Before You Order . . . Policies and Instructions
Thanks for your interest in my paint work. Before you order, it is important to read over these instructions so we can both have the best experience possible. It can be challenging for artists and customers to communicate effectively, which has led to many artists closing their books to custom orders altogether.
However, I think one of the most fun a collector can have in this hobby is to see a resin they like, create their own vision or "dream horse" and help them make it a reality. It can be so much more personal and gratifying than simply buying an item off of a sales list.
Below are steps to follow as you begin!
Step One - Pick out Your Resin.
Please make sure your resin is free of breaks. If it is broken, you will need to have it repaired. I do not do repair work. I also do not make gender changes or customize resins at this time. The only way to purchase a resin with alterations by me is to buy one that has been altered when I have time. Please join my Yahoo group "Sommer Prosser Art Announcements" to hear about these sales items when they are available.
Also, if you'd like to better your chances of me having time to paint your model, and to get it back faster, consider getting your resin prepped before you send it. If I am extremely busy, I may not have time to prep your model, which means I'll have to pass on your custom order. If I know a model is ready to paint, it betters the chances that I will be able to take the work on!
I am a decent prepper, but I am only human and may miss a spot on occasion. If you are extremely particular about your prep work, I highly encourage you to send it to a person who specializes in prep work. Better yet, learn how to do it yourself! Rio Rondo offers tools and instructions on prepping. You may become so good at it, you'll be able to supplement your income as well. Good preppers are in high demand! Go to www.riorondo.com
for prepping instructions and to see their line of Carbide Scrapers that are terrific for cleaning resins.
Step Two - Pick a Color
Please pick ONE main photograph of the color you'd like. This is what I'll base my entire paint job on. It can be a page torn from a magazine, or a print out from a photo online, or a color photocopy from a book like "The Ultimate Horse Book." Please write the name of your resin plus the words "BODY COLOR" right on the page.
Please do not email me tons of photos with notes. You can send me a couple of photos or links, for fun, to let me know what you have in mind or to check if there may be extra charges if it is a pinto or appy pattern. However, you will still need to send references with the model. When you find fun colors or neat markings, please print out these photos and mail them with the horse. My printer may produce a color different from what you see on the monitor. If you print out these pages yourself, if the color looks different printed, you'll be able to know right away.
You are welcome to send additional pictures of dapples you like, face markings, or interesting shadings you would like me to try and integrate into your horse. However, please try to pick *one* photo that most accurately represents the final color you want on your horse as the main photo.
If you send a photo of a color that is not quite what you want, please do not add notes like "More red but with golden highlights and heavy dappling . . . " That could end up an entirely different color! Without a photo for us to both look at, it will be hard for me to know if I am sharing your vision. Instead, please continue searching, trying to find something that is closer to what you had in mind.
You may print out a page from my extensive "Webshots" album of a previous paint job I've done that is similar to what you would like.
Please do not send me a photo of another artist's work that you would like me to copy. The only paint jobs that I will attempt to replicate are my own past ones.
Extra charges may apply to your paint job. You can email me a photo or link to see if there is an extra charge for elaborate pintos, oversize models, etc. This link or attachment will be to check on prices - you will still need to enclose a "hard" copy or printout of the color or pattern you want, to be included with the model.
Step Three - Ship Your Model
After you have emailed me to ask me if I am able to take your order, have picked out your color, and hopefully, have had it prepped already, then mail your model to this address:
6437 W. McKinley St.
Phoenix AZ 85043
Before you mail it, check the size of the box
. The best fit leaves two inches all the way around the model. If your box is too small, the horse may break in transit. Too big, and you're paying for a lot of extra shipping! If you sell or ship a lot of models, I recommend buying a "bulk" package of new boxes that are a good model size (18x16x6 works for a lot of Trad. size models) at www.uline.com
They cost $2 or less each in quantities of 25. Consider going in with some friends, or selling your extra boxes at a local show. A good box will help your horse arrive safely!
Shake your box before you tape it up. Does it "rattle" or move? If so, you may need more peanuts! Make sure corners in particular are well packed. Do not mail models using shredded paper. It can compact resulting in broken models. It also can get heavy in large amounts.
If your horse arrives in a box that has been damaged or is the wrong size, it will be returned to you in a new box of appropriate size and good condition. There is a $2 charge for the box to cover what I pay for mine. You will only be charged this if there is something wrong with the box your model arrived in.
Before you mail your horse, check to see if references and a check are enclosed. See "Prices" for how much the paint job you are ordering will cost, or check our past emails if I have quoted you a specific price not listed. Don't forget to send extra for prepping if the model is not already prepped. Be sure to include return shipping as well, or be prepared to send another check for return shipping later if you are unsure of the return amount.
Your personal check WILL NEVER BE CASHED UNTIL ALL WORK IS DONE. I will email you when the horse is complete, and let you know that I will be cashing the check. Your horse will be returned when check has cleared.
What about Paypal? Yes, you can pay via Paypal when the horse is done. However, you will be expected to cover the Paypal fees for the service, which currently total about $3 per $100, which translates to $5 or $6 for most custom orders. To save this money, please consider using a check instead. If you prefer the convenience of Paypal, I am happy to accept it - I just hate those fees!
If you decide to pay via Paypal, just send the horse and the references. We will settle up when all work is done.
Step Four - Waiting
Your model may be done in one week, or it may take several months. Want it done faster? Make sure it is prepped before it leaves!
