me.

A couple of months ago they commissioned me to paint them a “How To Order” sign because customers were a little confused by the process. I’ve done a lot of commissions, but I’ve never done one quite like this. Their flavors and options change daily so the chalk feature works out great for them. Here is what they originally had.

how to order, before

And the new hotness.
how to order, after

They also serve root beer floats. YUM!

See ya!
– Jeff

PS. If you’re in need for some artsy commercial work let me know.

A Late Night With The Other Nocturnal Family Member

late night chillin' with pascal.

Pascal moved into my work studio a couple of weeks ago. We now keep each other company during the day and on these late night painting sessions. I’ve never been a pet person, but Pascal really won my heart. I mean, look at that smooshed up little face of his…seriously.

My night

This cart has really made my life easier. I love having all my supplies in one space. And it’s mobile so I never have to leave my chair. It’s a perfect marriage of artist laziness and workaholic effectiveness.

My night

Tonight, I’m finishing up the “Welcome to…” portion of this sign for Batch, a local ice cream sandwich shop. Very tasty and I highly recommend checking them out. The next step to this project is a 4′ x 6′ sign. I keep referring to it as menu board, but it’s not so much a menu board as it is a “call to action” board letting customers know the proper steps on how to order. More on that in a future post.

My night

Never a night goes by without music. I’ve been super into Hip Hop and Pandora (Kid Cudi Radio) ever since I got out of my Girl Talk, All Day phase. Seriously, I listened to that for months. With over 300 samples from so many genres of music it really is hard to get bored with.

And there you have it. That’s my night.

Sweet dreams!
– Jeff

New Painting: Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Adam and Sara, soon to be newlyweds, have been supporters of my artwork for years. When they asked me to paint a bride and groom for them I felt honored and happily accepted the challenge. This isn’t so much a portrait of them as it is my own interpretation of a bride and groom. And I think it might be one of the cutest paintings I’ve even made.

They also asked me to make some custom magnets of the painting so they can give them as gifts to their wedding guests.

Custom Magnets for Adam and Sara

I’m always interested in new commission projects, so if you have anything in mind hit me up.

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

Now available as a limited edition print! Details.

Custom Macbook Cover

Back in April I was commissioned to paint a cover for a Macbook. How could I say no to that? I couldn’t. However, I can certainly procrastinate blogging about it.

macbook cover

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

Things I Love Thursday: Commissions For Things I Wouldn’t Have Thought Of

Being asked to paint random objects is always fun for me, especially if it’s something I wouldn’t have thought to do on my own. This latest project to paint headphones goes right on that list.

Upcoming Headphones Commission
Before being painted.

headphones, in progress
While being painted.

custom headphones.

– Jeff

Custom iPhone Cases

Here are the two latest iPhone case commissions. When it comes to commission work I will take some loose direction and this first case is a perfect example. I was asked if I could paint something similar to this painting…

You And Me And Everything In Between

…same colors and similar style. This is what I came up with. Please keep in mind that the painting was 12″ x 24″. A cell phone cover is 2.5″ x 4.75″, so the phone cover is much smaller. This is probably the most detailed phone cover I’ve done so far.

Handpainted iPhone Case

The next one I had free reign to do as I please. So, I painted one big face.

Handpainted iPhone Case

If you are interested in having a custom painted case for your phone please check out all the details on this post.

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff