We are nearing the 3 year mark since I launched my website, and boy has it been a wild ride. Ups and downs, twists and turns, and a whole helluva lot of learning experience along the way.
Over that time I have experimented with lots of features, options and offerings, most of which were slotted under the title 'Special Projects'. This was my personal overarching study, or rather, set of studies, where I would offer discounted commissions in any particular style that I happened to be practicing and pursuing. It was an overall aim to expand my skills, and while in theory I had set it up to encourage me to work on them more, I have finally settled that this theory was a failed one. In reality, setting up commissions for styles that I was not comfortable did not end up making me want to push them and develop them better, but instead kind of... resulted in the opposite. I began to dread working on some of the projects because I felt like nothing I produced was good enough. That what I was producing didn't reach that level of perfect that I needed it to be. It was like half of me wasn't conversing with the other half, because I knew that it was for practice on something new, but I also knew that it had to be perfect to uphold it to my other work. This is something I struggle with in all of my practice pieces, in truth, and I'm only coming to terms with it recently. I have to let go of trying to get all the details all the time, and let my practice pieces be practice pieces, and accept that I won't like most of my artwork, but I have to get through the pieces I don't like, to get to those masterpieces that are locked up somewhere in the darkest depths of my grey matter.
So in conjunction with these findings I have finally settled to just close down my Special Projects entirely. I will continue to have commissions open and available in the areas and styles that I am comfortable in. And instead of the Special Projects, I will simply be setting aside some time within my work schedule for experimentation and practice as a part of my daily routine, but having that be on my own whims and wishes, I think, will be more productive in the long run.