MRM Illustration by visual artist Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Creative Strategist, Visual Artist, and Illustrator Mayra Ruiz-McPherson brings 25 years of seasoned, hybrid design experience to creative projects.

In between freelance, art licensing, and publishing projects, Mayra’s working toward completing her MFA in Illustration with the Academy of Art University.

Mayra also holds a second masters in Media Psychology and is founder of her own practice, ruiz mcpherson | media.

Frequently Asked Questions

Commissioned illustrations, paintings, comics, graphic designs, posters, murals, and more.

From portraits, hand lettering, concept art, and character design to vector art, children’s books, product design, and editorial illustration, every assignment is uniquely distinct.
1. Custom paintings or special artwork requests are welcome from brands, publications, and individuals.

Unlike other artists who specialize in a specific genre of art or design, I’m fairly open to most any creative-centric opportunity, no matter the medium, occasion, or end user.

I evaluate all serious requests and am forthcoming on whether or not I believe your consulting, commission, or work-for-hire request(s) from organizations, brands, as well as small businesses, and individuals to determine whether it may be a good fit based on my skills, my availability, and my level of interest.

  • I offer a wide range of creative capabilities, including custom paintings and special illustration projects for brands, publications, and individuals.
  • I work in a variety of mediums and am happy to consider your commission or work-for-hire request.
  • Please familiarize yourself with my work before submitting a request to get a sense of my organic style and my artistic capability.
2. How does commissioning or work for hire work?

(2a) For ad, digital, or creative services agencies
I’m happy to work with your agency as a 1099 subcontractor and can support your brand clients with art direction, creative strategy, custom artwork, and special illustration on a work for hire basis. We can discuss hourly rates or per-project engagement fees together to determine a win-win. No artwork(s) or creative strategy/consulting services will commence until subcontractor agreements, project details, etc. are formally approved by your agency and/or your client beforehand.

(2b) For brands/businesses
I welcome opportunities to assist and support your brand’s in-house marketing or creative teams with a multitude of creative-centric projects in an ongoing or as-need basis. Please share your ideas or describe your support or project needs so we can collective determine how to best proceed. No artwork(s) or creative solutions support will commence until project and compensation details are formally approved by one of your marketing or senior stakeholders beforehand.

(2c) For interior, event, or production designers
I’m happy to learn about your client’s mural design or custom artwork/painting wants/needs. Please note, however, that actual theming, ideation, concept development, etc. is billable work and *not* part of our initial consultation, which focuses more on broad project-related discussions. No artwork(s) or creative consulting will commence until project details (schedules, deposits, revisions, etc.) are formally approved by your design firm or client beforehand.

(2d) For individuals
A commission request usually begins with a personalized consultation where we will cover important artwork specifications as well as colors, size, and other related inspirations. Thereafter, I assemble and document your project’s creative information and subsequently share them with you for your review and consideration, along with pricing details, process times, and payment options. No artwork(s) will commence until project details are formally approved by you beforehand.

3. What's included in commissioned work?

This answer depends on who’s hiring, retaining, or commissioning as outlined in 2a-2d above.

However, I can generally say that commissioned artwork is designed according to the creative specifications collected from the project consultation(s) which you must approve before any artwork(s) or creative consulting/support begin(s).

Additionally, for certain projects (and as outlined in the creative specifications approved before any work commences), commissioned projects may also include various progress photos (or file(s) for digital or computer art) as the artwork is produced. These progress photos and/or files are sent at defined intervals and serve as important milestones for reviews, feedback, and approvals.

Commissioned paintings on canvas or original/special illustrations include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) verifying the artwork’s value and origin. A COA also acts as a receipt and record of sale. 

4. What are payment details like?

All assignments are unique.

Therefore, payment details are also unique per client or project and highly depend on a number of factors:

(4a) who is doing the hiring/commissioning (see 2a-2d above)
(4b) size and/or complexity or depth of project, which impacts skills required as well as time and materials needed
(4c) number of revisions
(4d) single project vs ongoing support/need

Any project, commission, or creative engagement comes with a predefined creative specifications document that outlines not only 4a-4d above but also speaks to pricing details unique to your brand, organization, or person.

Generally speaking, most commissioned art requires a full, upfront, and NON-REFUNDABLE downpayment (see #5 below); usually 50% of the total project price before work commences.

Depending on the artwork being commissioned, creative strategy/consulting and material costs or setup fees may also be listed as additional, upfront line items.

Additionally, payment schedule details for larger projects will be provided as part of the commissioned artwork estimates (that you must formally approve before any artwork or creative consulting work commences).

All billable work is invoiced (payment terms will vary per project) from my business PayPal account, which allows organizations, brands, clients, or individuals alike to make payments using a variety of methods including PayPal Cash or PayPal Cash Plus account balances, bank account transfers, PayPal Credit, debit or credit cards, and debit/credit card payments.

Paper checks and/or cash payments will not be considered.

Last but not least, like you, I too have to make a living. Therefore, requests for free works, trades, exchanges or barters will not be considered.

5. Why are/my deposit(s) non-refundable?

If and when your specific project calls for a deposit, please be aware that any deposit (whatever amount it may be and as detailed/defined in creative specifications you formally approve beforehand) is 100% non-refundable.

When you commission artwork from me, you are reserving my time and talent for YOUR project. This is time, materials, and talent I am unable to direct elsewhere, thus limiting or preventing me from securing other earning opportunities.

6. How long will it take for my commissioned artwork to be completed and delivered?

The answer for this depends on who’s doing the hiring, retaining, or commissioning (see 2a-2d above).

Generally speaking, due to demand and busy schedule, I do have a waitlist for custom work.

However, once your project commences, it can take several weeks depending on artistic requirements and number of approved revisions.

Larger projects may take several months.

All scheduling details are usually outlined in the creative specifications documentation you receive and must approve before any artwork commences.

Given these factors, if you’re seeking to commission work for a special occasion or date-specific event, please be sure to contact me with adequate lead time well in advance of when the artwork is needed.

7. Are there size limitations on commissioned work?

Some visual artists have a minumum size requirement for commissioned works.

However, as shared in my response to item #1 above, I’m fairly open to most any creative, design, or commissioned artwork project as long as it’s financially viable and a mutual good fit.

This means I’m open to requests for custom prints, small drawings or sketches (digital or traditional) in addition to larger, more substantial or extensive projects.

Sidenote: Just because I’m open to learning about all types of creative projects doesn’t mean I will decide to work on every single project presented to me. Like you, I’m selective about who I work with and what projects I accept. It has to be a good fit and win-win, something I’m willing to explore with you during our consultation. As shared in #1 above, I’ll be very forthcoming and let you know what I can or can’t do and/or if I feel your project is a good fit.

8. What type(s) of art medium(s) do you use or prefer?

I work in a variety of traditional mediums, including acrylics, oil pastels, charcoal, oil paints, markers, watercolor, collage, and mixed media.

If you are commissioning digital artwork, I work with all kinds of design applications and may leverage traditional medium(s) as needed or outlined in approved project specifications.

9. Legal fine print

Unless I’m working as a 1099 contractor with an ad agency under a work-for-hire arrangement, please note that all original artwork is the property of Mayra Ruiz-McPherson via MRM Illustration, LLC. I do not sell the rights to my images, whether commissioned or otherwise. You are simply purchasing the original artwork.

Have questions?

While the above information is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of how we can artistically collaborate, every single request for art and design services is unique and may incur specific questions unaddressed here. Therefore, I welcome your questions and encourage you to send them to my email address: