[caption id="attachment_48" align="alignnone" width="287" caption="Artist Ann Rea"][/caption] “You mean your patrons don’t tell you what to paint?” I get this a lot. The answer is no. The first paragraph of my commission agreement explains this very well. I invite you to consider, when you’ve attended a musical performance, the audience didn’t select the sets performed. And generally guests at a restaurant don’t go back to the kitchen and help prepare the meal with the chef. It’s really the same thing. You leave the decisions in the hands of those who are informed and inspired to create for you, to do their very best, with your satisfaction and pleasure in mind. If you have a particular vision that you want someone else to execute you would hire an illustrator. That’s what they are trained to do. A winery executive once asked me why the images on their labels did not have the same depth of feeling that my paintings possessed. I explained that this was because those images did not come from that illustrator’s pure inspiration, they where someone else’s vision and they where developed and edited under someone else direction. Consequently they lost their original inspiration, logic got involved. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say that illustrations lack feeling or that I don’t have great respect for illustration. My friend Yan Nascinbene, a French Italian author and illustrator, is an enormous talent. Yan and his wife Joan encouraged me to paint and pursue my passion from the very beginning when we all lived in Davis, California. American art icon, and my mentor, Wayne Thiebaud, began his career as an illustrator. So to answer the question, no one tells Ann Rea what to paint. One hires an illustrator to execute their vision. One hires an artist so that the artist can create a vision, just for you.