This is written to help anyone who is thinking about having a family tree written, but is unsure what that might entail.
First thing I'd like you to know is that I love creating family trees, and success for me is that you end up with a tree you're delighted with.
I'd also like you to know that I have created dozens of family trees, and consider it to be my job to make the process easy and enjoyable for you.
Often the people enquiring about having a family tree created are not used to commissioning work - and perhaps that sounds scary! The only information you need to provide is what you want on the tree. (That's it!)
At the start I ask for 3 pieces of information:
1. How many people are going to be on the tree (doesn't have to be spot-on at this early stage)
2. Roughly what information will you be wanting (some trees just have names on, some also have dates, locations, occupations, stories)
3. Anything else! (E.g. Is it for a special event? When is the tree needed for? Is there any illustration such as a family crest required)
From this I can give you an idea of price. If you feel the price is fair and you're still keen, we're up and running!
If the price is a concern, I'm always happy to explore ways to get the tree you want at a price you can afford - I can always make suggestions for how we can create something beautiful within a budget.
The next stage is to getting the content of the tree right. You can send it to me in almost any format - and I'll send something back to you to check-check-check I've got the right info.
And we'll have a discussion about the look of the tree (colours, styles, size, what the title says etc.) I'm always happy to make suggestions, and some people leave all the decisions to me - others will have some clear ideas about how it should look, and both approaches are fine. Sometimes I'll send samples of work, sometimes I just feel I can get on and create.
It's my job to create a structure which is both attractive to look stand easy to understand.
It's my job (of course) to write your family members out beautifully, getting the information 100% correct as you provided it to me.
It's also my job to choose the right materials - high quality papers and colours which will look as good in 50 years' time as they do today.
The only other thing I need from you is an address to send the finished piece to.
So that's the 3 jobs for you - tell me what you want, check it's right, and let me know where to send it - not scary at all!
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.