Sometimes I have to wait for a group of models to collect so that I can prep all of them at once. Prepping creates dust which can get into paint jobs if work areas are not kept very, very clean. For this reason, I prep all models that have arrived, clean the work area, and THEN paint. So if your model arrives right after I have finished my latest group of prep work and begun painting, you will have to wait until the next "batch" of models to prep is collected. This can be four to eight weeks on occasion!
Sometimes I use an outside prepper to move things along, but her schedule may vary, and I could end up waiting a month to get the model back before I can even begin work. All of these delays can be avoided by sending me the model already prepped!
Many artists are now demanding that models arrive prepped and ready to paint, or they will not even consider painting it for you. I do not demand this - but I do prefer it, and I do have the right to refuse paint jobs that need prep work if I don't have time for the prepping. I also reserve the right to paint models that are ready to start, before the ones waiting for prep.
If you need prep work in addition to painting, please remember, you would have had to wait for a prepper to complete your model and return it to you had you sent it away beforehand. You are essentially waiting for two completely different and separate services! Keep this in mind if you feel impatient.
Because I am a commercial artist, on occasion I may have to drop everything for a commercial job. Most commercial art jobs demand that work be done RIGHT NOW. Forget about "artistic expression" - it's all about deadlines! I never book paint jobs when I have a commercial job in progress.
However, if I have just taken in several paint jobs and then get a call, there may be delays. Most commercial deadlines are four to six weeks. But, if the paint jobs are not ready to start (see, again, notes on prepping) I'll still have to spend a week getting models prepped for painting, before I can even begin to have finished paint jobs ready to return! This can add up to wait times of two or even three months on occasion. Paint jobs rarely take me more than 90 days unless there has been some kind of outside problem.
You are always welcome to have me return your model at any time before work has begun. There is no refund on shipping - but no hard feelings, either! You do not need to give me any reasons or justifications for return of your model before painting has begun It doesn't matter if you are tired of waiting, or if you are suddenly short on money, or simply changed your mind. The model is your property, not mine! If model has been prepped at the time a return is requested, but is not painted, all I will ask is for the cost of the prep work already completed.
I do not generally send "in progress" photos. I will do the best I can to paint your model to the best of my ability, based on the references provided, but I can not guarantee that I will paint it the exact color or style that you had in mind. Shade or color may vary somewhat from the photos provided. I will get as close to the references sent as my abilities enable me to. Unfortunately, this is not the same as painting a house, where you can bring in a color chip and have a computer match it perfectly! However, I do have many repeat customers who are very happy with work I have done for them.
I will not alter or change colors on a model once it is done.
The only time I send "in progress" photos is if I have a question for you on how to proceed or on tricky or unusual colors. If everything proceeds smoothly, you will simply be notified when your horse is complete and ready to return.
Step Five - Take Care of Your Model
Once your model arrives, take good care of it. Do not leave it in a hot car. Always wrap it in several plastic bags, wrap ears in toilet paper over the bags, and wrap it again in bubble wrap, even if you're just taking it to a show. I highly recommend laying models down on a soft towel at shows to prevent them tipping over if the table is bumped.
You can also buy foam lined gun cases at Wal-Mart or at outdoor stores. These are a great way to transport models to shows and back.
Make a base for your tippy models! Just use epoxy or Super Sculpey (the pink clay you can buy at Michael's) and smoosh those hooves into a slab of it, and paint it tan or green. Wrap hooves in little plastic baggies (not the zip lock kind, but the thin fold-over kind.) Use rubber bands around the pasterns to hold the bags on and protect the hooves before smooshing them into the clay or epoxy. Or use a layer or two of clear plastic wrap on top of the clay. Paint base tan or green, and you're good to go!
Here is the really bad news: If your model is damaged, I may not be able to repair it.
My technique involves layers upon layers of fragile acrylic paint. Because it is not "one" set color, fixing a scratch is not as easy as whipping up some paint and filling in a line. For this reason, models that have been damaged from my own collection in the past, are either stripped and repainted or I add white markings and it becomes a "pinto"!
I add many layers of sealer over the top to prevent scratches, but sometimes when a really hard hit happens, it can still damage the model If this happens, please try to find a local repair person who is good at fixing these sort of things and see if they can make it better.
Because I am an artist, people always assume two things that aren't true in my case: I have pretty handwriting and am great at fixing broken collectibles. Neither is true! Professional calligraphers write wedding invitations, and professional restorers do wonders towards fixing your damaged Hummel. I admire both greatly! These are terrific and unique talents. I can do a great job of painting something from the start. However, when it comes to touch-ups, I'm pretty lousy.
If no one closer to you or more capable is able to fix your model, please contact me and I will tell you if I am able to repair it. Even if I am able to do *something* - it is doubtful that it will look exactly the same as before. Future repair work is not included in the price of the paint job, so treat your model carefully with these disclaimers in mind.
Please understand that I might not be able to repair it - not to be difficult, but simply because I may not have the skill to do so.
Treat your custom model as you would fine art. Unfortunately, we tend to lug our models around all over the country! They are subject to far more abuse than most painted works. If you do heavy performance showing, keep this in mind.
Is an airbrushed paint job even right for you? No matter who the artist, airbrushed acrylics are fragile by their nature. Please understand this before you place an order with me or any artist who works in airbrushed acrylics. My works are no more fragile than other airbrush artists, but they most certainly can be damaged due to accidents or rough handling.
If you tend to be pretty tough on models - talk with your hands flying around and causing domino effects, pack haphazardly, get aggressive with the tweezers when tacking up - that sort of thing - please consider a more durable medium such as oils. Unlike airbrushed acrylics, oils create a hard shell and can also be touched up more easily than acrylics.
If you have read all of the above and are still ready to have me paint a model for you, send me an email and let's get started!
Thanks for reading,