Once an appropriate image and size is selected, the client is presented with a finished drawing and price for the icon, so there will be no surprises as to the style, content or type of image. The client may edit or change any aspect of the design up until the actual painting of the icon is begun, as long as these changes do not contradict Scripture, holy tradition, or the rubrics of iconography. Because of the current commitment of previous work, the client will be given an estimated future date for the commencement of work on the commission. Every effort is made to meet this date, but experience has shown that this is not an exact science.
The time to complete an icon varies from commission to commission, and each client will be given a window of time that will take to complete the work. Please remember that this is art and not mechanized work, and that it may take longer than estimated; because the icon is written with natural materials, such as egg tempera, it will need at least two weeks just to dry before it can be varnished. Here, unlike other types of work, the pressures of deadlines does not guarantee a better outcome. To quote St. Claire, we need to place ourselves before the mirror of eternity, and not compromise on the skill, time or materials to do this work properly.
If you have a firm deadline for the icon (for example, a feast day or some other event), plan well ahead so there is enough time to comfortably execute and receive the work. If the prior commitment of works moves faster than expected, your commission will of course be begun sooner than originally planned.