Realistic Pencil Artist Linda Huber on Commissions and Classes

Linda Huber specializes in detailed, realistic pencil drawings. In addition to creating original art and offering commissions, Linda also offers online drawing lessons complete with detailed instructions and critiques.

In the interview below, she shares how she came to provide online drawing lessons, which aspects of her artistic career yield the highest sources of income, and tips on providing commissions.

Why did you first decide to provide online art lessons and critiques?

Linda Huber 2013For many years I would receive questions in emails from aspiring artists. Most wanted to know how to improve and they would send me a sample of their drawings. I would then spend hours reworking their drawing and would send then back a SBS (side by side) image of the original and my edits. I would also write what they needed to do and how to do it.

As time went on I found I was answering many questions a day and it began to feel more like a job. I then spent a couple of days writing up my service and began providing online drawing lessons. I knew I could do a great job because I had been doing the job for years! The business is doing well and I have students each month.

What is your biggest source of income these days: art lessons, sales of original artwork, sales of prints, or commissions?

My biggest source of income is commissions and also when I do sell an original. Teaching is my most steady income.

Are you able to support yourself from your artistic work alone? What sorts of annual income levels do most of your colleagues have?

No, I am not able to support myself from my artistic work. I do know other artists that can and know of many that do well. Commissions and sales of artwork are not regular, so I never know what is in store for me.

Do you also earn an income through work as a photographer, or is your photographic work used purely for recreation and use as a reference for illustrations?

I do not earn income through work as a photographer, I have over the years made a little money from my photography, but it is mostly just a wonderful hobby.

How important (with regard to making a sustainable living) do you think it is for an artist to be versatile in the services or art he or she offers?

I feel it is very important. If an artist has the talent and knowhow, they should do what ever they can. The main thing to remember is to only offer what you know you are capable of doing, but to get your foot in the door, you need to come out of your comfort zone. It helps to showcase great examples of many different subjects so that you can attract a wider range of people. A portfolio shows your work, but if it is too limited you will have a very limited clientele.   Oh, and I can't stress this enough: if you have work displayed on the net, make sure it looks perfect (in other words, make sure the piece looks just like what is seen on paper).

How do you feel about showing progress shots of a piece to commission clients?

I personally do this with each commission. I like for the client to see the drawing progress and most all of them love to see it too. I also find when I upload the photo and look at it on the computer screen next to the reference, I can clearly see if anything is off.

Again with regard to commissions, what are your thoughts on accepting money up front, after the final work is delivered, after the sketch, or in installments at multiple points in the process? Why have you chosen to request down payments in the beginning, and why do you give different payment plan options?

Different payment plans are part of a good service. Once I put pencil to paper the drawing has begun, I then finish the outline and send the client the first update and request a down payment. I have been doing it this way for many years and feel it works great. I then offer weekly installments or for the remaining amount to be paid at the end of the drawing.

How do most of your clients find you? Does most of your business come from first time buyers/clients or repeat customers?

Most all of my clients find me on the internet. Also most all of my clients are first time buyers, and I do have some repeat customers.


For more information about Linda's background, art, and services, visit her site IMAGINEE.