(I do pet portraits for extra money to make it through college. Most of the purchases are mundane, somebody’s cat or dog, but I am eventually approached by a very strange woman carrying a stack of papers.)
Woman: Hello. You’re the one who draws animals, yes?
Me: Found me! So, what do you–?
Woman: Oh, good! Because I have something I want you to do for me.
(She digs through her papers and hands me a printed photo of a taxidermy tree kangaroo. Needless to say, I’m confused.)
Me: Oh? Is this what you–?
Woman: Yes, yes. I went to the Smithsonian and I love that animal. I was wanting to know if you could maybe go out of the way of what you regularly do? I know it’s not a pet, but it’s still an animal…”
(As odd as it sounds, hearing it’s a photo from a trip made it make a little more sense. We discuss pricing and what she wants. She’s adamant that the photo is what she wants, so I work from that, but I keep her updated throughout just to make sure I’m on the right track. When I am finished, I call her to come pick up the piece.)
Me: “Something wrong?”
Woman: “Oh. No. Except…”
(She fidgets, then gestures at the finished product.)
Woman: “It’s wrong. The wrong color.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Woman: “There’s another color of tree kangaroo. I wanted the other color.”
Me: “You gave me a photo to work from. You said that’s what you wanted.”
Woman: “Yes, well, that was the pose I wanted.”
Me: “You’ve been approving it every stage of the way.”
Woman: “But this is the wrong color of tree kangaroo.”
Me: “Why didn’t you tell me you wanted a different color?”
Woman: *sighing heavily* I figured it was obvious.”
Me: “I should have just… known?”
Woman: “You’re the artist. I thought you knew those things.”
(She did eventually pay, but informed me that I should learn to ‘sync’ with my clients better, because, as the artist, I should just ‘know’ things. To this day, I still tell all my friends about the tree kangaroo lady who was convinced I should be telepathic.)