I've finished all of my commissions for Christmas! So next it's Shamus the cat, then Noah the cocker spaniel. After that, I'm free.
Last year, I got tons of requests in Nov and Dec to do portraits for Christmas, and I was unable to do them because I was booked up. This year I've hardly had anyone asking. Maybe it's because people are checking my website and reading my blog (where it says I'm booked), or maybe it's because I've raised my prices a fair bit since I've started doing this. It would be great if lots of people are checking out my sites, but it also sort of feels like not as many people are interested :( . I hope that's not the case.
As for the prices, when I started doing portraits, I really underestimated the time it would take me to complete a portrait. Many artists don't like to charge too much when they start out because they feel a bit guilty charging what a portrait is really worth...I felt that way. In time though, I had to start raising my prices because I was severly undercharging for the amount of time and money that I was putting into each portrait.
For you, the client, the increase in price means that your piece of artwork is worth more. It also means that I have become more popular as an artist; an achievement that I am quite proud of! As animal art becomes more and more popular, so will the value of your portrait.