Hmm, I can see what you mean, if they want super realistic portraits they should just take a photo, right? Cause art is supposed to be about freedom of expression. Maybe you should look for different clients then, people that speak the same visual language as you do, and that understand what you are trying to convey. Or try to convince them your way is better. But let's face it, most people commissioning a portrait do it precisely because they want to see themselves. They want to look at it and recognize themselves, or feel as if they looking into a mirror. People generally dismiss what they don't understand. It kinda reminds me of how Picasso isn't very understood either. And it happens in architecture too.
From looking at your art, you have a good idea of form, light and shadow, plus an inventive use of color. I'm guessing your paintings come from photos, which if they are would be kinda pointless to paint realistically as it would seem redundant. What might be good to try out is doing some surrealist paintings. In surrealism you can still explore the abstract, but the goal is to make the abstract appear real, like a dream. But learning to create some realistic pictures wouldn't hurt. It could help you gain a deeper appreciation for color and give you some ideas you haven't thought of before.